Watch the sun set behind the purple Flatirons on a rooftop bar with a glass of wine in hand. Or stroll, while indulging in locally made gelato, down the brick-lined Pearl Street Mall in the spring, when it’s bursting with rows of colorful tulips.
Boulder, you so dreamy.
It really is, though. Forbes once ranked the Denver-Boulder area the No. 1 Best City For Singles. It’s a great place to be single and it’s a great destination for a date.
Don’t just take our word for it. We asked other locals about their favorite, unique date ideas in Boulder. Here are their top eight ideas, plus a few bonus nuggets for inspiration:
1. Go To a Snuggle Party
Whether you’re looking for nonsexual intimacy or you and your partner want to experience something totally new together, look for snuggle or cuddle parties. In the past, a group named Be The Love That You Are has regularly organized snuggle parties. These donation-based events brought mostly strangers together to, eh, lie on the floor and cuddle in safe and consensual ways.
Single in Boulder and looking for a date? Be The Love That You Are has also hosted silent speed-dating events in the past that are just what they sound like. No talking allowed. Only eye contact, nonverbal communication and maybe, just maybe, some consensual touch.
2. Floor (or Pole) Dance Together
Boulder’s got great salsa and ballroom dancing, but for something unique, take it to the floor. Vertical Fusion dance studio offers co-ed Embrace the Floor classes, which are a surprisingly sexy and also physically challenging fusion of acrobatics, contemporary dance, yoga, breakdancing, capoeira, sensual dance, meditation and hand balancing.
This is a great, original, active date that will help you get to know each other better. No dance training required, although you should expect to sweat.
Hard to imagine? Watch husband-and-wife team, Melanie and Joe Piek, do a “floor flow” sequence here.
For a different kind of adventure, try a beginner’s co-ed pole dancing class together. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy the self-expression—and how good of a workout it is.
3. Go Rooftop Bar Hopping
There’s something romantic about being above the world. Boulder has a handful of excellent rooftop bars within walking distance. Plan an evening of rooftop bar hopping and see Boulder from above, from all different angles.
Start at the West End Tavern for a Mountain Manhattan, made with Breckenridge bourbon, vermouth and bitters.
Then head to the Rio Grande for a margarita on the large, energetic rooftop patio. Beware: The margs have a reputation of being stronger than they taste, so just order a small one or split it. (Especially if you’re not from high altitude.) Make sure you get some chips and salsa.
Then go to Corrida, whose giant rooftop features views of the mountains. Relax and enjoy the view while the gin-and-tonic cart makes its rounds. Find sophisticated, unique gin-and-tonic drinks here, as well as Italian wine and other cocktails.
Then, stroll down Pearl Street (and maybe grab some quick grub at a food cart) and end at Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill. The Lazy Dog has great late-night deals and Boulder’s biggest, full-service rooftop deck. Catch live music Thursday through Saturday nights, and even on Tuesdays.
Finish the night with a kiss (or just a date-night selfie) atop the tall parking garage at 11th and Spruce streets. You can see all across Boulder, 360-panorama style, from this secret spot that’s always secluded.
4. Go Underground Bar Hopping
Sky high not your style? Take your date down below. Boulder’s underground basement bars have a totally different vibe.
License No. 1 underneath the historic Boulderado has a dim, sultry, speakeasy energy with tons of little nooks and private areas for an intimate drink.
Not far away, the Pearl Street Pub and Cellar is a relaxed dive bar with bar games, live music and a good late-night food menu.
Next door is the Sundown Saloon (aka the Sundowner or Downer) with its unpretentious basement bar that’s popular among college students. The drinks are cheap and the pool tables are always full on weekends.
A block away and down a narrow staircase tucked between Pearl Street storefronts is Press Play, a barcade (bar and arcade). Press Play has 25 vintage arcade games, a massive Jenga set and pinball machines, plus DJs Friday through Saturday.
A few minutes from there is the Walrus Saloon, whose basement is a popular place for the college crowd to go dancing to live DJs.
5. Explore Tantra
Tantra is big in Boulder, and there are a handful of tantric educators who always seem to be holding events. Tantric Sacred Journeys holds regular pujas, or gatherings, that can be a unique and educational date.
