24 Hours in Boulder, CO

24 Hours in Boulder, CO

Boulder, Colorado, a cute mountain town, is located on the foothills of the Rocky Mountain National Park, and home to the University of Colorado. Also, Boulder is only a 30 minute drive from Denver, CO, making it the perfect day trip. Furthermore, Boulder is known for its outdoor activities, amazing breweries, and lively downtown. Thus, the mix of mountains and city life, makes it the best of both worlds for any traveler. I took a day trip from Denver and planned the day filled with activities. Check below to see how I spent my 24 hours in Boulder, CO!

Ready for some fun! See below how to spend 24 hours in Boulder, CO

But first, coffee

Boxcar Coffee Roaster in Boulder Colorado
Boxcar Coffee Roasters in Boulder Colorado

I always love to start off my day with a good cup of coffee! Certainly, a good cup of coffee always got us through the day, especially with all the hiking and exploring that we did. 

Boulder, CO has many great restaurants and that includes coffee shops. After driving into Boulder from Denver, we headed straight to Boxcar Coffee Roasters. This cute coffee shop located near Pearl Street and is a must in Boulder.

Here, you can grab a cup of coffee and some great pastries as well. Boxcar Coffee Roasters not only has coffee and pastries, but also a wine and cheese/meats section as well. AdditionalIy, you can purchase sandwiches ahead or take back the bread and cheese for later!

Get in a hike

Chautauqua Park Trail in Boulder Colorado
Chautauqua Park in Boulder Colorado

Colorado has so many trails and mountains, making hiking a popular activity here. Certainly, Boulder, CO has some of my favorite trails, and provides a great way to get some exercise in.

Chautauqua Park is an iconic historical landmark in part of preserving wild lands 100 years ago. Here, you can find many different trails, you are bound to find something for every level hiker skill. From the easy Enchanted Mesa Trail to the hard Royal Arch Trail.

All these trails offer some amazing views and wildlife. However, if you are prepared and want to tackle the Royal Arch Trail, you will get the benefit of seeing the iconic flatirons. Remember, whatever trail you end up doing, be prepared with proper shoes and enough water!

A well deserved lunch

Dosa at Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

After tackling a hike, you would have worked up an appetite. Luckily Boulder is a foodie’s dream, the restaurants here are great! There are many great restaurants in downtown, but I recommend going to the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House at some point. Not only is there great food here, but the architecture is incredible, with the ceiling made in Tajikistan. 

Whether you come here for breakfast, lunch, teatime or dinner, their menu has some delicious items. After our hike, we got a refreshing tea for a pick me up and breakfast items. Depending on the time of day, their menu will change. I highly recommend making reservations if you can as it can often fill up. However, if you are not able to, you can put your name down and explore downtown Boulder in the meantime. 

*Dogs only allowed on the patio

Time to explore...and shop!

Pearl Street Mall Pedestrian Walkway in Boulder Colorado

Downtown Boulder has amazing shops, dining and entertainment, all while being able to enjoy the incredible mountain views! The Pearl Street Mall, located on Pearl Street, makes it easy to walk down through downtown Boulder. 

Pearl Street Mall is a four-block pedestrian mall in downtown Boulder. This walkable area runs from 11th Street to 15th Street and filled with restaurants and shops.

Here, you can get some shopping in or grab and ice cream cone. And shopping and dining here is top notch! While shopping, you might also experience performers along Pearl Street for entertainment. 

*Dogs not allowed on some areas of Pearl Street Mall

A nice dinner to end the day

After a full day of hiking, shopping and exploring, it’s time to end your day with a satisfying dinner. As I’ve mentioned before, Boulder has some amazing restaurants, meaning you really can’t go wrong with where you eat. Even after shopping on Pearl Street, there are many good restaurants to sit at to end your day. Below are some popular restaurants to try:

 Flagstaff House ($$$)

 Frasca ($$$$)

OAK at Fourteenth ($$$)

Il Pastaio Risotrante ($$)

*See restaurant’s policy on dogs

If you have time

This post contains a jam-packed day! However, Colorado is known for great breweries. If you have time on this trip or able to come back for another trip, I definitely recommend checking out a brewery. See below for a couple options:

 VisionQuest Brewery 

Wild Provisions Beer Project

Twisted Pine Brewing Company

Kettle and Spoke Brewery

Westbound & Down Brewing Company


I hope this helped you plan out a fun-filled 24 hours in Boulder, CO!


  • Hannah
    Posted September 1, 2021 9:22 pm 0Likes

    Wow, yum, the food at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House looks amazing. I’ve not visited Boulder, but I love the landscapes in Colorado, so will definitely go back!

  • Krista
    Posted September 1, 2021 9:47 pm 0Likes

    I did a bit of research on Boulder a few years ago but never managed to plan my trip there. It looks like a great spot to visit for a day or two!

  • Moona
    Posted September 1, 2021 10:50 pm 0Likes

    A good day starts with coffee indeed! Hiking sounds like a nice idea, especially with all the hiking trails in Colorado.

  • Anna/ At Lifestyle Crossroads
    Posted September 3, 2021 10:43 am 0Likes

    What a nice mountain town indeed! I´ve never heard of Boulder before, Boxcar Coffee Roasters looks really cute and cozy. Would love to explore Colorado´s hiking trails and mountains one day! Thanks for the inspiration

  • Kez
    Posted September 3, 2021 8:43 pm 0Likes

    I think I would be soending most of my time hiking! The trails and views look great!

  • Ummi | Ummi Goes Where?
    Posted September 30, 2021 7:15 am 0Likes

    I love the focus on food and drinks here. You speak to my soul!

  • Megan
    Posted February 16, 2022 9:19 pm 0Likes

    There is so much great hiking in the Boulder area! I haven’t done Chatauqua before, I’ll have to put that on the list for next time I’m in Boulder!

  • April
    Posted February 16, 2022 11:59 pm 0Likes

    I love Boulder! Always new foodie places popping up- lots of bike trails, walking, and being outdoors! Love the food/coffee suggestions!

  • Josy A
    Posted February 17, 2022 4:47 pm 0Likes

    I love a good mix of hiking (Chautauqua Park’s Royal Arch Trail sounds like fun!) and good food! I would find it hard to stay for just 24 hours – Boulder sounds like a good spot to stay even longer!

  • Krista
    Posted February 17, 2022 11:59 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for the great tips on what to do in Boulder! I haven’t been here yet but it’s on my list. Your lunch looked really tasty!

  • Erin
    Posted May 3, 2022 10:29 pm 0Likes

    I have always wanted to go to Boulder! We made it to Aspen, but didn’t have time. You have given me some great suggestions for our next trip! Thank you!

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