21 Best Things to do in Boulder, Colorado (2023)

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Planning a trip to Colorado? One of the best places to visit in the state is Boulder. Nestled right in the mountains, you get beautiful views, great food, and plenty to see. If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Boulder, you’re in the right place. 

As Colorado locals, we visited Boulder often, and it is one of our favorite day trips from Denver. Whether you are an avid hiker, want to get a local brew, or just want to window shop for the day, Boulder is the place to be. 

Here are some of our top picks for things to do in Boulder! 

🚗 Don’t forget to book your Colorado rental car! Click here to check rates.

Best Things to do in Boulder, Colorado 

Walk Along Pearl Street

A group of people walking along a sidewalk at an outdoor mall with trees and flowers planted throughout.
Editorial credit: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock.com

Pearl Street is one of the most popular places to be in Boulder. Located right downtown and has everything you need, from clothing stores to restaurants and more. If you have ever been to 16th Street Mall in Denver, this is very similar but with way more local stores and restaurants to explore! 

You’ll find almost any type of food you are craving on this street, from small delis to upscale restaurants. 

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    Hike the Flatirons/Visit Chautauqua Park

    A wide, gravel hiking path leaning through a field with trees with mountains behind it.

    For an easy hike with great views of the city, head over to Chautauqua Park. Here you can find a paved path leading up to a small overlook with sweeping views of the city. 

    Keep hiking along the path to curve your way around the mountain and see all that the Flatirons have to offer. This hike is also dog friendly, and you’re sure to see plenty of pups while you’re out there! 

    Foolish Craig’s 

    A plate with chicken tenders, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, gravy and maple syrup.

    Foolish Craig’s is hands down our favorite breakfast spot to hit up when we’re in Boulder. Locally owned and operated, they have a great selection of breakfast and brunch foods as well as coffee and cocktails. 

    Some of our favorite things to get are the chicken and waffles, Breast O’ Pesto crepe, and the warm brie (trust us, you don’t want to skip out on this)! Foolish Craig’s is also conveniently located on Pearl Street, so you can grab some brunch before walking around all of the stores! 


    A plate with eggs benedict, hashbrowns, and arugula.

    A great alternative to Foolish Craig’s for breakfast is Snooze. They are located right next door and serve up some delicious dishes. One of many locations throughout Colorado, you won’t be disappointed with a meal from Snooze. 

    A few of our go-to dishes are the eggs benedict and the breakfast burrito (which is massive and smothered in green chile). 

    Avanti F&B

    Image from across the street of the front of a multi-story food hall.

    If you are visiting with a group or have some indecisive eaters with you, Avanti is your place to go. This multi-story food hall has a bunch of great options to choose from. 

    Everyone is sure to find the perfect food they are craving here, or you can walk around and grab a few different dishes from a couple of the stalls to make the perfect meal! 

    Spend the Night at Hotel Boulderado 

    A massive Christmas tree in the middle of a hotel lobby.

    Hotel Boulderado is a historic hotel just a few minutes away from Pearl Street in Boulder. This hotel is absolutely gorgeous and is a great place to spend the night. 

    The staff is super friendly, the interior is just as beautiful as the exterior, and the rooms are a great size. There are even a few different options for food, drinks, and coffee right at the hotel, so you can stay in after a long day of exploring. 

    We spent a few nights here during winter a few holiday seasons ago and loved it!

    Check rates for Hotel Boulderado here!

    The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

    The inside of a teahouse that has intricate tiled designs on the ceiling and a tree in the middle.

    The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is such a unique place in the city and definitely, one you don’t want to skip out on. The building was shipped over piece by piece from Tajikistan, and the detail and art put into the teahouse is incredible. 

    They also have a huge selection of teas as well as Vietnamese coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, and food. You can stop by without a reservation, but it is a pretty popular place, so we definitely recommend making one if you can!

    Flagstaff Mountain

    For great views of the city (without the hike), head over to Flagstaff Mountain. You can drive up the mountain and get amazing views of the city below and the surrounding mountains. 

    There are a couple of pull-offs on the way up the mountain that you can stop at and a larger parking area near the top where you can walk out across a small rocky area to see the mountains. 

    If you keep going past that point, you’ll be met with open fields that are a great place to catch some fall colors! 

    Boulder Farmer’s Market 

    Multiple different baskets of vegetables with signs in them at a farmers market.
    Editorial credit: jenlo8 / Shutterstock.com

    Who doesn’t love a good farmer’s market? The Boulder Farmer’s Market is filled with amazing fruits, vegetables, bread, flowers, and more and is a great place to support local farmers and businesses. 

    The farmer’s market is open on Saturdays from April through mid-November and Wednesdays from May to the beginning of October. 

    Eldorado Canyon State Park 

    View looking up the side of a mountain with a rock towards the bottom with the words "Welcome to Eldorado Canyon State Park" carved in it.

    Hiking, fishing, and some of the best rock climbing around, Eldorado Canyon State Park is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure. This park is absolutely gorgeous and features beautiful rock formations, a creek running through it, and some amazing views. 

    If you are looking to head over there on the weekends or holidays, keep in mind that you do need a timed entry pass between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, there is a shuttle that can bring you into the park for free (you just have to have your park pass to get in)! 

