Environment in Boulder

Situated where the Great Plains erupt into Colorado's sky-scraping Rocky Mountains, Boulder's natural beauty invites and delights all visitors. Time Magazine rated Boulder, a tree-filled town of 97,000 situated 30 miles northeast of Denver, as America's most active city. Other awards have designated it as the happiest, healthiest, and brainiest city as well as the best place to be an artist and to raise healthy children.

Boasting record quantities of sunshine, this mile-high destination abounds with healthy outdoor activities. Hiking trails crisscross the region, which offers unique opportunities for cycling, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, ice climbing, hang gliding, kayaking and outstanding sightseeing. One of many outdoor competitions, the "Bolder Boulder" 10K race draws more than 50,000 runners, walkers, and wheelchair racers annually. Held each Memorial Day, the race enriches the three-day Boulder Creek Festival, which features food tents, live music, art shows, and a rubber-duck race down Boulder Creek.

Two malls provide stimulating settings for people watching while dining or shopping. The extensively renovated Crossroads Mall features modern indoor delights. On the west side of town, the outdoor Pearl Street Mall benefits from the scenic beauty of the nearby mountains, which attracts appreciative crowds. Nearby, the distinctive Chautauqua organization offers lodging, hiking, and dining options along with a full schedule of poets, teachers, musicians, and performers.

Home to the main campus of the University of Colorado, Boulder benefits from educational and cultural attractions like concerts, lectures, workshops and sporting events held on campus. For nightlife, The Hill nearby caters to the young with student-oriented shops, restaurants, and music venues. The annual, outdoor Colorado Shakespeare Festival brings bard fans from afar while the university's museums and special events attract others. Tea drinkers usually love the exquisitely handcrafted Dushanbe Tea House. They can also follow a tea to its source at Boulder's Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory, which conducts daily tours.

Deserving partial credit for Boulder's brainy reputation, three national laboratories expand scientific knowledge and offer fascinating tour opportunities. NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, features picturesque rust-colored buildings adjacent to the spectacular sandstone monoliths called the Flatirons. Deer inhabit the property, and tours, trails, art galleries and weather exhibits await guests.

Boulder visitors can hike in the exhilarating mountains or enjoy them as scenic views from the comfort of Boulder's malls and restaurants. In the spirit of America's most active city, why not do both?