15 Best Things to Do in Boulder (CO)

Boulder, Colorado is known for its location in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and while it’s higher in elevation than many of its neighboring towns, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do here other than climb the mountains.

Instead, Boulder has a wobbly downtown known for its diverse shopping, dining and nightlife, much of which is concentrated around the central hub on Pearl Street.

In addition to this shopping boulevard, Boulder is home to an array of art galleries and fascinating museums, as well as the resident Boulder Chamber Orchestra.

Beyond that, the outdoor majesty that Boulder is so famous for certainly doesn’t disappoint, and nature lovers can hike, climb, fish or picnic in some of America’s most spectacular scenery. .

Let’s explore the best things to do in Boulder:

1. Iron

iron, boulder

One of the most iconic sites in the Boulder region, Flatiron is a stunning series of rock walls that stand on the side of an equally spectacular Green Mountain.

There are formations big and small, and if you’re feeling active (and brave!) then you can try rock climbing, which started in the 1940s.

If that doesn’t appeal, there are more peaceful activities like enjoying the majesty of the Flatiron by hiking one of the area’s several trails.

Depending on your experience, stamina and enthusiasm, there are various long and short trails that will take you through these picturesque hills.

2. Boulder Historical Museum

The Boulder Historical Museum is a legend in these areas and is the proud home of more than 45,000 antique artifacts from the area.

The museum itself is a period attraction, as it is housed in the Habeck-Bergues residence, which is also a National Historic Landmark for the town.

Located on University Hill, the mission of the museum is to educate visitors about Boulder’s historical significance, and to that end, you’ll find rotating exhibits that tell the story of the town and surrounding area.

Items of interest here include historical documents, period photographs and local antiques.

3. Chautauqua

Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua is actually an extension of Boulder Hill Park, located in the southwest part of the city.

Not as popular as other parks in the area, Chautauqua is said to be one of the most photogenic and picturesque parks, originally founded in the 1800s, so this part of Boulder has a lot of history.

Now a National Historic Landmark, you can enjoy the verdant trails and tree-lined gardens here, perfect for those who like to hike or bike, and picnics are also common in the area as you take in the stunning views that Chautauqua has to offer Pursue.

You can enjoy it as much as you want here, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also use the surrounding nature trails that follow the adjacent mountains.

4. Boulder County Farmers Market

Boulder County Farmers Market

If you want a taste of famous fresh Boulder produce, the Boulder County Farmers Market is the place to go.

Straight from the source, the Boulder County Farmers Market showcases the agricultural prowess of local farmers and growers, and you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as homemade food and local crafts.

Products such as locally produced honey and baked goods are also popular here, and the market is open year-round and offers seasonal products as the crop changes.

5. Pearl Street Mall

Pearl Street Mall

Anyone with a mild shopping addiction needs to visit Pearl Street Mall while in Boulder.

This shopper’s paradise is located downtown from 8th to 20th Streets, where you’ll find a variety of retail options, including local quirky boutiques and more mainstream brands.

There’s also a variety of restaurants and a strong coffee culture, so you can stop for a drink and soak up the Boulder vibe.

Visitors here will also find live music and entertainment options such as a range of galleries and even street art.

6. University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

For those interested in the flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest, the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History is the best place to learn about it.

The museum aims to introduce visitors to the stunning natural environment of this region of the United States, which is surrounded by an impressive four million geological artifacts.

Established in 1902, the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History is known as one of the most extensive natural history museums in the United States, with collections in fields such as botany, zoology, paleontology, and anthropology.

7. Fisk Planetarium

Fisk Planetarium

The Fiske Planetarium is located on the campus of the University of Colorado, and if you want to see the stars in Boulder, you can come here.

As you might expect, the planetarium is dedicated to all things night sky related and has static and rotating exhibits, demos and shows that will tell you all about the Milky Way.

The daily show takes place at the Sky-Skan Theater Dome, where you’ll have the chance to be surrounded by a 65-foot screen that displays over 20 million stars for your enjoyment.

All the shows tell interesting information about the universe, and if that excites you more, there is a stargazing evening at the neighbouring Sommers-Bausch Observatory on Friday nights.

8. Avery Brewing Company

Avery Brewing Company

For those of you who love a beer in Boulder, Avery has everything you need to quench your thirst.

Founded in 1993, Avery Brewing Company has a wide variety of craft beers, and visitors here can visit the on-site tap room to learn firsthand how these beers are made.

There are also wider brewery tours that will take you all the way through the production and bottling process, and the best part is that you can taste the products as you visit.

There are guided and self-guided tours to suit your preferences, and you can buy many mixes to take home as souvenirs.

9. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art first opened in 1972 and has since become the authority on contemporary art in the Boulder area.

The museum’s mission is to inspire and educate visitors about the vibrant regional art scene, and to that end, you’ll find rotating exhibits, presentations, and an extensive collection of local and international art.

The building that houses the museum is a living work of art in itself, built in 1906 and a National Historic Landmark, so don’t miss the chance to view it alongside the collection.

10. Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park

El Dorado Canyon State Park is one of the most famous attractions in the Boulder area and has everything you could want from an outdoor attraction.

If hiking is your thing, there are many trails that meander along impressive sandstone cliffs, or you can try fishing at South Boulder Creek.

For those who enjoy rock climbing, El Dorado Canyon State Park is known for having some of the best rock climbing in the world, with more than 1,000 routes offering climbs of varying difficulty.

As winter approaches, cross-country skiing is a popular activity here.

11. Boulder Chamber Orchestra


Founded in 2004, the Boulder Chamber Orchestra is known for its many world-class musicians, and audiences from all over the country come here for just one concert.

With that in mind, if classical music is your thing, you can’t miss it in Boulder, with concerts throughout the year.

In addition to actual performances, the Boulder Chamber Orchestra hosts a number of educational programs and workshops that visitors can attend if they want to learn more about the arts in Boulder.

12. Boulder Dushanbe Tea House

Boulder Dushanbe Tea House

For a quirky afternoon in Boulder, why not stop by the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House? Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Tea House is located in Central Park next to adjacent Boulder Creek and offers stunning views of the local landscape.

The teas here all come from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the sister city of Boulder, and it’s here that the teahouses showcase these amazing concoctions.

The building is an experience in itself, and visitors should pay attention to the handmade decorations here, such as the carved ceilings and decorative wood paneling.

The highlight here is of course the English afternoon tea with homemade cakes, pastries and sandwiches, served with Dushanbe tea.

13. Healing Organic Farm

fluffy sheep

Opened in 2005, Cure Organic Farm is the brainchild of Ann and Paul Cure and features over 100 different varieties of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers, which visitors can also purchase at the farm’s shop.

The farm spans over 12 acres and is located east of Boulder.

You can also buy their products at your local farmers market, which is a great place to visit if you want to see the best organic produce in Colorado.

You’ll also find a range of cute farm animals here, including resident ducks, geese, pigs and cows.

14. Dragon’s Garden

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The Dragon’s Gardens are impressive as they were first built in 1905 by JD Long over 100 years ago.

Now run by the third generation of the Long family, these gardens are known for showcasing the beauty of Boulder area irises.

The farm grows bearded irises, which can be purchased here for those looking for these gorgeous native floral souvenirs, which are over 27 inches long.

A range of other souvenirs are also available here to remind you of your travels here, and the peak bloom period is from May to June, when the gardens burst into colour.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Boulder, CO
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