36 Hours In Boulder

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You’ve probably wondered about Boulder, Colorado. At this point, it seems to have reached mythical Colorado status. Similar to Unicorns, Big Foot, and the Jackalope. This place can’t be real? Can it? It is real, and it’s a great place to visit. In fact, it’s my view that 36 hours in Boulder typically is enough of a taste for many people to fall in love and never return home. I’ve met a lot of those people.

36 Hours in Boulder

Is enough time to have a wonderful experience before going into extreme sticker shock. Almost 65% of Boulder homes are listed at a million dollars, Google is opening a campus on 28th/29th street, and people are annoying fitter than the rest of Colorado…which is pretty fit. Like most kids who grow up in a place, I have things about it that I love and things that make me crazy. For this trip, you’ll get to experience all of the amazing whimsy that is Boulder.

Related Post: 36 Hours in Denver

Tuesday

6:00 pm   You’ve arrived at Denver International Airport…which is not close to Boulder. Fortunately, you can take the aptly named “Train to the Plane” from the airport to downtown Denver’s Union Station for $9. Keep your ticket! You will transfer at Union Station to the Flatirons Flyer Bus (FF) going directly to Boulder. Show the ticket that you used for the train. The bus station is underneath the train platform. If you get confused, just ask one of the security personnel.

Where to Stay

Ok, I’m going to suggest two really nice hotels “read…not cheap.”

  • St. Julien’s-yes, it’s a 5-star hotel, but you’re only there for one night.

 

  • The Hotel Boulderado-Is a lovely historical hotel that also is wonderful to visit during Christmas. 

Both hotels are located withing walking distance of the Boulder bus station which is the last stop for your bus. If you would like to research additional hotel options check out the links below:

 

 

8:0o pm (ish)  You’ve checked into your hotel and are ready to explore the town. Feel like a beer? Check out The Rayback Collective. a multi-use space dedicated to enjoying: beer, food, and fun.  Call a LYFT (use my affiliate code-1st time users get $5 credit towards their first ride). Enjoy some beer, good food truck food, and if it’s a beautiful Tuesday night-sitting underneath the stairs by the fire pit. 

10:00 pm (ish) Ready to head back to downtown Boulder, but not ready to call it a night? Check out one of the following bars for an additional nightcap:

  • Shine-A ridiculously awesome space run by triplets. The food, wine, and energy is always great. Check out the events tab on the website to see what events are being held while you’re there.

 

  • Tahona Tequila Bistro-Head a couple of blocks west (towards the mountains) from Shine to get to Tahona. I’ve spent many hours enjoy Tahona’s great food and varieties of tequilas.

 

  • The Bitter Bar-Is a dark, somewhat moody, space with great drinks, and a wonderful energy that always makes me feel like the man of my dreams is going to walk through the door at anytime.

12:00 am (ish) Head on back to your hotel.

Wednesday

8:00 am (ish) So, it’s a little early. That’s ok-time to rally! Time to eat breakfast/brunch. Check out the following three restaurants. I would recommend giving them a call to see if you can get a reservation as all are EXTREMELY popular.

  • Foolish Craig’s-A long-time Boulder mainstay. Great food, big portions, good (slightly…hippy) service. Meaning, I’ve had a couple of times when what I ordered and what I got were a little bit different. But, still really good. Sometimes you jut have to go with the flow. Located on Pearl Street.

 

  • Snooze-This place is CRAZY popular. There are 2 other locations in Denver and those are also crazy busy. Located on Pearl Street.

 

  • Lucile’s-The original Lucile’s is located one block off of the Pearl Street Mall. Lucile’s specialty is Creole-style breakfast food. Yes, they do have beignets, chicory coffee, and other delicious Creole style foods that will clog your arteries. #YOLO.

10:00 am (ish)  Explore Pearl Street Mall which is an outdoor walking mall. There is a focus on locally owned businesses but over the years I’ve noticed some national chains making their way onto the mall. Typically, though they are of the Patagonia variety vs. Walmart. You’ll see what I mean when you visit.

12:00 pm (ish) You’ve walked around for awhile and need to eat.  Here are some recommendations that happen to be right downtown.

  • The Dushanbe Teahouse-I prefer the tea service personally. But, a lot of people really enjoy the lunch/dinner service. Regardless, it is a lovely space to enjoy lunch.

 

Let’s Go Hiking

Hiking should take at least 2-3 hours. Estimated deaprture time: 1:00 pm (ish) until 4:00 pm (ish). It would be ridiculous for you to visit Colorado and not spend a few hours hiking in the mountains (or, technically, the Foothills). When you’re visiting Boulder it’s ridiculously easy to get a good hike in. I send people to Chautauqua Park which is located at 9th and Baseline.

There are a couple of ways you can get there.

  • Take a LYFT-New user? Get $5 off your first ride when you sign up using this link.

 

  • Take the green Skip bus on Baseline and Pearl street to “The Hill.” You want to get off by the Walgreens and the bus stop with the clock (13th and College). Then, you will walk towards the mountains on College street. If you see the Starbucks on the corner you’re on the correct street. Turn left on 9th street and walk until you hit-Chautauqua Park. You will know it when you see it.

