Boulder hot spots for any kind of Buff

CU is home to a melting pot of students, allowing for any casual observer to pass both sorority princesses and barefoot hippies on his or her walk to class. With this diversity comes a vast range of what people constitute as “a good time” in Boulder’s ever-expanding options of amusements. Below is a collection of some of Boulder’s hottest spots, classified to help any type of student find fun, day or night.

The trailhead of the Enchanted Mesa Trail up at Chautauqua for the hikers in Boulder. Other popular spots for CU students include The Rio and Pearl Street. (CU Independent File/James Bradbury)

For the Au-Natural

Chautauqua: Located at the base of the Flatirons, Chautauqua Park is the start for many trails that explore one of Boulder’s most beautiful landmarks. Hiking trails include the easy Mesa Trail, challenging First Flatiron Trail and ever-popular Royal Arch Trail, which ends at a wondrous natural sandstone arch with great views of Boulder.

Boulder Creek Path: Winding its way through Boulder next to Boulder Creek, this seven-mile path offers bikers and runners alike a great tour of Boulder, passing by such landmarks as the Pearl Street mall and the Boulder Amphitheater.

The Spot: One of the unfortunate parts of living in nature-friendly Boulder is that residents have to deal with the unfriendly natural elements of snow, rain and cold. When the great outdoors are off-limits, The Spot Bouldering Gym is a go-to for those who can’t put their climbing and bouldering skills on hold just because of the weather. With 15,000 square feet of bouldering terrain, The Spot has plenty of room for every climbing fanatic in Boulder, from the experienced professional to the energetic beginner.

For the over 21-er

The Rio: People-watching and flirting is easy to do at the Rio, with help from its rooftop patio and strong margaritas. Weekly specials include a Monday through Friday happy hour, Wednesday Rio Marg Madness and the ever-popular Thursday College Night, when margaritas are just $4 each. Be warned — there is a reason they limit three margaritas per customer, and it’s not because they are worried about running out of triple-sec.

The Hill: While Pearl Street offers plenty of happy hours and after-hours entertainment for a great night out, The Hill’s convenient location across from campus makes it ideal for those nights where you just need a drink. The Sink runs drink specials every day of the week and Half Fast Subs is home to the famous 32 oz pitcher margaritas, long islands and hurricanes. For a classier time, check out Café Aion, where there is happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and all night on Mondays and Tuesdays the typical starving student has the opportunity to wine and dine for semi-reasonable prices.

For the Shopaholic

Nordstrom Rack: Living on a tight budget can be a drag to the college fashionista, but Nordstrom Rack can help ease the pain with designer duds at seriously discounted prices. Located in the Twenty Ninth Street Shopping Center, this is a must-stop shop for any person looking to snag a new outfit for a steal.

Pearl Street: Like Boulder itself, the Pearl Street Mall is home to an eclectic hodge-podge of stores, from high-end boutiques like Free People and Weekends, to vintage consignments, like Buffalo Exchange and Goldmine Vintage. No matter the style, budget or personality, Pearl Street is a truly Boulder shopping experience that every Buff should experience.

Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Kelsey Lindsey at

Kelsey Anne Lindsey

Kelsey is a senior English major at the University of Colorado. This is her second semester working with the CU Independent, and her first as entertainment editor. Colorado born and raised, she enjoys hiking, running, dancing and riding her yellow bike all over beautiful Boulder.

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