Despite what many may think, Boulder is more than just a college town.  This scenic, quaint city offers an upscale hippy vibe that combines a youthful and funky spirit with mature luxury. Outdoorsmen, shoppers and foodies alike should take advantage of all this Colorado city has to offer, including its 330 days of sunshine, fresh mountain air and breathtaking landscape. Our friend, Melanie, gives us an "insiders guide" after living in Boulder for many years.

Tripper Tips:

See a show at Redrocks Amphitheater — a natural amphitheater where the greats love to play.

Enjoy spring skiing at some of the world's best spots (Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek or Arapahoe Basin -  which is open into late spring or early summer.)

Another dinner suggestion if you want to stay on Pearl is Black Cat, a farm to table bistro.

Stay: St. Julien Hotel & Spa

Wake Up: Get the best of this college town experience by taking a drive to 28th Street for breakfast at The Buff. Load up on granola pancakes or a homestead skillet for some energy before a big day of activity. Students and adults alike love dining “in the buff” at this legendary spot.

Hike: After breakfast, head out for a hike from Chataqua Park or for a more leisurely walk along Viewpoint trail. Both provide incredible views of the city, campus and the beautiful Flatirons for which Boulder is best known. Don’t feel like a hike? Take a drive up Flagstaff Mountain for a fantastic lookout called Realization Point which is equally amazing.

Lunch:  The Kitchen on Pearl Street offers a great sit down lunch. Enjoy anything from oysters to Colorado grown steak and fries. For something quick and casual, you can also check out The Dish Gourmet on the East end of Pearl Street. Be sure to consider The Chook sandwich, but anything you order is sure to be delicious.

Shop: Visit Boulder’s famous downtown enclosed pedestrian area on Pearl Street for the best shopping and restaurants. Buy your outdoor gear at Patagonia, designer duds at MAX Clothing Store or your favorite denim and accessories at Weekends.

Stroll: Be sure to take a walk through the University of Colorado’s gorgeous campus. Norlin Quad and Farrand Field are known for beautiful views of the Flatirons. You can also check out The Hill – CU’s off campus area with small shops and restaurants.

Happy Hour: If you’re feeling up for it, Brasserie TenTen and Jax Fish House offer spectacular small plates and drink specials in the late afternoon. They are also both great choices for dinner.

Spa: The St. Julien is not only a beautiful hotel – it boats a beautiful spa as well. Take some time to relax in the whirlpool and get a massage before evening festivities.

Cocktails: A great place for a pre-dinner drink is Bitter Bar on Walnut. Bitter Bar offers a great upscale hipster vibe as well as delicious, creative cocktails.

Dinner:  Walking along Pearl, one can find endless delicious options for dinner.  A favorite is Frasca Food and Wine, or make your way up to the Flagstaff House nestled into the mountains for an incredible setting.

Nightcap: Head back to the St. Julien for drinks after dinner. Its small lobby bar and outdoor seating area are great places to relax after a long day in one of the country’s most beautiful cities.

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