There’s no better place in the nation to plan a healthy vacation to than Boulder, Colorado. It’s been named one of the healthiest, fittest places in America, from its residents to its restaurants and even its hotels.
If you are planning an active, healthy vacation, many local hotels go out of their way to cater to your lifestyle. Here are the six best places in Boulder to stay for an active, healthy getaway.
1. Boulder Basecamp Hotel
Where: 2020 Arapahoe Ave., right on Boulder Creek
Why: This hotel is specifically designed for adventurers. Climb the hotel’s bouldering wall, work out in the fitness center, detox in the indoor hot tub and dry sauna and make this your “base camp” for all of your active, outdoor events.
Healthy tips: Start the morning with some kombucha from the lobby bar and a walk along Boulder Creek Path, located right outside the hotel. Ask staff members to recommend their favorite trails. Skip the in-room S’mores and beer and instead stay hydrated. Drink extra water if you are active at this altitude.
2. Boulder Adventure Lodge
Where: 91 Fourmile Canyon Drive, up Fourmile Canyon
Why: Want to immerse yourself in Boulder’s outdoors? Here’s where to stay. The lodge itself is located up Fourmile Canyon with easy access to the mountain, trails and Fourmile Creek. After a day in the mountains, relax in the hot tub or your room’s jetted tub (if you stay in the Adventure Suite).
Healthy Tips: Cook your own healthy meal on the outdoor grill. The suite has a full kitchen with a fridge. While Boulder has some great healthy restaurants, it’s much easier to control your portions and identify all of the ingredients when you’re making your own meals. Plus, it’s often cheaper. Ask the staff here for recommendations about the healthiest places to eat and their favorite healthy activities.
3. St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Where: 900 Walnut St., in downtown Boulder and a short walk to the Boulder Creek.
Why: The St. Julien is where a healthy vacation meets luxury. First, it’s the only high-end resort in Boulder with an in-hotel spa and an amazing one at that. A visit to the spa is not just to treat yo’self; it’s an integral part of health and wellness. There is plenty of evidence backing up the health benefits of massages, stress reduction, quiet time, steam rooms and saunas, releasing tight muscles, meditation and taking the time to slow down and breathe.
The 10,000-square-foot spa even offers products made out of herbs from the resort garden. Get your heart rate up in the lap pool and spend time in the fitness center. Then head to the steam room, sauna and relaxation room.
Healthy Tips: Dine at Jill’s Restaurant, which has great vegan menu offerings. Request a spa treatment with a custom essential oil blend. Consider booking the Adventure Package, which includes farm-to-table food, a treatment at the spa, a Hydropack backpack with snacks and a water pouch and the adventure of your choice, from hiking to climbing to biking. The concierge will set it up for you.
4. Foot of the Mountain Motel
Where: 200 W. Arapahoe Ave., walking distance to the Eben G. Fine Park
Why: It’s easy to plan an active vacation at this historical, cabin-style motel. First, it’s right across from the Eben G. Fine Park, which is a popular home base if you want to go tubing on Boulder Creek (or walk, bike or jog along the creek path). Play bocce, cornhole and volleyball on the property. It’s super convenient to rent a bike or buy a tube from the motel. Take advantage of the trails that start at the motel and head up to Flagstaff and Settler’s Park.
Healthy Tips: Rooms have refrigerators so you can stock up on healthy food and snacks. There’s a free continental breakfast, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always translate into the healthiest of options, so instead bike to a grocery store and fill your fridge with fruits and veggies for a picnic back at your hotel or in the park. Or better yet, ride your bike down the creek path to the farmer’s market when it’s open.
5. Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast
Where: 2151 Arapahoe Ave.
Why: This bed and breakfast has a strong Zen influence; it’s run by a Zen monk and the property has a meditation room and outdoor gardens for relaxation and contemplation. The Briar Rose offers unlimited organic, loose-leaf tea; filtered water from the Arapahoe Glacier; and an organic breakfast to guests (can be adjusted for dietary restrictions). Breakfast typically includes hand-selected fresh fruit, as well as eggs and homemade granola (for a bit of a splurge) and more. The B&B even makes its own tapenade and southwestern frittata. Sheets and towels are organic cotton and cleaning products are environmentally friendly. Even paints are VOC-free.
Healthy Tips: Take advantage of the tea tray service, and ask about the B&B’s own unique blends. If you’re feeling really healthy, try to skip the fresh-baked shortbread butter cookie service. (We know. That’s not easy.) Request a room with a private hot tub, rain shower or writing desk, depending on your needs and health goals.
6. Alps Boulder Canyon Inn
Where: 38619 Boulder Canyon Drive, surrounded by nature in the Boulder Canyon.
Why: This award-winning inn features a relaxing outdoor garden, an afternoon tea and a gourmet breakfast with healthier options like fresh-squeezed juice and vegan/vegetarian options. The inn can work with dietary restrictions. Walk to and along Boulder Creek and go hiking, biking or fishing right outside the door.
Healthy Tips: Ask the concierge to set up your ski trip or a hiking trip, depending on what you want to do. Consider booking the fly fishing package (on private water) or the skiing package, at nearby Eldora. The Melt Your Muscles Package includes skiing and lodging in a room with a whirlpool tub and fireplace.
Every room is unique, so request a room with a private whirlpool or rain shower. Beware of the tempting fresh-baked cookies and evening desserts (especially the homemade key lime pie) if you’re trying to cut back on sugar.