Boulder prides itself (get it?) on being LGBTQ+-friendly. Advocate.com even named Boulder one of the top-10 queerest cities in the country.
So it might seem shocking that Boulder didn’t have an official gay bar until somewhat recently, when DV8 Distillery opened in 2016. (Some say there was no designated gay bar in Boulder because every bar in Boulder is a gay bar — as well as a straight bar, a transgender bar, an everyone and anyone bar.)
Still, sometimes you want to meet other people like you. If you’re gay and headed to Colorado (or you live here and you’re looking for inspo), here’s how to plan a fun “gaycation” in Boulder.
Before you leave: Join the Facebook group Prop Gay. This is a “guerrilla LGBTQIA pop-up party” that holds occasional events at Boulder businesses. You don’t have to be gay to attend, though. It’s not exclusive. Allies are welcome. For example, there has been a Boulder Queer Pop at Deviant Spirits, featuring live dancers and local spirits.
Planning your vacation: Check the Out Boulder events calendar for events during your stay. This calendar is always packed with activities, some regular, some special. You’ll find fun every week and often multiple times a day. For example, there’s been the Longmont Faith Fest, a queer-friendly spiritual service led by LGBTQ pastors and musicians.
Make sure you look at the PFLAG event calendar, too. This group’s annual Gender-Expansive Fashion Show every spring is a must-attend. PFLAG also has an informative blog that occasionally posts about events, like Boulder Pridefest.
Other Annual Events
Keep your eyes and ears open for big special events, like the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo in July, hosted by the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. This is held annually at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, not far from Boulder.
The Boulder Pridefest is in September every year, typically held at Central Park in Boulder. Longmont Pride is held in June (so is Denver’s Pride).
Another big event in Boulder is the annual Garden Party, where Out Boulder County honors three community members with awards.
Don’t miss the Big Gay 5K every September.
Now, Plan Your Week
Sunday: Start your Sunday with a group run with the Colorado Frontrunners. This group meets at 9:15 a.m. Sundays in front of the Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave. Choose from a longer run (six miles up Boulder Creek Trail), a walk up Boulder Creek, a five-mile run up Mount Sanitas Trail or a jog east on Boulder Creek Trail around the University of Colorado campus. After about an hour, the group meets for food at Alfalfa’s, 1651 Broadway.
Or if you want to be active but running isn’t your thing, on Sundays, you might be able to find Rainbow Karma Yoga classes at Left Hand Yoga Studio, 1811 Hover St., Suite H, in Longmont. The classes (in the past 11 a.m.-noon) are appropriate for all levels and are LBGTQIA-friendly. Allies welcome. The classes are free but donations are accepted, to benefit Out Boulder County.
If you like to go to church on Sundays, the First Congregational Church UCC of Boulder has been openly welcoming to gay people for more than 30 years.
Tuesday: Head to the Out Boulder County Pridehouse (2132 14th St., Boulder) for a free creative gathering at 6 p.m. It’s all about arts, crafts, cooking and creativity for LGBTQ+ people between 18 and 25. On the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m., there’s a cooking class for 18- to 25-year-olds at Out Boulder.
Wednesday: The Community Cafe is held every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Out Boulder County office, 630 Main St. in Longmont. Bring lunch or a snack and hang out in these weekly gatherings, which center around different topics. You might learn about local LGBTQ+ community leaders, artists, musicians and more. The event is free and a great way to meet new people.
Thursday: Head to Longmont for a club called WIP (Works in Progress,) all about arts and crafts for LBGTQ+ folks and allies. Every Thursday from 4-7 p.m., people get together to knit, crochet and work on art. Don’t have your own your own and needles? The group has some you can use. Don’t know how to knit? Here’s where to learn.
Note: If you want to knit with men only, there’s a gathering for that on Saturdays.
Friday: On Friday, venture outside of the Boulder bubble to a gay bar in Denver. The X Bar is hoppin’ with go-go dancers and Tracks Nightclub is always amusing, with half-naked bartenders and great drag shows. Trade is one of Denver’s newer gay bars. On Friday, Trade holds Fetish Fridays. Wear your leash and latex.