I am in love with Boulder!!
What a freaking COOL city. I spent 3 days there and easily could have spent a month just living it up in that active, environmentally conscious, health-minded culture.
So much to do. Such nice people. I 100% see myself going back to visit in 2020.
I asked the Violet Fog community where I should go and I didn’t stray from their suggestions– so my choices here are reflected in them! In this community! Which is awesome. Shows how resourceful we are as a bunch!
We were in Colorado for Dan’s birthday. We paid for everything EXCEPT our stay at the Hotel Boulderado. They graciously comped our stay (Happy birthday babe! My present to you lol) and gave me complete freedom to say anything I wanted knowing that honest journalism is core to VF. (I would never work with a brand who didn’t allow me total freedom.) So Hotel Boulderado is COOL. Heather from Chalkboard Communications, who I’ve always loved working with, always points me in the direction of places that are super worthwhile to visit. She’s one of the best in PR, that’s for sure.
(Hotel Boulderado was incredible, btw. More on them in a bit.)
OH— We ate at this place called Shine and when they saw were taking a million photos of their food were also kind enough to comp our meal since we said we’d edit and send over a bunch of photos. Again- always free reign to say what I want and none of this is ever expected! We were going anyway- Just wanted to tell you because transparency is so important!
Let’s get to this guide!!
A GUIDE TO BOULDER, COLORADO
1. Book your stay at Hotel Boulderado
No, but really. Book your stay at Hotel Boulderado. This place is so unique, so beautiful, so accommodating. They are in the perfect location right by Pearl Street (their main street) and the hotel itself it so fun to roam around in. It’s very lively.
Look how beautiful this building is!! It’s quite historic- Hotel Boulderado was actually the first hot spot in town! Yes, ever! In Boulder. It’s been around since 1909 and is known for it’s “rocky mountain elegance.” What’s so cool is that the hotel has maintained it’s historical integrity- original flooring. Artifacts all over the hotel. As much maintained as they possibly could- they even have a full-time historian on board!
Attention to detail is everything here. From the chocolates they leave on your pillow each night, to the fresh flowers, to the historic photos and fluffy beds. I feel quite confident in saying you would love it here, Violets.
They have this fountain, which I found so cool, in their main room which draws water directly from the Arapahoe Glacier! People come in just to see this!
Simple elegance in every room.
The hustle and bustle in the mornings was some of my favorite part. I kid you not, everyone is smiling in this hotel. The staff is so kind and vivacious and the energy of the people staying there is high. Highly recommend grabbing a coffee at their Boxcar Coffee before you head out for the day! And by the way, the second you walk off the property, there is a ton you could do.
Tell me this is not one of the most gorgeous, unique lobbies!! Especially in person!
All of the wood and tile detailing was so pretty! Perfect place to sit and read a book.
100% recommend Hotel Boulderado. Big hearts <3 <3
2. Grab a juice at WONDER
Wonder was our favorite juice bar! Fully organic, sustainable practices, support local vendors… beautiful white space. Highly recommend the drink “BLUSH.” You’ll also want to save your bottles as they are so pretty!
3. Go on a hike to Gross Reservoir
This is a beautiful drive and the hike down (and up) is so gorgeous! Many sites to stop along the way. I liked this because it was not a long drive, it was not an overly long hike, the payoff was huge and nearly anyone can do it! GO!
4. Eat a refreshing meal at Shine Restaurant
Omg. OH. MY. GAWD. Never have I ever, and I mean ever, wished there was a restaurant in Austin so badly.
Shine’s food, culture, potions- INCREDIBLE. Shine was founded by three sisters (triplets!!!) The restaurant serves local food, is committed to sustainability, maintains a gluten-free and non-gmo kitchen, ferments their own food, serves food in season and has plenty of vegan options!
Dan and I kept looking at each other with drool coming down our mouths with each dish.
Oh yes- there was not ONE dish that disappointed. You MUST go if you are in Boulder!
