This past weekend, Mike and I flew over to Boulder, Colorado for a long weekend vacation and one of his college buddies’ weddings. I had never been to Colorado before and I was absolutely blown away by the scenery. Colorado had been one of those places that, even though I had never been there before, I knew I would love it. And I was right! We were only there for four nights, but Mike was basically a Colorado native for four years, so we really hit the highlights. That being said, here are my recommendations for six things you can (and should!) do in Boulder, Colorado.
1. Eat at The Buff
On our first morning in Boulder, Mike’s suggestion for breakfast was a no-brainer: The Buff. It was one of his favorite spots to eat in college, and although the location had changed, the food (and coffee!) was just as good as ever.
2. Tour the University of Colorado Campus (and take a picture with Ralphie!)
My whole life I have always loved all things academic; a good college campus is one of my favorite sights in the world. I honestly cannot say enough good things about the CU campus– Colorado in general portrayed a totally different kind of natural beauty than I had ever seen before, and CU’s architecture and landscape encompasses everything beautiful about Colorado.
Also, in case you’ve been living under a college football rock, you know that CU is known for their pre-game show, where they let a live buffalo, Ralphie, run across the field with handlers. While we didn’t get to meet real Ralphie, we settled for the secong best thing… taking a picture with this iconic statue outside Folsom Field.
3. Brunch at Lucile’s
Unfortunately, Mike and I didn’t wake up early enough to brunch at Lucile’s. Like most established brunch places, unless you get there before 9, you better be prepared to wait at least an hour to get seated, and ain’t nobody got time for that! (Especially the morning after an evening wedding… yikes). Lucile’s Creole Cafe is touted for it’s southern style breakfast and homey ambiance. We didn’t make it there this trip, but that doesn’t mean it should be missed!
4. Hike to the Royal Arch
This was one of the best, if not THE best, hike I’ve ever gone on. Beautiful scenery, including views of Colorado’s iconic flatirons (the broad flat rocksides in the picture below). Starting at the Chautauqua National Park meadow, located at the foothills at the base of the Rocky Mountain, there are a series of trails you can take around the park. Mike recommended we take the Royal Arch trail, since he’s a self-proclaimed big fan of natural arches.
Heads up though– the elevation in Colorado, and throughout the duration of this trail is no joke. Boulder rests around 5,400 feet, and the summit of this trail is a cool 6,915 feet. Bring water, rest often and enjoy the view!
5. Shop on Pearl Street
Pearl Street is the main downtown street in Boulder, loaded with shops, restaurants, bars, and– to be honest– the occasional weirdo (one day we passed a group of topless girls supporting the “Free the Nipple Movement.” It is Boulder, after all). Take some time to enjoy this scenic little street.
6. Have a drink at the St. Julien Hotel
When we first started dating almost two years ago (!), Mike mentioned that one day he wanted to take me to the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder. It’s a lavish hotel and spa at the end of town (with amazing cocktails!) Enjoy the ambiance and have drink or two in the hotel bar. Just be wary of the elevation difference– alcohol hits you more quickly than at sea-level!
Of course, there are countless things to do and sights to see in Boulder, Colorado, but these were some of my favorites that we did (or almost did) in our short time there!
Have you ever been to Boulder? What was your favorite part?