 

  • Take the green Skip bus on Baseline and Pearl Street to Baseline and Broadway. Walk up Baseline until you hit 9th street.

Caution!

Speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have about your health and altitude sickness.

Happy Hour/Dinner 

At this point you’ve (hopefully) returned to your hotel, taken a quick shower, and are ready to eat . There are a number of great places to check out throughout the city of Boulder. This itinerary, keeps it simple for you. Check out the following:

  • The Med (the Mediterranean Restaurant)-Has been my favorite place to enjoy happy hour in Boulder for more years than I would like to admit. It’s still that good. I typically sit on the patio and people watch. I only order the tapas-not the entrees. The tapas are legit.

 

  • The Boulder Farmer’s Market-Every Wednesday and Saturday is open between Canyon and Arapahoe Street. The food vendors are incredible. Seriously. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan there are typically some amazing options for you to enjoy too.

 

  • The West End Tavern-Has some damn good burgers. Dayum! Sit upstairs on the rooftop patio, drink a beer, and order a burger. Enjoy.

 

  • T-Zero-Located at the St. Julien’s hotel. It has a ridiculously good (and affordable) happy hour and St. Julien’s has live music throughout the summer. Eat, drink, stay for the dancing.

Boulder Activities

During the summer there a number of fun and affordable events to check out while you’re in Boulder. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

 

  • Chautauqua Park-Has live music, a silent movie series, and dance performances.

 

  • Meetup.com-Meet the people who live in the town. If you’re traveling on your own, or just would like to live like a local-check out the different meetups that are happening during your visit.

 

 

  • Mountain Sun Pub-I love this place. In my view, it’s one of the most “real, unpretentious” places in Boulder. Get a beer, eat some nachos, listen to some music.

 

  • Go to Denver-Take the bus to Denver and check out the nightlife located in or around Union Station.

Boulder is one of those places that you may find yourself returning to again and again. It may be because of Chief Niwot’s curse, or just because you love the town so much. In my view, 36 hours in Boulder isn’t enough. Let us know when you plan on visiting again!

 

 

 

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36 Hours in Denver

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Follow Colorado Luv Hub on Instagram!

It’s that time of year when people begin thinking about their summer vacation. If you’re like most people, you’re probably crossing your fingers and hoping that your boss won’t hassle you about your vacation request this year. One of the best places to visit this year is Denver, Colorado! Only have 36 hours in Denver? No worries, here’s a basic guide for a quick trip to Dtown.

36 Hours in Denver

6:00 pm -You’ve landed at Denver International Airport and narrowly missed a bird flying at your head (because cute little sparrows live in the airport-seriously). You make your way to the train that will take you to the main airport terminal and the train to Denver which is affectionately called “The Train to the Plane or The A-Line” It only costs $9 and you can use cash or charge to purchase your ticket. The ticket is good for 24 hours on public transit but you’ll probably opt to use LYFT for tonight’s shenanigans. Here’s the LYFT code for $5 your first ride if you’re a new user (downloading the app is super fast).

Related Post: Why I Love the Train to the Plane: Warts and All

7:00 pm-It’s around 7 pm and you’ve arrived at Union Station. It only took 37 minutes (give or take) for the train to go from the airport to downtown and you did get a glimpse of the famous devil horse “Blucifer” that warmly welcomes visitors to Denver at the airport. Leave your stuff at one of the many great hotels downtown and then prepare to wander around town.

Some Recommended Hotels and Hostels:

  • The Curtis Hotel
  • The Fish Hostel
  • The Oxford Hotel

Or, click here to check out hotels. Check Out Our Roundtrip Fares UNDER $199 at CheapOair

8:00 pm (ish) Ok, you’re hungry. The sunset is pretty legit and people are looking pretty happy for a Tuesday night. Grab a LYFT and go to either Avanti or Postino LOHI. Avanti is a great food hall with a gorgeous view of downtown Denver. It also has a single alcohol license for the entire building. Of course, local beer is on tap. You could also go to Postino which has a $20 bruschetta and bottle of wine special on Monday and Tuesday nights. Yes.

It’s almost 10:00 pm and you only have 36 Hours in Denver so it’s too early to go to sleep. Check out Williams and Graham which is about 2 or 3 blocks from Postino and about 7 blocks from Avanti. Williams and Graham is a speakeasy that actually made a list of the 50 best bars in the world. That’s legit considering how many bars there are in the world.

It’s late enough where it’s time to rest up for Wednesday’s explorations. You return via LYFT and get some rest.

Wednesday

It’s super early Wednesday and you’ve decided to work out with some Colorado peeps. Check out The November Project’s free workouts on Wednesdays. Typically they work out in Civic Center Park on Wednesdays at 5:30 am or 6:15 am but check out their Facebook page to see what they’re up to. Great people.  ***Do research exercise and altitude sickness***

8:00 am-10:00 am Not up for exercising first thing on a vacation. No worries. Have a leisurely lie in and then go to one of the following places for a great Colorado breakfast:

  • Mercantile Dining and Provision-Union Station
  • Stowaway-RINO District
  • Jelly (in the Capital Hill neighborhood)
  • Snooze-Union Station
  • Root Down-LOHI
  • Sassafras

These places are popular so you may have a bit of a wait f.y.i.