    Bike the Boulder Creek Path 

    A street signing for the Boulder Bikeways pointing to the Arapahoe Path and Boulder Creek Path.

    Not feeling like going on a hike? Hop on a bike and ride along the Boulder Creek Path. The path itself is a little over 5 miles long and brings you right along the Boulder Creek.

    You’ll get to see a few popular places along the way, like the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, and it’s a great way to enjoy the beauty of Boulder! 

    Have a Pint at Avery Brewing Co 

    A small grass field in front of a warehouse with the words "Avery Brewing Co" on the side.
    Editorial credit: Scott Heaney / Shutterstock.com

    Colorado is known for its many breweries, and Avery Brewing Co is no exception. Grab some friends and head over for the perfect weekend vibes. 

    The brewery has a tap room and restaurant where you can choose from over 30+ beers on tap with a selection of rotating options throughout the year. They also have a rotating menu of food deepening on the day of the week ranging from classics like pretzels and burgers to BBQ and peanut butter pie. 

    If you want to learn more about how their beer is brewed, you can take a brewery tour Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, where they will give you a look into their facility and, of course, a few samples of their beer! 

    Museum of Boulder 

    If you’re visiting Boulder with kids, the Museum of Boulder is a great place to stop. This museum is committed to highlighting the history of Boulder and has rotating exhibits to see throughout the year. 

    The museum also features the Playzeum and the Google Garage, where kids can play, explore, and learn hands-on. Kids love it here, making it a great stop for any family trip to Boulder. 

    See a Show at Boulder Theater 

    Cars parked in front of an old school theater with the words "Boulder" on top of the Marquee.
    Editorial credit: jenlo8 / Shutterstock.com

    Boulder Theater is a historic venue right in downtown Boulder that you can’t miss. The classic marquee and Art Deco vibes make this theater stand out amongst the surrounding buildings. 

    The theater hosts tons of events, from big-name artists to local talent, comedians, and more. There is always something going on here, so you definitely want to check out their schedule during your trip to see who is going to be there! 

    Walk around CU Boulder 

    Aerial view of a college campus in the mountains with grassy areas and trees throughout.

    While you may have put your college days behind you, CU Boulder is still a great place to visit while in the city. The architecture on the campus is amazing, and you can get some great views of the surrounding mountains. 

    There are also a few things you can visit on the campus, like the Fiske Planetarium and the Mary Rippon Theatre, which is where the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is hosted! 

    Boulder Falls 

    A small waterfall rushing over rocks.

    Boulder Falls is the perfect short hike with an amazing reward. Located just a couple of miles from downtown Boulder, and take just a few minutes to get up to the waterfall. 

    After the short hike, you’re rewarded with an amazing view of a waterfall created by a creek rushing out of Boulder Canyon. If you are looking for a great low-impact hike, this is a popular spot, so get there early to avoid the crowds! 

    Tube Down Boulder Creek

    Finally, if biking isn’t your thing, grab and tube and float down Boulder Creek. This is a great way to beat the heat and have fun. 

    There are a few places throughout the city where you can buy or rent tubes, helmets, lifejackets, and water shoes. Everything you need for the perfect relaxing day on the water! 

    Tour Celestial Seasonings

    A brick wall with a sign for "Celestial Seasonings" in the middle.
    Editorial credit: Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock.com

    If you are a fan of tea, the other stop you have to make, in addition to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, is the Celestial Seasonings Factory. The factory tour is only $5 per person, and you get to learn all about how they blend their tea, package it up for you, and ship it to stores. 

    The tour itself lasts about 45 minutes. There is also a tea shop that you can visit to pick up some of your favorite teas as well as any gifts you want to commemorate your trip! 

    Eldora Ski Resort 

    A lake leading towards a small town at the foothills of the mountains.

    Ready to hit the slopes? Located about 20 miles outside of Boulder, you’ll find the Eldora Ski Resort. This is a great place to snowboard and ski near Denver!

    With gear rentals, ski school, restaurants, and more, you have everything you need for your perfect winter getaway.

    You can purchase a multi-day pass for the mountain if you’re only going to be in Boulder for a few days or a season pass if you are a local. Eldora is also part of the Ikon Pass if you’re an avid skier/snowboarder! 

    Visit the National Center for Atmospheric Research

    A large red brick building on the top of a hill in front of large mountains.

    Why not have a little fun and learn something that the same time? The National Center for Atmospheric Research is full of exhibits where you can learn all about the Earth, weather, and climate change. 

    The visitor center here is open seven days a week, and you can explore all of the exhibits for free. This is a great stop if you have kids, and they are sure to love all the research center has to offer! 

    Relax at St. Julien Spa

    If you’re in need of a little rest and relaxation during your trip (because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t), you can head on over to the St. Julien Spa. Part of the St. Julien Hotel, this day spa has everything you need to go from stressed and overwhelmed to relaxed and feeling good. 

    You can book anything from massages to facials, manicures, pedicures, and so much more. Plus, you’ll get access to their steam room and sauna when you book one of the services! 

    🚗 Don’t forget to book your Colorado rental car! Click here to check rates.

    Final Thoughts on the Best Things to do in Boulder, Colorado

    Hopefully, this list of the best things to do in Boulder help you plan your perfect trip to the city. Whether you are visiting for the day or staying for the weekend, there is no shortage of amazing things in Boulder! 

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