If you’re planning a date night, make it more than epic.
Here are eight of the most romantic things to do in Boulder.
1. Have Dinner on Top of the World
OK, maybe not on top of the world but on top of a mountain. The Flagstaff House is the place to go for a romantic, five-star dinner to impress, and we’re not just talking about the food. The views, the extensive wine list and the service are unbeatable.
Reserve a table by one of the oversized windows overlooking the city. After your meal, perfectly paired with wine, head out to the large outdoor balcony to watch the city lights glow and share a kiss. It’s no wonder why the Flagstaff House was named one of the most romantic places in the country, according to OpenTable in 2014. The restaurant earned a spot on the 100 most romantic restaurant list.
2. Go to the Ball
The ball isn’t just for Cinderella. The Avalon, 6185 Arapahoe Road, is Boulder’s ballroom, and it offers public events and classes every day of the week. Try ballroom dancing, heat up the dance floor with salsa or learn to tango together. Take a tango dance class on Thursday and then head to the tango dance party on Saturday starting at 9 p.m., when the ballroom is filled with sultry music, dance and snacks. Best of all, it’s not expensive. Regular Saturday price is just $10.
3. Wine About It
Boulder County has several winemakers. A visit to the BookCliff Vineyards Tasting Room, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Unit B, is the perfect way to start your date night. It’s open 1-6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. You can pick three or five wines to taste for different prices at your own pace, or our favorite option is the guided tour. This includes a tour of the family-owned Colorado winery complete with wine samples and tastes of chocolate and cheese. You’ll even get a virtual tour of the vineyard. Book your tour by appointment (minimum of four participants) for $25 per person.
4. Combine Craft Coffee and Chocolate
Mmm, there’s something so sexy about chocolate. Oh yeah, everything. For a romantic Saturday morning, we love the coffee and chocolate tasting tour through Local Table Tours. This guided tour brings you to various independently owned coffee shops in downtown for java (as well as a lesson on beans, roasts and brewing) and ends at a local chocolatier. You’ll sample coffee, fine chocolate and learn all about two of the best things ever crafted. Tours are offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday mornings for $40 a person.
5. Learn to Cook and Eat it, Too
For an educational, interactive and useful evening out, head to Food Lab, which offers regular cooking classes. The highlights for lovers are the Date Night events with rotating themes, like Celebrate Summer in July. For that class, you learn to use the summer harvest to make the likes of herb bruschetta with labneh, olive oil and sumac, and champagne risotto with mushrooms. Of course, you get to eat your creations when you’re done. For extra credit (awarded by yourself for yourself), bring your knowledge home and use it to host a dinner party.
6. Look to the Stars
Make a wish. With often clear skies, Boulder’s ideal for stargazing. The University of Colorado’s Sommers-Bausch Observatory holds free public star-watching on its observation deck on Friday evenings (weather permitting) year-round when school’s in session. Show up any time after 8 p.m. during the fall and spring and 9 p.m. in the summer. You’ll find small and large telescopes (even a 24-inch telescope in the dome), binoculars and even the world’s largest starwheel to help you pinpoint the constellations. Look for professors, researchers, local astronomers and student volunteers to offer informal info.
Make it a full night by visiting the Fiske Planetarium next-door for a Friday evening show.
7. Get Lucky at Boulder’s Luckiest Restaurant
Black Cat Farm to Table Bistro (named because it’s located on 13th Street downtown) is one of the most elegant, romantic restaurants in Boulder. Reserve the private booth in the far back, tucked away in a little alcove where you’ll feel like the only people in the room.
Then order from the six-course Chef’s Tasting Menu ($87 per person); we recommend adding in the premium wine pairings ($81), which include adventurous and incredible wines from around the world. The menu and the wine change every night based on what’s in season (and what wine compliments those dishes). In fact, that’s what makes this “lucky” restaurant such a great gamble. The tasting menu is not pre-printed. It’s a total surprise what they’ll bring out, making this an experience like nowhere else. It’s thrilling. Dietary requests (such as gluten-free) are easily accommodated. One thing you can guarantee, however: You will be amazed by this food.
A menu example may include:
- a hamachi crudo served with Sanger champagne, followed by tempura spring onions;
- foie gras with walnuts and apricots, classically paired with a Chateau Coutet Sauternes (a sweet, nutty, earthy wine that contrasts beautifully with the foie gras);
- risotto and mushrooms or chorizo from the restaurant’s own local farm with baba ganoush, served with Seven Springs Pinot Noir;
- Colorado striped bass from Alamosa with chardonnay; a seared salmon or Colorado-raised, grass-fed tenderloin served with Domaine de la Jaufrette Vacqueyras Reserve (1600s-style, grenache-driven, old-school-style wine from the Paris Wine Co.);
- and a delicate lavender pannacotta for dessert, accented by a 2003 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spätlese.
It’s unbelievable that you can find this level of service, food and beverage expertise right in downtown Boulder. Your date will be impressed and so will your taste buds.
8. Get Dinner and a Show
Boulder’s dinner theater, BDT Stage, sure beats dinner and a movie. Grab a table front and center and enjoy the novelty of being served food by the actual cast members. It totally transforms the production so you have a relationship with the faces on stage (they’re always super friendly). Intermission is the best because the actors return to bring you dessert (yay!) while still in costume.
The food at the BDT is surprisingly delicious and a main course, like healthy zoodles with veggies and garlic sauce, is included in the ticket price. For small upgrades, you can get a prime rib or the vegan, organic bean and corn tamales smothered in green chili (that’s our top pick); appetizers like shrimp cocktail and pierogies; wine, beer and cocktails; and dessert, like cheesecake or a healthy berries and non-dairy cream sauce.
The BDT Stage offers three different features. There the Main Stage Broadway-style shows, like “The Little Mermaid” in the past. But we think the best date night idea is “Disenchanted,” Jan. 11-March 31; this hilarious musical is a collection of Disney stories gone naughty. Not for kids or the weak of heart. The stage also offers a Cabaret Series and the Kids Kabaret.