I know this makes me sound like an old lady, but it seems like school starts back up earlier and earlier with every passing year. Or maybe it’s because I don’t go to school, so seasons don’t really mean much to me except for defining my wardrobe choices.
However, just because I’m an old fuddy duddy doesn’t mean that the bright-eyed freshman converging on Boulder in the coming weeks can’t enjoy the start of, not only a new school year, but also a new chapter in life. On top of that, some of you freshman are new to Boulder, Colorado.
Welcome to The Bubble my young friends!
I’ve taken the time to put together a little primer on the city, YourBoulder style naturally, so don’t mind the snark, guys.
Bone Up on History
First things first, there’s a lot more to Boulder than an exceptional university, access to ALL the sports, and legal weed (parents, believe us — you’re glad it’s legal because bail money and you don’t need that hassle). The city is over 100 years old and has gone through some pretty impressive changes. Read all about the People’s Republic of Boulder (as it’s sometimes called) in the “Rise of the Republic” series: the early days, the middle ages, and its golden years. You’ll also want to learn a little bit about some of the history on The Hill. There are some wonderful historic buildings in the area that have more than a few stories to tell.
Get a Taste of Local Fare
You may or may not be aware that Boulder has become of sort of foodie mecca and the food in the valley is to die for. You can get your hands on just about any type of cuisine your rumbling tummy desires. Whether you’re looking to satisfy your case of the munchies with buffalo wings or Mexican food or you’re looking for something a little more upscale, you can be sure to find it on the Boulder restaurant scene.
Shop Smart, Shop Local
Speaking of food, Boulder residents are big on their organics. You’ll be happy to know that, from local to chain, all of the grocers in Boulder focus on offering all-natural, organic, and/or local produce to their customers. Fear not, you won’t have to spend one day kombucha-less!
Since you’ll be spending all your pennies on great food, you’ll need to find ways to save them in other areas and, you’re in luck, Boulder has several killer thrift stores! If you’re looking for more modern day trends, then check out Plato’s Closet or the Buffalo Exchange. If you’re feeling like splurging on some vintage staples, then please, please, please visit Goldmine Vintage. I wouldn’t call it a “thrift” store per se, but the carefully curated clothing racks are just chock full of unique pieces of vintage clothing.
Which brings me to our final shop local destination. Goldmine Vintage is located smack dab in the middle of the Pearl Street Mall. As someone who has grown up in Boulder and been to the Pearl Street Mall more times than I can count in the last two and a half decades, I still love the Pearl Street Mall. Hate the parking, love the mall. It’s an eclectic mixture of new and old, rich and not-so, and cheap and pricey. It’s also really beautiful. I’ve spent time just sitting on the benches people watching, taking photos with the bronze statues scattered through the mall, and watching some pretty amazing street performers. And that’s just the free stuff; I haven’t even started about the stores or restaurants!
Go Play Outside
Another wonderful thing about the Pearl Street Mall is that it’s an outdoor walking mall, which fits in pretty well with one of the most active, outdoorsy cities in the country. If you aren’t taking advantage of the gorgeous scenery surrounding your college campus, you may be doing something wrong. There are so many amazing things to do outdoors in almost any weather that I can’t even begin to name them. Just take a look at our outdoor recreation section to get a glimpse of the adventure that awaits you.
Mostly, this sassy ol’ “I remember when” lady wants to wish all of the incoming freshman at the University of Colorado an epic first year with at least three more to follow. Maybe when you’re a junior, I’ll clue you in to all of the awesome microbreweries in town.