Bask in Boulder's funkier side

Get a load of the town's oddball charm by playing tourist for the day

Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites

Jennifer Harrington

Looking for some touristy fun? Kicking back in a lounger on Banjo Billy's converted school bus for a guided tour of the town is just a start to what the funkier side of Boulder offers.

GETTING THERE

Boulder is about 30 miles northwest of Denver via U.S. 36.

GO

Anemone Hill Even when Mt. Sanitas is completely packed with people, its little-known neighbor, Anemone Hill, is nearly always empty. A 2-mile round-trip trail takes you through Settler's Park, then on up Anemone Hill (look for the spur behind the red rocks at Settler's Park). INFO: Trailhead lies at the western terminus of Pearl St. where it intersects with Canyon Blvd.

Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites Sunday night blues and jazz sessions are a very fun way to end the weekend. Musicians gather 'round on the small stage in Skinny Jay's Pizza & Pub. INFO: 7:30-10 Sun; 800 28th St.; 303/443-3322.

Banjo Billy's Bus Tours A pink cowboy hat-wearing guide spins tales of ghosts and murder alongside punchline-equipped historical anecdotes about Boulder's first bank robbery and the city's longstanding love affair with dogs. Sit in a lounger or atop a saddle. INFO: 90-minute tours at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; $16; leaves from Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St.; 720/938-8885.

 

EAT

Village Coffee Shop The smallest, most convivial greasy-spoon hole-in-the-wall in town, impossible to find on any tourist map. If you're a first-timer, your server may call you out with the Village Virgin cheer. INFO: $; 1605 Folsom St.; 303/442-9689.

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant The old standby has a new rooftop deck with spectacular mountain views. INFO: $; 1101 Walnut St.; 303/444-3690.

SIP

Redstone Meadery One of the country's largest craft mead producers is in east Boulder. Taste free samples of honey wine in the tasting room. INFO: Call for tour and tasting schedules; 4700 Pearl St. (between the Boulder Creek and Goose Creek Bike Paths); 720/406-1215.

HOP ON A BIKE

Do as the locals do: Ditch the car for a bike. Rent one at Full Cycle (rentals from $15 for four hours; 1795 Pearl St.; 303/440-1002). Coast down the Boulder Creek Path ( gobikeboulder.net for directions) to breakfast on Folsom St. Work your way downtown to the Rio Grande before heading to Hotel Boulderado to catch Banjo Billy's bus. From the Boulderado, it's a 15-minute ride east to the meadery.

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