Fun things to do in Boulder

by Martin Mapes

Boulder is a world-class small city. And whether you came for a visit, came for a job, or were lucky enough to be born here, there's no shortage of fun stuff to do in Boulder.

The Boulder Ale Trail doesn't claim to have a monopoly on fun, but we do have some recommendations that include 3 of the things that Boulder excels at:

  • Bicycling
  • Running / walking
  • Craft beer

Cyclicsts and one passenger bike to beer

1. Bike to beer without fighting cars

The LoBo Trail connects Longmont and Boulder. There are minimal intersections where you will be crossing the path of cars, and there's only one short stretch where you will be riding on a shoulder. The rest of the time it's smooth riding on the paths that make up the LoBo Trail. Amazingly, there are 10 breweries along the trail. We suggest you visit the Suggested Itineraries page or the Maps page and find a distance that works for you.

2. Take an all-day hike and see the hidden scenery

Visitors to Boulder know all about the Pearl Street Mall, Chautauqua, and the Boulder Creek Path. Many will even take a hike up into our foothills for a nice view of the valley. But there is a lot to see out in the flat plains north of Boulder (and south of Longmont) that few people see. If you hike the full length of the LoBo trail (15 miles! Make sure you're prepared!), you can see owls, hawks, red-winged blackbirds, and prairie dogs galore. You'll see the hidden beauty of the plains, the agricultural roots of Boulder County, and the "secret" local jogging and dog-walking routes of half a dozen local neighborhoods. Plus, you're still close enough to civilization that you can stop for a bathroom break, some coffee, or if the weather changes -- a bus ride back home.

3. Sample a brewery you've never visited

There are 10 breweries on the Boulder Ale Trail (including 2 bonus breweries on our Google Earth KMZ/KML map). Have you tried them all? Have you been to both Oskar Blues locations -- Homemade Liquids and Solids as well as the Tasty Weasel Tap Room?

Have you been to New Planet? You don't have to be on a low gluten diet to appreciate their tasty, quaffable brews. My confession: New Planet was the last brewery on the trail that I tried, and I'm sorry I waited.

Or what about Boulder's smallest nano brewery, J. Wells? Chances are, you'll run into the proprietor himself when you visit. If you like big beers, you can try Hop Haze. If you want something less strong, try his British-sytle Defiance.

Surely you've tried Boulder Beer, who celebrate 36 years (!) of craft brewing this year. But have you been there lately? They have lots of new brews (Shake and Slope Style are new to the lineup), as well as ~3 rotating taps, including a nitro tap.

If you like these ideas, be sure to check us out on Twitter and Facebook, as our friends and followers usually have other great ideas.


* Okay, we admit it. There are segments of the trail where there are cars. See the Route Overview page for more details.