These days, Boulder wears several hats: as a university town, home of the University of Colorado at Boulder [http://colorado.edu] and others; as a hi-tech town that is rapidly spawning bedroom communities in outlying farm towns; and as a center of alternate culture, with various new age institutions, Naropa University [http://naropa.edu/], meditation centers, Buddhist centers, and the like. What perhaps distinguishes it most from other cities of similar size in the United States, however, is its status as a mecca for serious athletes, many of whom have made their home here for the conditioning advantages of high altitude, combined with businesses, facilities, and a community that provides opportunities for serious training and competition. Even the average nine-to-five Boulderite is much more likely than the average American to be a serious climber, cyclist, runner, skier, etc., and you will see the difference as you're about town.
Boulder is situated in the [[Front Range]] region of Colorado and is virtually contiguous with [[Denver]]. This reflects that it is the "front door" to the mountainous country to the west, with many outdoor attractions, including a medium sized ski resort less than an hour from the city limits, and also the fact that there are significant cultural differences between Boulder and Denver beyond its liberal politics.
Boulder is known for
it's outdoors and the residents with one of the healthiest lifestyles in America. It is very true, no matter what the weather, there are always people outdoors; running, biking, walking, hiking. It has a great atmosphere and beautiful sights.
Living in Boulder is very expensive. Along with being one of the most active towns in America, it is right up there with the living expense. Smaller towns are popping up around Boulder that are cheaper, but may take 10-15 minutes to get into this vibrant town.
Boulder is easily reached from Denver International Airport via car or bus. The drive
from the airport to Boulder is pretty spectacular . Beautiful scenery , driving straight toward the Rocky Mountains. The public Regional Transportation District (RTD) [http://rtd-denver.com/] 'AB' bus runs hourly between DIA and Boulder. The AB bus is a clean, safe, and easy way to get to town, and the route 'B' bus runs between Boulder and Denver . Boulder is only 20 miles from Denver, and is an easy drive via US highway 36.
Boulder has decent mass transit for such a small city. Boulder and Denver share a common mass transit system, known as RTD [http://rtd-denver.com/]. You will also notice that a large percentage of locals use bicycles to get around the down town (most of the city sights are within 2 miles). If you choose to drive around town, be aware that there is heavy traffic on the main thoroughfares, high numbers of pedestrians (cyclists) and parking downtown can be a bit tight. There are a number of city-owned garages tucked behind the buildings downtown. Keep your eyes open for the large green "P" signs outside their entrance ramps, as they don't look like parking garages from the outside. Be careful when parking in the University area, as tickets can be quite expensive. Boulder's police are vigilant about drunk driving, so try to keep out of the car when you find yourself tipping down a local microbrew or two. Watch carefully for the school zones: when the yellow lights are flashing, slow down to 20 mph! Many of the main streetlights have cameras that can capture you running the tail end of yellow lights. Watch out, or you may get tickets in the mail!
Many locals use the "Skyride" RTD bus to get to and from the airport
. They park their car at the Table Mesa Park-and-Ride; and then take the bus to and from the airport. Parking at the Park-and-Ride is free, and two weeks of parking is allowed. So, the overall cost is much less than driving to the airport and parking there. It's also greener and easier . The stories about being checked at the Boulder county line for cigarettes in the car are false.
*''' Chautauqua Park''', at Baseline Ave and 8th Street, [http://chautauqua.com/]. Located at the base of the Flatiron's rock formations. For a minor hike, take the trail to the 3rd Flatiron. This hike will show you sweeping vistas of town and an up-close and personal look at the Flatiron's rock formations. During the summer months, the Boulder Symphony performs at Chautauqua, with the mountains as a stunning backdrop.
* '''Front Range Climbing''', 1370 Windmill Ave., Phone: 1-303-840-7270, [http://frontrangeclimbing.com]. offers climbing trips through the Colorado Front Range, including Boulder Canyon. *'''Whitewater Tube Co.''', 204 Canyon Blvd (at The Watershed School), (720) 436- 9196, During summer time, it is popular to go tubing on Boulder Creek. Either rent from Whitewater or buy a tube at a local service station.
