From carving pumpkins to getting lost in corn mazes and cozying up in coffee shops, fall is a fun time of year. But Boulder especially excels in autumn, with a number of breweries putting seasonal brews on tap, a college football team to cheer on and delicious bounty from nearby farms. Add some ghosts haunting an old mining town nearby and the striking fall foliage that make for scenic drives and, really, fall is fantastic here in Boulder.
Here are five ways to experience fall fun in Boulder this year:
Sample Fall Beers
You’d be out of your gourd not to try some of the area’s best fall beers. Brewers in and around Boulder County flex their creativity, and have lots of tasty autumnal brews on tap. You can find an Oktoberfest Marzen-style lager made from Munich and Vienna malt at The Post Chicken and Beer. Or Uhl’s Brewing Maple Harvest Strong Ale is an alternative to boring pumpkin ales; it’s made with squash, maple syrup, molasses and pumpkin spices. For some kick-you-in-the-pants spice, try the Backfire Chili Beer at Bootstrap Brewing in Longmont. If it’s too hot to handle, say mercy and get a splash of tomato juice in your beer to tame the heat. (Thirsty for more? Here’s where to celebrate Oktoberfest in Colorado).
Visit A Pumpkin Patch
Take your pick of Boulder area pumpkin patches and haul home a bounty of squash. Munson Farms is a full-on fall wonderland with hayrides, a corn maze, and employees eager to share their favorite fall cooking tips (like tossing some apples in your butternut squash). In Longmont, the Bee Hugger Farm is a happy spot with U-Pick-it-Sunflowers and a pumpkin patch. The farm sells honey and holds special events like yoga among the sunflowers and live music. Or, at Cottonwood Farms in Lafayette, you can load up a red wagon with pumpkins, meander through a four-acre corn maze, and, on the weekends in October, go on hayrides.
Cheer on the Buffs at Folsom Stadium
Fall and football are synonymous, which makes autumn an extra-special time to be in a college town. Enjoy gameday at Folsom Field by cheering on the University of Colorado Buffs. To get into the gameday spirit, attend the Pearl Street Stampede on Friday nights before home games. A long-standing tradition, Buffs fans line Pearl Street Mall as members of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band play for the crowd and the football team and coaching staff are greeted with cheers. The event starts at 7 p.m. on the 1300 block of Pearl Street in front of the County Courthouse and moves west, stopping on each block of the mall to perform. It’s led by Stephen Tebo’s vintage 1948 fire truck. Here’s the full line-up for the 2021 season, but mark Nov. 6 on your calendar. That’s the homecoming game when CU squares off against Oregon State. Tickets start at $40.
Go on a Leaf Peeping Excursion
Boulder is an ideal basecamp for some scenic fall drives. But if you only do one this fall, make it the Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway. Established in 1918, it’s Colorado’s oldest scenic byway. The 55-mile drive between Black Hawk/Central City and Estes Park winds in and out of the national forest and is a greatest hits of Colorado’s brilliant colors. You’ll want to set aside at least a couple of hours for this drive, but it could be a full-on day trip if you want to gamble a little in Black Hawk and Central City, or take a slight detour on Country Road 1-S to scope out what’s left of Nevadaville ghost town, or take a spin on the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland. Here’s inspiration for more scenic drives this fall.
Explore an Old Mining Camp (and Hear Some Ghost Stories)
In 1859, Gold Hill became the first mining camp in Colorado, drawing a rush of prospectors hoping to strike it rich. You can learn more about the mining history and the spirits of the area during a “Ghost Walk at Gold Hill” held by Historic Boulder from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 2. The event includes a visit to the Gold Hill Cemetery, a tour of Gold Hill Museum, a visit to the Bluebird Lodge and a meal at the Gold Hill Inn. Tickets start at $30 and the $55 tickets include lunch at the Gold Hill Inn.