I had heard many things about Boulder, Colorado…it’s a hippie haven, a Birkenstock town, it’s Santa Monica in Colorado, and a refuge for ski bums. I was anxious to see the city for myself, so celebrating my friend’s birthday was the perfect excuse for a three night trip. My friend prepared a list for me of her favorite restaurants, shops, and activities so I hit the town running. My first stop was Oak At Fourteenth for a late afternoon bite. My husband and I shared their famous fried pickles and the doughnut of the day, a mocha glazed hazelnut one complete with matching doughnut hole. He had the shawarma sandwich with potato tots, and I had the kale salad. Sitting outside and eating these delicious delicacies was a perfect start to our trip.
From the restaurant, we walked along the Pearl Street pedestrian mall and shopped at some of the local shops. Cannabis shops were interspersed between yoga boutiques, hand knit wool goods, and charming book stores. I purchased a gorgeous hand made bracelet at Todd Reed Jewelry. We walked into “hat happy hour” at Goorin Bros. Hat Shop and got to hear live music while we shopped for hats at 15% off. Dinner that evening was at Brasserie Ten Ten with some friends. It’s a New York style french bistro complete with fresh baguettes, steak frites, roast chicken, and scrumptious desserts.
The following day, my husband and I went on a bike ride down by the creek which was almost over flowing. It was breathtaking. We followed the ride with lunch at Dish Gourmet and sampled their unique sandwiches. I had a roast turkey with Russian dressing and cole slaw on pumpernickel bread. In the afternoon we had spa appointments at the St. Julien Spa. What a treat! Dinner was at Pizza Locale, featuring quick fired Neopolitan pizza. Their sister restaurant, next door, called Frasca, has won several awards. The pizza was delicious, as were the appetizers, especially the thin sliced prosciutto.
A final indulgence was afternoon tea at The St. Julien Hotel. As a tea aficionado, I was disappointed to see that the tea was served with a tea bag instead of loose leaf tea. In addition, only two kinds of finger sandwiches were served. On the positive side, the setting in the lobby was beautiful, and there was live piano to accompany the tea. I enjoyed seeing the young girls in their party dresses who came to tea with their Moms.
The last event of the vacation was my friend’s birthday party. She held the party in the courtyard of her condo building and the weather was ideal. The DJ played some great dance numbers, her closest friends made poignant and hilarious toasts, and the food and drinks flowed all evening. She ended the night with an ice cream sundae buffet.
So, my summary of Boulder? The scenery is gorgeous. The food is top notch; innovative, healthy, and on a par with the best metropolitan cities. Hippies? Ski Bums? I saw a few. Santa Monica in Colorado? Quite similar….. Can’t wait to go back.