10:00 am You’ve had brunch it’s time to quickly check out Colorado’s state Capitol and the City and County Building. Don’t forget to take a picture at the actual 5280 (mile high) marker.

11:00 am (ish) You’ve already packed in a lot into your itinerary considering that you only have 36 hours in Denver. It’s time to embrace some culture. Check out the Dikeou Collection which is a really cool (free) contemporary art collection in downtown Denver that very few people know about.

12:00 pm (ish) make your way down to the Museum of Contemporary Art located near Denver’s Union Station. Designed by David Adjay-who was named the world’s most influential architect by Time magazine this year. The building is also the first building in America designed by an African-European architect. You’ll know you’re there when you see a building with a giant heart with a dagger in it. Be still my beating heart.

Take some time checking out the art and then enjoy some refreshments in the rooftop cafe (has WIFI).

Boulder

Huh? Isn’t Boulder far away? Nope. It’s less than an hour away and it would be a shame if you missed it.

1:00 pm Head to Denver’s Union Station and get a $9 round trip day pass. Take the bus that goes directly to Boulder. Check the t.v. screens in the bus terminal to figure out which “gate” the bus is departing from. Show the pass to the bus driver and then you’re on your way. **The bus going between Denver and Boulder is super clean and safe for those of you who’ve never taken the bus before.** 

2:00 pm Arrive at Boulder’s Downtown Bus Station. Walk one block to Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall. It’s an open air mall with lots of shops, restaurants, and a gorgeous view.

5:00 pm Leave Boulder for Denver and evening shenanigans

6:00 pm  (ish) Shenanigans

Ok, let’s be clear. There is a TON of fun to be had in Denver (and Colorado) regardless of time of year. This post will just gloss over all of the possibilities and then you can decide what you would like to do.

The Cruiser Ride

Make your way back to the hotel and rest up a little bit. If you’re visiting between May 15-Mid-September you can participate in the Denver Cruiser Ride. Ride the streets of Denver with 1,000 + of your favorite new friends.  You’ll have to check out a Bcycle (Denver Bcycle Bike Sharing Program) or see if there is a bike that you can borrow from your hotel. **This is a dangerous activity because you’re riding in the streets of Denver.** You’re an adult just going to put it out there.

Sports

Denver basically has a team for every sport. Let’s go through the list:

  • Denver Broncos-Football
  • Denver Nuggets-Basketball
  • Colorado Rapids-Soccer. F.Y.I. Dick’s Sporting Goods Field where they play is far from Downtown Denver.
  • Colorado Avalanche-Hockey
  • Colorado Rockies-Baseball.
  • Denver Barbarians-Rugby (Boulder is the headquarters for U.S. Rugby)

Breweries

Do you feel like keeping things low-key and having a beer while wandering around a cool neighborhood? Check out the RINO neighborhood and one of the following breweries:

  • Great Divide Brewing CO.
  • Epic Brewing CO.
  • Spanglang

There’s more and I will add to the list later.

Theater

Love the theater? Check out what’s being performed at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. One of my favorite places in Denver. I’ve seen the following shows there:

  • The Color Purple
  • Wicked
  • The Book of Mormon
  • The Lion King

and more!

Arts

Feel like checking out more art? Go to the Santa Fe Art District and wander up and down the street. I do prefer going to Santa Fe on the 1sr Friday of each month when they have musicians, food trucks, etc.

The Denver Art Museum has some amazing art and next to it is the Clyfford Still museum. Both typically close at 5:00 but occasionally have special events.

Restaurants

Just feel like eating after a day of checking out all of the things? Here are some restaurant suggestions:

  • Linger
  • there (yes, that’s the name)
  • Stueben’s
  • Work and Class
  • Uncle
  • Lena

Most vegetarians/vegans will have a couple of options on the menu (except Work and Class-that’s for meat lovers). Check the menu online to make sure they have stuff that you would like to eat.

36 Hours In Denver-Logistics

They will fly by. You’ll have a great time. Seriously. Some basic logistics

  • Water Bottle-Stay hydrated. We don’t carry them around for fun. It’s because it’s so dry here.
  • Read up on Altitude Sickness-EVERYONE regardless of your health. Talk to your doctor about any concerns that you may have. 
  • Bring layers. We have weird weather. Just saying.
  • Good walking shoes
  • Comfortable backpack
  • We don’t judge people (really ) for not dressing up. But, bring one cute outfit because-why not?
  • An open mindset. People are really friendly here. Don’t get weird if people start talking to you randomly. Obviously be mindful of your belongings and safety but that would be in any city. I’ve lived out East and I know it freaks people out. But, we don’t want anything-usually we’re just being friendly.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to take the Plane to the Train back to the airport. It’s great but sometimes has…issues…

4:30 am (ish) Thursday

Time to go home!  Hope this was helpful and we are looking forward to having you visit our wonderful city and state. Welcome!