With new students arriving this week, we asked CU junior Marie Villa to put together a list of the top 9 sight-seeing activities every freshman, transfer and grad student needs to cross off their list before the end of the first semester. Check out her thoughts below!
When you think of Boulder, most people think of mountains. Chautauqua Mountain is a staple of Boulder recreation and for very good reason. These beautiful giants greet you upon your arrival and spending the day hiking is the perfect way to get that fresh Colorado air. With picnic areas, bike routes, and plenty of room to explore, you’ll find that there really is no bad day on the mountain. Chautauqua is known for making people fall in love with the beauty of Boulder, so go out for yourself and see why! Once you’ve hiked all of the Chautauqua trails, change things up a bit and try out some of the other gorgeous hikes that Boulder has to offer.
2. Pearl Street
Make sure to save a whole day just to explore Pearl Street. There are endless things to see and do on Boulder’s most iconic and historical street. Boutiques, cafes, bookstores, street performers, and…escape rooms? Every inch of this outdoor walking mall is filled with entertainment, and did we mention the AMAZING food? Get a bite to eat at one of the 10 Best Restaurant’s in Boulder, which includes 6 great places to eat right on Pearl Street! The history and beauty of Downtown Boulder will blow you away, especially with the endless amounts of activities and events going on every night. Check out their website, here, to start marking your calendar for the year!
3. Boulder Farmer’s Market
A very well known event in Boulder, and in prime location, the Boulder Farmer’s Market is right by Pearl Street. It runs every Saturday from 8 AM – 2 PM until November 18th and every Wednesday from 4 PM – 8 PM until October 4th. Local shops and vendors such as Daydream Desserts (delicious vegan snacks that truly are a dream), Cure Organic Farm, and The Fresh Herb Company come together to give Boulder foodies the best treats they have to offer. Everything from flowers to jewelry and live bands to some of the best food in Boulder, you really get the whole experience and more at the Farmer’s Market.
4. Boulder Creek
A hidden gem right off of Boulder Canyon Drive, this spot is where CU students come together to get the Colorado version of going to the beach. Right off the road you can see hundreds of students jumping into the creek, floating on rafts, and rope swinging right into the water. Not only is it the prime spot for swimming, but it’s located right at the base of the mountain so get your hiking shoes on and explore the different trails around the area. Being right next to Pearl Street as well, it’s the perfect location to enjoy a warm day in the water and then grabbing a delicious bite to eat at the mall.
5. Farrand Field & CU Football Game
Some days you just want to sit back and relax and have an amazing “do-nothing” type of day. Surrounded by CU Boulder’s dorms and smack dab in the middle of campus, Farrand Field is the perfect spot to hang out. It’s home to all students when it comes to playing a quick game of Frisbee between classes, laying out in your hammock, tanning in Boulder’s 90 degree heat, or building a snowman the next day in Colorado’s ever so changing weather! After you’ve spent the day lounging around, make sure you get a full CU game day experience. Get your school spirit on and head over to Folsom Field to cheer on your fellow buffs! Don’t forget about the Pearl Street Stampedes that take place on Pearl Street the night before every CU football game. Always a fun night getting together with other students, the CU marching band, and Ralphie, of course!
6. Boulder Theater & Fox Theater
One of the must see theaters in, not only Boulder, but the nation, is Boulder Theater. This historic entertainment venue offers the best in live music, film and comedy performances. Stepping inside the theater is what makes the whole experience and what makes it stand out from the rest. It’s like walking straight into the 1930’s, with the art style of the time filling each room. Check out a list of upcoming shows and performances here. Also belonging to the same company is Fox Theater, a remarkable and extremely famous theater among the students at CU Boulder. Located right on the hill, it’s the perfect location to see a show. It’s a 10 minute walk from the main dorms and right outside your front door if you live on the hill. Recently voted 4th best music venue in the country by Rolling Stone Magazine, it definitely lives up to its standards in giving everyone a great time. Check out a list of upcoming shows and performances here.
7. The Hill
The Hill is its own category and world unto itself. The epitome of a college community, you can find students walking, biking, moped-ing, and really anything else around the hill. Between main campus and here, you have everything you need to live the “full college experience”. There are plenty of great places to eat, including some hidden gems, coffee shops around every corner for your studying needs, and, if we haven’t mentioned it enough, more food! The Hill really is a hub of activity and the prime spot for socialization at CU Boulder. It’s the perfect place to spend your college career and make plenty of memories!
Of course, you’re in school, so studying must be your biggest priority! Finding the right spot is key to a good study session. Good thing Boulder is filled with those quiet, aesthetically pleasing cafes to enjoy during the winter months in Colorado. Here’s a list of the best cafes to check out on and off campus when it’s time to get your thinking cap on:
- Laughing Goat at Norlin Library
- The Point Cafe
- Alpine Modern Cafe
- Trident Booksellers Cafe
- Boxcar Coffee Roasters
- Laughing Goat Coffee House
- Drogo’s Coffee Bar
- Pekoe Sip House – CU Campus
- Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe
9. Mountain Activities
You’re in Colorado, so of course you can’t go a winter season without getting the snowboard or skis out and heading on up to the slopes, especially when the closest ski resort (Eldora) is only a short 40 minute drive away! If you’re wanting to go somewhere a little further, check out the Ski Bus that CU offers. For $15 you get a bus ride to a variety of ski resorts and back for a full day of fun! Make sure you stay up to date with their bus calendar so you can buy tickets ahead of time and get ready for snow season!