Yesterday morning I was let loose in downtown Boulder. It was my first time exploring the city because when I was in the area in 2011, my family and I spent more time in the wonderful natural surroundings.
Locating a Discovery Map of the city, I sat down and explored my options. I was dropped off near Pearl Street, which is the heart of Boulder. There were some other landmarks a little further away that intrigued me, but I had lunch plans with a friend and didn’t want to go too far. To the Pearl Street mall I went.
Downtown Boulder is filled with little shops of eclectic and eccentric tastes, and most everything is rather pricey. There were shops for paper, shops for kites, shops for fabric, shops for fossils (yes, you read that right), shops outdoor and athletic clothing, shops for just about anything you could imagine.
At first I couldn’t get in to any of these shops because it was too early in the day – most of these places didn’t open until 11am or noon. Talk about great work hours. But once they did open, it was a treat to explore and photograph their displays and products. Reminded me a lot of historic, downtown Ellicott City in Maryland before the floods that happened recently.
As I walked down Pearl Street, I realized I was getting closer and closer to the mountains. I love nature and felt like it was calling my name. Sadly, I didn’t make it all the way to the foot of the mountain because I went further than my free map displayed and my phone was dying, so I didn’t want to rely on it.
Instead, I found an entrance to the Boulder Creek trail and noticed a bike share rack. Now, anyone who knows me, knows I never properly learned to ride a bike, but for whatever reason I felt compelled to give it a try. I mean, how will I get better without practice, right? The longest I managed to stay on at one point was probably. . . 15 seconds.
Even though I’m not that great at riding, I have to say that the bike share is an awesome idea and that Boulder is a great city to ride in. If you ever come by and don’t have your own bike, be sure to take advantage.
After my little bike adventure, it was time to meet my friend for lunch. There is a wide variety of options in Boulder but some of the most popular are the true farm-to-table restaurants. Thankfully, Boulder is a very health conscious city, so there are many vegan/vegetarian options available.
We decided on a place called Leaf at the corner of 16th and Pearl. Amazing food, gorgeous decorations, and very friendly staff. I highly suggest this place, regardless of whether you are vegetarian or not.
For dessert, my friend and I walked up to a gelato place in the Pearl Street Mall. On their door they claimed their mission was to make the best gelato we had ever tasted. Having been to Italy twice, I knew I had to take the challenge.
Let me tell you, that was the best gelato I’ve had in the states. Completely authentic. I felt like I was back in Italy for a moment. If you enjoy gelato, this is the place for you.
There was so much more to explore, but they will have to wait until next time. But if you ever make it to Colorado, be sure to make Boulder a part of your visit. With it’s outdoor activity options and it’s adorable downtown, you’ll be delighted with Boulder.