Sitting at the base of the Flatiron Mountains, Boulder, Colorado, helms the title of “America’s Happiest City” for a reason. It’s much more than just the University of Colorado Boulder — you’ll find people strolling Downtown Boulder’s historic Pearl Street Mall for knick-knacks and pints of beer, hiking the rugged trails at Chautauqua Park (the best view in Boulder, if you ask us), and sipping cups of chamomille at its resident Persian-style teahouse. Your guide to this multi-faceted Rocky Mountain town awaits below.
Hotel Boulderado opened its doors back on New Years Eve night as the first luxury hotel in Boulder back in 1908 — and it has held itself to that same standard of elegance for over a century. Located one block away from the historic Pearl Street Mall, this landmark stay boasts classic Italian Renaissance-style columns and mosaic-tiled ceilings, combined with Victorian-era brick exteriors; keeping its original grandeur on the inside while blending in with its surrounding counterparts. Enjoy a top-notch dining experience at the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Spruce, before moving downstairs to its swanky speakeasy, License No. 1 (more on the speakeasy to come below).
With iconic views of the Flatirons at every angle, St Julien Hotel & Spa exudes modern, mountain luxury from its design to its impeccable service. Guestrooms and suites are dressed in gold accented trappings, warm-wood furniture, and spacious bathrooms replete with lavish amenities: complimentary toiletries, bathtubs, and makeup lights just to name a few. After a day of exploring Boulder, head back to the T-Zero Lounge for a cocktail followed by a treatment at the Spa at St Julien (we recommend the St Julien Classic Massage for the ultimate body relaxation).
The Kitchen is an upscale American bistro delivering delicious bites and a lively atmosphere. If you’re a seafood lover, the Lobster Roll at this establishment is mouth-watering deliciousness served warm with a side of aioli and homemade chips.
With a prime location right in the heart of Pearl Street Mall, Japango is a sleek Japanese-style restaurant that is perfect for a late-night meal or one of their daily happy hours. With specialty starters such as Magic Mushrooms: avocado-wrapped salmon broiled in dynamite sauce (not sure what that sauce actually comprises, but we can assure you it’s “the bomb”), and main course items including the Diablo Roll: spicy tuna and avocado topped with seared tuna, scallions and ponzu sauce.
Chic dining hall and rooftop lounge, Rosetta Hall, is one of the best places to spend the afternoon in Boulder. (Try the Rosetta Margarita which comprises campo bravo Blanco, dry curaçao, and fresh organic lime for a refreshing libation.)
License No. 1
Hidden beneath Hotel Boulderado, License No. 1 is Boulder’s premiere underground speakeasy (it’s the real dal: the spot operated clandestinely during the prohibition era). Expect a moody decor and a menu comprising a medley of bespoke cocktails.
Hike the Flatirons
Recognized as Boulder’s most iconic landmark, these strikingly slanted mountains are the perfect backdrop no matter what time of year. Starting at the base of the mountain, head to the Chautauqua Trailhead where various hiking paths are available from easy to advanced. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely walk or a rigorous hike, you’ll traverse through ponderosa pines and grazing fields, all the while taking in views of Boulder and the Flatirons.
Walk down Pearl Street Mall
Those who love a mountain town moment, should opt to spend their afternoon strolling Downtown Boulder’s lively Pearl Street Mall. Amble down brick-paved walkways into trendy boutiques such as Elison Rd., unique gift shops like Savannah Bee Company, and notable dive bars such as the Sundown Saloon.
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse stands out from the rest of the buildings in Boulder with its colorful Persian-style exteriors giving way to the interiors: eight large ceramic panels, each intricately carved and carefully painted, create a harmonious temple atmosphere for people to enjoy afternoon tea, dim sum, and a game of chess if you choose.
Lost Gulch Overlook
Driving up through the winding Flagstaff Road past the Flatirons is Lost Gulch Overlook — a scenic lookout area just a 15-minute drive from Boulder. Perfect for a sunset picnic while taking in views of the Rocky Mountains, Lost Gulch is the perfect place to snap your Instagram photo.