*'''Happy Thursday Cruising''', Every Thursday during the summer, a lot of people gather up in front of wahoo's restaurant and go around the city with bikes. Each week they have a different theme to wear. [http://cruiserbikeride.org/]
*<do name="Eldorado Canyon State Park" alt="" address="9 Kneale Road" directions="" phone="" url="http://parks.state.co.us/parks/eldoradocanyon" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Eldorado Canyon State Park is a local state park to see the wilderness and beauty of this Colorado area.</do>
*<do name="Eldora Mountain Resort" alt="" address="2861 Eldora Ski Road #140" directions="" phone="" url="http://eldora.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Located 21 miles west of Boulder. This easy to get to mountain (via car or RTD) is a local ski resort if travelers do not want to make the 2 hours trip to the main Colorado mountains.</do>
*<buy name="Eldora Mountain Sports" alt="" address="2775 Canyon Blvd (28th & Canyon)" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Retail store located in Boulder. Purchase lift tickets, season passes and retail items on your way up to the Resort.</buy>
*<buy name="Albums on the Hill" alt="" address="1128 13th St" directions="on University Hill" phone="303-447-0159" url="http://albumsonthehill.com/" hours="10-9 M-Sat, 12-6 Sunday" price="" lat="" long="">Boulder's only remaining dedicated record store. Sells records, CDs, DVDs and more.</buy>
[[Image:University of Colorado at Boulder.jpg|thumb|150px|University of Colorado at Boulder ]]
*<eat name="Khow Thai" alt="" address="1600 Broadway" directions="" phone="303.447.0273" url="http://khow-thai.com" hours="M-F 11-3 & 5-10;
Sat- Sun 4-10" price="" lat="" long="">Tucked into a small space on the east side of Broadway just south of Arapahoe Ave, this restaurant has repeatedly been voted the best Thai food in Boulder. Not expensive and really good, especially the green curry. The owner is surprisingly anti-veg*n, so don't expect gracious substitutions or a warm reception.</eat>
*<eat name="The Kitchen" alt="" address="1039 Pearl Street" directions="" phone="303.544.5973" url="http://thekitchencafe.com" hours="M-F 8-close;
Sat- Sun 9-2, 5:30 to close" price="" lat="" long="">A fantastic neighborhood bistro that sources most of its food from local growers and producers. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Located at the west end of Pearl Street. Check out Monday night's Community Dinner, a $35 prix fixe meal that's off-menu, served family style around a huge table -- it's the best deal in town for the variety, quality, and quantity of food (reservations recommended).</eat>
*'''Kim's Vietnamese Food to GO''', 1325 Broadway St, 303-442-2829,. 8AM-10PM
Mon- Sat Sunday's closed. A fantastic asian hole in the wall. Its a little shack facing broadway in a parking lot. The best food I've ever had. Kim makes everything fresh in front of your eyes and the place is very homey and fits in well with Boulder lifestyle. A hit among college students, its a great place. </eat>
*'''Centro''', 950 Pearl Street (''near Pearl and 10th''), (303) 442-7771.
*'''Sushi Zanmai''', 1221 Spruce (''one block north of Pearl Street''), 303-440-0733, [http://sushizanmai.com/]. Zanmai is a traditional sushi house with the best rolls in town. Reasonably priced, watch as sushi chefs prepare your meal at the sushi bar. For the best deals, go to Happy Hour, from 5PM-6:30PM or all day Sunday. Try the Z-Number 9 and the Firecracker role or for an appetizer try the green mussels.
*'''Q's Restaurant''', 2115 13th Street, 303-442-4880, [http://qsboulder.com/]. Q's is
located in the Hotel Boulderado. Q's delivers it's extraordinary cuisine at reasonable prices. For a truly exquisite display of the culinary arts, this is the place to be.
*'''Boulder Chophouse''', 1735 19th Street #100, (303) 296-0800, [http://rockbottomrestaurantsinc.com/RockBottomWeb/CH/index.aspx?PageName=/RockBottomWeb/Controls/Location/DisplayLocationCH.ascx&SectionName=Root.Denver&LocationID=10089]. Yes, it's part of a national chain, but it's still worth a visit to experience wonderful beef and seafood in a moderately priced environment.
*'''Sherpa's''', 825 Walnut St., (303) 440-7151, [http://sherpaascent.com/restaurant.htm]. Run by Pemba Sherpa, this restaurant is just outside off Broadway and Pearl. Featuring authentic Nepalese food that is made fresh to order, this restaurant is a must of Boulder.
*<eat name="Bimbamboo" alt="" address="1710 Pearl Street" directions="" phone="303-442-4575" url="http://bimbamboo.com/" hours="11am - 9pm Every Day" price="$$" lat="40.022899" long="-105.271962">Bimbamboo is a new Asian restaurant concept delivering a unique and modern spin on Asian food. A bold and distinctive fusion of Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, Malaysian and Japanese flavors. Whether you want a quick workday lunch or to linger over cocktails and dinner with family and friends, Bimbamboo is a welcome adventure in taste.
*<eat name="Jax Fish House" alt="" address="928 Pearl Street" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Home to Top Chef Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg</eat>
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse" alt="" address=" 1770 13th Street" directions="" phone="303-442- 4993" url="http:// boulderteahouse.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""> Welcome all tealovers. This teahouse is absolutely beautiful, serving the best tea from around the world. Located in the center of Boulder, right near Pearl Street.</eat>
*''' The Sink''', [http://thesink.com/]. The sink is a Boulder institution with its colorful walls, great food and stories past (Robert Redford was the janitor) it attracts a large crowd for burgers, beer, gourmet pizza, and drinks almost every day of the week. Bring a black magic marker, and you can sign your name on the ceiling like generations of graduating CU seniors. Do not write on the walls, though.
*'''Mountain Sun/Southern Sun''', [http://mountainsunpub.com/]. Two locations in Boulder for your delight. The original Mountain Sun is
located on the east end of Pearl Street while newer location, called the Southern Sun, is in South Boulder at the intersection of South Broadway and Table Mesa in the Table Mesa Shopping Center. Some excellent beers (particularly the Java Porter) and often excellent Boulder granola music. Remember that it's a cash only bar.
