Boulder Travel Guide
Boulder is Colorado's premier "pinko" city, at once hip, cultured, upscale, educated, and hugely progressive. It's actually a university town, with hippie roots and a youthful vibe, filled with ethnic, gourmet and health food restaurants, lively cafés and microbrew pubs, high-brow art galleries and museums, funky shops and boutiques, live theater, dance and music venues, and memorable cultural events and festivities year-round. The city also enjoys a fabulous setting at the foot of the Rocky Mountains' Front Range, where the "Flatirons" rise in jagged peaks from the rolling plains of Colorado, with hiking, biking, climbing and skiing literally on its doorstep. To add to that, Boulder Creek runs through the center of town, offering up such water-oriented recreational possibilities as fishing, kayaking and tubing right in the heart of the city. Ultimately, it's fair to say that Boulder is the most desirable city in the state to live in, a center for outdoor and intellectual pursuits, a place where art, ideas and the crisp, clean mountain air happily mingle and fuse.
Boulder is situated in the Boulder Valley in north-central Colorado, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains. It is roughly 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Denver, and can be reached from the latter on Highway 36, and from Estes Park on Highway 34 south. For visitors arriving by air, the best way to reach Boulder is via Denver which has flights linking it to virtually all major cities in the U.S.
In Boulder, the center of activity is the Pearl Street Mall, a four-block pedestrian mall in Boulder's downtown in the western part of the city, bubbling with artisan and specialty shops and myriad restaurants, cafés, street vendors and even henna tattoo artists; while the hub of off-campus social life for college students in the city is "The Hill," a popular restaurant and bar district and historic shopping center just south of the Pearl Street Mall, adjacent to the University of Colorado, Boulder campus, which has in it such iconic establishments as the Albums on the Hill and Fox Theatre, the latter a venue for live music. For a slice of the bizarre, come to Boulder over Halloween and get a taste of the Naked Pumpkin Run in which participants wearing only pumpkins on their heads and a pair of running shoes dash through the city's streets. There is also a six-week-long classical music festival held here in summer, the Colorado Music Festival, which draws professional musicians from around the world.
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