Boulder Boroughs

Photo Credit: Foter-Zane Selvans

A Boulderites guide to navigating Boulder’s neighborhoods …

  1. CU Boulder’s Main Campus. Boulder is a college town in the best possible way. The University of Colorado campus is plopped right in the center of town and sprawls for several blocks along Broadway street. Tree-lined walkways, old brick buildings, and the spacious Norlin Quad all make campus a central hub for students and professors alike.
  2. The Hill. Directly across from the CU Campus is the area known as “the Hill.” Chock full of restaurants, bars, shops, and rowdy student housing, the hill is a lively place to walk around at pretty much any time of year. While some of the housing further away from campus is home to some brave families, most of the homes and apartments on the Hill are full of empty beer cans, incredibly loud speakers, and plenty of college kids. Still, it’s plethora of shops and restaurants – including the infamous Sink restaurant – that make the Hill such a hub.
  3. Goss Grove. The flip side of the Hill is Goss Grove … it’s opposite in almost every way. It’s on the other side of the CU Campus and literally down the hill nestled next to Boulder High School. It’s a much more mellow neighborhood, with a mix of college kids, young adults, and the occasional family or two. With cheaper rent than the hill and a quieter setting, many people prefer Goss Grove to the madness of the Hill. It, too, has its gems of restaurants like Snarfburger and Backcountry Pizza & Tap House.
  4. Pearl Street. Just past Goss Grove into the heart of downtown Boulder lies Pearl Street Mall. The mall is a brick pedestrian walkway that stretches for several blocks lined with some of Boulder’s best shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. There are flower beds, fountains, plenty of people watching opportunities, and almost always some kind of live street music. If the weather’s nice, taking a stroll down Pearl Street is one of the best things to do in Boulder – especially during happy hour. There is every kind of food that you can think of and plenty of shops to stock up on some CU Buffs gear.
  5. 29th Street Mall. Dominated by one of the top-grossing Targets in the country, the 29th street mall is its own hub of higher-end shopping outlets (think Anthropologie, Sephora, Lululemon, Nordstrom Rack, and Madewell). Sprinkled between these shops are even more food places where you can get everything from Mexican to sushi to pizza to salads to subs – all to fuel your shopping marathon.
  6. North Boulder. Just passed 29th street about 2 miles from downtown is the area of North Boulder, or “NoBo” as some prefer to call it. Quiet, suburban, and distinctly not downtown, North Boulder is growing fast as an area with its own set of restaurants and shops that make it a hub for those looking to escape the college town vibe. Housing out here is much more affordable than places closer to Pearl Street, so the draw is as much because of cost as it is because of the mountainous scenery. Most of the new housing developments like Springleaf and the Holiday Neighborhood are green and sustainable as well. Very Boulder. Very Nobo.