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Winter in Boulder

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Boulder, Colorado has the benefit of being an exceptional vacation destination more or less the whole year-round. And while some of its fellow Colorado towns are more famous – Aspen for high-end ski culture, Vail for the slopes, and Denver as a great place to spend some time – Boulder may just be the most charming of the bunch.

Frankly, it’s a wonderful place to spend a summer or fall, when you can enjoy mild weather and do some hiking in the low, rocky peaks closely surrounding the town. But there’s a lot to enjoy there in the winter as well, including some of the ideas laid out here.


Walk Pearl Street Mall

Sure, it may be a little cold out, but assuming you have winter clothes to bundle up in, a walk down the Pearl Street Mall is still one of the best things to do in town. This is essentially a walking avenue through Boulder, and it’s the prettiest place in town. You’ll see little independent shops and bars, street performers, and fellow pedestrians walking fluffy, northern breed dogs. It may sound like it’s just a walk around town, and strictly speaking that’s true, but this walking mall in Boulder is almost uniquely charming among winter destinations in American cities.

Enjoy a Beer Hall

Boulder has a few excellent bars and breweries, as you might expect, and nothing quite beats ducking into one of them to get out of the cold and warm up with some comfort food and good beer. It’s a subjective matter, but the best of the bunch might be the Bohemian Biergarten, an authentic German-style beer garden that brings a bit of old world to Boulder. It’s just the cozy sort of place you only seem to come across in mountain towns, and one packed with good cheer and excellent menu items.

 Head to The Planetarium

Sometimes a full indoor attraction is a nice option during the winter, particularly if you’ve already spent some time walking around, or if it’s just a particular cold night. Fiske Planetarium in Boulder is perfect for such a night. Freshened up in 2014, it’s a state-of-the-art facility for space-related exhibitions and other scientific shows, and it’s really excellent at keeping people entertained and awestruck.

See a Basketball Game 

For more indoor entertainment, you can also look into college basketball, given that the University of Colorado is in Boulder. You won’t find the Buffaloes among the favorites in college basketball for 2018-19, but it’s always a decent program and the Coors Events Center, where the team plays, is generally thought of as one of the better college arenas in the West. Good basketball, a beloved venue, and enthusiastic crowds never made for a bad winter night!

 Stay at a Luxury Hotel

Luxury accommodations in a town like Boulder are also somewhat irresistible over the winter season. Naturally there’s something special about warm, cozy hotel comfort when the weather is cold, and it’s invaluable to have this kind of base to head back to after a walk around town, or even a hike through the hills. Boulder has an interesting reputation as something of a hybrid between a college town and a luxury getaway, but per the latter it has its share of excellent hotels. We’d recommend the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in particular.

Guest Post from Michael Pritchard

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