"Progressive. Fun. Natural. This city has always been a haven for health and fitness enthusiasts, and has produced many famous athletes and adventurers. There are more rocket scientists in this town per capita than anyplace else, too. These are some smart, healthy citizens!Boulder has transformed in the last few years, and it is becoming increasingly less of a “hippie town”…well, sort of. Let’s just say high-tech geeks are now the ones sporting beards and flip-flops these days. Of course there are new coffee shops, restaurants and green-businesses popping up all over town, but there’s also an entrepreneurial spirit growing here, with a fresh burst in growth in the tech industry. And nature lovers will never be bored in this place, either.To demonstrate Boulder’s unique blend of being a small city that loves it's local, unique places combined with it's love affair with modern technology, we “tweeted” the question “What’s your favorite (blank) in Boulder?”… or rather, “ What's ur fave about #Boulder? Tell me & incl. #myfavboulder in tweet. Plz RT!”. What's that? Well, we basically asked Boulderites to share what they love about Boulder with us via Twitter, and we think you’ll like their suggestions. If you haven’t been to Boulder, you’re missing something special. Even if you come for just a weekend, see some of the highlights: Saturday:Breakfast, Louisiana style: Lucille’s – Start with beignets, and some chicory coffee. Then go for something hearty like one of the egg dishes served with grits and a huge biscuit, (our favorite is the Eggs Jennifer for vegetarians!) or the sweet praline pancakes with fruit (warning, these are sweeeet!). Another place that received quite a few mentions is Centro located on West Pearl. Now, go discover the Pearl Street Mall a beautiful, brick-lined pedestrian mall surrounded by Flatiron views, plenty of shops and boutiques such as Into the Wind, The Savory Spice Shop, The Boulder Bookstore, The Pedestrian Shop, Powell’s Candy Shoppe and many more. The mall is the centerpiece of Boulder’s downtown, and a must-see!
Boulder Creek Path - rent a bike and cruise the creek path for a couple of hours. For convenience and a great bike rental, try Full Cycle or longtime local biz University Bicycles. Refresh and refuel at The Cup. Can’t beat free wireless internet, yummy home-made pastries, and organic, fair-trade coffee in a friendly atmosphere (and a plethora of of Apple laptops)!Don’t miss the West-End of Pearl, either. This area is popular with the locals. Beautiful shops such as the West End Gardener (777 Pearl St.) live here, and you can find unique gifts for anyone, but especially gardeners in this whimsical, lovely store. Grab a bottle of Australian, Italian or local wine from the West End Wine Shop next door. Oh, what the heck... go ahead and check out one of my favories on the other side of the terrace, Spruce Confections (767 Pearl St.). Stop in for delicious baked treats and coffee, or even soup and a sandwich. Ask about the famous Old B Cookie. (see their fun video) Free time? At some point, you must check out McGuckin Hardware Store. It isn’t downtown, yet it's not too far away, and should be seen! “More than a hardware store,” they’ve been locally-owned for over 50 years. It’s not your typical tourist destination, but it is a must-see local business that’s loaded with character and charm. You’ll be amazed at the variety of stuff sold here, and I promise there’s something for everyone. Take your dog! We takehttp://twitter.com/metro_dog (our mascot, Hagen) all the time and he loves the treats they give him! In any town there are hotels, and then there are... HOTELS. In Boulder, there are 3 particular ones that stand out, each with it's own character. The Hotel Boulderado, Boulder’s first luxury hotel - this one is timeless and elegant, and located right in the heart of downtown! Ask about the man-operated elevator - the oldest one west of the Mississippi! Also centrally-located is the St. Julien Hotel & Spa - the newest swanky hotel with luxury amenities, a full spa, and live music in their beautiful lobby most every evening. The Boulder Outlook is a zero-waste hotel. Not only is this place green, but even the pool (with a natural waterfall) is healthy and is not chlorinated! They use bromine, and the water is warm. Mmmmm, so relaxing!Dinner: A popular twitterer in Boulder, @cindykcruz, tweeted that one of her favorite restaurants is Radda, in North Boulder, which serves delicious Italian food with style. “I Love Radda 4 an excellent meal in a perfect neighborhood place 2 meet friends”, Cruz says. She's also not alone in highly recommending Mateo Restaurant, 1837 Pearl, for French Provencal delight. Your dinner (might just be) will be served by the owners themselves – talk about local! You might not realize it, but there's quite a list of options in the arts and entertainment category in Boulder. For night entertainment, you can't go wrong with the Boulder Theatre, The Fox Theatre, or one of the many clubs scattered around the Pearl St./Downtown area. In fact, if you haven't already made your dinner reservation elsewhere, an excellent choice for entertainment AND dining simultaneously is the Boulder Dinner Theater. Enjoy dinner and a musical and go home completely