The 10 Best Free Things to do in Boulder, Colorado (CO)

January 24, 2022 Christa Meece

Fondly described as “the city nestled between the mountains and reality,” Boulder delivers an urban twist on the outdoor fun you’d expect from a town surrounded by wilderness. In a single day, you can hike miles and miles of trails or bike alongside Boulder Creek – then head back into town for some well-deserved shopping on Pearl Street. And with many of Colorado’s top restaurants right within reach, be sure to treat yourself to at least one great meal.
Restaurants in Boulder

1. Flatirons

Boulder Mountain Park, Boulder, CO 80302
Excellent
81%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 1,107 reviews

Flatirons

Reviewed By kelshutch - Baltimore, United States

Beautiful area, great for walking. It's a big far/steep for toddler legs, so be prepared to carry little ones. But even if you don't get very far before turning around, the trip to see the park is worthwhile. Great couple of hours of sunshine, fresh air, and hiking for our family.

2. Valmont Bike Park

Intersection of Valmont and Airport Roads, Boulder, CO http://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/valmont-bike-park
Excellent
83%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 59 reviews

Valmont Bike Park

3. Vapor Distillery

5311 Western Ave Suite 180, Boulder, CO 80301-2746 +1 303-997-6134 [email protected] http://www.vapordistillery.com
Excellent
86%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 29 reviews

Vapor Distillery

Tours and craft cocktails! Roundhouse Spirits is a micro-distillery making spirits of uncommon character. In addition to our distilling and bottling operations for which we offer tours and tastes, the location features an eye-catching speakeasy bar. Come visit for tours and/or craft-cocktails!

4. Colorado Chautauqua: Park

900 Baseline Rd, Boulder, CO 80302-7547 +1 303-442-3282 [email protected] http://www.chautauqua.com/
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,315 reviews

Colorado Chautauqua: Park

Originally established in 1898 to bring culture to rural areas, this beautiful park hosts cultural events, features rock climbing sites, lovely gardens and picnic areas and is the starting point for many hiking trails.Year-round lodging, dining and events available.

Reviewed By 100janicem - Palm Harbor, United States

We stayed at one of the cottages and thoroughly enjoyed the accomodations and the proximity to great hiking for many levels and time constraints. The food at the dining hall is terrific also. The cottages are quaint and remind you of a slower pace. We enjoyed quiet evenings on the porch as well as all of the ammenities needed for a first class stay.

5. Switzerland Trail

Boulder, CO
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 17 reviews

Switzerland Trail

A popular and easy mountain bike trail following the route of an old narrow-gauge railway line.

Reviewed By hopb2020 - Boulder, United States

Once a narrow gauge railroad, this liner park offers fantastic views of the Continental Divide from the back side of the Foothills to the west of Boulder. Take in the rustic history of the transportation system during the precious metals heyday of the past turn of the century and explore the mining history of Boulder's past.

6. Flagstaff Mountain

Boulder, CO +1 303-441-3440 http://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/flagstaff-trailhead
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 290 reviews

Flagstaff Mountain

Located close to downtown Boulder, this mountain offers climbing and hiking trails with sweeping views of the city.

Reviewed By AutumnLP - East Peoria, United States

My hubs insisted we drive up this mountain. All along stops and views forever. Watch out for bicycles. People were also walking crossing the road.

7. Mary Williams Fine Arts

5311 Western Ave, Boulder, CO 80301-2746 +1 303-938-1588 [email protected] https://www.marywilliamsfinearts.com/
Excellent
91%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
9%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Mary Williams Fine Arts

8. Pearl Street Mall

Pearl St from 11th to 15th Sts, Boulder, CO 80302 +1 303-449-3774 [email protected] http://www.boulderdowntown.com/visit/history-of-pearl-street
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2,741 reviews

Pearl Street Mall

Situated in the heart of an energetic city is beautiful, historic Downtown Boulder. At the heart of Downtown Boulder is the Pearl Street Mall, a wonderfully charismatic four-block-long pedestrian mall that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007. Colorful, bright flowers fill the mall almost the entire year and street performers, with a multitude of talents, make the Pearl Street Mall one of the best people-watching destinations anywhere.

Reviewed By malleree - Longmont, United States

Wonderful restaurants, great shopping for many unusual things, entertainment on the mall with various types of artists, beautiful place to walk, especially when the planters along the mall are in bloom. A fun day for all ages!

9. Boulder Creek Path

parallels Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302 +1 303-441-3200 [email protected] http://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/boulder-creek-path
Excellent
66%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 553 reviews

Boulder Creek Path

This paved 7.5-mile path for walkers, bikers and skaters leads from Boulder proper into the mountains, winding its way along Boulder Creek, a large park and a playground.

Reviewed By MsCanuck24

Driving near by won't do any justice to the experience you'll be missing. A beautiful stroll takes less than 40 minutes. Start at the east end, near the CU campus, wind through downtown, and end up at the park on the west end (which is perfect for dipping your toes in the water, sun bathing or having a picnic. Continue further, where the picturesque bridges and wild flora give way to increasingly steep rock croppings and Boulder Falls.

10. Mesa Trail

Boulder, CO +1 303-441-3440 http://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/south-mesa-trailhead
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 107 reviews

Mesa Trail

Extending six miles with a 440-foot gain in elevation, this trail from Boulder to Eldorado Springs is for ambitious hikers only.

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