15 Exciting Things You can do Within a Mile of CU’s Campus
There are a lot of things to do in Boulder, and a lot of those things happen to be within a mile of CU’s main campus.
Students, this list is for you.
1. Catch a show at the Fox Theater.
The Fox Theater is a great venue to see concerts. It’s local, it hosts some incredible artists, and it’s got great personality. If you see a musician you fancy performing at The Fox Theater, then you’ll definitely want to buy tickets.
2. Grab a sandwich on the hill.
The hill is a mecca for sandwich shops. There’s Half Fast, which is open until 2 A.M. and boasts a huge menu of excellent sandwiches. It also has alcoholic specials nearly every day of the week, making this a destination for those who are 21 and above. There’s also Cheba Hut, which plays off of Boulder’s “legalization” subculture and has very reasonably priced (and well-made!) sandwiches. In addition to those, there’s Jimmy John’s, which delivers great sandwiches at incredible speeds. Finally, the Fat Shack serves great late-night-style sandwiches that include toppings such as jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, and french fries.
3. Thrift Shopping at Goodwill.
Macklemore made thrift shopping cool again when he released his popular music video a few years ago. Now, whenever you need a weird party outfit or just an offbeat decoration for your room, the thrift shop is the place to go. The closest one to campus is the Goodwill off the corner Broadway and Baseline. You never really know what you’ll find in a thrift shop. It’s basically a less-than-glamorous treasure hunt.
4. Burger Madness at the Dark Horse.
The Dark Horse is truly a spectacle to behold. Yeah, they’ve got some of the best burgers in Boulder, but the important thing is the bizarre aesthetics. It’s as if someone took all of the coolest pieces from a junkyard, cleaned them up, and put them all on a ceiling. Imagine that, but also as a burger joint and a bar. It was also included on USA Today’s list of “places to eat a burger worthy of paradise,” which might also speak to how cool this place is.
5. See a Planetarium Show.
Fiske Planetarium is amazing. It just got a huge technical upgrade in 2014 and it’s looking better than ever. Stepping into this magic space dome feels like you’re stepping into a giant space ship. It’s also right on campus, making it incredibly convenient to students. They have showings of interesting science shows discussing subjects like volcanoes and black holes and also have some incredible late night laser music shows that cater to CU students.
6. Walk, bike, or tube down the Boulder Creek.
Boulder Creek is a haven for outdoor activities. During the early summer months, people can be seen swimming or tubing down the river. During the fall and winter months, the weaving creek path turns into a winter wonderland for walkers, runners, and bikers alike. It’s a magical place that changes through the seasons, and it’s truly a sight to behold over the course of the year.
7. Hike at Chautauqua Park.
Chautauqua is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. There’s a chance you might even faint at the sheer majesty of the flatiron mountains, in fact. Chautauqua Park has some of the most incredible hiking trails in the area, and there’s enough different trails weaving around the park to keep people busy for quite some time. This place should be at the top of your bucket list if you haven’t already seen it.
8. Visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.
The Dushanbe Teahouse was actually constructed all the way in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which is Boulder’s sister city. It was shipped all the way to Boulder and now stands as one of the coolest and most unique buildings of Colorado. You’ll come for the building, but you’ll definitely want to stay for the incredible tea.
9. See Scott Carpenter Park.
Scott Carpenter Park has a rocket ship on the play structure. That in itself should warrant a visit to this incredible place, but if that’s not enough, this park also has one of the best sledding hills in Boulder during winters. It’s also got one of Boulder’s best outdoor pools and also has a great skatepark. It’s even named after Scott Carpenter, who was an astronaut born in Boulder. As a rule of thumb, if something is named after an astronaut, it’s typically pretty awesome.
This park definitely fulfills that rule.
10. Walk along Pearl Street Mall.
Outdoor malls are cool. Everybody knows that. Pearl Street Mall is a gorgeous outdoor mall all year round (even winter!) and provides some of Boulder’s best restaurants and shops along its strip. It’s also a great place to catch some of Boulder’s iconic street performers.
11. Go construct something at McGuckin Hardware Store.
Normally, building something yourself turns into a mess of wood, tape measures, and tears. Not at McGuckin Hardware. This store is an iconic hardware store in Boulder that has virtually anything you could ever need. It also has some of the most helpful employees you’ll ever come across. The people who work here are incredible handymen and can solve nearly any problem that has to do with hardware. It may seem weird to include this on a list of “things to do,” but it’s truly a great experience and deserves its spot on this list.
12. Check a book out from the Boulder Library.
Boulder has an excellent public library. It’s obviously got a huge amount of great books, but it’s also an aesthetic landmark. The building itself is pretty incredible and it backs up to the Boulder Creek, which is an excellent spot for reading outside.
13. Check out Boulder’s History at the Boulder History Museum
Boulder History Museum is a great place to go if you’re interested in Boulder’s rich past. This museum has facts, pictures, and a bunch of artifacts. They also recently brought back an exhibit on Chief Niwot, due to popular demand. It’s also worth mentioning that the museum offers free entry every first sunday of the month, meaning it will be free this coming Sunday.
14. Listen to a poetry reading at Innisfree Cafe.
Innisfree Cafe is a hidden gem on Boulder’s hill area. The cafe itself carries Conscious Coffees, which is an award winning Boulder-based coffee roaster. In addition to the excellent cafe, Innisfree also has the largest number of poetry books in Colorado and hosts a bunch of live events. They have everything from poetry readings to storytellers to musicians. This is a place that simply cannot be missed if you are a lover of poetry or coffee.
15. The Farmer’s Market.
Last, and most certainly not least, is the mystifying Boulder Farmer’s Market. Walking through this place feels like you’re in some magical faraway market, which has some of the most delicious looking food you’ll find in all of Boulder. It runs every Saturday and every Wednesday (until the last Saturday in November), so there’s plenty of opportunities to experience it before it takes a break in the winter!
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this list and found a few new things to do around Boulder.
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