Boulder is beautiful – it’s tucked into the Rocky Mountain foothills and perfectly positioned between the mountains and the city.

It’s one of our favorite places to take friends and family when they come to visit because it honestly has something for everyone. Beer lover? Boulder has 22 craft breweries to drink your way through. Outdoor junkie? You can walk, hike, climb, or bike your way through town. Art obsessed like me? There are tons of creatives in Boulder, so there’s never a lack of art galleries or stores to check out. Foodie? Boulder has been named “America’s Foodiest Town!”

How to Get There

Boulder is just 30 minutes from Denver, making it easy to hop on the highway heading out of downtown. There are over 3,700 public parking spaces in downtown Boulder, whether you prefer parking garages close to all the action or street parking. If you want to do some eco-friendly exploring while you’re there, you can rent bikes through their B-Cycle program!

Where to Stay

’m an Airbnb girl, so I recommend checking what options are available during the dates of your trip before looking into any hotels. If you do decide to go the hotel route, some of the most popular places are the St. Julien Hotel and Spa, the Hotel BoulderadoBasecamp Boulder, and The Bradley Boulder Inn.

What To Do

Where do I even start? Like I said, you’ll be able to find something exciting for whoever you’re traveling with.

  • Boulder Farmers Market – Named one of the country’s best by USA Today, there are 150 farmers and other vendors selling veggies, cheese, pastries, and more here! It runs every Saturday morning from April to November, and every Wednesday night from May to October. On Wednesdays, you can listen to live music and check out their food court for pizza, dumplings, barbecue, and, my personal favorite, ice cream.
  • Pearl Street – If you talk to anyone who’s traveled to Boulder, I can guarantee they visited Pearl Street. It’s a cute, brick-paved street in the heart of the town and is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. I love window shopping and stopping for cozy hot chocolate when I need to warm up in the winter. If you do only one thing in Boulder, Pearl Street has to be it. 
  • Art Walk – If you’re an artsy adventurer, Boulder does not disappoint. It’s home to over 25 galleries that showcase everything from painting, photography, and jewelry. If you’ll be there during the summer, you HAVE to check out the Pearl Street Arts Festival in July. It’s an art lover’s paradise.
  • Downtown Coffee Trail – Whatever your coffee craving is, you can find it somewhere downtown. Boulder has their own “coffee trail” that takes you from the East end to West end of the downtown district. If it’s too much caffeine for one day, you can spread it out over your trip!
  • Beer Trail – This trail also runs from East end to West, but this one is focused on beer and bar food. If you take on this trail, make sure you’re drinking responsibly boo.

How to Adventure

My outdoor adventurers and nature lovers, these ideas are for you! You can’t come to Colorado and not explore Mother Nature.

  • You can bike, jog, walk, or even skate the Boulder Creek path. The 5.5 paved miles run right through Boulder and are easily accessible for anyone on your trip. If you’re not feeling that much movement, you could also set up a picnic, go fishing, or just take a relaxing dip in the water.
  • Alex and I rented e-bikes on one of our trips recently, and holy shit you guys, they are so fun! There are a couple different places you can rent from in Boulder and zoom all over town. Pedego Bikes will even take you on a tour through historic downtown Boulder.
  • Chautauqua trailhead and park overlooks Boulder and is the gateway to the Flatirons. It’s a favorite among locals (and me) for hiking, picnicking, biking, rock climbing, and more! It’s conveniently located a mile and a half from Boulder and offers scenic views, a dining hall, concert hall, and all the trails your heart desires.
  • Boulder also has some other great hiking spots outside of downtown, like Eldorado and Boulder Canyon. At Eldorado Canyon, climbing is a popular choice. It’s one of the top climbing destinations in the world with over 500 technical rock climbing routes! If you opt for Boulder Canyon, you’ll also find amazing climbing and some spots for fishing.

Where to Eat

One of the best parts of vacation is trying all the new food, am I right? Don’t worry, Boulder has allll the choices.

  • Lucile’s Creole Cafe – you’ll want to get up early to beat the crowd at this Boulder favorite! Get the beignets – trust me.
  • Blackbelly – their menu changes with the seasons, so there’s always something new to try. They also have a butcher counter that sells hormone and antibiotic-free fresh sausages, salami, and charcuterie from local Colorado farms and ranches.
  • Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant – for all of my fellow vegetarians, this place cooks with only locally grown produce that comes from the owner’s farm!
  • Rooftop decks and sidewalk patios – there are plenty of these in Boulder. A few popular spots are a West End TavernRosetta Hall, and Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – these spots have been on TV, so that means they have to be good, right? Check out Foolish Craig’sZoe Ma Ma, and The Post.

What to Pack

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the weather in Colorado is unpredictable, so pack for anything and everything! Speaking from experience (hail storms aren’t fun), it’s way better to be safe than sorry. Make sure these get in your suitcase:

  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Clothing that’s easy to layer
  • Daypack or backpack
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Rain jacket



"Hiring McKenzie to photograph our wedding was single-handedly the best decision we made when planning our wedding. Wedding planning and vendor research was so stressful, and once we had Kenzie, she stepped in as support and helped us with narrowing down things that were important to us and to figure out what we really wanted.  wish we could get married over and over again just to recreate these and work with Kenzie again! "

Nadia + Daniel

"You will not find another wedding photographer who has the McKenzie signature style- she can capture the absolute beauty of the area and people all at once. She can shoot in a variety of settings and lightings and the photos are all gorgeous. One of the main reasons we booked McKenzie was the fact that she showcases a diverse clientele and finds beauty in all beings- something not all photographers can say.As a plus size bride who was extremely worried about looking back at my wedding pictures with dread that I wouldn't look like those gorgeous girlies on Instagram- this meant so much to me. "

Sydnie + Nathan

"When we got engaged, we searched near and far for an elopement photographer - & we met with several different photographers but none felt right until we met McKenzie. My husband, my dog and I are avid hikers - we wanted a beautiful hike and view, but it was also very important that we could be our authentic selves and intimately celebrate our 10 years together in the way we wanted. I'll be honest, I was shy about wanting to elope (ya know, family opinions and such), but McKenzie made us feel so comfortable in our decision. She wholeheartedly welcomed us being.. us! We couldn't have asked for more."

Maranda + Sam