Colorado, Destinations, North America

Growing Up In Boulder, CO

I met Elora the same way I met my husband: at high school summer camp here in Colorado! It’s hard to believe that was nearly 10 years ago.

Elora is one of the unique few who has lived in Boulder her entire life. Boulder is located 40 minutes northwest of Denver and is one of top places to visit in Colorado thanks to its proximity to the beautiful flatirons, numerous hiking trails and popular Pearl Street Mall.

I asked Elora to answer a few questions about Boulder. Here are the answers, according to a hip, 20-something female who loves where she lives.

What is your favorite Boulder restaurant?

The Village Coffee Shop. It’s a tiny diner with the best breakfast food ever in Boulder. For a fancier restaurant, The Gondolier. Authentic homemade Italian. Mmm mm mm.

Where is the best place to go shopping?

The Pearl Street Mall! You can find just about anything and there’s cool street performers. I think everyone is expecting me to say that my favorite street performer on Pearl Street is the Jamaican guy who shoves himself into a box. GUESS AGAIN. There’s this guy who plays a double bass like a madman and has the voice of Johnny Cash. I swear. It sounds boring but the dude stands on top of the thing and balances and sings all at the same time. I can’t even describe what it looks like but my jaw drops every time I see him in Boulder. Another guy plays the guitar and sings upside down.

Extra: See a list of additional Boulder street performers here.

Are there any fun, local bars?

So many! Press Play is an arcade bar. There’s also the Walrus, and The Pub on Pearl. They have a mounted buffalo on the wall that you kiss on your 21st birthday in exchange for a delightful shot glass.

What were some spots that only the locals knew about?

Snarf Burger, it’s a tiny burger joint somewhere in between a food truck and a restaurant.

How does your hometown differ from other towns?

Boulder is different in terms of mindset with just about everything. We recycle EVERYTHING, we have wildlife everywhere because we try not to interrupt the natural circle of life, we have more bike paths than roads, and I think we’re the only town that charges 10¢ for plastic bags at grocery stores.

What was the climate like?

Dry, always. Snow, rain, wind, and warm sunshine are commonly found in the same day.

What was your favorite season?

Autumn! The leaves change so beautifully and the air is crisp.

If you move, what do you miss the most about Boulder?

I’ll miss how everything is accessible. I’ll miss our bike paths and all of the animals who come around to visit, including 3 deer that pass through my neighborhood every autumn.

If you had to recommend one thing that everyone must do in your hometown, what would it be?

The Bolder Boulder. (The Bolder Boulder is an annual 10-kilometer run.) The whole town shuts down. Wanna drive across town to go to Target? Forget about it. It’s not gonna happen. Every major road is closed off and there’s loud music everywhere. It’s a huge party. It’s a lot of fun but plan on biking that day if you need to get anywhere! And everyone wears their matching Bolder Boulder shirts for the whole summer, so for a few months we all match on any given day.

What would you say is Boulder’s reputation?

Lots of hippies, dispensaries, and the amount of granola jokes I’ve heard is insurmountable. My personal favorite though is apparently we’re the happiest city in the United States according to National Geographic.

How does the college effect the rest of the town?

Having the students has its pros and cons. Pros are they brought us Hungrybuffs (a food delivery service that delivers food from just about every restaurant in town), and places stay open later to accommodate students. Cons are, terrible terrible traffic during school season, and loud parties.

What hiking trails would you recommend to someone spending one day in Boulder?

My favorite is the Royal Arch. It’s challenging but not too challenging and the views are the most gorgeous. Hiking it in late spring you’ll see WILDFLOWERS GALORE and lots of peaks, valleys, and streams.

What are some of Boulders “tourist traps” or places that only tourists go but locals would never step foot?

I don’t know a single local that goes to the Pearl Street mall on their own time. It’s a fun place to go with people from out of town but I never go by myself unless I need to run an errand. And don’t get me started on the parking….

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Boulder is a beautiful mountain town with a population of approximately 108,000, which is much lower than Denver at 682,000 and Colorado Springs at 465,000. The city has a predominately white population (88 percent) followed by Hispanic or Latino (8 percent), Asian (4 percent) and less than 1 percent African American. The citizens are young, compared the the rest of Colorado, with a median age of 28 (the median age in Colorado is 36).

If you have a visit to Colorado planned, be sure to stop in Boulder for at least one day, at a minimum. The town is beautiful, and has a great “small-town feel” compared to other cities in Colorado.

Do you have specific questions about Boulder? Comment below and I’ll ask Elora! For a detailed post on Boulder, see How To Spend One Day In Boulder, Colorado.

Thanks for reading,


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0 thoughts on “Growing Up In Boulder, CO

  1. I’ve visited Boulder a few times and always loved it. Especially the Gondolier. Are they still there? Someone had told me that they closed and I was super bummed. Hoping it was just one of those wild rumors….??

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