Booming college town, big outdoor sports mecca and consistently top-ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States, the people of Boulder, Colorado, have plenty to brag about. They also happen to be conveniently close to Denver, to their own ski mountain and a respectable list of breweries and distilleries. Dominating the scene, however, is of course outdoor activity, from hiking and backpacking to biking, rock climbing and paddling. But let’s say you’ve done all that, and are looking for a cultural break somewhere closer to downtown. Happily here too, Boulder, Colorado, covers the bases. in addition to a good selection of museums and national laboratories (open for tours), there are also plenty of cultural happenings to pack the city’s events calendar.
If art is your thing, you’ll want to check out attractions like the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Art Museum (CUAM), the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Western-themed works at the Leanin’ Tree Museum. Science buffs should groove on the tours offered at facilities like the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, while history lovers can explore the past at the Boulder History Museum.
You can’t come all this way and skip town without enjoying at least one brewery tour, but you can also take a free tour of the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company and Boulder Ice Cream, to balance out the brews. For a new twist on a familiar theme, sign up for an inexpensive self-guided tour of Boulder Creek Winery, Redstone Meadery , 303 Vodka and the Roadhouse Distillery, provided you don’t mind mixing your drinks.
Been there, done that? Then refer back to the aforementioned calendar of events. In addition to NCAA sporting events, look for a lively selection of film festivals, musical festivals, dance performances and the performing arts-oriented Boulder International Fringe Festival, amongst other things. That is, if you have the time, between all the fly-fishing, camping, hiking, biking and climbing.