Things to do in Boulder

About Boulder

The best tours in Boulder are the self-guided historic walking tours of downtown, the "Boulder's Beginnings" audio tour, culinary tours exploring local cuisine, and guided rock climbing excursions.
The must-see attractions in Boulder include the iconic Flatirons, Chautauqua Park, and the historic Pearl Street Mall with its unique shops and vibrant street performers. Don't miss a drive or hike through Boulder Canyon and a visit to the University of Colorado Boulder campus for its architectural beauty.
Families with kids should explore the interactive exhibits at the CU Museum of Natural History, take a fun trip to the Fiske Planetarium, and enjoy outdoor excitement at the Boulder Reservoir with its sandy beaches and water sports.
Boulder is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like hiking the extensive trail network in the Boulder Mountain Parks, cycling along the Boulder Creek Path, and rock climbing in Eldorado Canyon State Park.
Indoor activities include experiencing the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, enjoying a show at the Boulder Theater, and taking a tour and tea tasting at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory.
Popular museums are the Museum of Boulder, showcasing the city's history, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, featuring innovative and regional artworks.
For rainy days, consider indoor self-guided audio tours that take you through historical landmarks or culinary hotspots, ensuring a rich experience without the need to step outside.
Short tours in Boulder that last an hour or less include guided visits to the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, the downtown public art walk, and quick-paced historic tours of the Pearl Street Mall.

Best Things to Do In Boulder

Embark on a Boulder adventure where every path leads to discovery. This guide highlights must-see attractions.

Boulder: Boulder Canyon Drive

What is it?
A scenic canyon drive with picturesque views and outdoor activities.
Why you should go?
Traveling along Boulder Canyon Drive is an experience unlike any other, showcasing the city's dramatic natural landscapes. The winding route offers spectacular views of the rugged canyon walls and the rushing Boulder Creek. Along the way, outdoor activities abound with numerous spots for rock climbing, hiking, and fishing. This scenic byway is a testament to Boulder's outdoor allure and provides countless photo opportunities for nature lovers.

Boulder: NOBO Art District

What is it?
An artistic enclave featuring galleries, studios, and creative events.
Why you should go?
North Boulder, or NOBO, Art District is a vibrant, creative hub that celebrates Boulder's flourishing art community. Visitors can meet artists, attend workshops, and observe art in the making during First Friday art walks. The area brims with innovation, housing a variety of mixed-media installations, thought-provoking galleries, and festive gatherings, reflecting the city's dedication to artistic expression and community engagement.

Boulder: Flagstaff Mountain

What is it?
A mountain offering spectacular views and a haven for outdoor activities.
Why you should go?
Flagstaff Mountain is an ideal destination for those seeking panoramic views and nature excursions just minutes from downtown Boulder. Accessible by car or hiking trails, it provides a spectacular backdrop for picnics, bird watching, and photography. The summit, with its expansive overlooks, allows for uninterrupted gazing over Boulder, the Great Plains, and the Continental Divide, giving visitors a majestic sense of the grandeur of Colorado's landscape.

Boulder: Boulder History Museum

What is it?
An educational institution exploring Boulder's past through exhibits and artifacts.
Why you should go?
The Boulder History Museum invites explorers to delve into the rich tapestry of the city's past. Its compelling exhibits recount stories from indigenous history to the modern evolution of Boulder. Artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays engage visitors of all ages, making it a meaningful stop for history buffs looking to grasp the roots and development of this dynamic community.

Boulder: Eldora Mountain Resort

What is it?
A nearby ski resort offering winter sports and year-round mountain activities.
Why you should go?
A short drive from Boulder, Eldora Mountain Resort presents a winter wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country trails. It's not only for snow enthusiasts; during the off-season, the resort transforms into a destination for hiking and mountain biking, displaying the area's adaptability and its visitors' love for all things alpine. Eldora provides a slice of the Rocky Mountain experience with the convenience of proximity to the city.

Boulder: Boulder Reservoir

What is it?
A sprawling lake offering a multitude of recreational activities.
Why you should go?
The Boulder Reservoir is an oasis for water sports enthusiasts and families alike. With its sandy shores and mountain views, it's a prime spot for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Picnic areas and volleyball courts offer leisurely land-based options. Seasonal events, like the Reservoir Run and festive gatherings, infuse this natural venue with community spirit. Nature trails around the reservoir provide a peaceful retreat for bird watchers and joggers, making it a versatile destination.

Boulder: Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

What is it?
An aromatic tour through a world-famous tea factory.
Why you should go?
Discover the fascinating process of tea-making at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. This free tour offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how their beloved teas are blended, packaged, and shipped. Smell the intoxicating Mint Room, sample a variety of teas, and learn about the traditions of tea around the world. It's not only educational but an opportunity to purchase unique blends and souvenirs from their extensive gift shop.

Boulder: Boulder Farmers Market

What is it?
A lively local market showcasing regional produce and artisan goods.
Why you should go?
Embrace Boulder's local flavor at the Boulder Farmers Market, a gathering place for foodies, artists, and farmers. Peruse the stalls for farm-fresh produce, gourmet cheeses, and handcrafted items. The market is a celebration of Colorado's agricultural bounty and creativity, where you can meet the producers and artists. Engage your taste buds with prepared food offerings, making it a delicious excursion in the heart of the city.

Boulder: Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art

What is it?
A collection of Western American art, now located within various Boulder venues.
Why you should go?
Though the Leanin' Tree Museum has closed, its treasured collection of Western art endures, now displayed across numerous venues in Boulder. Admirers of frontier spirit can view exquisite paintings and sculptures that capture the rugged beauty and history of the American West. It tells stories through the eyes of talented artists, making each piece a window into Colorado's cultural heritage.

