Perfection in Boulder

The Colorado town has it all: gorgeous trails, great restaurants, and very happy residents
Lisa Taggart

WHAT TO DO

Boulder Canyon Technical rock climbing west of town; on weekends you can see lots of climbers from the road. INFO: Access spots west of town off State 119/Canyon Blvd.

Boulder Creek Path Paved trail is the town's main sports artery, running past downtown and out to Boulder Canyon. INFO: Access at east end of Central Park (free; 13th at Arapahoe Ave.).

Boulder Rock Club and Colorado Mountain School Rock climbing at the indoor gym ($17, $10 equipment rental) and outdoor classes ($110-$175 for half-day class, plus $15 equipment rental) in Boulder Canyon and other natural venues. INFO: 2829 Mapleton Ave.; 800/836-4008.

Chautauqua Park Pretty trails start from Chautauqua Meadow. Climb 0.6 miles on Chautauqua Trail to Bluebell-Baird Trail for a nice out-and-back route. INFO: Free; pick up a free map at ranger cottage next to the meadow; 900 Baseline Rd.; City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, 303/441-3440.

Eldorado Canyon State Park Hiking and rock climbing. INFO: $7 per vehicle; southwest end of State 170 in Eldorado Springs, 8 miles southwest of Boulder; 303/494-3943.

Outdoor Divas Women's sports clothing and gear shop; also offers kayaking (through Sep 30) and climbing classes. INFO: 1133 Pearl; 866/449-3482.

WHERE TO EAT

Frasca Food and Wine Superb Italian-style dishes. INFO: $$$; closed Sun; 1738 Pearl St.; 303/442-6966.

The Kitchen Daily-changing menu; Monday-night family-style meals. INFO: $$; 1039 Pearl; 303/544-5973.

Radda Trattoria with casual, traditional Italian. INFO: $$; 1265 Alpine Ave.; 303/441-6100.

WHERE TO STAY

The Bradley Boulder Inn Craftsman-style downtown lodge with good breakfasts. INFO: From $195, including breakfast; 800/858-5811.

The Colorado Chautauqua Rental cottages and modest lodge rooms at the 26-acre original 1898 Chautauqua site; no phones or TVs. INFO: From $119; 303/442-3282.

St. Julien Hotel & Spa Large, luxurious downtown hotel. INFO: From $249; 720/406-9696.

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