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The first thing you see upon entering Boulder from the east is a breathless panorama of the Rocky Mountain foothills, with Flagstaff Mountain rising out of the red-roofed University of Colorado campus. It looks downright Utopian, which is why 100,000 people have settled here for the city's fair-weather climate (give or take a few blizzards), clean air, proximity to ski areas, annual community events like the Bolder Boulder footrace, impeccable bicycling conditions, healthy gourmet restaurants and laid-back college-town culture. The city's heart is the red-brick Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only haven for wanderers, tourists, shoppers, ...

The first thing you see upon entering Boulder from the east is a breathless panorama of the Rocky Mountain foothills, with Flagstaff Mountain rising out of the red-roofed University of Colorado campus. It looks downright Utopian, which is why 100,000 people have settled here for the city's fair-weather climate (give or take a few blizzards), clean air, proximity to ski areas, annual community events like the Bolder Boulder footrace, impeccable bicycling conditions, healthy gourmet restaurants and laid-back college-town culture. The city's heart is the red-brick Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only haven for wanderers, tourists, shoppers, buskers and bored teenagers. It's also filled with hiking havens, from Chautauqua Park to Flagstaff Mountain. Boulder's primary Achilles' heels are its lack of diversity and out-of-control home prices — the African-American population hovers in the low single digits and Latinos tend to populate the Denver area instead. But spend a day sipping cocktails on the outdoor patio of the Centro Latin Kitchen, just off the Mall under the foothills, and see if you stop worrying about that stuff.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 5,430 feet (1,655 m). The city is 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Denver. Boulder is famous for its colorful Western history, hippies, art, culture and fitness.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, early and late summer, fall, Memorial Day (Bolder Boulder) Mid-May (Kinetics Festival)