*''' Boulder Beer''', [http://boulderbeer.com/]. Claims to be Colorado's first microbrewery, but there is no doubt that their beers have been around forever in Boulder. Brewery/Pub is
located in north Boulder (in what always seemed an odd location) near the train tracks and off of Valmont near Foothills Parkway. They make great beers and have excellent happy hour deals.
*''' Walnut Brewery''', [http://walnutbrewery.com/].
Boulder's original brewpub that serves up a generous (and one of my favorites) heaping-high plate of nachos. Many classic beers that Boulderites rave about years after they leave Boulder. Located in the heart of Boulder on Walnut St, near 11th. Parking can be a pain in this area; best to use the parking garage across the street and hope for validation of your ticket.
*''' Red Fish Brewhouse''', [http://redfishbrewhouse.com/]. Classic small-scale brewpub in the heart of Boulder. New Orleans style food, great happy hours, and they even serve an organic beer (Tree Hugger is a great try). The restaurant has one of the largest big-screens in Boulder to watch the game, and small local bands in the evenings. Located on 13th and Spruce, one block off Pearl Street and across from the Boulderado Hotel.
*''' Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast''', 2151 Arapahoe Avenue, 303-442-3007, [http://BriarRoseBB.com/]. Bed and breakfast in the heart of Boulder offers organic breakfast, fine teas, private baths and ecologically-conscious hospitality. Walk to C.U., Naropa, Pearl Street and the 29th Street Mall.
Inn''', 770 28th Street, 303- 449- 3800, [http:// boulderinn.com/]. Prominently located directly across from the University, the Boulder Inn gives guests easy access to Boulder's principal attractions, NIST, NOAA, premier shopping, and extraordinary dining. Stylish, well-appointed rooms reflect a gracious ambiance, found throughout the hotel.
Outlook Hotel''', 800 28th Street, 303- 443- 3322, [http:// boulderoutlook.com/] . This new hotel is located adjacent to the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is the quintessential Boulder hotel experience. They have a black lagoon pool and a rock climbing area indoors. They even allow you to bring your dog along to stay with you.
*'''Housing Helpers''', 2865 Baseline Road, 303-545-6000, [http://housinghelpers.com/]. Offers high quality executive rental apartments and homes backed by superior customer service. Housing Helpers corporate rentals are more comfortable, convenient and affordable than a hotel.
* <sleep name="Alps Boulder Canyon Inn" address="38619 Boulder Canyon Drive" phone="(303)444-5445 (800)414-2577" email="[email protected]
" url="http://alpsinn.com/" checkin="
">This historic 1870's mansion/castle was originally built of local stone and log construction. The Alps is now luxurious and completly remodeled into an award winning three-star bed and breakfast country inn[http://alpsinn.com/rm211.htm]. The Inn is located just 5 min. from downtown Boulder in scenic Boulder Canyon surrounded by City of Boulder mountain parks and sits across from Boulder creek. Perfect for romantic getaways, outdoor enthusiasts, special occasions, parties, weddings [http://alpsweddings.com/] and ceremonies. The Alps offers complimentary
breakfast, afternoon tea, evening desserts, high-speed internet, local and domestic long-distance calling.</sleep>
*''' Hotel Boulderado''', 2115 Thirteenth Street, (303) 442-4344, [http://boulderado.com/]. A three-star getaway located one block off the Pearl Street Mall, with easy downtown access. Everything is within a five minute walk and you don't even need to worry about finding a parking place.
*''' St. Julien Hotel''', 900 Walnut Street, 720-406-9696, [http://stjulien.com/]. This new three-star hotel is the luxury experience in downtown Boulder. Located at 9th and Walnut streets, the St. Julien offers everything you could desire while only being three blocks from the Pearl Street Mall.
===Crime and personal safety===
Boulder has a very low crime rate and has no ''bad neighborhoods'', but use common sense. University Hill, which is bordered by Baseline, Broadway, and Canyon can become raucous in the evenings, especially on weekends. Downtown Boulder, especially at night, is frequented by panhandlers, who can be aggressive at times but are not dangerous. Aggressive panhandling is illegal in Boulder, and you may report it to the police. Throughout the hiking trails near university property, Boulder has black posts lit with a blue light that have emergency phones in them that only dial 911. Due to a growing number of rapes during the 2008/2009 school year, it is not advised for girls to walk alone after
1 a.m. on the hill or near Pearl St. Mall.
Boulder has a dry climate and during any season, dehydration can be a problem for visitors and residents alike. Drink plenty of water. If you go hiking in the evening, bring two quarts of water. At night, temperatures drop remarkably, so bring warm clothing if you'll be out at night. (This is true even during summer months.) Be aware of mountain lions while hiking .
For Skiers/Snowboarders, the closest resort is Eldora, located near Nederland, CO. It takes about 45-60 minutes to drive there from Downtown. The 'N' RTD Bus to Nederland runs to Eldora during ski season.