One of my favorite things about living in Boulder is how easy it is to get here — especially from the Denver Airport (DIA)! If you’re flying in from out of town and you’re not planning to venture outside of Boulder, I would highly recommend taking the airport bus (called the RTD AB1). It’s $10.50 to get from DIA to Boulder, and you can easily buy your ticket at the airport bus station. You can find the RTD schedule by clicking here. If you need any help figuring out the bus, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Once you’re in town, you can use Uber or Lyft to get to wherever you need to go. You can also rent a bike at University Bicycles for $25/day. All of Boulder is connected by bike paths, so using a bicycle as transportation is a valid option! If you plan on staying downtown, you can absolutely travel by foot.
If you plan on exploring areas outside of Boulder (e.g. Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver), your best bet is to rent a car! There are several car rental companies that operate out of DIA.
General Things to Do in Boulder
- Check out the Boulder County Farmers Market – The Boulder County Farmers Market runs from 8 AM – 2 PM on Saturdays (April – November). It’s not just a destination to buy farm-fresh groceries and delicious prepared food! There’s live music and plenty of wares to chose from. The farmers market is one block from The Riverside, which is where the calligraphy workshops are located.
- Hang out Downtown – Pearl Street (a.k.a. Boulder’s Downtown) is two blocks north of The Riverside. You’ll find everything from street performers to gourmet popsicles to paperies there!
- Go to the Museum of Natural History on the CU Campus – The Museum of Natural History is small, but has a lot of cool exhibits and free admission! Walk around the CU campus while you’re there; it’s gorgeous. CU is within walking distance from Downtown Boulder, where The Riverside is located.
- Go to the Museum of Boulder – The Museum of Boulder is a fun, interactive place to learn about Boulder’s history. There’s a neat focus on the contrast between out Wild West History and techie present!
- Hop on Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour – Banjo Billy’s is a bus that looks like a hillbilly shack, and it takes you around town while spouting fascinating facts. The tour meets downtown (two block from The Riverside); make sure you buy tickets in advance.
- Have a cup of tea in the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House – The Dushanbe Tea House is a gorgeous site to behold! The building is a work of art, with every piece imported from Tajikistan. It is located in the heart of the farmers market, one block from The Riverside.
- Hike Chautauqua – If the weather is nice, you can hike Chautauqua (say: Sha-tah-kwa). The Chautauqua trail goes all the way up to the Royal Arch, where you can observe the entire city of Boulder and get a good look at Denver, too!
- Hike to NCAR – The National Center for Atmospheric Research is located in South Boulder, where the hiking trails are much less saturated with tourists! Go to the east end of Table Mesa Drive, and hop on the trail on the right. Keep going up to explore the mountain at a nice, slow pace!
Activities to Delight Your Artistic Side
- Check out Two Hands Paperie – Two Hands has an amazing selection of artisanal paper, notebooks, supplies, and fountain pens. It’s located downtown (~2 blocks from The Riverside), and is right next to an amazing chocolate shop!
- Pop into Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery – Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery is an artist co-op — all items are for sale, and many are affordable (I love to buy cards there). More than anything, I go for the inspiration! I always leave with new ideas.
- Go to Guiry’s – You can find a formidable selection of art and calligraphy supplies in the back part of Guiry’s, which is on the (far) east side of Pearl Street. (If you’re in this area, pop into River & Woods for lunch or dinner!)
- Make time for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art – BMoCA is small, but always has interesting exhibits! It is located right next to the Dushanbe Tea House (downtown), and has an admissions cost of $1.00.
- Take the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory Tour – I’ve been on this tour five or six times; I love it! My favorite part is getting to see the original framed artwork from the Celestial Seasonings tea boxes in the waiting area. You also get plenty of free tea, and you’ll get to know “The Mint Room”. Celestial Seasonings is a couple of miles outside of Boulder, but worth the drive or Uber ride!
A Handful of Places to Eat in this Delightful Foodie Town
- Black Cat Bistro ($$$) – If you want to treat yourself to a fancy and delicious dinner, Black Cat Bistro is amazing. If you go, you must get the chef’s tasting menu! They’ll surprise you with all sorts of fresh, unbelievable dishes. (Downtown)
- Amu ($$$) – Amu offers Japanese food — not sushi, which makes it unique. Ask for “Omakase”, which means the chef will decide your courses based on your preferences. (Downtown)
- Cured ($$) – Cured is a wonderful little café with a distinctly European feel. We love the sandwiches, which are made using fresh crusty baguettes. Don’t skip treats at Boxcar Coffee, located inside Cured, for dessert — or a lavender shortbread cookie, available by the Cured cash register! (Downtown)
- Rosetta Food Hall ($$) – Rosetta Food Hall features a variety of different restaurants that all happen to be in the same place! Enjoy everything from West African cuisine to French pastries. (Downtown)
- River and Woods ($$) – River and Woods is located in a redesigned cottage on the far east side of Pearl St. It offers incredible “Colorado comfort” cuisine that’s beautiful and impressive, with plenty of soul and a strong community feel. I love the apple pie with cheese in the crust!
- Basta ($$) – Basta serves Italian-inspired food that is artisanal and delicious! Ask your server about recommendations; you can’t go wrong. I love starting with a shrub, which is a vinegar-based, non-alcoholic fruit drink.
- Tasuki ($$) – Tasuki offers the best sushi in Boulder, in my opinion! Sit at the sushi bar and enjoy watching the chefs at work. The Rainbow Roll is especially good.
- Snooze ($$) – You’ll love Sunday breakfast at the super-creative, delicious Snooze, but make sure you arrive early (preferably before 8:00 AM). It fills up very quickly! Ask what the pancake of the day is, and consider getting a pancake flight! (Downtown)
- Lucile’s ($$) – Lucile’s, located in a cute old home, offers Creole cuisine and specializes in breakfast and brunch. The biscuit with homemade jam cannot be missed! (Downtown)
- The Rayback Collective ($$) – The Rayback Collective centers around a renovated warehouse that serves as a brewery. There are always various food trucks available for your eating pleasure, and a relaxed, casual atmosphere!
- Roxy’s Tacos – ($) A small, funky eating establishment, Roxy’s Tacos combines Indian and Mexican cuisine that results in culinary delight!
Other Things You Can’t Miss
- Watch street performers on Pearl Street (Downtown)
- Sip tea at Ku Cha House of Tea on Pearl Street
- Run, walk, or bike the extensive trails that run through Boulder
- Stroll through “The Hill” (the student area, walking distance from downtown)
- Enjoy a quick cup of coffee or a pastry at Spruce Confections (Downtown)
Where to Stay (within Easy Walking Distance)
- For a splurge, the St. Julien is Boulder’s premiere luxury hotel.
- The Hotel Boulderado is vintage and cool, still pricey but more reasonable than the St. Julien.
- The Boulder University Inn is a good no-frills, basic hotel (around $130/night).
- The Bradley Boulder Inn is a boutique hotel that’s in the same price range as the Hotel Boulderado (around $225/night).
- Renting an Airbnb could be a cost-effective, amazing choice. It’s all we’ve used since 2014 … staying at an Airbnb almost always feels like staying at a home away from home! If you would prefer to rent an entire home or apartment (which is what I always do), make sure you choose the “Entire Home” option in the top options bar after your initial search. Try to make sure you stay close to the northeast juncture of Broadway and Arapahoe; that’s where the workshop will be taking place!