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Boulder and North Central Colorado Travel Guide

Plan Your Boulder and North Central Colorado Vacation

With spectacular scenery and an equally appealing climate, north central Colorado contains a string of sophisticated yet laid-back cities and the endless opportunities for outdoor adventure in Colorado’s Front Range. Restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, celebrated universities, eclectic shopping, high-tech industries, ranching, Colorado’s best-known breweries, bustling nightlife, and

concerts are mere minutes from the wilderness, with hiking, rock climbing, bicycling, skiing, and kayaking.

North central Colorado encompasses three counties—Boulder, Grand, and Larimer—each with its own unique appeal. Despite their differences, these areas share a few common traits: natural beauty, rich history, and an eclectic cultural scene.

This part of Colorado also encompasses the Front Range, the easternmost edge of the Rocky Mountains—where the Rockies meet the Great Plains. The Front Range is Colorado’s most populous area, and it’s just west of what’s known as the I–25 Corridor, a strip that includes the cities of Fort Collins, Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo, which line up almost perfectly along the north–south interstate. The Range is known for its blend of historic cities and towns, verdant landscapes, and wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities.

North central Colorado became part of the United States in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase—hence towns with names like La Porte, Platteville, and La Salle, as well as the river named Cache la Poudre. Coal and silver mines attracted settlers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the region grew mostly on agriculture and ranching. Out-of-state leisure travelers first came in the early 20th century to benefit from both the dry air and the curative waters of spas like Eldorado Springs and Hot Sulphur Springs. Reminders of a grand style of touring survive in resort towns such as Estes Park and Grand Lake, the gateways to Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. The arts Theater buffs have enjoyed the Colorado Shakespeare Festival every summer since 1958, and the Grammy Award–winning Takács Quartet is beloved for its stunning performances.
  2. Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse This traditional Central Asian teahouse was carved and painted by master artisans and given to Boulder by the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
  3. Chautauqua Park You can still attend a lecture, a silent film, or a classical concert here much like visitors did 100 years ago. Enjoy a picnic on the green or eat in the hall before the event.
  4. Hiking near Boulder and in the Indian Peaks Wilderness On weekends year-round you’ll find the trails packed. The views are spectacular, especially when the wildflowers bloom in midsummer.
  5. The local breweries It’s basically the Napa Valley of beer here, and you could fill a whole vacation with the myriad ales, stouts, and lagers on offer. In late June the state’s small brewers congregate in Fort Collins for the Colorado Brewers’ Festival.

When To Go

When to Go

Visiting the Front Range is pleasurable in any season. Wintertime in the urban corridor is generally mild, but the mountainous regions can be...

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