Boulder County, CO Area Guide

Welcome to the sweeping mountains, pioneer spirit, Western history and convivial civic culture of Boulder County, Colorado! Our county is abundant with natural beauty, vibrant in its cultural diversity and cosmopolitan outlook and community-oriented in its lifestyle. The City of Boulder is known as “The Happiest City in the United States”, and when you look at the wealth of beauty, culture and community of Boulder County, it’s easy to see why! Boulder County residents enjoy an unparalleled quality of life, with all the conveniences and amenities of a big city, while remaining firmly committed to preserving the unspoiled beauty of our nature, wildlife and ecology. In Boulder County, you’ll discover rich Western history, an unbounded sense of adventure, and a freethinking world-view. For professionals, academics and the urban minded, there are universities, high-tech companies, new housing developments, vibrant downtown lifestyles and a boundless amount of cultural arts, events and nightlife hotspots. For those who crave a more laid-back approach to life, small-town values or the privacy of nature, there are quiet mountain hamlets, nature preserves, municipal initiatives to encourage conservation and year-round outdoor activities that range from hiking, skiing, biking and horseback riding to sailing, swimming and exploring the wealth of open space parks of Boulder County. From history, nature, wildlife and sports to culture and the arts, there’s a marvelous assortment of things to see, do and learn in Boulder County’s unique communities. To learn more about the communities, attractions, events and nature of Boulder County living, please visit:

Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau

Boulder Magazine Locals Guide

Boulder-Front Range Guide

Denver Area Attractions

Visit Longmont

Colorado Tourism Bureau


The Boulder Valley was originally populated by the Southern Arapaho Native American tribe, with European-American pioneers coming to the area that would become Boulder County during the gold rush era, settling first at Red Rocks in 1858. Boulder City was part of the Nebraska Territory until 1861, when the Territory of Colorado was created by the U.S. Congress. The Town of Boulder was incorporated as a city in 1871, originally developed as a supply base for miners going into the mountains in search of gold and silver, with its primary economy being the equipment, agricultural products, housing, transportation, and service establishments serving the mining community. Recognizing the need for economic stability outside of the transient mining community, railroad service, hospitals, school buildings, and a secure town government were established to serve the permanent residents of Boulder during the 1870’s. During the 20th and into the 21st century, Boulder County has seen progress, expansion and growth through its diversified economy and progressive attitude towards nature, conservation, industry and social policy. To learn more about the history, cultural traditions, museums and national register of historic sights in Boulder County, please visit:

St Vrain Historical Society

Historic Boulder

Boulder County National Register of Historic Places

Boulder County Historic Sites

Boulder County Tours

Historic Downtown Longmont

Historic Highland Building and City Club

Longmont Museum & Cultural Center

Colorado Railroad Museum

Fort Vasquez State History Museum

Old Mill Park

Colorado Historical Society

The Callahan House

Hover Home

Agricultural Heritage Center

Old St. Stephen's Church

Doughtery Museum

Parks and Recreation

Colorado is a nature enthusiast’s dream, and Boulder County’s open-air beauty is perhaps the jewel of the Rockies. Envision 36,000 acres of pristine open space, conservation easements, recreational facilities and nature preserves to relax, play in, explore and enjoy, and you will have imagined Boulder County! Our county is located in the Boulder Valley, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, kneeling in the shadow of Flagstaff Mountain, just east of the continental divide. Boulder County residents are blessed by the majesty of nature on all sides: to the south is Eldorado Canyon, to the west, the iconic stone of the Flatirons. The Boulder Creek tributary of the South Platte River flows through the City of Boulder. All of these natural gems converge to create a county that is truly “four-seasons”—our outdoor activities rotate with the seasons, creating an endless amount of sports and recreation available year-round. Skiing, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, equestrian sports, swimming, sailing, kayaking and canoeing are just a few of the more popular regional activities. For those who crave the breathtaking, the daring and the unique, try wilderness excursions, geocaching, hot air balloon flights, glider tours or ziplining. Boulder Creek Path, Arapahoe Ridge Park, Boulder Reservoir, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center, White Rocks Nature Preserve and Cottonwood Hot Springs are among some of the most popular outdoor destinations. To learn more about Boulder County’s great outdoors and what it has to offer you, please visit:

