A student reading on the University of Colorado campus in the spring. Photo by Patrick Campbell/University of Colorado

Spring Break in Boulder


It can be strange to celebrate spring break in Colorado, when it might not feel like springtime at all. In March of 2019, it snowed 16.2 inches in Boulder, according to data from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory’s Physical Sciences Division.

March is a real hit-or-miss month for the weather—there wasn’t a snowflake in 2017, but Boulder got blasted by 32.5 inches the year before—so it can be tricky to plan a Boulder vacation this time of year.

The University of Colorado’s spring break for 2020 is March 23-26.

Whether you live here and won’t be leaving over break or you’re headed to Boulder for a March getaway, here are some activities to add to your itinerary, no matter the weather.

Ski Eldora

Eldora. Photo by @magsandrufus

March is prime shred time. Ski the “neighborhood” mountain, Eldora, a short drive from Boulder. Eldora estimates it’ll stay open until April 19, give or take depending on the weather, but you can definitely count on it for your week off.

Eldora Mountain Resort is just 21 miles west of Boulder and only three miles from the Boulder County mountain town of Nederland. Read all about skiing Eldora here.

Explore Nederland

Very Nice Brewing Company in Nederland. Courtesy photo

Incorporate a day trip to Ned with your ski escape. Nederland is located just outside of Boulder in the foothills. The drive takes about 30 minutes, or 18 miles west on Canyon Boulevard.

As you head up, Boulder Creek runs parallel to the road, with multiple pull-offs to view the scenery, climb, take a hike or try to catch a fish. Boulder Falls is also a popular stop for travelers making their way up the canyon.

When you pull into Nederland, you are greeted by Barker Reservoir and a beautiful backdrop of mountains.

The town is small enough to walk everywhere. East First Street features great restaurants and shops. You can also check out the visitors’ center, spend some time in the Nederland Mining Museum or have a local beer at Very Nice Brewing Co.

Read more ideas about what to do in Nederland here:

Get to Know Local Beer

Brew hop 2
The Longmont Brewhop Trolley. Courtesy photo

The great thing about a pint of beer is it’s season-less. It’s refreshing when it’s warm out, and it can be warming during a chilly day. Luckily, Boulder’s a brewery heaven. Plan a day to check out one or all three of our favorite brewery tours and learn how it’s made before tasting it for yourself. Even if you don’t drink, there’s plenty to do at local breweries besides drink beer.

It’s also totally worth a short drive to Longmont for its beer scene, complete with a cute trolly that can drive you from brewery to brewery.

Get Artsy

Boulder Theater. Photo by Flickr user yuyasekiguchi

Boulder’s arts scene is thriving year-round. Check the calendar for dance and theater performances, like the Improv Grand Jam by the Improv Collective on March 26.

Or visit Boulder’s many galleries, such as the multiple visual arts galleries in the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St., the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th St., and smaller artists’ studios throughout the city. On Friday, March 27, BMOCA is holding Open Wall, a pop-up community art exhibition and auction.

On a budget? The Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., is a hidden gem you might not think to visit, and it’s much more than books. First, it’s located right on the Boulder Creek and home to a healthy restaurant with great views. Second, it regularly holds interesting and inexpensive or free community events. For example, it’s showing “The Big Lebowski” on March 26. Check out our top free things to do at the Boulder Public Library.

Also, don’t miss performances at Boulder’s big stages, the Fox Theatre on The Hill and Boulder Theater downtown.

Go for a Bike Ride

Bikers with Boulder Bike Tours. Courtesy photo

Boulder loves bikes, and that’s not limited to summertime. If the weather’s warm, rent a mountain bike and explore the hills, or get a cruiser and ride between shops or breweries. If the weather’s cold, rent a fat bike. You can take these wide-tire monsters just about anywhere in any condition. Learn all about fat bikes here.

Not sure where to go? Sign up for a guided bike tour through operators like Boulder Bike Tours.

Head to the Hills

Hiking near Boulder. Photo by Flickr user apasciuto

Many of the area’s trails are open year-round. Go for an individual hike or join a group, like the Boulder Tuesday Thursday Hikers. This group meets at 9 a.m. at North Boulder Park, Seventh and Dellwood streets, to set off on a drop-in group day hike. Bring lunch, water, snacks and come prepared for all conditions. For more information, email Kate Secrest at kate.secrest@gmail.com.

Warm Up or Cool Down With Mexican Food

A blood orange margarita. Photo courtesy of the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

A student favorite is the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, 1001 Walnut St. in downtown. The Rio is known for its famously strong margaritas. Drink them on the rooftop if it’s warm or cuddled in a booth if it’s cold out. The Rio has been offering more seasonal menus, which makes dinner fun and ever-changing. For example, the current seasonal “blood orange” menu features the likes of a lobster taco, winter citrus salad. Citrus churros and a blood orange margarita.

Want more inspiration? Check out Travel Boulder’s sample spring break itinerary with many more ideas here.

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