My fiance and I just got back from our big trip out west. We’re from Florida and we’ve vacationed up and down the east coast, but the farthest west we’ve ever been is Wisconsin and Houston, Texas. This trip was a big deal for us.
The Trip was originally for our friend’s wedding but it turned into a week-long vacation visiting friends in Boulder and then heading to Copper Mountain for the wedding.
After a little bit of a rough start – which involved some confusion as to when we were being picked up and a very late night at the airport – the first two days in Boulder were awesome.
Imagine – a girl born and raised in Florida, the state where the only hills are landfills – suddenly in a city starting at a 5k elevation! And I’ve seen mountains before. I’ve been to the Application Mountains on many family trips, but they’ve got nothing on the Rocky’s.
What I could not get over was how the foothills in Boulder just loomed over the city and you can see them from everywhere. Go to breakfast – view of the foothills. At my friend’s apartment – view of the foothills.
I feel like all we did was eat in Boulder. The first thing we did was go to breakfast at a place called the Eggs and I. I had an apple cinnamon pancake with apple baked right into the pancake. It was just the beginning of amazing food in Boulder.
We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon hiking. The entrance to the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) trailhead is literally on the same street as Jorge’s apartment complex. Less than 10 minutes and he can get to the foothills and just hike whenever he wants.
Part of the NCAR trailhead is the Mesa Trail and the Mallory Cave Trail which is exactly where we hiked. One of the coolest parts of this trail, aside from the views, was all the cool plant life. Jorge would stop (partially because I needed it) to point out the different plants. The whole time I kept thinking how much my mom would have loved it.
Later on, after enjoying some of the local festivities (if you know what I mean) we decided to eat again at the Boulder Beer Company. I got some of the world’s best tater tots. Sorry, I was too hungry to take a picture.
That evening we ventured up to Flagstaff. It’s not exactly a mountain, more like a location on the mountain. It’s at about 7k elevation and you can literally see the entire city of Boulder. You even see Denver in the background.
The next day we asked Jorge to show us the water in Boulder. It was the only thing missing from an otherwise perfect city. So he took us to the Boulder Reservoir. It was probably the only unimpressive thing about Boulder. But people were loving that brown gravelly sand. (The mountains in the background were still the best part.)
The rest of the day was spent eating, shopping, and exploring. We went to a restaurant called Snooze, an AM Eatery. Completely worth the 45-minute wait. Dinner was a barbecue place called the West End Tavern. For barbecue, it had the best veggie burger I’ve ever had (with goat cheese and arugula!)
Boulder is probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. It’s definitely somewhere I could really see myself living. It’s more of a liberal city where it really seems like the government and the people care about the city. I don’t think I saw a single piece of litter the entire time we were there. There are even laws that forbid building higher than 3 stories to maintain the integrity of the view. There are also laws about where you can and cannot build so that the city doesn’t become overrun with development. It’s just such an ideal place to live, for me at least.
I forgot to mention the absolute best part: DOGS (and wild bunnies) EVERYWHERE. I think it’s a Colorado thing actually, but I love it.
Check back next week for part 2 of the trip and see what we did in Copper Mountain for the wedding shenanigans!
Have you ever been to Boulder? Do you live in Boulder? (Can we be roommates? I have a fiance and a dog.) Let me know in the comments below!
Read Next: A Week in Colorado – Part 2: Copper Mountain
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Christina is a twenty-something living with her beagle, Mash, and husband, Nate in their van. She loves traveling, shopping, art, and photography. She’s also a vegetarian, pop-culture enthusiast, book-lover, and Dave Matthews Band fanatic. Catch her somewhere around the country in a converted camper van or at home in Florida for a visit.