Planning a trip to Boulder for some skiing or to visit University of Colorado?
Frequent Boulder visitor Karen Gaspin shares her top picks for hotels and shopping in the Colorado city.
The scene at The St. Julien Hotel and Spa is reminiscent of a big city boutique-style hotel, but the superb staff at this nine-year-old luxury hotel make you feel like you just came home. From Glen and his staff who greet you as you step out of your car, by name if you are a returning visitor, to the concierge who waves hello and the front desk attendants, everything is taken care of with ease. Just one block off Pearl Street, with beautiful views of the Flatiron Mountains, this hotel has a full-service spa, indoor pool and all-day dining at Jill’s located in the lobby. With just about 200 rooms, reservations in advance are recommended especially for CU events and the Boulder Film Festival.
The historic Boulderado Hotel, a fixture in downtown Boulder since 1909, has an old-world charm that brings you back in time. Conveniently located on a corner, this landmark features rooms with Victorian charm, two bars for gathering with friends and Spruce Farm and Fish Restuaraunt, featuring locally-sourced items. With 160 rooms, a full business center and a listing on the National Registry of Historic Places, this beautiful remnant of another era fills up quickly and should be a stop on any Boulder itinerary.
Boulder is a shopping mecca with stores of all sorts, from the outdoor 29th Street mall boasting national chains like LuluLemon, Sephora, Anthropologie, Apple, H&M and Mac to name just a few, to Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s and Home Depot to downtown Boulder where Pearl Street reigns supreme in a quaint pedestrian-friendly area reminiscent of the 3rd Street Promendade in Los Angeles or Fanueil Hall in Boston. Clothing, art, gifts and accessories, books, cooking and gourmet and restaurants galore make Pearl Street an ideal destination for tourists and locals alike.
Cloaked by greenery and housing children’s play areas and benches in the center, Pearl Street from 11th to 15th Streets is closed to cars but the shopping continues in both directions as well. Although big names like Patagonia, Free People, Steve Madden and Urban Outfitters have homes on Pearl Street, smaller, individual boutiques dot the landscape as well.
The Bay Leaf, designed like a European market, welcomes visitors with beautiful displays and separate rooms for products including soaps and bath accessories, cookware and cookbooks, children’s toys and books, chocolate and jewelry. Clothing and shoe stores like Common Era and Two Sole Sisters offer unique, cute, reasonably-priced apparel shoes, jewelry and accessories in friendly, welcoming environments, while stores like KnitWit and Weekends offer high-end, pricier varieties. And if these don’t suit your needs, there are literally hundreds more to choose from.