Boulder: Boulder Creek Festival

What is it?
An annual community celebration with live entertainment and activities.
Why you should go?
The Boulder Creek Festival marks the unofficial start of summer, featuring three days packed with local food, crafts, and entertainment. This family-friendly event sprawls along Boulder Creek, with a carnival-like atmosphere that includes performances, a marketplace, and interactive spaces for kids and adults. It's a showcase of community spirit and Boulder's love for revelry, offering fun and excitement for residents and visitors.

TOP-5 tours in Boulder for first time visitors

  • Immerse yourself in "Boulder's Beginnings," an audio journey through the city's historic Pearl Street, uncovering the stories behind its iconic boutiques and landmarks.
  • Engage with "Flatirons Vista," which guides you along trails with breathtaking views and geologic wonders, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and photography fans.
  • "Boulder's Artistic Pulse" audio tour delves into the vibrant arts scene, featuring street art, galleries, and the stories of local artists who color the city.
  • Discover "Creekside Boulder," an enchanting stroll by Boulder Creek, offering insights into the area's flora, fauna, and environmental significance.
  • "Culinary Boulder" invites gastronomes to explore the city's tastiest locales, from farm-to-table concepts to artisanal breweries, with cultural anecdotes to digest.

Fun things to do in Boulder with kids

For families traveling with children, Boulder is a playground of adventure and discovery. The Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado captivates curious minds with its state-of-the-art sky shows and interactive exhibits, making learning about the cosmos a blast. Nature-loving families can't miss the chance to explore the many trails at Chautauqua Park, where they can bask in the beauty of the Flatirons and participate in junior ranger programs. For a more hands-on experience, the Boulder Creek Path offers endless family fun with opportunities for splashing in the water, leisurely bike rides, or picnics by the creek's edge. Each of these attractions in Boulder invites children and their parents to connect, learn, and create joyful memories amidst the city's natural splendor and vibrant community atmosphere.

Things to do in Boulder with family

Boulder flourishes with activities that cater to families seeking both education and entertainment. The Boulder Public Library not only offers an extensive collection for young readers but also houses interactive learning spaces and often hosts family-friendly events right by the scenic Boulder Creek Path, ideal for nature walks and casual cycling outings. Just a stone's throw away, the expansive Central Park presents a verdant retreat with playgrounds and picnic spots, perfect for an afternoon of relaxation or frolic. During winter months, the family can hit the slopes at Eldora Mountain for some affordable skiing, which is just a short drive from Boulder, providing both beginner and advanced runs. Each attraction brilliantly encapsulates Boulder's spirit of adventure and the pursuit of knowledge, making the city a treasure trove for families to explore.

Free things to do in Boulder

Visitors to Boulder can enjoy an array of free attractions that showcase the city's abundant natural beauty and vibrant culture. Hiking the numerous trails leading to the iconic Flatirons provides an exhilarating experience with breathtaking vistas—perfect for adventure seekers and photographers alike. For those interested in local flora and fauna, a visit to the CU Museum of Natural History is a must, where fascinating exhibits can be enjoyed at no cost. Additionally, the city often buzzes with free events such as the Bands on the Bricks concert series on Pearl Street Mall, offering live music in a lively street setting. These attractions represent the eclectic mix of activities in Boulder that won't impact your budget, allowing for a rich experience of the city's outdoor splendor and community-driven festivities.

Cheap things to do in Boulder

Boulder offers a wealth of affordable experiences for those looking to explore the city on a budget. Engage with Boulder's past and present at the Boulder History Museum where a minimal fee grants you admission to a treasure trove of local heritage. Another budget-friendly option is to wander through the seasonal splendor of the Boulder County Farmers Market. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and sample locally produced delicacies without spending a dime. For those who revel in the great outdoors, look no further than a hike up Mount Sanitas. This trail rewards hikers with stunning panoramas of the city and the surrounding landscape. Economical yet rich in experience, these attractions provide an array of activities that speak to the heart of Boulder's diverse offerings.

Things to do in Boulder for couples

Boulder sets the scene for romance and connection with a variety of activities perfect for couples. Begin a day with a leisurely hike through the scenic Gregory Canyon, offering intimate trails and stunning vistas ideal for sharing with a significant other. As the sun sets, enjoy a picturesque evening at the Flagstaff House Restaurant, perched on the mountainside, where couples can savor gourmet meals with breathtaking views of the twinkling city lights below. Alternatively, for a more laid-back vibe, visit the Rayback Collective—a food truck park and beer garden that combines tasty eats with live music and a relaxed, communal atmosphere. These attractions, each exuding their own charm, provide couples with unforgettable memories amidst Boulder's natural beauty and culinary delights.

Things to do in Boulder at night

As the sun dips below the Rocky Mountains, Boulder's nightlife offers a variety of experiences for nocturnal adventurers. Take an evening stroll along the Pearl Street Mall, where street performers and local artisans create a lively atmosphere beneath the twinkling canopy of lights. For film buffs, the historic Boulder Theater frequently screens independent films and hosts festival events, blending entertainment with the building's classic art deco charm. Beer connoisseurs will revel in the city's craft brewery scene by embarking on a tasting tour; many breweries feature patios with fire pits, perfect for savoring a local pint under the stars. These night-time attractions provide the perfect setting for both relaxation and exploration, illuminating the diverse array of activities that Boulder has to offer after dark.