Boulder, CO: The land of hiking, cycling, and beer-drinking.
You can see the Flatirons and the Rockies beyond that, and who doesn’t love being surrounded by mountains? Boulder folks are some of the most active people in America. And here it’s sunny around 300 days out of the year, making it very easy to be outdoors all the time. Residents are fairly affluent – except I guess the college students – and tend to be very liberal, so there’s a fair amount of homogeneity. But the food is great, the beer is great (with breweries like New Belgium, Oskar Blues, and Avery all based nearby), and the options for what to do are nearly endless. Great first visit there.
We tried out Boulder’s own bikesharing system, the B-cycle, for a casual ride to explore the area. You can feel the effects of the elevation almost immediately – we’re not used to being 5,000 feet high! Considering we’re typically just above sea level, the elevation change took a little getting used to.
More photos after the cut.
We enjoyed a few brews (and a fancy lemonade) in the sun. The effects of elevation and the sun in Colorado are no joke! Apply sunscreen liberally.
You can also take trips to nearby breweries for some sampling and to tour the facilities. We joined an informative tour of the Oskar Blues Brewery – and even picked up a Dale’s Pale Ale-infused hot sauce (haven’t tried that yet).
The University of Colorado at Boulder has lots of buildings made with sandstone, giving it a unified and distinctive look.
And the hiking nearby is incredible. We decided to make a day trip into Rocky Mountain National Park, only a short drive from Boulder.
It was a little hot, but very dry (none of that DC humidity), and the hike to Fern Falls was beautiful. Nice variety of terrain. IA small snake ran right across my path and we also spotted a cute squirrel.
Boulder has a nice range of independent businesses, like this spice shop that my friends found. There’s a stretch of shops along Pearl Street, which is partially a pedestrian mall.