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Once the students from the University of Colorado pack up, the city of Boulder transforms into a serene summer playground. Whether you prefer to spend your days exploring the green Boulder Creek path or taking in the majestic city views from on top of the Flatirons, now is the time to relax in this eccentric and upbeat town. Here are a few more recommendations for how to enjoy the season in Boulder:
Get Outside: If you do one thing in Boulder this summer, take advantage of the many opportunities to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Boulder offers accessible and leisurely hiking just up the road, including in the Flatirons or the wide-open area surrounding the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The Boulder Creek path, set against the rushing water and deep foliage, feels like something out of the Southern U.S. and is open for tubing and kayaking when the water level falls. The Boulder Reservoir offers a beach experience, complete with sun-bathing summer-school students (at least those who are not hanging out at the Buffalo-shaped pool on campus).
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Shop & Stroll: Whether you’re looking for a great to place to shop, eat, or people-watch, the Pearl Street Mall is one of Boulder’s busiest summertime spots. From the Pop Jet Fountain, where kids can splash and play, to the big-street performance shows near 15th Street and Pearl, it’s easy to make a day of exploring all the outdoors mall has to offer. As for shopping, take your pick. The area offers high-end fashions and accessories alongside galleries, furniture stores, and your choice of sportswear (hello Patagonia). But for a uniquely Boulder shopping experience, make sure to stop into the Boulder Bookstore and the toy/kite store Into the Wind.
Entertainment: E-town makes Boulder a hub for music, but outdoor summer shows include Bands on the Bricks on the Pearl Street Mall and the Boulder Concert Band‘s summer series. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival hosts performances both at the outdoors Mary Rippon theater and the University Theatre. This year’s lineup includes Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, and the Colorado premiere of Wittenberg.
Boulder Places: Alfalfa’s Market (immortalized by the band Leftover Salmon) is the perfect spot to grab everything you need for a summer picnic before exploring Boulder. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, stop by the Boulder Farmers Market, located across from the Central Park and Civic Area. While the University of Colorado may seem like the most popular tour (well, at least for future Buffs), Celestial Seasonings and the new Avery Brewing Company location make for fun indoor explorations when the heat rises too high.
Transportation: Yes, driving around Boulder can be tricky, but navigating Highway 36 is no treat either. For Denverites who are hoping to enjoy a few of the city’s famed breweries without restriction, a bus from Union Station heads to Boulder every half-hour (and vice-versa). Once there, you can catch the Hop, Skip or Jump to reach the Hill, 29th Street Mall, and more locations. The B-Cycle system also reaches Boulder, so you can enjoy the many great bike trails around the city without hauling you own bike.