Boulder Neighborhood Guide: South Boulder

south boulderSouth Boulder, commonly known as SoBo, is the southwest neighborhood located between Table Mesa and Broadway. Houses here border the foothills and sit in the shadow of South Boulder Peak. SoBo is one of the most desirable (and affordable) neighborhoods for families with children, mainly because of the great schools, the easy access to the Skip bus line and US 36 — plus the simple fact that there are lots of other families to be found here.

    • History: Like Dakota Ridge and NoBo, this neighborhood started as a suburb of Boulder, a place to live if you wanted to on the outskirts of town. Thanks to the generous Open Space and Boulder’s limited development, this is still the case in SoBo. Bordered by public hiking trails and ranch land still in use, SoBo remains quite unchanged from its humble beginnings in the mid-1960’s.

  • Housing: SoBo encompasses a few different areas, including Devil’s Thumb and Shanahan Ridge. Affordable condos and townhomes, even student rentals, still exist in parts of this neighborhood but the single-family home, especially those ranches and bungalows with the popped-top, are definitely in the majority. With wide streets and large yards, there is a very strong kid (and dog)-friendly vibe. Houses go for anywhere from the mid-$300’s up to $800,000.

 

Pharmaca

 

  • Restaurants & Shopping:  The Table Mesa Shopping Center anchors this neighborhood and with it’s large variety of restaurants and retail stores to choose from, all your bases are covered. For breakfast, there’s the Southside Walnut Cafe and Cafe Solé. The beer flows freely at Murphy’s Grill while the Southern Sun boasts one of the best patios in town. Indian food fanatics can get their fix at Tandoori Grill. Throw in King Soopers, Savers and Pharmaca and you really might not ever need to leave South Boulder.
  • Family & Fitness: A major highlight of SoBo is the Harlow Platts community park, located adjacent to the South Boulder recreation center. Here, you’ll discover a disc golf course, playground, indoor pool, sand volleyball courts and a meandering path that takes you around Viele Lake. For those looking to hit the dirt, there are trailheads all over SoBo. Shanahan Ridge provides easy access to the Mesa trail while the nature hike at NCAR is perfect for children of all ages. Opportunities to commune with nature abound in this neighborhood.
  • Schools: Bear Creek or Mesa Elementary, Southern Hills Middle, Fairview High
  • Quirks: Stephen King used the Table Mesa Shopping Center as a setting for a chapter in his book The Shining. The author lived in SoBo for a little while in the 70’s and will kick off his next book tour here.
  • Major street boundaries: Table Mesa to the north, Broadway/US93 to the east, Open Space to the west and south

 

The many bike paths, dog-friendly hiking trails and quiet streets make SoBo an especially sought-after zip code in Boulder. Once you’ve had a few pints at the Southern Sun, it’s easy to see why walking home to SoBo is really all that people say it is.

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Tara Calihman

Tara Calihman

Tara Calihman is a freelance writer who has lived in Boulder for ten years without getting either a dog or a Subaru. Her work has appeared in Bicycle Times, Women's Adventure Magazine and online at BlogHer and The Huffington Post. You can find her trying to be funny on twitter @tarable and can see more of her writing here.
Tara Calihman

Tara Calihman

Tara Calihman is a freelance writer who has lived in Boulder for ten years without getting either a dog or a Subaru. Her work has appeared in Bicycle Times, Women's Adventure Magazine and online at BlogHer and The Huffington Post. You can find her trying to be funny on twitter @tarable and can see more of her writing here.

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