July 3, 2009

In Boulder? 10 things to do.

This post was originally written for the LOHAS conference in Boulder. Our hope is that the recommended 10 Things To Do in Boulder (click here for National Geographic‘s recent list, with lead photo of Trident Cafe) apply to equally well to all visitors, whatever your reason for or length of visit.

Update: all of Boulder is invited to our LOHAS afterparty at Happy Noodle tonite. It’s half a block west (toward mountains) from St. Julien Hotel, they have great dinner and are offering Happy Hours specials (password for LOHASians: “Happy Life”) from 7 – 9 pm, when our afterparty ends. Summer Rayne Oakes, Juriaan Kamp of Ode Magazine, Derek Markham (a Top 10 Green Tweeter), Joe of @gaiam will be there…@gaiam, #lohasforum and @elephantjournal are the hosts. With thanks to @happynoodle!

LOHAS is a wonderful annual forum for green, yoga, wellness and other progressive, inspired, triple-bottomline-loving, socially-responsible businesses and entrepreneurs. We’re proud to be a part of it for the second, filming interviews with our idols and/or friends Ray Anderson, Adam Werbach, Rodney Yee, Mallika Chopra, Olivia Zaleski and other speakers (last year we interviewed Tommy Rosen of Ecogift.com, Chico Bag, Mr. Endangered Species Chocolate, Denise Hamler of Co-Op America, Planet Green’s CEO, ecomodel Summer Rayne Oakes, treehugger.com founder Graham Hill, many others) and writing daily reviews of the LOHAS action and twittering news-you-can-use from our award-winning Twitter account, @elephantjournal.

elephant journal, only recently a national eco-magazine available in just about all Whole Foods from sea to shining sea, went online six months ago. We’re loving our new(media)-fangled, paperless existence.

One thing hasn’t changed: we’re based in Boulder, Colorado, sometimes called 25 miles surrounded by reality. Here’s 10 things you should think about doing while you’re in Boulder (if you do three of ’em, you’re good).

1. Boulder is famous for its cafes. Rightly so. Check out Trident, Boulder’s original cafe, only a block from the St. Julien Hotel. If you’re staying at the Julien, take advantage of the free bikes for guests and check out Pekoe, Laughing Goat, Tee & Cakes, Sidney’s, The Cup, Spruce Confections…all within comfortable walking distance, as well. They all have wireless.

2. Boulder is famous for its yoga studios. Rightly so—folks move from all over the world to study with superstar Richard Freeman at The Yoga Workshop. Take a class—you’ll love his humor and depth of knowledge. Other great studios: Om Time (great for Anusara, great community-builders and supporters of elephant), Studio Be, Corepower, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram on the Hill. *Of course, since we LOHASians have free yoga with Rodney Yee, another superstar, you’ll be excused if you don’t explore farther afield this trip.

3. Boulder is famous for its hikes. Rightly so. You can be sipping espresso or drinking wind-powered beer ina  bar and, two minutes later, be where the wild things are…climbing red rocks and seeing nothing but nature. Our hundreds of miles of open space and fresh air make Boulder, Boulder…and if you’re a HDT-school “my religion is Nature” type (and who isn’t?) you’ll enjoy the quick mental and physical recharge that a quick hike can offer. Sanitas, Flagstaff, Chautauqua are all great hikes a stone’s throw from LOHAS.

4. Boulder is famous for its rocks. Like to climb? Climb Sanitas or Flagstaff, anyone you run into can help you find some rocks fit for your ability. Don’t know how to climb, or want to climb indoors? I boulder at The Spot, a lovely bike ride down the Bike Path away from St. Julien…it can be a little pricey for drop-in plus shoes, but there’s few better whole-body quick, enjoyable exercises.

5. Bookstores: Boulder Bookstore and Trident Cafe are well worth a stop. Peruse the shelves, sit in an old wooden chair, it’s solace for the soul.

6. Lunchtime? I recommend The Kitchen Cafe, a block from St. Julien, or Happy Noodle House, half a block away, or Chipotle if in a rush (healthy, cheap, ecoish), or sitting outside at Hapa Sushi for “the Pearl St. Mall” experience. I also love Burnt Toast, on the University Hill (then stroll around the lovely CU campus), and Sunflower (great for vegetarians). Friends of mine love Brassiere TenTen, only a block from St. Julien.

7. Drinks? I love Hapa, The Kitchen Upstairs, West End rooftop, Centro, and St. Julien itself.

8. A walk or bike ride (you can rent bikes at UBikes, if you’re unlucky enough to stay at a hotel or B&B in Boulder that doesn’t offer bikes to guests) along our Boulder Creek. ‘Tis the season when all of Boulder beats the heat in a black rubber innertube and wafts and hollers our way down the Boulder Creek. Not for the faint of heart. Since you’re just in town for a little, I’d skip the innertubing and bike or walk along the creek. It’s gorgeous. You can borrow my dog, Redford, if you want the full Boulder experience (it’s not-quite-illegal to settle in Boulder if you don’t own a dog).

9. Farmers’ Market takes place both Wednesday afternoon and Saturday mornings (through lunch). Incomparable local food, incomparable people-watching, it’s all of Boulder rolled into a few hours.

10. Twitter for in-the-moment news-you-can-use. Keep in up-to-the-minute touch with the local scene by following prominent local Boulder Tweeters. Keep in touch with the LOHAS scene by searching #lohas or #lohasforum and following (@gaiam and) @lohasforum. While you’re at it, check my posts on Top Yoga Tweeters and Top Green Tweeters on my column for Huffington Post.

Hope these are helpful. Enjoy your stay, and let us know what you did, what you loved most, and how we can improve our City! See Comments below.

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