Boulder Homes for Sale
Living in Boulder
Boulder is often described as “25 square miles surrounded by reality”. The city is nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the beautiful red rock outcroppings known at the Flatirons. Approximately 107,000 residents call Boulder "home". Boulder is a college town with a vibrant start-up scene. The city has a strong health and fitness focus, enjoys over 300 days of sunshine, is a foodie's paradise, and is pedestrian and public transport-friendly to the point of not needing a car.
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Boulder was populated originally by gold prospectors in the 1850’s. It was incorporated in 1871 and businesses opened their doors to supply prospectors and established mines. Folks also relocated to the area as news of its’ natural beauty spread. The first large residences were built in the Mapleton and Whittier neighborhoods. The state appropriated funds and approval for the establishment of the University of Colorado in 1877.
Boulder is often described as “25 square miles surrounded by reality”. The city is well known for it’s unique geologic formations, the Flatirons, which consist of three prominent rock outcroppings that mark the start of the foothills into the Rock Mountains. The city abuts the foothills on the west and stretches east in a grid pattern. Numbered streets run north-south while all other streets run east-west. The small town of Lyons is located directly north, Gunbarrel and Niwot are located to the northeast, Erie is located to the east, and Louisville and Superior to the southeast and south respectively.
Boulder communities located in the western parts of the city, just against the foothills, see a good degree of wildlife activity ranging from frequent deer sightings to the occasional bear or mountain lion. Most communities in Boulder offer immediate or proximal access to the 150 miles of trails within the city. An extensive paved trail system runs throughout the entire city and is heavily used by folks commuting to work. A dedicated paved trail linking Boulder to Denver was completed in 2017 and parallels Highway 36. There are over 80 individual neighborhoods in Boulder. Niwot and Gunbarrel are small towns/villages immediately adjacent to Boulder that are also popular.
Denver: 40 minutes
Denver International Airport: 46 minutes
Vail (i.e. ski mountain towns): 2.5 hours
Festivals, Events & Fun
Boulder kicks off Fall with their annual two-day long Boulder Creek Festival over Labor day weekend. The Boulder Farmer's Market, which runs from April - Oct and was voted #1 in the nation by USA Today readers, comes to a close. Football games at the University of Colorado begin and tailgating ensues. Bike enthusiasts come out in the thousands to participate in CU's annual bike ride fundraiser the Buffalo Classic, which offers multiple distance options including the popular century ride of 100 miles. Kiddos hit the brick pavement of pedestrian Pearl Street for the Muchin Masquerade on Halloween to trick-or-treat during daylight hours at local stores. A number of other music and film events occur in the fall including: Boulder Bach Festival, Boulder Philharmonic, Flatirons Food & Film Festival and Open Studios (Tour the workspaces of local artisans). Food events include First Bite, which is Boulder's Restaurant Week when over 40 of Boulder's best restaurants offer three-course fixed price menu options. Boulder welcomes in the holiday season with Switch on the Holidays in November when the holiday lights strung on the Boulder County Courthouse are illuminated and Santa makes an appearance on Pearl Street.
The holiday spirit continues throughout December with St. Nick on the Bricks, the Lights of December Parade, and Chanukah on Pearl Street. The Boulder Ballet performs the Nutcracker Ballet. College sports enthusiasts attend CU basketball games. The Boulder International Film Festival is a four-day event that features films from award-winning local and international filmmakers.
Spring kicks off with Boulder Arts Week, which is a city-wide events including art walks, gallery exhibitions, music & dance performances, and workshops located at the popular Dairy Arts Center and other venues. Pearl Street comes alive during the Tulip & Fairy Festival when over 15,000 tulips planted along the pedestrian promenade bloom. The free and open to the public Conference on World Affairs draws experts from around the world to participate in over 200 panels, discussions, and events. The Taste of Pearl caters to the robust food culture in Boulder where local restaurants serve up their most popular dishes to eager foodies strolling on Pearl while listening to local music performances. The renowned Boulder Farmer's Market also kicks off its season in April.