Boulder County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces

Colorado State Parks

Cottonwood Hot Springs

White Rocks Nature Preserve

Longmont Greenways and Trails

St. Vrain Greenway Trail System

Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center

Boulder Reservoir/ Marfell Lake

Wonderland Lake, Trailhead & Foothills Nature Center

Discovery Trail and Poudre River National Recreation Trail

Boulder Creek Path

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South Platte Trail

Arapahoe Ridge Park

Saint Vrain State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park

Pawnee Pioneer Trails Scenic Byway

Sports and Activities

Boulder, Colorado Golf Ranges

Scott Carpenter Pool

Eldora Mountain Resort Skiing

Alps Boulder Canyon Inn Skiing

Boulder Outdoor Center

The Anchorage Outdoors

Zipline Tours

Mile High Gliding Tours

Colorado Geocache

Sunflower Farm

Mile-Hi Skydiving

Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights

Attractions and Activities

A cosmopolitan world-view makes the artistic and cultural side of Boulder County a lively place for “Boulderites” to enjoy the more urbane side of living. The downtown areas of our communities are hubs of activity, commerce, nightlife and culture. Family events, live music, cultural exhibits, art showings and scheduled performances add to Boulder County’s urban atmosphere, while public art and outdoor courtyards contribute to the small-town charm that make our region stand apart from all others. For music, performance and art, Colorado Light Opera, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA), Leanin' Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art, the Boulder Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras, Boulder Outdoor Cinema, Boulder Theater, Boulder Ballet and the Dairy Center for the Arts are local favorites. But make no mistake; shopping and dining are serious business in Boulder County, too! Our local restaurants are supplied by farmer’s markets and local agriculture, keeping our plates full of unique cuisine, organic produce and hand-crafted comfort foods. Boulder County shoppers have a bounty of choice, from the boutiques and businesses of our community downtowns, to the historic Pearl Street Mall, open-air Twenty Ninth Street shopping and restaurant community, and the Promenade Shops at Centerra.

Theatre, Culture and the Arts

Colorado Light Opera

Longmont Museum and Cultural Center

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA)

Leanin' Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art

Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Firehouse Art Center

Longmont Chorale

Boulder Symphony Orchestra

Boulder Outdoor Cinema

Jesters Dinner Theatre

Longmont Theatre Company

Boulder Theater

Longmont Symphony Orchestra

Boulder Ballet

Dairy Center for the Arts

Shopping, Dining, Leisure and Attractions

Downtown Boulder Shopping Guide

Locals Guide to Boulder County Shopping

Boulder Shop & Dine Local

Colorado Shopping

Boulder Restaurant Guide

Boulder Area Restaurant Guide

Colorado Dining Guide

Pearl Street Mall

Twenty Ninth Street

Downtown Longmont

Promenade Shops at Centerra


Festivals and special events in Boulder County offer the opportunity for neighbors to meet neighbors and come together as friends. In addition to the many fine lectures, performances and workshops scheduled year-round, there are a number of festivals and events available to our residents, including the Boulder International Film Festival, Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Chautauqua Silent Film Series, Bands on the Bricks, the Conference on World Affairs and the Boulder County Parade and Chuckwagon Breakfast. To learn more about the events, activities and festivals of Boulder County, please visit:

Boulder International Film Festival

Boulder International Fringe Festival

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

The International Film Series

Boulder County Parade and Chuckwagon Breakfast

Bands on the Bricks

Boulder Creek Festival

Colorado Chautauqua

Conference on World Affairs

Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show

Chautauqua Silent Film Series

Diane Stow
Diane Stow