Things to Do in Boulder When You're Not Dead
September 21, 2007 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Headed to Boulder, Colorado with the Wifey for 4 days starting late next Monday... What to do? What to see? What to eat? (Bonus for gluten/dairy free options!)

The Wifey and I will be headed to Boulder next week for a work conference for me but we will have lots of free time... We will be there Tues/Wed/Thurs and and little of Friday. We plan on doing the Celestial Seasonings tour, some biking, and some walking/hiking. We enjoy good places to eat, though not too expensive, if possible.

Where should I, a gluten and dairy intolerant person, eat? Wife can eat anything. We are not vegetarian, but we like vegetarian food, too.

Specific fun coffeehouses? Bars? Dessert places? Indie rock venues anywhere?

Any other crazy or fun stuff within walking distance of the St. Julien hotel (where my eSource conference is at)? How does the bus system work? Let me know. THANKS!
posted by wonderwisdom to Travel & Transportation around Boulder, CO (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Boulder is a very pedestrian friendly town, so I don't think you will have much trouble. I've never taken the buses, but I have seen them everywhere when I visit so I think you'll be in good shape. And the weather has been very nice lately. Pearl Street Mall is full of fun stuff for a tourist/out-of-towner. They have the most interesting selection of buskers I've seen outside of the West Coast, and plenty of great restaurants. I recommend Antica Roma for good, inexpensive Italian and Foolish Craig's for something with a bit of a French/American taste.

Hopefully someone who lives there instead of visiting frequently can come along and provide more specific recommendations. Have a fun trip!
posted by JeremyT at 12:20 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks JeremyT! Anybody else?
posted by wonderwisdom at 12:46 PM on September 21, 2007

I'm afraid that I haven't lived there in a few years, so my list of places could be out of whack. The Med is a good place to eat near the walking mall. Lucile's serves great southern food. Up the hill from the mall is CU, which is surrounded by neeto record stores and venues. (The Fox theatre is one name I remember.)
posted by Bookhouse at 12:56 PM on September 21, 2007

The Mountain Sun has the best beer, ever (try the Colorado Kind Ale). I remember Penny Lane as being an interesting coffeehouse but I think they closed.
For hiking, go to Chataqua park/The Flatirons, right up Baseline Rd. I always used to love taking walks or runs on the Boulder Creek path, all the way up to Eben G Fine park.
The Fox Theater and the Boulder Theater always have interesting shows.
Damn it, I miss it there! Have fun!
posted by ghastlyfop at 1:04 PM on September 21, 2007

I did my undergrad at CU, but I haven't been back since I graduate two years ago, so some of this might be dated information.

If you feel like getting up early, hiking up the Flatirons via Chataqua to watch the sun rise is really breathtaking. As suggested above, it's hard to go wrong with the pedestrian area of Pearl St.

Masalaa is an Indian place my veggie friends loved. Leaf is also highly recommended. However, the place I miss the most, is Glacier Ice Cream. It's all home-made ice cream and it's simply amazing. If they still have their gingerbread available year round, you simply cannot pass it up.
posted by Nelsormensch at 1:25 PM on September 21, 2007

Haven't had it myself, but the tofu scramble at Dushanbe Teahouse comes highly recommended.
posted by chrismohney at 1:30 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I used to live in Boulder. Check out Ras Kassas for Ethiopian food and the Himalaya for Indian food. There's lots of stuff to wander around and look at on Pearl Street. A lot of good bands play at the Fox theater and the Boulder theater.

If you get a chance and are into this kind of thing, the thrift stores in Boulder are awesome.
posted by pluckysparrow at 1:36 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

I love the Mountain Sun. You should definitely go there although you won't be able to try many of their spectacular beers :(
posted by special-k at 1:39 PM on September 21, 2007

I second the Dushanbe Teahouse.

Also consider renting bikes and biking the creekpath-- the teahouse is right on the path and makes a nice place to stop for lunch.

Also they have a farmer's market on the creek path on (i believe) saturdays and wednesdays. But double check those days.

Chatauqua Park also has a great restaurant for brunch and dinner before-after hiking, and their webpage has some great events that are worth checking out. Very atmospheric.

The St. Julien is superbly located right by the Pearl St Mall and the Creek path, so lucky you. The best coffee shop (IMO) is about three blocks away from St. Julien, it's called the Trident Cafe and it's on Pearl St b/t 9th and 10th. Also the Boulder Book Store is a fantastic community bookshop, plus next to it is Bookends Cafe which is a lovely place to hang out.

Sigh... I miss Boulder. If you're there in the fall go up and see the Aspens up around Nederland or Estes Park.
posted by np312 at 1:42 PM on September 21, 2007

Check out the Celestial Seasonings tea factory!
posted by TheClonusHorror at 3:31 PM on September 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wow, how could I have missed that you said you were going to do that already? D+ for reading comprehension for me.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 3:32 PM on September 21, 2007

Thirding Dushanbe Teahouse, seconding biking the Boulder Creek Path (ask anyone, it runs through downtown then part way up Boulder Canyon to the mountains). Trident and Bookends are good coffeeshops as is the Laughing Goat. Hiking and walking opportunities are endless. Ask at the front desk of your hotel because you will literally be about four blocks from some great hikes and just across the street from the library (which is on the creek path). You will also be a block from Pearl Street which is a great pedestrian mall with buskers and delightful people watching (all the coffeeshops I mentioned above are on Pearl Street). Buses are easy and have cute names: Hop, Skip, Jump. If you get the opportunity I would take the bus up the canyon to Nederland (20 miles away) so you get some elevation and get to experience some good colorado mountain town atmosphere. This bus will literally go by your hotel as well on Canyon street -- you are in a very good central location. Have a great time!
posted by fieldtrip at 6:30 PM on September 21, 2007

Oh, and I heart Ras Kassa, as someone mentioned above.
posted by fieldtrip at 6:32 PM on September 21, 2007

All good suggestions thus far. The Teahouse is very pretty and Mountain Sun does have the best beer-- GABF gold medal winners, some of those beers. I suggest a pitcher of the "crippler" (it's not on the menu) and you'll have a fun stumble home.

The "Med" is a good restaurant with cheap tapas from 3-6pm, and right next door to your very very swanky hotel.

Definitely take a hike and see the sunrise! There's a million hikes to choose from. Enjoy your stay! You won't want to leave.
posted by jstef at 12:06 AM on September 23, 2007

Ooops, I forgot that no gluten = no beer!
posted by jstef at 12:08 AM on September 23, 2007

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