Now that we have lived in Boulder going on 2 years in May, CT Dad and I have tried to get out and see what all is here. Most of you know that we never "lived" in Boulder…only "schooled" here in the 80's and so much has changed. Many of you have pre-conceived notions of Boulder, but it truly has so much to offer, it is close to Denver, and the perfect day trip! We have become connoisseurs of Happy Hour and local hikes and bike trails. Of course, I ride my 3 speed with a basket and a bell…it doesn't seem to bother my friends!
Breakfast at The Village: (www.villagecoffeeshopboulder.com) no discussion here…this is the quintessential greasy spoon with a twist: tell them it is your first time visiting and see what happens. You will find friendly faces (love Diane) and a welcoming environment every time. Go early to avoid the CU students and the lines that follow. The pancakes are the best in Boulder (chocolate chip is not on the menu, but the blueberry is the BEST!)… Smother everything else in green chili!
(P.S. For a nicer spot in town I highly recommend Brasserie 1010(www.brasserietenten.com) for breakfast and ambiance)
After breakfast, walk across the street to McGuckin Hardware (www.mcguckin.com) and marvel in the amount of service and products they provide! Most men (and many women) just like wandering around. To get $5 off coupons, join their no obligation club.
It MUST be time for a hike! We are blessed to live close to the head of a trail here in Boulder and love hiking the trails with the dog off-leash (warning…LARGE tickets for not having the correct "off-leash" collar will result in a huge fine). The views are amazing and you feel like you truly got a good workout when you get back to the house for lunch…Take Broadway to Forest West and it end at the head of the trail on 3rd. The "Goat Trail" leads to Mt. Sanitas (www.gisweb.ci.boulder.co.us) …bring water and plan on a couple of hours…you won't feel guilty about eating a nice, big lunch. Wait! Did I say lunch??
There are lots of lunch specials in town during the week. We like $2 taco Tuesdays at T/ACO on Walnut and $5 Burger Mondays at The Attic Bar and Bistro (www.atticbistro.com) on Walnut. These are budget friendly options. As far as more of a quality, organic meal goes: The Kitchen Next Door (a little less pricey than The Kitchen) www.thekitchen.com and Oak (they have a new $10 lunch special) are my favorites: www.oakatfourteenth.com .
Not in the mood for a trail hike? Head up behind North Boulder Park (great for Frisbee, or cross country skiing). After the floods, they even added a workout area which is kind of fun. We weave our way through the neighborhood, crossing over into the grand, old homes which is wonderful for getting ideas for when you hit it big! You can cut through the Mapleton neighborhood and end up on West Pearl for a yummy cup of coffee at OZO. It can be crowded with working hipsters, but the coffee is good, free WIFI and the occasional guitar player brightens my day. www.ozocoffee.com If it's crowded, cross the street to Trident Café and bookstore.
This past Christmas, the CTClan hiked up to the STAR on Flagstaff. OMgoodness!! It was the most amazing view, and once I realized I wasn't going to die (it is super steep…don't bring Grandma), it turned in to one of the BEST things we have done since we lived in Boulder. We even took Lexie the dog who (obviously!:) maneuvered her way up and down with no problem…Meanwhile we were sweating bullets. I also would NOT recommend doing this when it has snowed…too slick! Get up there on a dry, clear night and you can see forever! The Flagstaff Star was first put on the mountain in 1947. It was reconstructed into an Easter Cross in 1949 and a peace sign in 1969 but has been a star ever since. Although the star was originally maintained by the Public Service Co., Craig Reynolds, the owner of Lord and Reynolds Electrical Services took over and now maintains the structure. SO COOL!
Say what you will, riding bikes is fun (www.everytrail.com) and especially when you end up at Fate Brewing on a weekend morning. CTDad swears by the coffee breakfast brew (does that make beer in the morning ok?). www.fatebrewingcomany.com There are SO many GREAT breweries; you could spend a day doing tours!
It must be time to shop! Pearl Street is the obvious choice, but I have learned about my favorites along the way. The Peppercorn is an amazing feat of kitchenware, gifts, and so much more. It is 2 floors of heaven…almost overwhelming! Before I lived in Boulder, I used to come to Boulder, just to walk in to this store. www.peppercorn.com Bayleaf on Pearl is a cool "Gift/European" style shop. They also have the best prices on Boulder made chocolate bars! www.chocolove.com
You must be EXHAUSTED! Just be sure it is on a Friday night before a CU Football game. No matter what the Buffs play like, Pearl Street before a game is such a GREAT time. Get an outdoor seat at Hapa Sushi and wait for the band to march down Pearl at 7:00 throwing swag and cheering. It is fun for everyone and gets you in the spirit of being in a college town. Speaking of CU, games are fun! We go as much as we can. www.cubuffs.com
If it is not a football weekend, head to Jill's at The St Julien Hotel for happy hour! This is our favorite for a "real food" happy hour. Wander into the lobby for live music or sit on the back patio in the summer for a stunning view of the Flatirons. www.stjulien.com
Want to avoid the downtown area, Bacco Trattoria and Mozzarella Bar is our favorite happy hour and they have it ALL DAY on Mondays! www.baccoboulder.com
I can't finish this blog without a shout-out to Lucky's Bake House in Boulder. If you like cookies/muffins, etc…this is a religious experience! We hiked 6 miles and ended there (good thing we hiked first)…we shared some kind of buttermilk maple salted biscuit and a cinnamon morning roll! The market I could take or leave, the "Bake House" in the same parking lot is AMAZING! www.luckysmarket.com
Here's to daytrips to beat the winter blues!
P.S. This photo was taken by me while watching the Boulder Boulder…with a big cup of coffee (I am pretty sure it's better that way)