Boulder is one of my favorite places I have been to so far. It just has the best vibe about it, the people are so friendly, and it is immersed in nature. Also a key player, is that it has some of the best craft beer in the world.
This was the first stop for my cousin Allie and I on our Colorado road trip in November 2018, and we spent two nights here in a local Airbnb. We stayed in a house owned by a super nice couple, and had a private room and bathroom. The couple lived there too, but gave us our space and were also super helpful with local tips and made us coffee in the morning. Our first day, we had lunch and beer at Southern Sun Brewing (they also have a sister brewery called Mountain Sun), which I highly recommend. The manager ended up being our server and gave us free beer samples and free tank tops. He took care of us and gave us so much advice on what to do in town.
*Pictured- Southern Sun Brewery and our free samples, and the Air Bnb we stayed in
One of the restaurant recommendations our host gave to us was The South Side Walnut Cafe, which we hit up for breakfast the morning we went to Rocky Mountain NP. It was such a cute little place, family owned, and had delicious and fresh food. The benefit to staying with locals is being able to discover awesome places you may not have otherwise found!
The must-do hike in Boulder is the Flatirons. The steep and gorgeous rock formations are iconic to the town and can be seen from a good distance away. There are several trails that wind through them and up to the top with varying difficulty. You really can’t go wrong with great views on any of the trails. We asked the park guide at the office for a recommendation based on what we wanted to see and our ability level. Even if hiking is not for you, just walking around at the base of them is worth the view!
Downtown (Pearl Street Mall) is full of great restaurants, bars, and shops. We spent one night here just walking around and going into some of the quaint shops. We ate dinner at West Flanders Brewing Company and it was fantastic! I had the Berry Avocado salad and it was to die for, one of the best salads I have ever had. Everything was fresh and thoughtfully made. They also have a happy hour on weeknights from 3-6pm!
The highlight of Boulder for me was Avery Brewing Company. This place is massive and was insanely busy when we went our last night in Boulder, but they still accommodated us and we only had to wait about 10 minutes for a table. The beer was some of the best I have ever had. My favorite one is called Liliko’i Kepolo- kind of a spicy and tart witbier with big passionfruit flavor. SO GOOD. The food here was also phenomenal. I got the Ramen Bowl and was very happy with my choice. It was the perfect meal after a day of cold winter hiking in Rocky Mountain NP. Whatever your beer preference is, they have something for you here. They also do tours of the brewery during the day if that is something that peaks your interest.
Boulder is seriously one of the coolest places to travel. It is less than an hour away from Denver, which makes getting to a major airport easy. It is also about an hour away from Rocky Mountain National Park, which is part of why we picked it to stay in. I would consider it an essential stop if you plan to visit Colorado. I can’t wait to visit again in the summer months and discover even more of what this amazing town has to offer!