Coming to Big Boulder and Looking for Things to Do?


I was putting together a list of some of my favorite things to do in Boulder and Denver for a reporter coming to Big Boulder, and I wanted to share some on the blog. We know some visitors are coming for the weekend!

Boulder is a small town with a great restaurant scene and many Gnip employee’s have favorite restaurants to enjoy downtown. If you’re looking for something nicer, we recommend Frasca, Oak, Black Cat, Kitchen and Salt.If you’re looking for something more casual, some favorites include: Kitchen Next Door (super affordable and healthy), Cafe Aion (on CU Boulder’s hill), Dushanbe House (restored tea house), Pizzeria Locale, Mountain Sun (micropub with good beer) and Rio Rooftop. Check out Downtown Boulder’s website for a complete list of restaurants, shops and fun events going on!

You may not know that Colorado brews more beer than any other state. If you’re up for a brewery tour, we recommend:

Also, great micro-distilleries:

And as a lark, Celestial Seasonings has a tour too.

If you’re into the outdoors, you can rent cruisers from Boulder’s bike sharing program or mountain bikes from University Cycle. Easy-to-access hikes are Chautauqua and Mount Sanitas (hard hike). If you’re up for a day trip, there is Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, which also has the Shining Hotel. Evergreen is a fun mountain town about an hour away and you can rent paddle boats and then do a wine and cheese tasting by the creek. If you’re willing to travel further, Breckenridge and Vail are two hours away and you can often find hotel deals on Jetsetter this time of year.

If you get out to Denver, the Denver Art Museum has an incredible Yves St Laurent exhibition going on right now that no one else in the US is getting. I also like Riverfront Park in Denver with some cute shops, a flagship REI and you can even try kayaking in the river.  The Lower Highlands area is popular as well. Linger used to be a mortuary and is a popular restaurant and then you can follow it with ice cream from Little Man. Baseball games in Denver are downtown, and you can take the bus from downtown Boulder and get dropped off right by the field.

If you have any other suggestions for things to do in Boulder, please leave them in the comments.

Downtown Boulder Map

  • bethhartman

    Farmers market! Shakespeare festival! Picnic during a concert in Chautauqua! Tubing down the creek! Outdoor movies behind the Dushanbe tea house!

    • Elaine Ellis

      I can’t believe I left off the Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays and Saturdays). Ours is so top notch too! Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Vikas Reddy

    For a quicker / easier nice nature walk near downtown there is Boulder Creek Path.

    • Fiona Schlachter

      If you follow Pearl St west to Settler’s Park, there is a quick hike up Red Rocks (not the music venue) that provides great views and bouldering.

  • Sarah Jane

    Mountain Sun: Beer! Carrot cake! Non offensive hippies!

    • Elaine Ellis

      @twitter-14118775:disqus goes crazy for the carrot cake. Mountain Sun is definitely a unique Boulder location. Love it.

  • BeccaGallery

    Pack a picnic and drive up Flagstaff road right before sunset for a killer view of the Rockies.

    • Elaine Ellis

      I haven’t done this in so long and it’s one of my favorite things to do!

  • Fiona Schlachter

    Nice Elaine! Arugula in north Boulder (Iris & 28th) is an excellent restaurant if Pearl St is too crowded (don’t be fooled by the strip mall location). The valley trail at Sanitas is a good workout and not as challenging as going to the top. You still get great views of Boulder and see lots of hiking doggies.

    • Elaine Ellis

      Arugula is such a good restaurant! And you’re right the Valley hike is the perfect suggestion for out of towners.

  • Alessandra Dyer

    Sugarloaf mountain is one of my favs – outstanding views and easy hike! Betasso pass is a nice 3-mi loop off of Fourmile canyon too- easy and gorgeous. suggest a half day trip to Ned (amazing hikes by fourth of July canyon) or Gold Hill to see a quaint old town. Craving water? we’ve got the boulder res and coot lake for some lovely views of the foothills! Cute farm tours (frog belly, for instance) is another option! Tons of fun brewery tours in Ft Collins and haystack mountain in Longmont…

    • Elaine Ellis

      Excellent suggestions! I’ve always wanted to go to Haystack Mountain.

  • Justin Lowell-Bellew

    If in Denver, also try Table 6 (tater tots app & buttermilk chicken), Watercourse (thai peanut tofu with quinoa instead of rice) and Root Down {pork chops that would make mom proud).
    In the morning,
    Buffalo Doughboy : chocolate. croissant. bread. pudding. Rooster & Moon for breakfast sandwich
    Snooze on a non-weekend / non rush time: Sandwich I Am
    Sweet Action for ice cream in the evening. Complimentary Baker hipster viewing area opens in the evening.
    In Boulder, longer hike to summit Bear Mountain leaves from a great drive to the NCAR parking lot. Please hike responsibly; bring water, wear sunscreen, do not summit after noon.

    Totally agree with the eval of YSL at Denver Art Museum even though I didn’t think I’d like it and the Dushanbe Tea House.

    Whole Foods on Pearl is a spectacle on its own, but the views from the patio & parking lot make it a special treasure.

    Head to The Sink on the famous Hill and see where President Obama visited while thousands waited for his arrival.

    • Elaine Ellis

      I love this! So many great suggestions that make we want to get back out to Denver. What is this Buffalo Doughboy you speak of?