How to Have an Awesome + Healthy Afternoon in Boulder

Welcome to Colorado!

Boulder

(view from the car ride to Boulder – my first view of the town – WOW!)

If you find yourself in Denver for a few days (like I did), you definitely want to check out Boulder — even if you only have an afternoon!

I had always heard amazing things about that city, like how green, beautiful, and awesome it is.

Boulder did not disappoint.

 

Here’s a few way to make the most of your day! :)

 

Grab a Quick Nap in the Country

Boulder Nap

You’re a busy person and if you want to make this a full day, there’s no reason you can’t pass out for 20 minutes in the tall grass at the foot of the Foothills!

 

Have an Amazing Lunch

Julia's Kitchen Salad

Even with all the research I do, sometimes wandering around will work out VERY WELL.

I noticed a sign for the North Boulder Cafe, but they were just about to close. A couple doors down, in this small storefront was a place called Julia’s Kitchen.

Julia's Kitchen Cinnamon Roll

I knew from the tagline I was going to be all set: “Nourish Your Body. Feed Your Soul.” Yup, my kinda people.

They even had a cinnamon roll made of sprouted buckwheat and coconut sugar: how could I resist?!

The menu is all plant-based with TONS of organics! I even walked out of there with a few (healthy, non-sugary!) desserts!

 

 

Connect with People that Inspire You

While I knew Boulder is an amazing city, there was one definite reason I wanted to get up there: to meet up with Marc David!

Marc taught “Secrets of Mind Body Nutrition” at the en*theos Academy and I was the TA.

This is seriously one of my FAVORITE classes, and just about every day I’m practicing something I learned in there or telling others about the goodness! Such practical ideas + tips – I think you’d dig it!! :)

He also founded and runs the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Central message: it’s not just what you eat, but who you are as an eater!

We had a great conversation at a local cafe, and the time just flew by!

Really loved Marc’s energy – oh and this guy is definitely doing something right: I think he easily looks 15-20 years younger than he actually is!! The benefits of healthy living and a positive mindset, right… ? ;)

 

Go for a Hike You Won’t Forget

Marc generously brought me to a trailhead nearby and gave me directions for a hike I could do in either a half-hour, or two hours. I took the latter option. :)

Foothills Prairie DogI walked through prairie dog country (they were popping up everywhere!), then came upon a lake, switched into my Vibram Five Fingers, and began the ascent!

I got some pretty good elevation, and then realized I wasn’t that far from the top! Who knows when I’d be back?! Gotta go for it!!

 

Foothills CactusI had to go off-path for the last part, dodging small cactus plants and climbing rocks. Oh, and I discovered there were houses at the top of the mountain – that’s gotta be an awesome place to live!

I finally made it top the peak after about 40 minutes (not too shabby), and just kinda hung out and took in the view.

 

I even made a call to my buddy John – not a bad “office” for the day! What a crazy, cool world we live in!

Foothills Phone Call

 

 

Reinvent a Dinner Menu Item

Mountain Sun Pub Salad

After I (carefully) climbed down and headed downtown, I hopped on the computer and looked for food on Pearl St.

I didn’t find anything super close that was exactly what I was looking for, but I found a place that had some amazing choices items, and I knew I’d be able to make modifications to the menu!

I had no idea how awesome dinner was about to get.

I wandered over to the Mountain Sun Pub, sat down, and dove into the menu.

My waiter Pat was super cool: he does this thing where he grabs a seat at your table, to make the whole ordering process more conversational. Totally dig it!

I initially ordered this portabello and roasted red pepper sandwich without the bread or cheese. He suggested I just throw those two items onto a salad for a few bucks more. Two salads in one day?? :)

Sounded like a good idea to me!

 

And apparently, I wasn’t the only one: the server who brought over my food, Katie, put down my plate, saying “That looks soooooo good. We should totally have that on the menu!”

Haha. I made a friend through my unconventional ordering style. (The one other item I would have added: avocado! just didn’t think of it…)

Julia's KitchenTurns out Katie is a dietician, and I told her about Julia’s Kitchen: her eyes got super wide with excitement!

LOVE make those kinds of connection (not just with people, but also hooking them up with the cool places/resources I find)!

I had such a great time and experience at Mountain Sun that I filled out their comment card, recommending this item for the menu (Katie fully supports me on this one ;), and letting them know how great Pat is!

What an easy and fun way to give back to this place and to these two people. :)

 

Use the Remarkably Easy + Inexpensive Public Transportation

Boulder Downtown

So Boulder is about an hour from Denver by car. In some places around the country, that would be a nightmare by public transit.

Not so here.

Not only did I take the bus from North Boulder to Downtown, I then hopped on a super comfy coach bus (!) from Boulder to Denver, got off at the Light Rail Stop, and took that directly to where I was staying in South Denver.

First bus cost $2.25 and I got a transfer for the second bus. Then on the second bus, I paid $2.75 and received an additional transfer for the Light Rail. LOVE how seamless and integrated all the public transit is — even across different cities!!

North Boulder –> Downtown Boulder –> Denver –> South Denver!

FredA distance of about 44 miles in about two hours for only $5. Not bad at all, plus the rides were all comfy and safe.

I even struck up conversation with a guy on the Light Rail (he totally had this Christian Bale-surfer vibe going!). This guy (Fred) commutes to Boulder daily using the Light Rail and Coach bus and doesn’t even own a car, just a skateboard – ha!

Good times, Boulder. Good times.

 

Totals:

So how did I make out…

Time in Boulder: 7 hours

Money Spent: $32 (food + metro)

Awesomeness: priceless! :)

 

What a day!! You know, living in Boulder at some point may have just been added to the list. Yup, it’s that sweet out there! :)

***

 

I had initially hoped to spend a week in Colorado. My travel plans changed once I booked a couple of speaking gigs at the Life Is Good Conference (totally a good reason! and my first talk is THIS Friday!! :).

Instead of completing the remainder of the Overly Ambitious Tour, I hopped on a plane and headed to Portland, Oregon, skipped across the Columbia River and landed in Vancouver, WA (ah, the PacNW…).

I’m actually looking for a housesitting gig for the summer months: I need to just stay in one place and do some WORK — so many ideas running around my head, and more travel is only creating more ideas. :) (good problem to have!)

If you’re headed out of town and need a super reliable and easygoing housesitter (to feed the dogs, cats, and plants!), feel free to give me a shout: I have references, and I’ve gotten my shots. ;)

 

Have you had an awesome afternoon somewhere? Been to Boulder and loved it?

 

I’d love to hear your response + any other thoughts you have below.

Looking forward to learning more!
Nathan

 

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About

Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad – looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.

2 comments on “How to Have an Awesome + Healthy Afternoon in Boulder
  1. Phil Drolet says:

    Yes! Boulder = Nonstop Awesomeness! It’s funny, as I’m reading this I literally just came back from my first escapade to Mountain Sun Brewery (and was blown away by their service). Because we didn’t know what beer to order they brought us 8 little samples :) I then proceeded to have one of the most inspired conversations I’ve had in … ever!

    LOVE BOULDER!!!

    • Nathan says:

      yup, now that we have confirmation from a man on the ground, it’s official: Boulder rocks!

      did you see Pat or Katie at Mountain Sun??? did my salad make the menu?? :)

      thanks phil!

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