29 Things You Need To Know About Boulder Before You Move There

To really understand Boulder, you have to realize it is more than just a group of residents and restaurants. Boulder is one of the coolest, hippest, funkiest cities in the country!

 

1. You Can’t Beat 300 Sunny Days A Year

 

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Matthew Hurst
Boulder gets nearly as much sunshine as Phoenix, but without all the heat. Sunscreen is a must, but don’t forget to protect your eyes, too. Grab a pair of trendy sunglasses or prescription glasses at Aspen Eyewear. Trust me, you’ll need them.

 

2. Pearl Street Mall Is A Real Gem

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Lee Edwin Coursey

This brick-lined pedestrian mall features upwards of 1,000 businesses. With 85 percent of them locally owned and operated, you get to experience an eclectic assortment of restaurants, shops, and activities.

3. It Has The Best People Watching In The State

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Paul L Dineen

On Pearl Street you can see dancers, jugglers, fire-eaters, musicians, magicians, and there’s even one guy who has memorized every zip code in the country!

4. Get Ready To Lead An Active Lifestyle

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Zach Dischner

Boulder is a very active city, you’ll always see people out walking, running, biking, rollerblading, mountain climbing, kayaking—you name it, they do it. And they love it! The best place to find gear from camping and hiking to snowsports and trail running, is at MontBell. The best place to get fit is Flatirons. Formerly the Flatiron Athletic Club, this is the epicenter for world-class triathlon training. Many of the coaches are world champion Ironman winners and Olympic gold medalists.

5. So You Want To Be An Olympian Or A Pro Athlete?

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Wikimedia user Dontworry

It’s not unusual to see Iron Woman Chrissie Wellington, among other professional athletes, running down the streets of Boulder. Mild weather and high elevation attracts athletes from all over the world to train year round.

6. The Dushanbe Tea House Is Breathtaking

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Matt Beldyk

The Dushanbe Teahouse has great food, tea and atmosphere. But what’s really interesting is that it was completely built by hand in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, a sister city to Boulder. Over 40 artisans worked on the tea house for three years. It was then disassembled and gifted to Boulder in celebration of their city sisterhood.

7. There Are More Ph.D.s Per Capita Than Any Other City

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Amante Coffee via Facebook

It’s a major government research hub. NCAR, NIST, and a large office for NAOA call Boulder home. Next time you’re sitting in Amante Coffee and overhear some grey-haired guys with ponytails talking about global warming, they could very well be top scientists doing the leading research in their fields.

8. The Beer Will Blow Your Mind

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user dane brian

Breweries and craft beers abound. Avery Brewing has 21 different craft beers on tap, and when it’s in season don’t miss the Chocolate Mint Stout. Other microbreweries to try are Boulder Beer, Upslope Brewing, Twisted Pine and Mountain Sun/Southern Sun.

9. It’s Home To Mork And Mindy

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Wikimedia user Kvng

I really hope you get my reference to Robin William’s break out comedy show of the late ’70s. Many scenes for this fun science fiction comedy were shot all over town. You can still view the private residence from the street at 1619 Pine Street. It is located in the heart of the old town area, which is full of colorful historic Victorian homes flanked by stone sidewalks and beautiful flower gardens.

10. It’s Very Dog-Friendly

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Jeremy Miles

While the city’s not going to the dogs anytime soon, dog owners can take their furry companions everywhere from parks and trails, to outdoor cafes. You have five different off-leash dog parks to choose from. One of the best is the East Boulder Community Park on Sioux Drive. Your pet pal can go for a swim in the pond and there’s separate play areas for small dogs.

11. Life’s A Breeze In Boulder

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user krytofr

Boulder is nestled in a small valley tucked into the edge of the Rockies. Cool mountain breezes off the foothills keep the city from ever getting too hot in the summer, and winter weather doesn’t start until late; sometimes not until January.

12. Stay Out Of The Line Of Fire

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user eioua

While you may be tempted by their beauty, don’t move too close to the foothills, which are subject to wildfires from time to time. They may be gorgeous, but you can still see them through your window from a safe distance and keep your house out of the line of fire. Literally.

13. You’ve Gotta Have A Snow Blower From McGuckin’s

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Pete Brown

Snowfall averages more than 80 inches per season—that’s a lot of shovelfuls. Do yourself a favor and invest in a snow blower—you’ll thank me. You can get them at McGuckin Hardware. This is the most beloved hardware store in town and it’s every retired guy’s dream to work in this place.

