Boulder Lodging Options for Your Colorado Getaway


As a popular tourist destination, Boulder offers diverse lodging options to suit any traveler’s needs and budget. This article explores Boulder’s unique appeal and highlights the area’s best places to stay.


  • Boulder is a scenic destination with hiking trails, historic sites, a thriving food scene, and University of Colorado events.
  • Accommodations range from luxury hotels to budget-friendly inns and outdoor lodging.
  • Top area hotels include the Hotel Boulderado, St. Julien Hotel and Spa, and Basecamp Boulder.
  • Seasonal outdoor activities, festivals, and university events enhance the Boulder experience.

Destination Overview

Boulder’s stunning natural landscapes, from the Flatirons rock formations to Boulder Creek, create an ideal backdrop for outdoor recreation. An artistic community thrives here as well, with museums, events at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a historic Pearl Street pedestrian mall anchoring the downtown area.

Visitors can hike mountain trails, shop at local farms and markets, or sample craft beers from award-winning breweries. Annual cultural festivals, like the Colorado Shakespeare Festival at CU Boulder, highlight the city’s vibrancy.

Boulder also appeals to wellness travelers, with spa retreats, yoga studios, and natural hot springs offering rejuvenation. These varied attractions bring over 5 million visitors yearly.

Local Experiences and Culture

To delve into authentic local life, attend a concert at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium, enjoy community theater productions, or hear live music at one of Pearl Street’s outdoor summer events.

The Boulder Creek Path, which crosses the city, provides a window to daily life, from cyclists commuting to work to families fishing along the water. Stop at one of the parks or gardens along the path to picnic, and people watch.

Visitors can also interact with residents by shopping at the Boulder Farmers Market, sampling local restaurants in the walkable downtown and university districts, or by staying at a family-run bed and breakfast. Asking locals for their favorite hiking trail or hidden restaurant gem often leads to unexpected discoveries.

Accommodation Options

With its proximity to Denver and location against the mountains, Boulder offers varied places to stay. Luxury seekers can choose high-end hotels like the St. Julien Hotel and Spa, featuring a 10,000-square-foot spa, or the historic Hotel Boulderado, opened in 1909, which offers modern amenities alongside Victorian elegance.

Those preferring boutique inns will enjoy spots like the Bradley Boulder Inn, with a rooftop patio, or the contemporary Basecamp Boulder, set in a prime downtown location. For budget travelers, options range from chain hotels like the Holiday Inn Express to independent motels like the Foot of the Mountain Motel.

Visitors also can stay along the outskirts of town at mountain retreats, dude ranches with a flavor of the Old West, or campgrounds that provide access to nature. With choices from five-star luxury to rustic cabins, Boulder has something for all interests and budgets.

Outdoor Adventures

As an outdoor playground set against the Rockies, Boulder offers limitless opportunities to explore alpine forests, rock formations, and waterways. Must-see spots include Chautauqua Park, a National Historic Landmark with hiking trails up the Flatirons, and Eldorado Canyon State Park, beloved by rock climbers.

Visitors can also walk or cycle along Boulder Creek, ascending from the plains to the mountains, picnic by Lagerman Reservoir, or stroll through the University of Colorado campus and gardens.

In winter, Eldora Mountain Resort provides downhill skiing and snowshoeing under starry night skies. With its four distinct seasons and 300 days of annual sunshine, Boulder entices at any time of year.

Culinary Scene and Breweries

Known for farm-to-table dining and craft breweries, Boulder offers memorable eating and drinking for visitors. The historic Pearl Street Mall provides both intimate cafes and award-winning restaurants, like Frasca Food and Wine, while the Downtown Boulder Farmers Market supplies eateries with fresh produce.

Beer lovers flock to Boulder’s famous breweries; must-visit spots include Avery Brewing Company, featuring guided tours and tastings, Fate Brewing Company, known for its food-friendly ales, and the innovative Upslope Brewing Company.

