Boulder Must Do's (tours?)

Aug 13th, 2019, 06:35 AM
  #1  
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Boulder Must Do's (tours?)

Hello! I'm heading to Boulder the 2nd weekend in September with my husband. Fly into Denver Friday afternoon and fly back to Chicago the following Wednesday afternoon. The only thing we have scheduled is a show at Red Rocks on Tuesday. We're looking to do some hiking and a day at RMNP (is a weekday better than a weekend)? Is it worth taking any guided hikes? We are hikers so can handle moderate trails on our own. We love to go on tours in new cities to learn the history. Any other tours that you recommend in Boulder? Also, any great live music venues that we shouldn't miss? We are in our late 40's. We're staying in Boulder just off of Pearle Street. I want to get the most out of our short time there and really love to be outdoors. What weather can we expect? Thank you for your help!

Last edited by traveljen730; Aug 13th, 2019 at 06:39 AM.
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Aug 13th, 2019, 08:32 AM
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Guided hikes: No, unless there is a interesting looking ranger led hike that fits your schedule.
Weekday better than weekend: Yes, but only marginally these days.
Weather: I'll not stick my neck out on that one.
Boulder tour: Does the NOAA or NCAR tour look good to you?
https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/outreach/tours.html
https://scied.ucar.edu/visit/ncar-public-tours
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Aug 13th, 2019, 09:12 AM
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The NCAR tour, followed by one of the hikes behind the building . Celestial Seasonings in nearby Gunbarrel is fun (great gift shop). September is a busy time in the park: go early, on a weekday. Evening after dinner wandering the closed blocks of Pearl Street (for galleries, art installations and people watching, if not shopping) is always enjoyable. You could also ride bikes on the Boulder Creek path.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 03:30 AM
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Does Chataqua have tours? Maybe at least eat in their dining room. We really enjoyed the Celestial Seasonings tour also.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 04:25 AM
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you could go upto dillion lake go fishing and just walk around or u could go down to denver and go to six flags or just walk around the city like down 16th street mall...
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Aug 14th, 2019, 05:38 AM
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Of course, Denver has a LOT to offer. Art museum (has an outstanding Native American exhibit which might be different from your chicago possibilities), botanical gardens,
You might like to go to The Fort in Morrison for an outstanding view (near Red Rocks) and a meal of wild game.

If I have your dates correct you may be dealing with Colorado football home games which will make a VERY crowded Saturday so you may want to plan accordingly especially for dining Frday and Saturday evenings.

Last edited by Gretchen; Aug 14th, 2019 at 05:43 AM.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexiaW67607373 View Post
you could go upto dillion lake go fishing and just walk around or u could go down to denver and go to six flags or just walk around the city like down 16th street mall...
Denver has a lot to do, but be warned that the 16th street mall has been sketchy of late, including lots of homeless (shouters and shamblers more than panhandlers). If you go, parking is fairly easy and less expensive at the Pavilions. The evening lights there are pretty, even in the summer, and there are many good places to dine.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 10:32 AM
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Definitely check out Chautauqua Park. Gorgeous hiking and awesome dining room, with patio seating for sunsets. Their theater hosts live music events, also.

The CU campus is very pretty, with its flagstone buildings. Kiosks on campus will tell you what live music is in town.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for the information. The tours that I'm interested are more about Boulder. Although, if I was traveling with my son, the tours that you suggested would have been spot on.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 12:23 PM
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...... Denver has a lot to do, but be warned that the 16th street mall has been sketchy of late, ...... O come on, that is ridiculous. When where you there last? We were down last Saturday evening, again Tues early PM, We are frequently in the area between Union Station and the Library mostly using the light rail and haven't seen any substantial changes except for all the damn construction. Now that is a mess. Sketchy would be very low on a list of terms for 16th Street Mall. We have our share of homeless but not a big problem at least to us. A month ago we were in Louisville, KY, over the weekend. Our perception was the homeless was far worse there than in Denver. If you are from Chicago you will think nothing of the Denver's homeless problem. Away from the 16th Street Mall the electric scooters have become a problem.

You will be hitting the Air Force in Boulder on the 14th. So unless you are a big fan of college football, crowds, etc., it might be well to avoid Boulder that week. It will be packed especially if the weather is good. At least you are not coming the previous weekend -- then it is Nebraska and the western third of the state of Nebraska comes to Boulder.

