Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Visiting Boulder

I spent a terrific May weekend in Boulder, Colorado. It is one of the most laid back, spiritual, inspirational places in the United States. Nestled in the heart of the Rockies and home to the University of Colorado, Boulder is the nearest city I’ve ever seen that compares to magnificent Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island.

The creek, which surrounds Boulder, was full of kayaking, swimming, fishing and tubing. I took a Schwinn Cruiser bike from the St. Julien Hotel and rode ten kilometers everyday alongside the creek. Boulder is a town made for bikes rather than cars and the climate is perfect. I saw rabbits and lots of prairie dogs burrowing away in the sun.

In Boulder, the people are friendly and completely stress free. It has a retail environment that is individual, local and high quality. The independent Boulder bookstore is one of my favorites, with three floors including an old ballroom full of Western, mountain and hard to find stuff. If you get to visit, don’t miss the little independent record store on Pearl Street which is opposite one of my favorite fish restaurants, or should I say fish shacks, Jax. The service at Jax is friendly and unpretentious, the fish is fresh, the beer is local and cold, and the white wine is delicious. Nothing beats an early Sunday dinner here on the sidewalk in shorts and sneakers. Having said that, Brasserie Ten Ten on Walnut Street serves French bistro food with great snails, pates and steak frites. We went there on Saturday night with the USA Rugby board and closed the joint at 1am. Then it was back to the St. Julien, which is one of my favorite hotels. It has a great bar, a terrific spa, an indoor pool, a great gym and suites with outdoor balconies overlooking the Rockies. This is a city that is terrific in any of the four seasons. Boulder is a special place that I urge you all to visit.