Here were our favorites–
The Golden Eagle with a B12 shot. Full of nutrients! Y’all these potions are divine. And you KNOW I know my potions. Shine potions are on another level.
Another great one is the Owl Eyes: Some notable ingredients are Liquid Chlorophyll, Yerba Mate, Nettle Leaf, and Maca. Just some of the ingredients!
Like I’m sorry… I didn’t know kale salads could look nor taste that delicious!!!
Four words: DO. NOT. SKIP. DESSERT! The chocolate torte is something else.
Cappellos Grain-Free Fettuccine with wild mushrooms, creamy pesto, and pumpkin seeds. YOU NEED TO GET THIS! IT’S SO GOOD.
5. Grab afternoon tea at Dushanbe tea
This place is straight-up magical. Rooted in history. The tea menu is extensive (highly recommend a matcha style tea) and their brunch menu is divine!
6. Pick up a Chinese Medicine Tonic at Six Persimmons Apothecary
I loved Six Persimmons. They had so many supplement brands that I use myself. This was recommended by a Violet (All of these places were) But it was special because her Mom owned the shop! She is well versed in health and wellness and understands Chinese herbs to the point where she can really point out something you need. We didn’t have elderberry with us (a favorite while traveling) so we picked up her COLD NIP for our plane travel and loved it!
7. Have a mouth-watering dinner at Spruce Farm And Fish
This is located at Hotel Boulderado! You know it’s good because a bunch of locals love to come here as well. This staff is super accommodating. I love the vibe of the restaurant as it’s dim and romantic and if you sit at a window seat you get to enjoy the street lights and all the passerby’s.
Dan and I had a super cute date night here. It’s the type of place where you can dress up or dress down and you know the food will be so good. Which, let’s be honest, most hotel restaurants are not this way!! So it’s super impressive!
I loved the lights!
Okay so not the healthiest thing on the menu but SHOUT OUT TO THESE FRIES because holy moly they were so good. Dan and I both agreed we could have made a meal out of just those fries! Order the fries- trust me. 😉
So I am particular about brussel sprouts. It’s always a “hell yes” or a “hell no”– there’s never an in-between. These were a hell yes! Super crispy, sauces and seasoned just right… we finished the entire plate.
This is where I say they were super accomodating- I didn’t want an animal protein and asked if they could grill zucchini for me (random I know) and look how beautiful it turned out!! I loved the presentation.
I also hear that their breakfast is so good- like expect a wait because people love coming here for breakfast. Visit their site here!
8. Get a custom tea blend from Rebeccas Apothecary
This place is right around the corner (or on the same street depending on where you exit) from Hotel Boulderado! We spent an entire hour in this place! They have jars and jars of teas, spices and herbs. So many single-ingredient products for DIY projects. The herbalists are highly knowledgeable.
I had a tea that was specially made for supporting the lymphatic system. I highly recommend telling them your concerns and then curating a custom tea blend!
9. Get a smoothie bowl at SOL Blend Bar
All organic and really unique ingredients! Add-ins like blue majik always draw me in. What’s cool is their smoothe bowls are all lower calorie (under 400 cal) which, most smoothie bowls are not! Their lattes are great too. Visit SOL here.
10. Get your RAW on at Thrive Raw
This place is incredible- ALL raw, all vegan, all organic! I mean, I was a happy girl! Chefs here know how to prepare things in a way that is soooo delicious. See the burger above? It looks tiny not just in the photo, but in person too, but WOW is it filling. Must get! Also their “banana boat” dessert is something else.
11. Lastly, read a book and have a coffee at Trident Cafe/Bookstore
This bookstore is famous among the locals. They have high quality pour over coffees and lots of books from different genres. I loved their herbalism books- many of them used. We got ourselves some coffee and read a book for a good hour and it was so nice to do.
All in all Violets, you gotta visit Boulder. This place is so cool and I promise it will not disappoint! If you’ve been, have you visited any of these destinations?!
Written by your home girls at The Violet Fog