Boulder: A mountain of fun all year
By Debra L. Karplus
Whatever the season, there is much to do in Boulder, Colo. Set in the Rocky Mountains, it is a mecca for just about any outdoor recreation, 12 months a year.
From Champaign, there are several affordable ways to get to Boulder.
American Airlines (aa.com) has several daily flights out of Willard Airport via Chicago or Dallas to Denver International Airport. From the airport, you can ride the RTD bus, AB route, which runs almost every hour directly into Boulder for about $7. Be sure to have exact fare for the driver.
For those who have the time for a more leisurely excursion, Amtrak (amtrak.com) can get you there. Or enjoy the scenery of a westward trip by car. Drive north toward Chicago, then go west on Interstate 80 and get to Boulder from the north. Or drive south to Effingham, then west on Interstate 70. An even more scenic drive can be enjoyed by heading south to Tuscola, then west on U.S. 36 all the way into Boulder.
Be sure to check the weather forecast in Boulder before you pack for your trip. In May, you could be strolling through its Saturday morning farmers' market (open from April through November) in 70-degree weather wearing lightweight summer clothes, and wake up the next morning to a foot of snow.
A college town, home to the University of Colorado, Boulder is an easy place to visit without a car. The bus system can get you virtually anywhere. Check out rtd-denver.com for routes and bus riding information.
It is also a place where walking, hiking and bicycling are very popular among both the locals and visitors. Rent a bike for a day and enjoy Boulder. Or visit at the end of May and participate in the Bolder Boulder 10K. Get details at bolderboulder.com.
Sauntering along Pearl Street is a must while visiting Boulder. There are numerous interesting shops and places to eat. Check out boulderdowntown.com for more information about Pearl Street and other attractions in the downtown area.
Bon Appetit magazine (bonappetit.com) has named Boulder "America's Foodiest Town," and for good reason. Whether you are downtown, on campus or anywhere in Boulder, you can find many dining options. Whatever your culinary preference and price range, Boulder's got it. If you are on any sort of special diet, such as vegan, you can eat well in Boulder. Shine Restaurant (shineboulder.com) has been mentioned as the eatery with the best gluten-free menu. The Kitchen (thekitchen.com) includes several dining establishments in and around Boulder, known for great food, drink and ambiance.
You'll want to spend most of your time out and about when visiting Boulder, but you still need a place to sleep. The Best Western Boulder Plus, located across from the UC campus, has comfort and amenities for about $160.
You can look online and find even cheaper accommodations.
A trip to Boulder Colorado is a must for people who enjoy some of America's most breathtaking scenery, outdoor recreation and interesting restaurants.
Debra L. Karplus of Champaign is an occupational therapist and freelance writer.