Full of nature, great restaurants, and the arts, there are so many things to do in Boulder.
Harrison and I have visited Boulder several times now, since his brother lived there for a while.
It has become the perfect city to visit for a weekend (or more!) getaway, and it’s time to share the best of Boulder with you!
I’ve divided these 32 things to do in Boulder into four different categories: activities, nature, cuisine, and arts & museums.
So let’s get into it! Here are 32 fun things to do in Boulder, Colorado!
1. Boulder Farmers Market
A local mainstay since the mid-1980s, the Boulder Farmers Market is the perfect spot to pick up fresh veggies, flowers, meats, and dairy products produced by local farmers.
The market is open Wednesday evenings from May to October and Saturday mornings from April through November!
2. Pearl Street Mall
Hop in; we’re going shopping! Dust off your credit cards and shop till you drop at the outdoor Pearl Street Mall. This long stretch along Pearl Street is a full twelve blocks of boutique stores, familiar brands, restaurants, and music venues!
No interest in spending cash? No problem! The Pearl Street Mall is perfect for people-watching, too.
3. Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Since 1958, the Shakespeare Festival in Colorado has put on the Bard’s plays on warm summer nights at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. A trip to Colorado during the festival is a great way to spend an evening surrounded by others who adore the legendary playwright’s works!
4. Fiske Planetarium
The large Fiske Planetarium is located on the University of Colorado campus and is open to the public. While light pollution is already quite low in Boulder, the planetarium offers more than just stargazing!
Visit Fiske Planetarium to learn about the galaxy and observe nearly 20 million starts on a massive 65-foot screen in the Sky-Skan theatre dome.
5. Red Rocks Amphitheatre
A short drive from Boulder, hugged by the red mountains, is the Red Rocks Amphitheater. This concert and events venue is one of the most unique places to host entertainers in the United States!
The structure’s seats cascade along a slope of the mountains and welcomes talent as diverse as Dave Chapelle and the Lumineers.
6. University of Colorado Campus
The University of Colorado Campus is where you will find the aforementioned Fiske Planetarium and Mary Rippon Theatre where the Shakespeare Festival is held.
It is also a beautiful place to take a walk and gaze at the mountainous landscape surrounding campus!
7. Bike-to-Farm Tour
Much of Boulder is scenic parks and trails, so its no surprise that great adventure companies like Boulder Bike Tours spring up to help travelers make the most of their visits to the city!
Boulder Bike Tours takes riders on cycling trips from the city to the country where they can experience a farm tour and enjoy prepared meals using local ingredients! The ride is leisurely, scenic, and geared towards riders of various experience levels.
8. Local Table Tours
Tasting local fare is one of the best parts of visiting a new city. Boulder has more than its fair share of delicious fare. Book a Local Table Tour to taste the very best that Colorado has to offer!
The culinary company will take you to a variety of local spots with a foodie guide that loves to eat just as much as you do! You will enjoy craft cocktails, artisan beers, and the tastiest meals in the area.
9. Mt. Sanitas
Lace-up your boots and take a hike to the peak of Mt. Sanitas in Boulder Valley. There are several ways to get to the top, with varying degrees of difficulty.
Once you arrive at the peak, you will have unobstructed panoramic views of the stunning Boulder Valley below!
10. The Flatirons
The famous backdrop of Boulder is the massive expanse of sandstone and rock known as the Flatirons.
They are as beautiful from a hike close up as they are from the center of the city, but both offer different ways to experience them. Just be sure to keep your camera handy!
11. Flagstaff Mountain
Drive or hike to the summit of Flagstaff Mountain from Baseline Road. The climb along the trail is moderate and only open during non-wintery months.
The hike is a one-way 1.5 miles with an elevation of 1,120 feet and takes you to Panorama Point before arriving at Flagstaff Summit!
Alternatively, drive up Flagstaff Mountain following Baseline for some remarkable views.
