With over three hundred days of sunshine a year, the best time to visit downtown Boulder is right now! From the casual diner to the jet-setting foodie, downtown Boulder’s restaurant scene is the best in the west. Start your day off right with the most important meal of the day. Check out the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives favorite Foolish Craig’s. Just steps away is the somewhat new kid on the block, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. For those craving a tofu scramble or Paleo-style granola, Zeal is the way to go. For a quick bite and good cup of Joe, there are no less than 17 coffee shops where you will find some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the west making power deals and networking in what locals call the heart of Silicon Flatirons! See who’s who at places like Ozo or The Cup. Every Saturday from April through November, the Boulder County Farmers Market (the BEST farmers market in Colorado) provides a great selection of produce – sold to you directly by the farmers who grow their products.
Follow up breakfast with some sightseeing. Not sure where to start? Explore the culinary scene with Local Table Tours. For a truly authentic Boulder experience, check out Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour. Where else can you sit back in a recliner on an old school bus tricked out to look like a traveling hillbilly shack?
If you are more of an independent explorer, there is plenty to see and do on your own. Grab a B-cycle and enjoy the Boulder Creek Path. Stop by the Boulder International Peace Garden located on the Creek between 9th Street and Broadway. Other key points of interest: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse & the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA). No visit to downtown is complete without shopping and dining on the world famous Pearl Street Mall. This four block pedestrian mall celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2012. Welcoming over a million visitors annually, the mall is home to some of the best people watching anywhere. Lively buskers perform year round to the delight of children and all those who are young at heart. In the summer months, the pop jet fountain keeps kiddos cooled down and there are countless special events that add to the ambiance of the most celebrated pedestrian mall in the country! Not sure where to start? Stop by the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center and let our ambassadors help you plan your adventure.
For all you up-and-coming or classically-trained fashionistas, forget “lifestyle centers”, there is only one original and that is downtown Boulder - filled with over 168 boutiques both on and off the bricks (aka Pearl Street Mall). For the sporty lifestyle there is is MontBell and joining Patagonia & prAna on the Pearl Street Mall is Athleta. “Too cool for schoolers” can shop Volcom, Billabong & Meta Skateboards.
For the “Vogue crowd” there is Max and Weekends. For the “casually cool” the options are endless: Savvy on Pearl, Chelsea, Starr’s Clothing, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters – just to name a few. For the “retro suave” Goldmine Vintage, Buffalo Exchange, Common Era & The Ritz. For shoes and accessories, Two Sole Sisters, Todd Reed and Hurdle’s Jewelry are just a handful of options. Visit the shopping directory on our site for complete listings.
Attention artsy adventurers! From BMoCA’s captivating exhibits, 20+ galleries showcasing painting, photography, jewelry and more, to an artist’s co-op (Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery) and some of the best Clutter in home furnishings you can imagine, the downtown district is an empty canvas waiting for your brush to explore! If you’re planning a visit in the summer months, make sure to check out Open Arts Fest in July.
Ready for lunch? Rooftop decks and sidewalk patios are a great option. Check out the view from above with lunch at the West End Tavern, Lazy Dog Sports Bar, or Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant. Be one with the people on a sidewalk patio at the Pizzeria Locale, Hapa Sushi, or The Kitchen [Next Door].
After a filling lunch, enjoy a little more shopping, people watching and exploring before planning your evening. Did someone say ‘happy hour’? Downtown Boulder has you covered: Bitter Bar, Centro, The Med, Brasserie Ten Ten…the list goes on and on and on….
Bon Appetit magazine labeled Boulder America’s Foodiest Town in 2010. Since then, the list of award-winning, innovative restaurants continues to grow. From farm-to-table philosophies to culinary works-of-art, the downtown dining scene is a must-experience part of your visit. Frasca Food & Wine, OAK at Fourteenth, SALT the Bistro, Black Cat and The Kitchen are just some of the downtown anchors that have propelled Boulder as a world-class dining destination throughout the country. For a complete list of downtown dining options, click here. Visiting in the spring? Make sure to check out Taste of Pearl, an award winning food & wine event!
In the mood for some entertainment? See what’s happening at the Boulder Theater or check out local musicians at one of many coffee shops or bars including: The Laughing Goat, Shine or Conor O’Neill's. Check out some mirco brews with friends at the Walnut Brewery, Mountain Sun or West Flanders.
With so much to experience, consider joining us for more than a day. Grab a room with a comfy pillow for the night. Enjoy a bed and breakfast atmosphere at The Bradley. Go back in time to experience the Victorian elegance of the historic Hotel Boulderado or surround yourself in luxury at the St Julien Hotel & Spa. All three locations are conveniently located within walking distance to the Pearl Street Mall. When your day is done, get some good night’s sleep, wake up and repeat! Enjoy your time in Downtown Boulder.