14. Blazing The Trail For Future Industries

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Neeta Lind

Being that Colorado was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana, it’s no surprise that Boulder has about 28 dispensaries in its 25.68 square miles. With the state’s recent legalization of recreational pot and a push toward regulating, taxing, and distributing marijuana to adults, there’s even more potential for budding entrepreneurs.

15. Alternative Health And Healing Is Huge In Boulder

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user ~ggvic~

There are numerous holistic health centers, alternative healing practitioners, and spiritual healers in Boulder. As one friend who is a Shaman and Reiki Master says, “The market is saturated here.” Check out Alexander Love for holistic healing, natural medicine, acupuncture and more.

16. It’s Not Just Any College Town

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user jiannone

University of Colorado Boulder is a top-rated school and receives huge research grants. Eighteen astronauts, 11 Nobel Laureates, and eight MacArthur Fellows have been associated with CU-Boulder as students, researchers, and faculty members.

17. Education Is Key In This Community

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user velkr0

If you are a Boulder resident, you have lots of open classes and events available at CU-Boulder including science, music, concerts, guest lectures and more.

18. It’s A Very Tasty City

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Piece, Love and Chocolate

In Boulder taste buds rule. You’ll discover tasting events all over the downtown area: Taste of Boulder Downtown Dining Tours, Cocktail Tasting Tour, Beer Tasting Tour, Chocolate Baking Lab 101 at Piece, Love and Chocolate, Wine Wednesday at Beehive…the list goes on.

19. Vegans And Vegetarians Are Welcome

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

With so many restaurants focused on locally grown foods, there are numerous choices for vegans and vegetarians. Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant has raw, vegan and gluten-free options as well. Try the gnocchi, and the raw chocolate “cheesecake” is to die for.

20. There’s Something Going On Every Day Of The Week

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Paul L Dineen

Your social calendar will always be full. Just head over to downtownboulder.com and find out what’s happening from free concerts, to poetry readings, to art classes—you can find them all.

21. There Be Monsters Here

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Wikimedia user NASA/Mark Sowa

Big Head Todd and The Monsters got their start more than 20 years ago in Boulder. These CU alums and hometown heroes have produced billboard hits like “Sister Sweetly” and “Beautiful World.” They hold a special place in the hearts of Colorado fans, and they love coming back to play at home. And we like it too!

22. Estes Park Offers Year-Round Adventure For All Levels

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user akeg

Just 45 minutes away (and worth the drive), Estes Park is located in the town of Estes. This Rocky Mountains National Park has something for everyone. You can stroll along Lily Lake, do a car tour of wildlife, or walk the Knoll Path for amazing views of downtown Estes. In the winter try your foot at snowshoeing or for the really adventurous, ice climbing.

23. Turley’s Kitchen Is Where You Go To Eat Breakfast

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Wikimedia user Bev Sykes

It’s a perfect stop on your way to Estes Park and the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. The eggs benedict is amazing or try their veggie benedict. For something totally different order their smoked wild salmon hash. Don’t miss the chai—it’s super delicious.

24. 110 Miles Of Walking And Hiking Trails

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Lee Edwin Coursey

Boulder has over 35,000 acres of publicly accessible protected land with miles of walking, hiking and biking trails that meander through the diverse landscape. I told you it was an active place.

25. It’s The Best City In The World For Bicyclists

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Wikimedia user Tyree303

It’s easier to get around by bike than car and bike lanes are aplenty. Just about everyone in Boulder rides a bike, and if you don’t have a bike, that’s OK, you can pick one up from any Boulder B-cycle bike-sharing station.

26. You Can’t Live In Colorado Without Skiing

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Rob Lee

Boulder is an easy hour-and-a-half drive to top ski areas such as Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Arapahoe Basin. While my favorite is Breckenridge, you can stay local and visit Eldora Mountain at the top of Boulder Canyon if you don’t want to drive out of town.

27. Need A Beach?

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user Lee Edwin Coursey

Yep, you are giving up the coast for the mountains here, but if you crave the feeling of the sand between your toes, go for a swim at the Boulder Reservoir. It’s a great place for boating, swimming, sunbathing, water skiing, and fishing.

28. Recycling Is A Religion

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Flickr user emerson12

For every trash can in Boulder there are at least three recycle bins. Boulderites take their carbon footprint seriously. In fact, Boulder is on its way to becoming the “most green city worldwide” by 2020.

29. Small Town Feel With Big City Arts And Culture

29 Things You Need To Know Before You Move To Boulder

Source: Coloradoshakes.org

There’s the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, the annual Boulder Bach Festival, and each summer we have the Shakespeare Festival both indoors and outdoors under the summer night skies. Plus, there are tons of art galleries featuring hundreds of local artists.

Leah Kaiz

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