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Boulder County: Land of Magic, Mountains AND Museums!

Boulder County has a truly impressive list of museums ranging from cars to coal. here’s a list of some, but not all, of our Boulder Museum Gems! As a population, as Boulderites, we share interests ranging from canyons to collections. Some are fascinating local history museums, and at least one is perhaps the most outstanding Cobra automobile display extant. The Cobra Museum’s collection includes perhaps all of the most famous of the race machines from the 50’s through the 80’s. Seeing a McClaren or a real Cobra up close an personal is a wonderful thing. Photo opps are endless! Test drives are frowned upon. Sadly.

These museums are scattered throughout the County.

Here’s a list of a few of the gems of museums hidden amongst the plethora of beautiful things to see and to learn in the Valley. I believe that the Boulderite attitude towards learning, a true Renaissance view of the world, results in the magic balance that makes us so special. We are reading Freud in German while scaling the Second Flatiron, with Moby Grape or Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #2 on our ear pods. Life is good in Boulder Valley, full of ripe visual and intellectual fruit there for the picking and admiration!  These museums are “low hanging fruit.” Look, Listen, and Learn!

1. Museum of Boulder** – Offers a deep dive into Boulder’s past, present, and future.
2. Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA)** – Focuses on contemporary arts.
3. CU Museum of Natural History** – Features natural and human history exhibits.
4. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Visitor Center** – Provides interactive scientific exhibits. This is where weather is studied using some of the fastest computers on the planet. Up close and personal view of these engineering scientific marvels! Climate change is a significant part of what this amazing group studies.
5. Longmont Museum & Cultural Center** – Showcases arts, history, and cultural exhibits in Longmont.
6. CU Art Museum** – Located at the University of Colorado, it’s known for a variety of art exhibitions.
7. Dougherty Museum** – A historical museum focused on early 20th-century innovations. Home to the Yesteryear Farm Show each summer. This is a marvelous photo op, and a great family and date destination.pic Lenny Lensworth Frieling
8. Shelby American Collection** – Displays famous American cars, especially from the racing world. Included is an example of the Porsche that claimed the life of great actor James Dean. It looks like it came straight off the race track.a steering wheel and dashboard of a classic car
9. Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art** (Note: Permanently closed in 2018 but was a notable mention). A book of much of the art is available for under $10, used. Many of the paintings are by artists who were not otherwise exhibited, yet are world-class painters. The book has become invaluable. The loss of this museum gem reminds me of the closing and privatization of the Stained Glass Museum which used to grace Navy Pier on Lake Michigan, at Chicago. While the Ferris Wheel is fun, the stained glass museum was world-class and unique. Apparently there is no book of this exhibit. We stumbled upon it by accident while exploring Navy Pier. Aside from the Architectural Boat Tour, this stained glass museum was the tourist high point of the visit. Although the Art Institute is in a class of its own.
10. Boulder History Museum**
11. Jewish Museum of Boulder**
12. Boulder Firefighter Museum**
13. Boulder History Museum**
14. Agricultural Heritage Center**white and black eagle in tilt shift lens                                       Look, Listen, and Learn: Core Values In the Boulder Valley!
15. James F. Bailey Assay Office Museum**
16. University of Colorado Art Museum** – Offers a variety of art from different cultures and eras.
17. Heritage Center** at the University of Colorado Boulder – Focuses on the university’s history.

This list is not exhaustive but includes many of the key museums and cultural centers in the area. Each museum offers unique exhibits and programs that highlight different aspects of art, history, science, and culture relevant to Boulder County and beyond. Admissions range from zero to “not very much.” Museums in Boulder provide a very low-cost option for hot summer days. Missing however is $15 popcorn! Go to the museum, pop the popcorn at home, and watch the movie on Criterion or Netflix. While the “mature adult pricing” saves a bit, the cost of a poor movie with popcorn pays for a LOT of museum entry fees. Don’t get me wrong: I love seeing movies on the big screen. Boulder Museums are a wonderful alternative choice of amusement.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!

Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com
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