12. Chautauqua Park
You can find Chautauqua Park at the base of the Flatiron foothills. The slightly sloping valley is a great spot for landscape photography or portraits with the mountains in the background and the light-colored grass surrounding your subject.
The park has several hiking trails that can take you to the top of Flagstaff Mountain or around the park itself.
13. Cure Organic Farm
Experience one of Boulder’s farms up close at the Cure Organic Farm. You can learn about dozens of plants including vegetables and herbs, some of which end up on plates in restaurants around Boulder, and cuddle with pigs, sheep, and ducks.
The farm also sells produce and dairy items at their year-round market.
14. Eldorado Canyon State Park
Eldorado Canyon State Park is a popular attraction for outdoorsy folks who want to hike, fish, or rock climb near Boulder.
There are hundreds of hiking trails at Eldorado, each with its own level of difficulty and sights to see. Visitors to Boulder who arrive in winter can try their hand at cross country skiing, which is a popular pastime in the park.
15. Boulder Creek
Adventure travelers rejoice! Boulder Creek is a perfect place to spend a day in nature.
Follow the Boulder Creek Path, comprised of several miles of paved road through the heart of Boulder, or take to the water on a tubing or rafting expedition!
16. Long’s Gardens
For over a hundred years, Long’s Gardens has welcomed visitors to observe a plethora of wildflowers that are indigenous to the region!
The best time to visit is during the spring when many of the garden’s treasures are in full bloom, especially the bearded iris flowers which grow to nearly 30 inches in length!
They typically have U-Pick irises in May and June; check out if it’s available here!
17. Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Visitors to Boulder might not expect to see a small part of Tajikistan in the heart of the city, but that’s exactly what the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is. The gorgeous facade of the teahouse is a combination of engraved tiles in various shades of blue, perfect for some photos.
Take a seat and devour some of their scones or pastries, baken in-house, along with a cup of hot afternoon tea!
18. Avery Brewing Company
Since 1993, the Avery Brewing Company has been providing Boulder’s residents and visitors with a necessary public service: the production of delicious craft beer!
Avery has a wide variety of beers for you to sample on one of their guided tours, where you can learn about the brewing process first-hand.
19. Celestial Seasonings
You’ve probably come across one of the delicious teas in the Celestial Seasonings arsenal. The company is famous for its Sleepytime tea, but did you know that they are the largest tea manufacturer in North America?
Take a tour of their factory, hosted daily and for free, to learn about the tea-making process and smelling over ninety tea varieties up close and personal!
20. Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar
Back to Pearl Street we go for a lunch or dinner that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest seafood lovers! Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar serve up delicious fresh seafood in a cozy shop on Pearl.
The menu includes a variety of oysters from different parts of the United States, in addition to a wide selection of fish, shrimp, and succulent lobster BLT!
21. Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant
Boulder’s food culture heavily favors farm-to-table restaurants and Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant is a perfect example of this particular food movement done right!
Leaf has an extensive menu with vegetarian and vegan options, in addition to gluten-free dishes that will satisfy diners’ dietary restrictions and tickle their palates.
22. OAK at Fourteenth
Hungry? OAK at Fourteenth is a contemporary restaurant that serves up a creative menu with some delicious staples. The burger at OAK is mouth-watering, and the oak-fired dishes are outstanding.
Thanks to Boulder’s diverse farms and food producers, places like OAK can proliferate and offer unique dining experiences that are unrivaled in the region’s culinary world. Enjoy a delicious wine from OAK’s long list of reds and whites, or order a signature cocktail from the bar while you wait for your meal.
23. Ozo Coffee
From a small coffee shop founded in the center of Boulder, Ozo Coffee has grown to three locations due in no small part to their delicious roasted beans and warm atmosphere.
Ozo is everything you want in a coffee shop; the decor is welcoming, the fragrances are delicious, and the coffee is, well, world-class.
