Where to start? You'll want to make time during your stay for these top things to do in Boulder. And they are just the beginning.
The brick-paved Pearl Street is Boulder's heart and soul — a central gathering place where locals and visitors alike come to stroll and shop among the historic storefronts, dine at buzzed-about restaurants, sip coffee, throw back a microbrew or simply people-watch. If you do only one thing in Boulder, walking this pedestrian mall should probably be it.
Current Status: There is a friendly, happy vibe on Pearl right now, with folks happy to be out in the fresh air in downtown. Shops are open with safety measures in place, and restaurants have reopened and are maximizing their outdoor seating and taking extra precautions.
Boulder's beloved Flatirons — those slanting, massive slabs of sandstone that form Boulder's backdrop from just about any angle — tend to have a slightly mystical effect on visitors. We're willing to bet you'll be drawn to them, and the Chautauqua area affords the best way to get a closer look. Gaze up at them from the hiking area's beautiful meadow, where dozens of trails lead off into the foothills, then hike right up into the Flatirons if you are seeking a bit more exercise and adventure.
Current Status: The Flatirons and the associated hiking trail network are as accessible as always. Face coverings are required on open space trails for instances when you cannot social distance (i.e. when you pass someone on the trail).
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Unless you've been to Tajikistan, you've probably never seen a teahouse like this one. Handcrafted by artisans in Boulder's sister city of Dushanbe, the structure was shipped piece-by-piece from the Tajikistan city and assembled in Boulder. It is an inviting and peaceful place to enjoy one of dozens of types of teas and a bite to eat while taking in the vibrant carvings and paintings that cover every inch of the interior.
Current Status: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is open for dining and tea sipping and has a large outdoor patio.
Boulder Creek Path
Miles of paved path meander right through the heart of Boulder and are easily accessible to all. Join locals who bike, jog, skate and walk Boulder Creek Path alongside the babbling creek beneath shady old-growth trees for some fresh air and beautiful Boulder views.
Current Status: The Boulder Creek Path is open to those following social distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings. A section of the creek itself, between Eben G. Fine Park and the western boundary of the city, is currently closed.
The historic Boulder Theater has been a stage for music and film since 1906, though in various incarnations. Today, the theater's art deco facade and neon marquee are almost as iconic to Boulder as the Flatirons. And from big-name musical acts like Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow to local faves such as Big Head Todd and the Monsters and The Samples, the Boulder Theater has put on some of the finest shows in Boulder's history.
Current Status: The Boulder Theater remains closed due to COVID-19 public health guidelines, but it's always fun to take some photos in front of the Boulder marquee.
Boulder Farmers' Market
Named the No. 1 farmers' market in the country by readers of USA Today, the Boulder Farmers' Market is the perfect way to experience Boulder like a local. Established in 1986 by a handful of local farmers looking to sell farm-fresh produce directly to the public, the market is a growers-only outlet. Shoppers are guaranteed the best selection of locally grown, seasonal produce, eggs, cheeses, meats, herbs, flowers, wines and gourmet food products available in Boulder County. Open Wednesdays 4pm–8pm, May–October and Saturdays 8 am–2pm, April through November.
Current Status: The Boulder Farmers Market is open as usual on Saturday mornings Wednesday evenings. You can make or reservation, but walk-ups are also allowed. There currently is no live music scheduled.
University of Colorado Campus
Architecturally stunning and full of lovely gathering spaces, the CU campus is worth a stroll through just to admire the setting. But there are also a few attractions that are worthy of your can't-miss list, too: Old Main (the school's original building dating back to 1876), Mary Rippon Theatre (home stage for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival), Macky Auditorium and Fiske Planetarium being chiefly among them. Here's a guide for Things to Do at CU.
Current Status: A stroll through the spacious and beautiful campus grounds is doable, but the campus museums, venues and planetarium remain closed to the public.
Museum of Boulder
Want to see Boulder through a local lens? Make the Museum of Boulder one of your first stops and you'll fully understand how Boulder became the outdoor-lovin', health-obsessed, eco-conscious and tech-savvy city it is today. And you'll learn it all through fun, interactive exhibits. An innovative space that's also dedicated to hosting popular traveling exhibitions, art shows and events, it's best to carve out a couple of hours to see it all. (And don't miss the rooftop, which has some of the best views of the Flatirons around.)
Current Status: The Museum of Boulder is open to visitors with safety precautions in place. No advance ticketing is required.
E-Bike Tour of Boulder
If you’ve never tried an e-bike, you’re in for a treat. You'll feel like a superhero zooming up hills with the greatest of ease. Pedego Bikes’ tour takes you through historic downtown, along the Boulder Creek Path and up to the foot of the Flatirons.
Current Status: Pedego Bikes is open and providing tours to small groups. They fully sanitize their bikes between uses, and their experienced guides wear face coverings.
This list barely scratches the surface of all the things Boulder has to offer. Check out our Things to Do section or recent articles for more ideas, and be sure to sign up for our visitor e-newsletter to hear the latest and greatest.