Chautauqua is much more than just the iconic park at the base of Boulder’s most famous rock structures. It’s also the gorgeous sprawling neighborhood surrounding the historic park. Chautaqua is one of the oldest neighborhoods in town, provides ample views of the Flatirons, and is within walking distance of all of the amenities of the Colorado Chautauqua Association.
- History: The Colorado Chautauqua was started in 1898 as a type of summer enrichment program for Texas schoolteachers. It’s been continuously running since, presenting outdoor lectures, concerts and film screenings for the public. In addition to the Auditorium, there is also a Dining Hall, rental cabins and an informative Ranger’s Center. Chautauqua park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
- Housing: Chautauqua is a small neighborhood made up of a dozen streets and mostly single family homes. There are many spacious Victorians to be found mixed in with the updated modern house designs, sharing large lots and many trees. Most houses sell in the million or two million dollar range. With this neighborhood’s close proximity to CU, it make sense that you’ll also find some condos and townhouses, mainly used for student housing and rental properties.
- Restaurants & Shopping: The Chautauqua Colorado Association runs the Chautauqua Dining Hall, praised for its brunches and special event dinners. You can make reservations to eat there before or after your weekend hike. Additional dining and shopping can be found in the Base-Mar shopping center, located on the SE corner of Broadway and Baseline. There is a Whole Foods, Taj Mahal Indian restaurant and an Egg & I breakfast joint. Chautauqua is an easy bike ride from downtown Boulder and just down the hill from SoBo.
- Family and Fitness: You can’t get much more family-friendly and fitness-oriented than Chautauqua park. The Ranger’s Center provides information about trails, local flora and the history of the area. During the summer, there are special children’s programs put on the park, including nature hikes and campfire storytelling sessions. And for the adults, there are concerts at Chautauqua Auditorium, picnics in the park and treks up to the Flatirons.
- Schools: Flatirons Elementary, Manhattan Middle and Boulder High
- Quirks: This neighborhood is filled with unique and curvy roads, many of them leading nowhere and resulting in dead-ends. Of course, at some of these dead-ends, you might just find a hidden trailhead and a secret stash of neighborhood trails. But if you do live in this neighborhood, be prepared for heavy tourist use and possible parking issues. In addition to everyone and their mother coming to Chautauqua during the summer, there are also rental cottages available near the park.
- Major street boundaries: Baseline to Chautauqua park and bordering Open Space to the south
With unique houses, tree-lined streets and Open Space so close, it’s no wonder why people are willing to pay the high prices to live in the Chautauqua neighborhood. Having the Flatirons as a backdrop to your house is desirable … and demands the requisite dollars.
Top photo credit: Kara Brugman via Flickr.