When it comes to “girls trips” some cities seem to get all the love: Vegas, Miami, Napa Valley, maybe Scottsdale. Now for a wild card? Boulder.
This charmingly eccentric town nestled by the foothills has everything you need for a memorable girls getaway, whether that’s a mother-daughter retreat or a reunion with your besties who you need actual face time with, because FaceTime isn’t cutting it.
Spas? Check. Wine bars? Of course. But there are plenty of breweries, too. Rock climbing, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding? All of that and more.
Here’s how to plan a perfect weekend away with your girlfriends.
Reserve a room at the St Julien, 900 Walnut St. Let this hotel be your downtown Boulder basecamp. It has an indoor pool with serene views of the mountains and live music on the weekends. But, you can also let the concierge service take over and help fill out your itinerary.
Look for different packages to make a choose-your-own adventure of sorts. In the past, there has been everything from guided photography hikes to avalanche-preparedness classes to even a brew package that included a private tour of a local brewery and a guest room stocked with local beers.
Have a Happy Hour at The Med. Go ahead, crash the locals’ Happy Hour. Right next to the St Julien, this Boulder fixture has one of the best happy hours in town with great drink specials and an expansive tapas menu that includes falafel, mussels, empanadas, caprese and more. The Med, 1002 Walnut St., does happy hour Monday-Saturday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close. On Sunday, happy hour runs 3-6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to close. If you can, get there early so you can snag a spot outdoors in the patio garden.
Plan a spa day at the Dragontree Spa, 1521 Pearl St.
The Dragontree Spa is built for a girls’ day; it has a special Sangha Room just for group gatherings. Sangha is Sanskrit for a “group of like-minded people who join together for mutual enlightenment.” In this peaceful community space, you can sit on a cozy couch in a circle with your friends while getting foot, hand and head treatments and sip fine tea. We love the foot baths here (pick from a variety of different types), and add a spa lunch for $15. After, you can get access to the sauna and other facilities for just $10. For added relaxation, pair your foot bath with a massage, facial or other spa treatment in a private room.
Bop around by bike. If you’re sticking around Boulder, it’s easy to get around without a car. From the pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall to the city busses that run frequently, alternative transportation is promoted in this health-conscious city.
But a fun way to explore is on the signature red bikes, which are a part of the city’s bike-share program. If the weather permits, peddle along the Boulder Creek Path. You can stop by Alfalfa’s, 1651 Broadway, and grab a picnic lunch to unpack and enjoy by the creek. You can download an app here to show you where all the bike stations are and get directions.
Spend an afternoon on the Pearl Street Mall. The downtown mall is a prime people-watching spot. Plus, on the weekends, you can catch some street performers pulling acrobatic stunts and executing magic tricks, while slipping in one-liners to make the crowd laugh.
But, you’ll also find some great local stores along the Pearl Street Mall. If the kitchen is the heart of your home, get lost in Peppercorn, which is a dream store for home chefs. Looking for a wardrobe refresh as we head into spring? Drop into Weekends, which carries brands like Rag & Bone and Weekends.