No, this isn’t just one big orgy. Forget the stereotypes (and Sting’s promises of hours of sex). These events are fully clothed.
For many, tantra is a type of spiritual and conscious connection. Some educators talk about “sacred sexuality,” tantric yoga and meditation and connecting with your partner on deeper levels.
Make sure you pack an open mind.
6. Plan a Brunch Date
Why aren’t more dates in the morning? Boulder’s best brunches can be totally romantic, and they don’t require staying up late. For a centrally located, top-notch Sunday brunch, go to Jill’s, inside the elegant St. Julien Hotel in downtown. Also check out the high teas there.
For a scenic brunch, our favorite fine-dining destination is the Greenbriar Inn, located at the base of Lefthand Canyon Drive off the mountain-lined Highway 36. The buffet champagne Sunday brunch proves you can do romantic and sexy before the sun sets, with its oysters, bellinis, shrimp, pickled herring, international cheeses, truffles, mousse parfaits, sparkling wine and dirty chai lattes — just to scratch the surface of the offerings.
7. Try the Romantic Trifecta: Italian, Italian and Hollywood
First get dinner at Il Pastaio, which claims to be the “most unique Italian dining experience” in Boulder. This mom-and-pop run, hidden gem restaurant serves up handmade pastas and sauces, and it just oozes with date-night cuteness.
Then, pop over to the family-run Fior di Latte Gelato for handmade, authentic, Italian gelato that is “made with love.”
Take your treat to the show. In warmer weather, curl up for an outdoor movie at the Boulder Outdoor Cinema, which has popped up downtown to entertain under the night sky for the past 20 years. It’s a full event, complete with an opening band, trivia, prizes, snacks and food trucks, if you get the movie munchies.
8. Get Playful
Visit Into The Wind on the Pearl Street Mall. This unique shop specializes in kites, but it also has a variety of other toys, games, trinkets, puzzles, spinners, bubbles, bouncers, mind games—you name it. Pick out your favorite kite and take it to the spacious North Boulder Park and try to catch some air.
Pack a picnic with meat and cheese from Cured and a bottle of award-winning mead (honey wine) from the local meadery, Red Stone Meadery. Or make a special visit to the meadery for a free tour and tasting and sit back with a glass in the welcoming mead hall.
9. Get Sweet
Pick up some truffles at Peace, Love and Chocolate, Boulder’s chocolate boutique off Pearl Street, and take them to the courthouse lawn off the mall. Munch on your sweets while people-watching. The entertainment is endless, especially at this stretch of the mall, by the water features and near the busy Boulder Theater.
10. Share the Garlic
Share garlic breath, er, bread and comfort Italian food at Pasta Jay’s. Note: Make sure you both eat the bread. The garlic is what makes this Pearl Street favorite so perfect—but only if you’re both on board. Otherwise, it may end the date prematurely.
After dinner, window-shop the West End of Pearl, where you’ll find jewelry shops, a Tibetan store, the sweet Two Hands Paperie and the fun costume store, The Ritz, where you can try on funky hats, jackets, gloves and masks. If you’re feeling extra Bouldery, wear your new wild wig out on the mall. (No one will blink.)
11. Look for Owls
Take a nighttime hike up Chautauqua and explore the foothills and forests by starlight. A safe option is to sign up for a full-moon hike, an owl-viewing excursion or a telescope-viewing hike led by a naturalist. Needless to say, be safe and smart when venturing into the wilderness in the dark.
12. Have a Tea Party
Share an afternoon tea at the colorful, stunning Dushanbe Tea House, before enjoying a walk or bike ride along the nearby Boulder Creek path. There’s a nook behind the public library with little bridges and benches and a spot where you can tip your toes into the creek. Also, if you plan it right, you might be in this part of town during the farmers’ market, when you can score excellent, local food and buy your date some freshly cut flowers.
13. Leave Your Mark
Go write your names on the ceiling at The Sink, a quirky restaurant and bar on University Hill that’s known for its burgers and pizza. The Sink’s ceilings and walls are plastered with pictures, words and graffiti. The Sink is nearly 100 years old and has fed celebrities, even Barack Obama. The atmosphere here is chill, vibrant and like nowhere else. Check out the virtual tour online here.