satisfied. In the daytime, visit the many galleries and museums around town, including BMoCA. We'll visit that one tomorrow... Sunday:Brunch at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House... how to begin explaining this haven? There are many traits that this stunning spot offers that will fulfill your sensory needs. First, take a walk around the rose garden and take in the wonderful aroma. Next, treat your eyes to the architecture and the artistic decor inside. Back in 1987, Dushanbe presented Boulder with a Teahouse to celebrate the establishment of sister city ties. More than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan created the decorative elements, including it's hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels. Impressed yet? You'll soon be seated with 2 menus and, as the name suggests, one is a long list of imported teas from around the world. Enjoy one of Boulder's best brunches! Afterwards, take a few steps over to BMoCA (Boulder's Museum of Contemporary Art). Enjoy the modern art and pick up something neat in the gift shop. Then, if you haven't already experienced the Boulder Creek Path (yesterday's recommended bike ride) now's your chance. Just a few yards away, across Central Park you can take a stroll on the path along the creek. Depending on your ambitions, you may eventually find yourself at Scott Carpenter Park, a favorite place for twitterer @boulderblogger to go and hang out. Hey, wait a minute. Scott Carpenter? Yep, that's right, the park is named after THE Scott Carpenter of NASA fame (not only Mork landed in Boulder). Scott was a Boulder native who named his space shuttle after the intersection where he grew up... Aurora and 7th! At this point on your tour of the smallest city with the most to offer, many of the locals will be screaming, "See the trails!" Our family's decision to move to Boulder was partly because of the ability to easily and quickly slip away from the hustle and bustle of the the city into pure nature, in just a matter of minutes. Because of the city's decision to maintain open space by creating a "green belt" around itself, you really can head any direction and find abundant nature easily. Twitterer, @fjkelly3, loves the Mesa Trail runs, while @bouldertweep recommends the stunning views at Chautauqua Park & up Flagstaff Mountain. More recommendations come from @OnlyInBoulder who loves the "shifting Flatiron views" and @boulderblogger who says she loves summiting Mt. Sanitas. We personally love that it takes us 10 minutes to get across town to arrive at our haven - the barn where we can feed and ride our horse into the many trails in Boulder County. As I head out to the barn, I can't help loving the metro/urban/nature mix of things.Speaking of grazing... where to go for lunch on Day 2? Visit one of many Thai restaurants or Indian/Nepalese buffets scattered around town - try the Musamun Curry dish at Khow Thai on Broadway, or if you haven't had enough of the Pearl Street Mall district, you've got anything from falafels and gyros at Falafel King, Italian cuisine and dessert at Trattoria On Pearl or some gourmet burgers, fries and freshly brewed beer at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery (try the Mountain Sun Magic Rootbeer), just east of the mall... to name a few spots. Incidentally, Colorado offically has more micro-breweries than any other state. Here are a few of the things some of the locals wrote about the people of Boulder, which may be the real reason that people love and stay in this town and why many have left the big cities to live here: @cindykcruz loves the people and the plethora of exercise options, and @DaveTaylor 's favorite things are "the smart, concerned, entrepreneurial people. It's an Awesome community and kid friendly". It's "nicely eclectic" in the words of @boulderagent, a local realtor. Check out Pharmaca, a nationally-recognized Pharmacy/Healthy Alternative concept chain born out of Boulder. It's a good place to go if you forgot your meds on this trip... however, they also carry wonderful soaps, massage oils & gourmet chocolates - including none other than another famous Boulder company - Chocolove. Oh, and on the way there, don't forget to get A Bhakti Chai or Oolong tea at Atlas Purveyors on Pearl St. (between 15th and 16th). Finally, may I suggest some great places for dinner cuisine? Laudisio, which is located on the 29th Street Mall, makes their own fresh pasta and pizza dough daily, has a nice family-friendly feel that you don't always find in a gourmet restaurant of this caliber, and they also create their own fine selection of Italian desserts. In fact, they make small batches of gelatto to order (try the olive oil gelatto...)! Other fine dining choices are The Black Cat, a soulful bistro that prepares food straight from their farm., The Kitchen, a community bistro located in historic downtown, or a newer restaurant a couple doors down called SALT, who opened their doors just weeks ago and has already earned instant fame. Shazbat! That's quite a menu of items to eat, see and do. How could you possibly accomplish all that and so much more? Well, I forgot to tell you about "The Curse". You'll be back." (you can follow on twitter at @metroseen and join Facebook fan page)