What to Do in Quirky Boulder, Colorado? Q&A with a Local

What to Do in Quirky Boulder, Colorado? Q&A with a Local

Today, we have a special guest from Boulder, Colorado. Boulder was recently featured on our tour of Haunted Colorado, and as a city that is cited for its quality of life just as often as for its quirky vibe, I wanted to get a local’s perspective on town.

Never a stranger to unique interviewees, I decided to talk to the city’s most famous hospitality host, Otis, the Elevator at the Hotel Boulderado. Here are his views on travel tips for Boulder.


How did an elevator get to be so famous? Are you just that pleasant of a gentleman, or…?

Well, it certainly helps when you’ve been on the clock for nearly 37,986 days without a break. But seriously, there’ve been plenty of ups and downs in my past, yet somehow this old boy keeps rising each day. They tell me I’m the oldest still-operating Otis this side of the Mississippi, but all I know is how to work hard.

Boulder is very often rated as one of the best places in the world to live. Where would a value luxury traveler go to sample that lifestyle?
boulder farmers market

Check out the Farmer’s Market, which is the largest in the state. Shop early for the best selection, but buy late if you find your travel dollars getting pinched; the farmers hate bringing anything back from the market. This is THE place to be Saturday mornings (8am-2pm) April-November and Wednesday evenings (4pm-8pm) May-September. There’s even an area where you can sit down, eat freshly prepared food, and feel like one of those lucky locals.

If the Farmer’s Market isn’t in season, or if you’re visiting on a day that’s not Wednesday or Saturday, consider window shopping on the Pearl Street Mall. There’s more art galleries, boutiques, and shops than I can shake a gear at, and the vast majority of them are locally owned and operated.

Speaking of drinks, Boulder is well known for its beer! What’s your favorite tipple – when you’re off the clock, of course?
boulder beer

An elevator never goes off the clock. But if I did, I would drink Dos … no, wait, beer, Otis, beer.

I recommend any of the local microbreweries in and around Boulder. Several of them offer tours complete with tastings, although I have yet to find one with elevator-sized accommodations. If you’re looking for something within walking distance, try the Walnut Brewery right here in downtown Boulder. Each month they feature one of their unique brews on tap.

Are there any foods that you can just only find in Boulder?

boulder colorado pearl street

It’s not the food you eat, it’s how it’s prepared! Boulder is home to some of the top chefs and restaurants found across the state, region, and nation, and it’s well worth the trip to have them prepare something especially for you in one of their restaurants. If you have sensitive dietary issues, many offer vegetarian/vegan dishes as well as dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives.

If you’re aspiring to be a top chef one day, Boulder is a great place to absorb culinary culture and one-of-a-kind finds, like the Savory Spice Shop, which offers a special Pearl Street Plank Rub custom blend that you can’t find just anywhere.

An outdoorsy question… it seems like an elevator would know the answer to this – where’s the best place to get some height in/around Boulder and get a good view?
Chautauqua park

Chautauqua Park offers some easy beginner trails that let you see Boulder. Head to Settler’s Park if you’d like to experience the rumored spot where settlers first camped in Boulder. If you’re looking for something more indoors, stop by my place at the Hotel Boulderado. The fifth floor offers some of the best views in town because it was built before a height restriction went into effect for buildings in Boulder.

Last question… Boulder has a reputation of being a bit, er, quirky. I know readers who get this far will definitely experience some of this, but any suggestions for some sighting classic quirky Boulder experiences?
boulder colorado

Not since they stopped letting me join in the Naked Pumpkin Run. Er…. Pick a spot on the Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall and people watch. You could sit in one of the street-level patios or even bring a picnic lunch to the courthouse lawn. Either way, you’ll see something and/or someone to write home about.

Thanks, Otis, for all those tips! Can’t wait to get back to my next visit to Boulder. Also, for those looking for affordable luxe accommodation, I can recommend both the Hotel Boulderado, of course, or St. Julien Hotel & Spa, both downtown in easy walking distance to all the attractions.

Flickr CC Photo Credit: roger4336, Laertes, notanyron, Snap Man, Salil Wadhavkar, Yoshimasa Niwa

What to Do in Quirky Boulder, Colorado? Q&A with a Local

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe. He authors our award-winning weekly email newsletter, The Blend and curates our popular organic tea of the month club.

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