Attractions Nearby Boulder, Day Trips and Excursions

(Boulder, Colorado - CO, USA)

Photo of Denver's Civic CenterThis region of Colorado is rich with all kinds of attractions, many of which really are just a short drive away from the city of Boulder. Do take time out for some day trips or longer excursions. Denver is one of the biggest attractions in the whole of Colorado, and being a mere 30 miles / 48 km to the southeast of Boulder, really should be penciled firmly at the top of any sightseeing itinerary. Further afield, even Colorado Springs is not too far for a day trip from Boulder, especially if you leave nice and early in the morning.

If you are looking for a place to escape the summer crowds of Boulder, then the Eldora Mountain Resort should features strongly on your list of suitable attractions. Close to Nederland, Eldora is home to a very varied terrain and in the winter become the nearest ski resort, suitable families and serious Alpine skiers alike.

Picture of Denver's magnificent City Hall


Nicknamed the 'Mile High City', Denver is overflowing with quality attractions, many of which are located within the downtown district, which is bounder by Broadway and the Colfax Avenue. Museums abound in Denver and some of the very best include both the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado History Museum, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. For children, the Six Flags Elitch Gardens theme park is hard to beat, being home to almost 50 fast rides and roller coasters. The Denver Botanic Gardens is also very popular with families and provides an important green space, as does the City Park and its zoological gardens.

Image of museum at Aurora


Colorado's number three city in terms of overall size and population, Aurora was founded as recently as 1891 and lies of the eastern plains of Denver. Aurora is just over 35 miles / 56 km to the southeast of Boulder and worth investigating if you have a space day. Top attractions in the city include musicals at the Aurora Fox Arts Center on East Colfax Avenue, dinosaur exhibits at the Aurora History Museum on the Alameda Parkway, and native flora and fauna at the Plains Conservation Center on East Hampden Avenue, and various recreational activities around the Aurora Reservoir on South Powhaton Road, such as boating and swimming.

Picture of the Garden of the Gods at Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the second-biggest city in the state of Colorado, after only Denver, and stands at the very base of the famed Pikes Peak, around 97 miles / 156 km to the south of Boulder. Visitors to Colorado Spring will be greeted with a whole host of attractions and the city is at its busiest during the summer season, with crowds flocking to the stunning red sandstone rock formations which make up the Garden of the Gods. The US Air Force Academy has long been a major draw card in Colorado Springs, along with the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which has transported passengers to the very summit of the beautiful Pikes Peak since 1891.

Eldora Mountain Resort

The Eldora Mountain Resort offers a very pleasant summer retreat with gorgeous mountain scenery, although during the winter months, it really comes into its own as a leading ski resort, with many slopes and no less than ten ski lifts in total. Appealing to skiers and snow boarders alike, the Eldora Mountain Resort provides a pleasant alternative to larger and more developed ski resorts and simply relies on its extreme natural beauty.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts available to seniors and children

Estes Park picture, showing the beautiful Bear Lake

Estes Park

Estes Park is generally referred to as the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park and at the weekends, the town's population generally soars, with tourists coming here to enjoy the scenery and recreational attractions on offer. There are also a number of good museums within Estes Park and in particular, the Stanley Museum really stands out and clearly documents the growth of the town as a tourist destination. For the very best views, take a ride on the Estes Park aerial tramway, to the top of Prospect Mountain. Situated to the northwest of Boulder, Estes Parks can be reached in around one hour, being just 36 miles / 58 km away.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Address: Park Office, 92 Crawford Gulch Road, Golden, Colorado CO, 80403, USA
Tel: +1 303 582 3707
The Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a 30-minute drive to the south of Boulder and can be reached along the Crawford Gulch Road. Visiting will find a seemingly endless array of trails, which stretch for almost 50 miles / 80 km in total. Summer attractions at the Golden Gate Canyon State Park include hiking, mountain biking, fishing and picnicking, while when the winter snow arrives, cross-country skiers flock here to enjoy the challenging slopes and scenery.
Open hours: daily - 05:00 to 22:00
Admission: charge

Photo taken at the Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Tel: +1 970 586 1206
The Rocky Mountain National Park is one of biggest attractions in this part of Colorado and the main reason why so many tourists base themselves in the area. At 40 miles / 64 km to the northwest of Boulder, the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountain National Park is a relatively short drive away. Each year, more than three million people come to the park, hoping to encounter some of the rich wildlife, such as beavers, elk and moose. In total, there are no less than five different visitors centers both in and around the Rocky Mountain National Park (Alpine, Beaver Meadows, Fall River, Kawuneeche and Lily Lake). The most popular mountain trails pass through the Big Thompson River Canyon, the Calypso Cascades, the Flattop Mountain and Lily Mountain, suitable all levels of fitness. Whitewater rafting is also available throughout the park, with regular summer trips departing from Kremmling.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: charge, applicable to vehicles and individuals, valid for seven days