Visitors can create their own “Beer Trail” tour or opt for organized outings like the Boulder Craft Beer Tour, offering behind-the-scenes looks at local breweries via party bikes rolling through town.

Cultural Attractions and Events

With a thriving arts scene rooted in its pioneer and Native American heritage, Boulder offers much to do beyond the trails. The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History have inventive exhibits, while the historic Chautauqua Center spotlights music, education, and preservation.

Performance art flourishes here as well, from productions at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to street performers on the Pearl Street Mall each summer. Visitors also can take behind-the-scenes tours of the university’s Fiske Planetarium and Macky Auditorium Concert Hall.

Time a visit to catch the Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua, Denver Botanic Gardens’ summer concert series at Chatfield Farms, or a home football game at Folsom Field. With concerts, exhibits, and celebrations nearly every weekend, there’s always something happening.

Wellness and Relaxation

For travelers seeking restoration, Boulder overflows with yoga studios, pilates gyms, and spas. Luxury hotels like the St. Julien Hotel and Spa beckon with steam rooms, massage therapy, and mountain views. Or visit smaller wellness centers like the Laughing Buddha Hot Yoga studio for classes in a homelike, peaceful setting.

Visitors can find their zen by walking the peaceful grounds of historic Buddhist centers like the Shambhala Mountain Center. For the ultimate relaxation, try a float therapy session at centers like Stillwater Floats or Harmony Floats. Visitors emerge feeling profoundly refreshed.

Planning Your Stay

Spring and fall are ideal times for avoiding crowds while still enjoying moderate weather, though Boulder offers ample options year-round. The university’s September Family Weekend offers a lively time to visit, while summers promise gorgeous wildflowers and festivals.

Getting around by foot, bike, and public transit is easy, thanks to the city’s comprehensive network of walkways, bike lanes, and shuttle buses. For those driving, ample parking garages serve downtown and the university area.

Consider taking day trips to nearby attractions like Rocky Mountain National Park or the hip small towns of Nederland and Lyons. Wherever visitors stay in Boulder, they’re sure to be steps from nature, great dining, and cultural discoveries.


What is the best area to stay in Boulder?

Downtown near Pearl Street Mall offers easy walking access to restaurants, nightlife, and cultural attractions, while staying near CU Boulder places visitors steps from campus events. Luxury hotels like St. Julien Hotel and Spa lie just south of downtown.

What is there to do in Boulder when it rains?

Boulder’s range of museums and historic sites provide plenty of indoor options on rainy days. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, the University of Colorado Natural History Museum, or historic hotels like the Boulderado. Consider a concert at Macky Auditorium or enjoy tea at the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory.

What is the best way to get around Boulder without a car?

Boulder’s public buses, bike share program, and walkable neighborhoods make exploring easy without a car. Downtown shuttle buses run every 10-15 minutes, while popular trails and bike paths connect across town. Cycling is a favorite mode of transportation for both visitors and locals.

Where should I stay if I want quick access to nature and hiking?

Choose a hotel near Chautauqua Park or stay at lodges near the famous Flatirons rock formations, Eldorado Canyon State Park or the scenic town of Nederland to enjoy sunrise hikes and peak fall colors right outside your door.

What hotels offer the best views of Boulder’s natural beauty?

A-Lodge, Deck House Boulder, and Millennium Harvest House provide gorgeous mountain vistas. Downtown hotels like Hotel Boulderado and St. Julien Hotel and Spa overlook the lively Pearl Street Mall and Boulder Creek, framed by nature.

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About the author

Simone Weisman

My deep appreciation for nature and active living strongly aligns with the vibrant outdoor culture of Colorado. My enjoyment of yoga, hiking, and exploring scenic trails provides me with a unique perspective that I bring to This personal passion enriches my ability to connect with and inspire our audience, whether they’re local residents or visitors seeking to explore all that Colorado has to offer.