Last edited by fmpden; Aug 14th, 2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 12:47 PM
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PS -- Forget the weather question -- Should be typical fall weather. Warm days, cool nights. Good time to be in the mountains. We have had snow in early Sep but that is a rarity. Should be dry. If going hiking that could be a little cooler depend on how high you do. By the second week of Sep, especially on the weekends, traffic can be pretty heavy in the mountains because of the fall colors. Aspen should be nearing or just past their peak and that draws a lot of folks into the mountains. The Elk runt in Estes Park could be peaking and that just clogs up the road when people suddenly stop to watch the elk. Trail ridge road out of Estes is particular bad for slow traffic at that time.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 12:53 PM
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[QUOTE=fmpden;16970349]...... Denver has a lot to do, but be warned that the 16th street mall has been sketchy of late, ...... O come on, that is ridiculous. When where you there last? We were down last Saturday evening, again Tues early PM, We are frequently in the area between Union Station and the Library mostly using the light rail and haven't seen any substantial changes except for all the damn construction. Now that is a mess. Sketchy would be very low on a list of terms for 16th Street Mall. We have our share of homeless but not a big problem at least to us. A month ago we were in Louisville, KY, over the weekend. Our perception was the homeless was far worse there than in Denver. If you are from Chicago you will think nothing of the Denver's homeless problem..../QUOTE]
I was there (on the 16th Street Mall) this Sunday afternoon and after the theater let out, at about 10:30 p.m. My daughter and I were particularly struck by the increase in street people (we both have been frequent visitors for years, and she works in a building on 16th. Way back when my corner office overlooked the mall, I never saw a single street person there. So I am not being "ridiculous"; I know what I'm talking about.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 01:18 PM
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Back to Boulder: you might enjoy walking the trail through the rock formations of Settlers Park, at the entrance to Boulder Canyon; there are many trails in the city Mountain Park system (6 Mile Fold north of town is usually deserted; last month we saw a cougar!). The history museum is near the Pearl Street Mall (in new digs), and the CU planetarium often has evening shows. The Victorian era Bolderado hotel is nice for dining or cocktails, and the mezzanine and staircase woodwork, stained glass ceiling and marble water fountain (Arapaho Glacier water, supposedly) and the famous-name guestbook in the lobby are fun viewing.


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Aug 14th, 2019, 04:54 PM
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[QUOTE=sylvia3 My daughter and I were particularly struck by the increase in street people (we both have been frequent visitors for years, and she works in a building on 16th. Way back when my corner office overlooked the mall, I never saw a single street person there. So I am not being "ridiculous"; I know what I'm talking about.[/QUOTE]

Sylvia is correct. If I go to an evening baseball game, I catch the train home from Union Station rather than the 16th and Stout Station because it feels totally sketchy. I was downtown for today's game. The 16th Street Mall was dirty, gross and needed a good power washing. Closer to Coors Field we had to walk around a young couple passed out on the sidewalk and then were treated to 2nd hand marijuana smoke from a young woman openly smoking and walking in front of us. I've been to Chicago twice in the past year and it is always clean. I notice panhandlers here and there but not drugged out young people who loiter and harass for money and weed. I'm not discouraging anyone from going downtown but Sylvia's advice is the same that I gave my SD a week ago.
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Aug 15th, 2019, 02:32 PM
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Regardless if one thinks the 16th Street Mall is sketchy or not( I do ) there is absolutely nothing there of interest. Other areas downtown that would be of interest is Rino, Lodo and Union Station., but plenty to do in and around Boulder. No real need to include Denver. On game day do seek some activity outside Boulder.
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Aug 15th, 2019, 05:40 PM
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Nearby Lyons (20 minutes north) also has several open space trails, a good Mexican restaurant, etc., if that's not a RMNP day. You cou.d a.so do a day trip to Blackhawk-Central City for some gambling and sightseeing (Nevada city ghost town, cemeteries, scene ery)
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Aug 15th, 2019, 06:10 PM
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Sylvia, what’s the good Mexican place in Lyons?

When I’m there we always stop at Oskar Blues where they have excellent street tacos for two bucks on happy hour. And I recently discovered Death By Coconut!
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Aug 16th, 2019, 06:35 AM
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Mojo Taqueria, it's on the main drag, on 36 (the former Andreas spot). Nice open front and side patio dining areas, and I recommend the blood orange margaritas. Alas, they charge for chips and salsa.
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Aug 16th, 2019, 07:47 AM
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Thanks sylvia, I'll check it out. I was at Oskar Blues on Monday after an RMNP hike and see that Lyons has gone through some restaurant changes in recent years.
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