Best Experiences of Beautiful Boulder, Colorado
If San Francisco, California and Lawrence, Kansas had a love child in a mountain town it would be Boulder, Colorado.
Boulder is no longer just a quaint little college town at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. It's now a small city and a cultural epicenter. It has attracted small and large start-ups alike and has crazy rush hour traffic. But somehow all of that melts away when you are posted up at a cafe on Pearl Street biting into one of the best croissants of your life, or when you looks up at the Flatirons rising above town on a sunny day.
Boulder's retaurants, cafes, independent and funky shops, bike lanes and walking trails that crisscross the town, the Farmer's Market, and beautiful natural surroundings make it one of the special places in the world. The blend of big city culture and outdoor adventure are a magic combination.
If you happen to find yourself in this lovely place - whether while attending one of our Watercolor Workshops, while passing through on a road trip, or while on vacation, I urge you to dig in and immerse yourself. Here is a list of Matt's and my favorite Boulder experiences:
1. Two Hands Paperie & Piece, Love, & Chocolate on Pearl Street
Two Hands Paperie is one of my very favorite shops. They carry a variety of art, watercolor, and sketchbook supplies (including a selection of our colors!), as well as luxurious giftwrap supplies, stationary, books, and a wide selection of pens. And the staff is made up of the most knowledgable, enthusiastic, and lovely people.
And right next door to Two Hands is Piece, Love, Chocolate, a perfect place to get your chocolate fix and kick back after the excitement of Two Hands. Pick from their array of beautiful individual chocolates, and enjoy their thick, decadent hot chocolate while you admire the beautiful cakes on display around the shop.
2. Spruce Confections on Pearl Street
Spruce is a wonderful place to stop for breakfast before starting your stroll down Pearl Street. It is located at the far end, so it is a perfect starting point. I usually want to clap my hands in delight as I survey the tasty treats in their glass case. Then enjoy your tea and pastries seated at an outdoor table as you watch the locals amble by with their happy dogs.
3. Boulder Book Store on Pearl Street
Don't let the front of the Boulder Book Store fool you - it looks small from the front, but the inside is huge. Plan extra time for this stop, because you'll be instantly overwhelmed if your expectation is just to quickly browse.
The Boulder Farmer's Market is a wonderful place to stroll and grab a bite or do a bit of shopping on Saturdays. You can also enjoy a picnic in the park with your food while watching the throngs of people pass by.
The Boulder Dushanbe Tea Hose is such a striking building it will stop you in your tracks when you see it. Full disclosure: I haven't actually been inside yet, but from everything I've heard it is an amazing experience and I can't wait to go on my next trip to Boulder. It is located next to the park where our workshops take place, and also right next to the Farmer's Market.
6. Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery on Pearl Street
One of Matt's and my favorite Boulder meals was at Sun Mountain Brewery on Pearl Street. Excellent beer and delicious food, and even though the place was packed to the rafters the night we were there, our server never lost track of us. It was also the first time I tried cheese on French fries - such a good decision!
Neptune Mountaineering is part outdoor gear shop, part climbing museum, and part cafe. You can spend a lot of time here learning, shopping, and relaxing. (It's also next door to Southern Sun, Mountain Sun's other location in Boulder.)
8. Ozo Coffee on Pearl Street
This is Matt's favorite Boulder coffee shop. The coffee is skillfully prepared and the food is delicious. It's also a wonderful place to post up and read. Lindsey and I have spent time working remotely here when we are visiting!
One of the best breakfasts I've had. Their espresso is near perfection and their Chai Tea Latte is sublime. Matt and I love stopping here nearly every time we're in Boulder.
10. Moxie Bread Co.
Moxie is actually located in Louisville, CO, about a 15 minute drive out of Boulder, but SO worth the trip. Go for breakfast, but make sure to get there early as there is often a line out the door. Moxie works with heirloom wheats to make the best flakey pastries and breakfast delights you've even eaten. I've spent months dreaming of Moxie from the Western Slope!
These are recommendations from a couple of people who love Boulder, but don't live there. For recommendations from a local (including suggestions on lodging), check out this post by Lindsey of The Postman's Knock!
Wishing you a wonderful visit in Boulder!