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linguaphile's avatar

Boulder, CO... what's there, what's it like and what should I expect if I live there?

Asked by linguaphile (14452points) January 15th, 2012

I’m researching different places to move—back to DC which I consider to be one of my homes, to Austin, TX which I’m pretty familiar with, or Boulder, CO which I know nothing about.

So, other than being ridiculously expensive, what else should I know about Boulder and the surrounding area?

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31 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Like much of Colorado, Boulder has a Western sensibility. It is a university town so it leans slightly liberal.

To the West are the Rockies, Known locally as the Flatiron Range, which affect the area’s climate and culture. The weather can be changeable, but is mostly sunny.

It’s 25 miles from Denver. There’s great hiking.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It’s basically like Berkley, but with more hiking and skiing and snowboarding.

@marinelife What is a “Western sensibility”?

deni's avatar

Oh hay! I live here! It’s really friendly, and there is a great sense of everybody wanting to be where they are. People are from all over which is cool and it seems like everybody really cares about making the town a better place which is also cool. It is pretty college-y but once you know it well enough you can definitely stay away from the younger fratty areas and bars for sure. It’s pretty concentrated onto “the hill”. It is extremely white so don’t expect much diversity.

It is absolutely beautiful and I admire the mountains every single day. It’s super easy to bike everywhere, and so many beautiful places are within 5 minutes/an hour/four hours, depending on what you’re looking for. It’s a really awesome location in the USA in general I think, if you enjoy travel and appreciate nature.

And yeah like you said rent is sky high which really sucks. I think it’s worth it though. Also there are literally no fat people, which I only say because it’s an interesting fact. Everybody is active which is quite inspiring. There are a ton of great hikes literally 2 minutes from downtown, also super convenient and great. Lots of good restaurants and bars.

It’s extremely dry. Which is a major negative for me. I was used to Pennsylvania humidity and now it’s just constant dry skin and verging-on-sore throat. The summers really hot but pleasant. We don’t get as much snow here as most people assume. We get dumped on every once in a while. Probably about 4 times so far this year. But it isn’t very cold, although it’s such a dry cold that it can be biting!

Can’t think of anything else. I’m sure there is more. I really like it here.

martianspringtime's avatar

I personally haven’t been there, but I have a good friend in Boulder who absolutely loves it. She actually helps run a blog dedicated to it, if you want to check that out to get a feel for it. Or even leave a question there as well, and I’m sure you’ll get a helpful answer.

jazmina88's avatar

hippies and mountains. Boulder is one of my favorite places. I would love to live there.

JilltheTooth's avatar

“35 square miles, surrounded by reality”... I lived a few miles away and loved the whole area. Boulder and Denver have different feels to them that sounds awkward but I don’t know how to fix it. We were in Broomfield, which gave us prime access to both cities. Beneath Denver’s rough cowboy skin beats the heart of a poet, and beneath Boulder’s hippie skin beats a somewhat cowboy heart. It’s a great area. High and dry, which require some adjustment, but wonderful.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Ovepriced (to the no-development laws that exist that limit construction and growth)

Full of egotistical and snooty academics

Surrounded by cheap developments and apartments outside city limits.

Very full of itself.

Other than those, it’s a beautiful town.

MrItty's avatar

The Coors plant is there. The whole town smells like beer. My brother lived there for a year or two before moving to Denver proper. Best decision he ever made.

I’m an idiot. I was thinking of Golden, not Boulder. My mistake. Sorry, Boulder afficianados.

marinelife's avatar

@Aethelflaed Actually, @JilltheTooth captured what I meant by Western sensibility perfectly.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@marinelife : Damn, I sure miss living in Big State Country! All the states around here are so little…

deni's avatar

@elbanditoroso Egotistical and snooty academics? lol yeah right. The college crowd here is not snooty, they are more annoying, trendy rich kids, more commonly known as “trustafarians”.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@deni, I’m talk about the landed gentry of CUB faculty. (I used to live around there and I know my share of them)

Talk about an homogeneous bunch of professors…

Aethelflaed's avatar

Huh. I’ve never gotten the cowboy feel from either Denver or Boulder. Small, rural Colorado, sure, but Denver metro’s never come off as having anything to do with the cowboy thing.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@deni Or as they like to be called, “communications majors”.

Brian1946's avatar

Perhaps the cowpeople thing is a nebulous residual of the John Denver syndrome, that has loomed over most of CO for the last 4 decades. ;-o

marinelife's avatar

@Aethelflaed Really? Do you think you can get game in any restaurant anywhere? Team nickname: the Broncos.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@marinelife Do I think I can get game in any restaurant? I don’t really know what that means…

JilltheTooth's avatar

People still wear the boots and the hats for casual there, there are more dusty Ford pick-ups than Acura sedans, and like @marinelife said, even in the upper scale restaurants there is often a game choice on the menu.

Brian1946's avatar

@Aethelflaed

Perhaps by game @marinelife is referring to the meat of hunted animals, such as deer, pheasant, quail, horse, bear, goat, hare, etc.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JilltheTooth Oohhh, game, the… ok, the mention of Broncos confused me. No, they don’t, and no, there isn’t. I have to go to specialty butchers to get anything outside of chicken, pork, and cow, and I’ve seen maybe 10 people ever wear cowboy gettup stuff.

marinelife's avatar

@Aethelflaed Sorry, I meant what @Brian1946 said. I would add that in Denver (or Boulder) you can also get elk or snake.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Aethelflaed We must’ve hung out in different areas then. I was just there in June and it felt and looked the same to me. And there was still venison offered on a couple of menus, and I still saw the garb and the dirty Ford pick-ups everywhere. When I lived there it was part of the culture, and a lovely juxtaposition of the modern and the traditional area cultures. it’s too bad you don’t see it, It adds a lot to the charm of those cities.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JilltheTooth Where did you hang out?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, gosh, @Aethelflaed , I don’t remember the street names. My point was about perception. I noticed what I noticed, you noticed what you noticed, obviously we noticed different stuff.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Most of Colorado is absolutely beautiful & if you are into hiking, skiing, snowboarding, etc., you should fit right in. Surprisingly enough, they have had very little snow this year.

linguaphile's avatar

Hey all- thank you!!!

Are there any areas I should definitely avoid, for whatever reason?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JilltheTooth I didn’t mean like that, I meant that you said cities, plural, so I was imagining a larger Colorado trip, not just Boulder.

deni's avatar

@linguaphile There aren’t any bad areas, but I personally avoid “the hill” because I don’t love the college crowd.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Aethelflaed : It wasn’t a trip, it was living there for a number of years, between Boulder and Denver, then going back in June a couple of times for family reasons.

@linguaphile : I would go nuts living way out on the plains, but I guess the flat probably has its fans. After a couple of decades in Seattle, though, I found the lack of trees and topography, even in the shadow of the Rockies to be a bit unsettling. I faced West a lot!

deni's avatar

@JilltheTooth I don’t know how one could live on the plains and not go crazy. It’s beautiful in it’s own way but just too bare. It’s funny, I love the mountains, but more times than not I find myself going through the mountains just to get to the flat on the other side! Aka Moab, or anywhere in Utah. so….maybe I am drawn to flatness in a weird way. Actually I think it’s more the red rock and desolation.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@deni : I always loved driving across the various flat places, they have a beauty all their own, but even visiting friends in Sterling, CO for a weekend would make me feel a bit agoraphobic, and then there’s all that diving into the basement when there are tornado warnings. I found that to be a bit freaky as well…

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