What is the best way to see Boulder in one day?

Gina DeMillo Wagner

Thanks to its compact footprint (the entire city is surrounded by open space and mountains) Boulder can be easily explored in one day. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest you begin with a drive or hike to the Sunrise Amphitheater atop Flagstaff Mountain, which overlooks the town. Take in the 360-degree views, snap some photos, then wander back down to have lunch and stroll through the shops along Pearl Street. Next, pick up a free copy of the Boulder pedestrian and bike map (self-serve bike rentals are available throughout town) and explore the many paths that lead you through the city and along Boulder Creek. Make a pit stop at Dushanbe Tea House for afternoon tea and snacks. Wind down your day with an aromatherapy massage at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa, and dine at one of the many fine restaurants downtown, such as The Kitchen and Frasca Food & Wine.

  • On July 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best places to eat in Boulder?

    Boulder residents have refined palettes, and it shows in the city’s booming restaurant scene and influx of award-winning chefs. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the best places to eat in Boulder:
    1. The Kitchen. The rustically modern interior of The Kitchen includes chalkboards proudly announcing the local origins and environmental footprint of many of the restaurant’s ingredients. The restaurant is a favorite among Boulder’s eco-conscious, food-loving locals. While the menu changes seasonally, it always offers a variety of meat, fish, poultry and vegetarian dishes.
    2. Flagstaff House Restaurant. From the top of Flagstaff Mountain, just 10 minutes from downtown Boulder, you can marvel at the lights of the city 1,000 feet below. The seasonal, daily-changing American menu features locally sourced ingredients and is served in an elegant candle-lit dining room. Romance abounds.
    3. The Mediterranean. Usually referred to as “The Med,” this is a local hot spot for tapas and drinks. You can get something as simple as almonds, olives and bacon-wrapped dates, then taste some Manchego or mozzarella, and move on to Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus). If you’re hungry for more, the menu includes full entrees.
    4. Frasca Food & Wine. A James Beard award winner, Frasca Food & Wine has a menu inspired by the cuisine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a region in northeast Italy. The owner and chef are so dedicated to the authenticity of Frasca’s cuisine that they regularly embark on a trip to Italy with the entire staff to eat, drink and learn.
    5. Q’s. The casually elegant Q’s is located inside the historic Hotel Boulderado and serves contemporary American cuisine with a focus on local, organic and sustainable foods. Seasonal menu items include dishes such as sweet corn soup and roast Colorado rack of lamb.
  • On July 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to stay in Boulder?

    Whether you crave something small and private or large and plush, Boulder has a long list of luxe places to stay. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest these five top spots to stay in Boulder:
    1. St. Julien Hotel & Spa. Guest rooms at this luxurious spot are crisp, modern and spacious (at least 450 square feet) with the kind of beds and exquisite linens that make you want to stay in bed all day. The large bathrooms have a stone soaking tub and just downstairs is one of the best full-service spas in town. The hotel is just a block away from Pearl Street and offers views of the Flatirons.
    2. Hotel Boulderado. Opened in 1909, Hotel Boulderado is the living, breathing heart of Boulder. The Victorian building is a National Register Landmark and a member of the National Trust Historic Hotels of America. You’ll notice intricate detail at every turn — whether it’s the cantilevered cherry wood staircase or the antiques in the sitting areas. Each of the 160 guest rooms is individually decorated and many offer views of the foothills.
    3. The Stanley. If a majestic mountainside room is more important to you than urban convenience, the check in to The Stanley Hotel, located about one hour from Boulder in Estes Park. This grand, stately hotel is listed on National Register of Historic Places and its luxury amenities are just as impressive.
    4. The Alps Boulder Canyon Inn. The award-winning bed and breakfast puts you close to the mountains in rooms that blend luxury with country charm. Each of the 12 rooms features a working fireplace. It’s a favorite choice for couples and those who want a little more privacy without sacrificing amenities.
    5. The Bradley Boulder Inn. Just off quaint downtown Pearl Street, The Bradley is a charming hotel with stellar complimentary amenities such as a wine and cheese hour, fresh baked cookies, gourmet breakfasts and a make-shift art gallery.