Thursday, August 24, 2006

Highlights of Boulder

by Osman Parvez


Many of our clients visiting Boulder ask about things to do while they're here. Usually, I’ll sit down with them over a map and point out neighborhoods, features and attractions. Recently I decided to take a few minutes to put together a list.

If you’re planning a visit to Boulder, here’s a few of our favorite things to do.

1. The Pearl Street Mall. Take a stroll through Boulders famous pedestrian mall. Indulge in ice cream, watch street performers, admire sculpture and water features, people watch or shop for that little something you won’t find anywhere else. A good option for families, the mall features built-in play areas. Click here for more information.

2. Do you like to hike? Chautauqua Park is located at the base of the Flatirons (the big slanting rocks). Overlooking Boulder, this popular open space has both short and long trails. Beware, if you're not used to the elevation (>5300 feet above sea level). Drink plenty of water and take it easy! All trails begin with a moderate up-hill climb, but it’s only a short walk to great views over Boulder. Chautauqua is also home to many popular events and has lodging and dining options. Click here for more information.

A more strenuous option is the Mt Sanitas loop. The trailhead is where the west end of Mapleton Ave becomes Sunshine Canyon Drive. Parking is limited and spread over several places along the road. The trail is on the north side of the road (the right side if you are coming from Mapleton). This hike is mostly uphill to the top and downhill all the way back. Allow about 2 hours round-trip, take lots of water and remember the views are worth it! (Not recommended in the heat of the day in summer or winter when the trail can be icy.).

3. The Boulder Farmer’s Market has everything from locally grown fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, to artesian bread and cheeses. It’s also a good spot to learn about various local environmental and conservation topics from those in the know. From April to the beginning of November, the Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays (8-2pm). From May through early October, it’s also open on Wednesdays (4 to 8pm). You’ll find it on 13th Street between Arapahoe Ave and Canyon Blvd, just in front of the Tea House and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. (BMoCA). Click here for more details.

4. If your stay includes a Friday or Saturday night in summer, you might like to attend the Boulder Outdoor Cinema. Shown behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), the movie is usually a modern classic… you know the type…. Planet of the Apes, Princess Bride, Maltese Falcon etc. The cost is $5/person and be sure to bring something comfy to sit on and a sweater or jacket. The entrance opens around 7-7:30pm, with live entertainment until the movie begins around 8:30 (or when it’s dark). Click here for the latest schedule.

5. A relaxing afternoon by Boulder Creek is also time well spent. One of the best stretches is between the library on Arapahoe Ave and the Tea House at 13th Street. Along the bike path you’ll find great spots for picnics or to get your feet wet. During the summer, it’s a great place to watch people drifting lazily down the creek on inner tubes. A number of festivals and art events also happen here during the year. Click here for more details. (image: squidish)

6. For something more educational, try an outing to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), a working climate research laboratory open to the public seven days a week. The building and the adjacent weather trail are both wheelchair-accessible. Maintained as a nature preserve, the inspiring setting is worth a visit alone for the mule deer, fox, and other wildlife that range over the area and adjoining mountain parks. NCAR’s facility offers a wealth of hands-on educational and art exhibits that visitors are welcome to explore on their own, on a group tour, or via personal audio tours. Admission is free. Driving directions: From Broadway or hwy 36, take Table Mesa west – to the end of the road. Click here for more information.

7. The University of Colorado in Boulder (CU Boulder) is the state’s flagship university. It’s a beautiful campus to stroll through and you won’t be the only non-student wandering the campus. The best place to access CU is by entering from Broadway. The campus lies between Arapahoe and Baseline. The University Hill shopping area is immediately south west of campus. And if you do manage a short hike at Chautauqua, you can spot the university as the cluster of red buildings … a sizeable portion of the city!

8. You’ve probably heard of Celestial Seasonings Tea. It’s the largest manufacturer and marketer of specialty teas in the United States. Did you know it all began in Boulder? The factory is located in Gunbarrel, about 10 minutes from the center of town. Tours take 45 minutes and are free of charge. For more information call: 303.581.1202

9. According to Bicycling Magazine, Boulder is the best American city for cycling. With over 100 miles of bike lanes (major roads), bike routes (residential streets and rural roads), and multiuse paths (paved or unpaved) you can get nearly anyplace you’d like to go on a bike in Boulder. Plus, most bike shops offer rentals and all public buses have bike racks. Bicycling is one of the best ways to see Boulder.

10. Looking for evening entertainment? There are many options. Try the Dairy Center for the Arts, a non profit theater and gallery hosting exhibitions, special events, and theatrical productions year round. The Dairy Center is located at 2590 Walnut Street and tickets can be purchased at ph: 303.444.SEAT(7328). Click here for more entertainment ideas.

11. Time for a meal? You’ll find a wide variety of options in Boulder, from fine dining to Sushi to simple sandwich shops. One of our favorites is the Boulder Tea House, located on 13th Street between Arapahoe Avenue and Canyon Blvd. It took 40 artisans 4 years in several cities of Tajikistan to create the decorative elements of the Teahouse, including hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels. The teahouse was presented as a gift by Dushanbe, Boulder’s sister city in Tajikistan. Click here for more dining options.

12. Need More Adventure? Landing at #1 in Outdoor Magazine’s Dream Towns, Boulder is a recreation paradise. You’ll find plenty of options for kayaking, skiing, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, mountain and road biking, golf, tennis, gliding, fly fishing, horseback riding, ice skating, rock climbing, swimming and more. Click here for more information.



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The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

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