If you’re going to spend some time in the Boulder area, it can be hard to decide what to do and what to see. Boulder is just outside of Denver, nested in the foothills. Colorado is a state focused on outdoor activities, no matter what the weather. While many of the choices are outdoor activities, there are also indoor activities available.
Boulder is the home of the University of Colorado – Boulder and is becoming a center for technology and innovation. The Boulder area offers a variety of choices. Choosing what to do or see can be a challenge. These are five opportunities, though, that are unique and should not be missed.
The Flatirons are an Iconic landmark. The 300 million years old sandstone formation is a magnet for hikers, photographers and adventurers. The hiking trails are easily accessible from Boulder and become crowded as the day goes on. Pack a picnic and lunch or snack to enjoy in Chautauqua Park. Stop by the Ranger Cottage for maps and guides and hiking tips. Your dog is welcome but must be on a leash and any “doggy do-do” should be picked up and packed out. Remember to bring water and sunscreen with you.
Royal Arch and Trail
This is a 3.4-mile trail that climbs 1,637 feet. The best time to hike the trail is early morning during the week. The trail is open from March to October. On your walk, you’ll see Bluebell Canyon and wild flowers, rock formations and a natural stone arch and birds of prey. Dogs are welcome on the trail, but you must be prepared to pick up any “doggy do-do” they leave on the trail. Bring plenty of water for you and your dog and don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat.
Pearl Street is the heart of the 35-block downtown shopping area and commercial core. It’s come a long way since dirt streets and wooden sidewalks. Historic designations and restorations are everywhere on Pearl Street. Shops, restaurants and bars line the pedestrian walkways. The scenery changes as the crowd changes. Street performances provide a non-stop show for visitors. Jugglers, musicians, singers, and mimes provide a different landscape than the foothills.
National Center For Atmospheric Research
Looking for a break from hiking? Visit the Center for Atmospheric Research. This research center is housed in a building designed by I. M. Pei, a world-renowned architect. The building looks down on Boulder. Interactive displays are used to teach visitors about weather, climate change and the world’s atmosphere. For those interested in climate change or the weather, this is an opportunity that should not be passed over. There are hands on exhibits designed for learning and an outdoor trail that focuses on weather that is wheelchair accessible. The Center provides an educational change of pace that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory
Celestial Seasonings is the largest herbal tea producer, providing herbal teas for 1.6 billion cups of tea annually. The factor produces 8 million tea bags a year. The factory offers a free tour to see how this amazing feat is accomplished. The tour does feature a stop at the Mint Room, where peppermint and spearmint are stored for the manufacturing process.
It doesn’t matter where you go in the Boulder area; you won’t be disappointed by the scenery. There are some basics you should remember, though. Remember and use your sunscreen and sunglasses. Sunburns are not something you want to take home with you after your vacation. Start hikes in the early morning to avoid afternoon mountain storms. Drink a lot of water during the day to avoid dehydration. Your dog is welcome in many places in Colorado. Keep your dog on a leash to protect both them and others. Should your dog leave a deposit of “doggy do-do”, please pick it up and dispose of it properly.