Lucky you, if you are headed to Ironman Boulder or Ironman 70.3 Boulder or just going on vacation. We love Boulder. There is no shortage of activities, especially if you love being outdoors. The area is a mecca for athletes of all sorts, including many pro triathletes. Surrounded by the Flatiron Mountains and the crystal clear waters of Boulder Creek, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.
Downtown Boulder features Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian shopping and dining mecca 4 blocks long, with lots of restaurants & shops at either end. We happen to have a good friend, Jason Weisberg, who has lived in Boulder and so, gave us the inside scoop of what to do and where to eat. And, you get to benefit. We have given you our recommendations for Places to Eat, so now have a look at all the great things to do in Boulder and get planning…
Things To Do in Boulder
- In need of a little retail therapy? Downtown Boulder features Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian shopping and dining mecca 4 blocks long, with lots of restaurants & shops and also at either end. So, no shortage of great places to spend your money on. Just be sure to save room in your suitcase when you pack for the trip.
- Farmer’s Market – It runs on Wednesdays from 4-8pm and Saturdays from 8am-2pm on the corner of 13th Street between Arapahoe & Canyon. Even if you don’t buy, they are always great for browsing.
- Colorado Shakespeare Festival – The festival is located on the CU Boulder campus. They offer great modern adaptations of mostly Shakesperean plays, such as Richard III and Love’s Labours Lost.
- Boulder Museum of History – Learn the history of this very interesting region and don’t miss one of their current exhibits, the Evolution of Activewear. How appropriate to see during a triathlon!
- Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art – If you need a fix of culture, this is the place to visit.
- Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse – This teahouse is one of Boulder’s most attractive and popular tourist spots and is great for tea and dining, too. It was completely built by hand, without any power tools, and sits along Boulder Creek in Central Park.
- The Flatirons – These are the landmark of Boulder and great for hiking. You just may need to take it easy if altitude becomes a factor. The views are gorgeous – see Boulder from the top – and the trails are well-marked. Start at Chautauqua Park, wear good walking shoes, and bring a camera.
- University of Colorado at Boulder – Beautiful architecture, lots of green, and backdrop of the Flatirons. Nice to just take a leisurely walk or bike ride around. You can even visit the CU Museum for a bit of culture.
- Visit Chautauqua Park for a picnic or go for a nature hike. You can even stay here in one of the cabins. They also have a playground for young children and homemade ice cream at the general store. It’s just a few minutes drive from downtown.
- Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art – If you like western art, not to be missed. Features paintings and sculptures from the Old West. Located just a bit outside of Boulder.
- National Center for Atmospheric Research – As the name implies, the facility is dedicated to the study of our atmosphere. You can take a guided tour of the facility and learn all about the power of hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, etc. or visit on your own. There are interactive displays to keep the young ones interested. The building was designed by I.M. Pei for all you architect buffs.
- Fiske Planetarium – Located on the CU Boulder campus, it’s noted to be one of the best planetariums in the US. Great for kids and adults. Learn about astronomy and space science, with interactive displays. Check their calendar for special shows during your visit.
- CU Museum of Natural History – Also located on campus, it’s a great place to take the kids. Noted to be one of the leading university natural science museums in the US. From native American pottery to fossils to evolution, it’s all here.
- If you can, you really should visit Rocky Mountain National Park, one of Colorado’s most stunning attractions and only about an hour outside of Boulder! This incredible national park is one of the most beautiful in the United States, which is saying something because this country is filled with stunning national parks. You’ll be treated to an abundance of awe-inspiring natural wonders from big-horn sheep and elk, to a sunny valley dotted with glistening lakes, to a blizzard-topped mountain peaks. There are also many excellent hikes to be had. And if your triathlete doesn’t want to be on their feet a lot, spending the day driving around and gawking at the majesty of this stunning park is a fantastic way to explore!
- If you are going to be in town for more than the race, there is always Denver – only 30 minutes away – and then the ski resort towns of Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, etc. are within your reach. Think white water rafting anyone? Here are some additional resources you can use:
We know you’ll have a great time in Boulder and wherever your travels take you. As always, we hope your race is a huge success!