Shine is a family-run eatery in the Village Boulder Shopping Center that caters to all types of diners. Their menu has a host of options including vegetarian, vegan, and meats.
The restaurant on Canyon Boulevard is also very Instagrammable, with modern light-colored furniture and green plants dotting the space.
25. Snarf’s Sandwiches
Snarf’s Sandwiches has long been responsible for filling bellies with over twenty types of delicious combinations of yummy ingredients!
The company has since expanded to Texas and Missouri, but it all started in Boulder. Fill up on their large over-toasted sandwiches or maybe a yummy entree-sized salad for lunch.
Arts & Museums
The last category covers two things in one: arts & museums! Here are some of the best places for you to get your fill of the arts in Boulder, as well as the best museums to visit in Boulder! This category encompasses the performing arts, fine art, museums, and more.
26. Bands on the Bricks
Remember how I said that Peal Street isn’t just shopping? It’s a fantastic place to catch an outdoor concert as part of Band on the Bricks. This music series brings local bluegrass and rock bands to Pearl Street’s venues for summer evening shows!
Enjoy a drink and watch the setting sun as you soak up the fun and tunes on Pearl Street!
27. Boulder Chamber Orchestra
Looking for a musical experience that is a little bit classier? Time to pay a visit to the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. After all, what’s classier than classical music?
The orchestra is comprised of world-class musicians who have been performing together since its founding in 2004. The venue holds concerts throughout the year and also offers music-lovers educational workshops to learn about music and arts in Boulder.
28. Boulder Theater
There are two reasons to visit the Boulder Theater: the inside and the outside. When the sun sets in Boulder, the historic marquee of the Boulder Theater light up in shades of blue, orange, and yellow neon that makes for a stunning photo opportunity!
The building was constructed at the turn of the 20th century in an art deco style and has welcomed entertainers for over a hundred years. The historic location knows how to put on a show and tickets often sell out fast to concertgoers who are as interested in the venue as they are in the talent on stage.
29. Dairy Arts Center
When you think of the name of the Dairy Arts Center, you might image large sculptures made of butter. Well, that’s not quite what’s in store when you visit this modern art venue. The name is an homage to the old dairy plant that occupied the space before it was converted to an art and culture center.
Dairy Arts Center is Boulder’s premier destination for music, theatre, dance, visual arts, and much more! The center has three permanent exhibits and often hosts guest artists as well. Families with children can take part in the Center’s educational programs designed to instill a love for the arts in kids of all ages.
30. Boulder History Museum
The Boulder History Museum, also known as the Museum of Boulder, has moved! For over thirty years, the storied museum operated out of Boulder’s historic Harbeck-Bergheim House until a generous donation allowed it to expand into a much larger facility in the center of the city!
The museum holds tens of thousands of historic and antique artifacts from the region and offers visitors a chance to observe historical documents and photos that tell the story of Boulder and the state of Colorado.
31. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Located in a nondescript but nonetheless historic red brick building, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, or BMoCA for short, has been inspiring and educating visitors to its exhibits since 1972!
The museum welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year who marvel at its artworks. The museum has art exhibits for mixed-media, photographic, and other visual pieces that will spark your imagination!
32. University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
The campus of the University of Colorado is full of endless things to see; it seems. One more point of interest on campus to add to your itinerary is the Museum of Natural History.
The museum is one of Colorado’s oldest, having been founded in 1902. Since it’s inception, it has worked towards its mission of educating and inspiring visitors to learn about and understand the region’s natural environment and biodiversity through creative exhibits and programming.
I hope you can see how there are so many things to do in Boulder!
Have you been to Boulder or are you a Boulder native? Let me know what spots I need to add to this list!
And if you’re heading to the Denver area, here are some more posts you might enjoy:
- 7 Hidden Gems Around Denver, CO
- 37 Most Instagrammable Places in Denver
- 51 Most Beautiful Places in Colorado