Boulder welcomes summer with the ever-popular Boulder Creek Festival over Memorial Day weekend. Folks come out in the 10,000s to run the BoulderBolder, which one of the most recognized 10K races in the world where elite runners attend to qualify for larger races and local residents line-up in costume to run through the streets of Boulder as bands play and spectators cheer. The thriving start-up scene supports Boulder Startup Week in May as well. Boulder's Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) hosts its annual MediaLive festival. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival offers outdoor performances of the poet & playwright's most well-known works. Summer is also a time where multiple outdoor music events are held. This is tandem to the year-long music events held at Macky Auditorium, Chautauqua Concert Hall, Boulder Theater, and eTown Hall.
Hiking and general outdoor activities prevail in Boulder with 54,000 acres of open space. Over 150 miles of paved, gravel, and dirt trails weave throughout the city and surrounding areas. The system is truly amazing and allows for residents to bike and travel by foot from home to work to shopping to trails. Boulder has three fantastic recreation centers with pool, weights, ball courts, and classes for youth and seniors. Additionally, the city operates an outdoor Olympic-sized pool, a golf course, and the renowned Valmont bike park. The city maintains more than 60 parks, many of which have play structures and picnic shelters. There are also four fantastic dog parks.
Chautauqua Park, originally established in 1898, is Boulder’s most iconic natural retreat. It was originally established as a summer vacation resort in which prominent families would spend the summer engaging with art, music, culture, and nature. Today, it is a fantastic place to hike and enjoy a picnic lunch on the lawn or in the restaurant.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research sits on the hill above Boulder and blends seamlessly into the Flatiron landscape per its Anasazi-inspired architecture, which was designed by I. M. Pei in 1961. The government lab is open for tours year-round. NCAR is one of Boulder three national labs; the other two being the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Insitute for Standards and Technology.
Pearl Street Mall is a brick-paved pedestrian promenade lined with restaurants, shops, and street performers. Many visitors list "a day on Pearl" as one of their top priorities when visiting.
The Dushanbe Teahouse is an ornately hand-carved tearoom situated near Pearl Street that offers eclectic breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner menus as well as an impressive tea menu. The structure was a gift from artisans in Boulder's sister city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Visitors also enjoy touring the Celestial Seasoning Tea facility in north Boulder, learning about the city at the Museum of Boulder at the Tebo Center, touring the galleries & exhibits at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts (BoMCA), and strolling the Boulder Creek Path which runs through the heart of the city along picturesque Boulder Creek.
The Boulder Reservoir is a popular location in the summer for swimming, boating, hiking, and is the venue for renowned running and triathlon events like the Ironman 70.3.
Boulder is home to the University of Colorado with a student enrollment of 35,000. It’s a picturesque campus with buildings all consistently built with red Saltillo tiled roofs. Football weekends are a major event in the fall.
Boulder is part of the Boulder Valley School District and offers open enrollment. There are 18 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and 10 high schools. These schools include traditional, charter, and non-traditional options like Montessori, online, arts-integrated, and social service-based.
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*Based on GreatSchools.org ratings
Boulder’s shopping areas are located roughly in the center of the city. The 29th Street Mall is a promenade type shopping center with boutiques like the Apple Store, Sur la Table, Lululemon, and Anthropologie. Larger retail stores like REI, Bed Bath Beyond, Barnes & Noble, and Whole Foods are also in this area. To the west of 29th Street Mall is the iconic Pearl Street Mall, where most visitors start their tour of town. This area contains many great small shops and restaurants along a pedestrian thoroughfare. The Boulder Creek Path, which is part of the aforementioned trail system, can be accessed south of Pearl Street Mall and is a great way to take in parts of town. A handful of grocery stores are sprinkled throughout the city ranging from conventional chains like King Soopers and Safeway to Whole Foods, Alfalfas, Lucky's, and Sprouts.
Boulder Community Health Foothills Hospitals