Published: March, 2018
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Boulder, Colorado

Boulder is filled with Good Vibes and lots of sunshine to last you all year long - Truly the Valley of the Gods! As they say, once you see The Flatirons you will always come back...The Flatirons curse!
— Kristine Gardner
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Adult, Family, Mountains
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Ideal length of trip: 3 days in Boulder

to & from

Fly into Denver and Uber to Boulder

Where to Stay

  • St Julien is the best option if you want to be downtown and close to Pearl st, shopping, hiking and close to campus (go Buffs). St. Julien has a great bar scene in the lobby Thursday and Friday night.
  • There is a brand new Marriott that opened downtown Boulder, great option as well.
  • Hyatt Place is also located downtown Boulder and close to Whole Foods, 29th street mall and also a great option.
  • If you are planning on staying longer than 3 nights I would recommend VRBO. Lots of options on VRBO.

Where to Eat and Drink

The restaurant scene is happening in Boulder these days!

  • SANTO is the new spot in town not be be missed. They have a fabulous margas and guacamole! It is popular with the locals so make sure you make a reservation. Located next to Ideal Market so location a little random but super fun!
  • A favorite spot for a date night or with 2 couples is OAK! Great location on Pearl St and their chopped Kale Salad is not to be missed. Again make sure you make a reservation before hand.
  • Want to have a fine dining experience in Boulder then make sure you check out Frasca on Pearl St. Reservations are a must and look to book at least 2 weeks in advance. Amazing service and an experience you won’t forget.
  • Want to grab a quick green juice, matcha latte, or smoothie? Wonder is where you want to go! You can get to go or grab a seat outside and do a little people watching.
  • If you are with a large group – Bar Taco! So fun, love the atmosphere and their margs and duck tacos are the best. This is a great spot with kids, loud but fun.
  • Okay, are you ready for a coffee? Head to BoxCar Coffee or Laughing Goat both located on Pearl St. Their coffee is strong and they have delicious pastries.
  • Sweet tooth, me too! Best bakery in Boulder Luckys Bakery in North Boulder. Their cupcakes, cookies, and gluten free assortment is NOT to be missed. Love their coffee, kombucha on tap, and their vegan squirrel muffins is my favorite! Right next door is Luckys Market so if you are VRBOing in NOBO you can pick up your groceries here, my favorite grocery store! Lucky Market in South Boulder is double the size and fabulous just a side note.
  • Peace Love Chocolate is another local favorite for delicious chocolates made right there. Sweet Treat!
  • During the Summer we loved Chautauqua Dining Hall! Love the location, at the base of the flatirons and feels like old school Boulder, we went with our extended family, kids loved it, we will go back again for sure in the Summer.
  • Got Kids and need a quick yummy sandwich for your hike? Head to Snarfs! They have them throughout Boulder and my boys won’t eat a sandwich from another place. We also love Rushbowls located on the hill but soon to be opening in more locations.
  • Best ice cream in town hands down is Sweet Cow! My kids love the Cookies and Cream and I can’t leave without their Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip!
  • Local Kombucha Rowdy Mermaid, the best I have had and is made local in Boulder. IF yo are a Kombucha fan like me, this is a must! Pick it up at any of the local markets.

What to Do

When you pack for Boulder don’t forget your hiking shoes, sunscreen, and layers. One of the things I love most about Boulder is their limitless options to enjoy the great outdoors…its true, we have 350 days of sunshine and endless trails!

So many great trails to explore in Boulder you could spend months discovering them all. We love driving up Flagstaff (up baseline) tons of trails here and gorgeous view so the city.

  • Family favorite, Sanitas Hike. Wide Trail and easy parking at the base of the trail head. You can hike 30 minutes or you can hike to the top of the mountain for amazing views of the city. Give yourself 2 hours if you plan to hike to the top.
  • Mesa Trai is another local favorite. Park at Chautauqua and the trail is located behind the visitor center. Endless Trails and gorgeous Views.
  • I recently found COOT LAKE and this is perfect for families! Lots of open space, bring your bike, hiking shoes, it backs up the reservoir so you can end up at Boulder Res for more family fun. Beautiful open space just outside Boulder closer to Longmont. Kids will love this.
  • Another fun trail and great for trail running is Lions Lair. This is a local favorite and is the back side of saints, gorgeous views and great workout! One of my favorites hikes for sure!
  • Saturday morning Farmers Market is filled with local flavor and positive Boulder vibes:)!
  • Spend time shopping on Pearl St. Maybe a day trip to Idaho Springs in the Winter or Summer. Another local favorite are the ice caves in Dillon!

inside scoop


  • Lucky Bakery its a little North but not to be missed.
  • If you have time take a tour of Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha and see how kombucha is made!
  • Alpine Cafe is also a great spot to get coffee on your way back from hiking The Flatirons.! Cute cafe and yummy coffee and snacks.

skip it

In my opinion THE HILL! Filled with college kids. Unless you are touring for your kids to go to school here, I hope they do, you can skip The Hill:) Go there for parents weekend or if you are a college student.

Boulder, Colorado - Suggestions from the Oliver Community

  • Brooke Smith Says

    Must try:
    – The Budino dessert at Pizzeria Locale, Creamy Butterscotch delight
    – CBD massage at Hotel St. Julien
    KAIUT Yoga–Developed by a Brazilian chiropractor over 25 years ago, focus is on joints rather than muscle, magic for your body.

  • Courtney Leary Says

    Additional restaurant recommendations from friends that frequent Boulder:
    Alpine Modern- (after a morning hike) for coffee and avocado toasts
    Avanti- roof top for sunset and drinks/apps
    Japango- fun for a group – drinks/sushi
    Rosetta Hall
    St. Julien Bar
    Oldies but goodies: Rio Grande, Lucille’s & the Sink

    When the St. Julien is booked (as it often is on game weekends) Basecamp Boulder is a good less expensive option.

  • Courtney Leary Says

    Student Perspective! A few recs from our friend Kate Ryan who is currently a sophomore at Boulder– class of 2025:
    The Corner: on the hill in the very center of all the Greek houses and going out restaurants and bars. Has super good sandwiches, soups, and tacos and is super casual and quick! Great location
    Salt: super good place on Pearl, diverse range of food, really good brunch
    Japango: also on Pearl, high end sushi, super cool set up and great food and drinks
    Avantis: the coolest restaurant with a roof top bar. Has multiple different tiny restaurants inside, kind of resembles a high end food court
    Bohemian Biergarten: really good authentic German food, good place to get a beer
    Centro: great Mexican place, food is great, best Mexican place in boulder by far
    Bartaco: street tacos, super good with a big food variety

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