A cyclist in Boulder. Photo by Flickr user katiebordner

Why Boulder Is A Top Destination For Solo Travelers


It’s time for me time.

Solo travel is one of the hottest travel trends for 2019. Whether you are single or not, taking a trip by yourself can be an exercise in freedom and independence. Some people travel alone for some personal reflection or regrouping; others may be traveling for business or just can’t afford to fly the whole family out. Some just want to travel alone for the fun of it. When you travel alone, you craft your own experience, go at your own pace and have a chance to meet new people. You are likely to try things you wouldn’t normally do with your family or friends.

Whatever the reason, Boulder is the best destination for solo travel.

No, really. This is according to a recent ranking by VacationRenter, which surveyed more than 1,000 people around the country. Their top solo getaway: good ol’ Boulder.

Behind Boulder: Scottsdale, Arizona; Alexandria, Virginia; and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“The key to a good solo trip is a combination of spontaneity and the opportunity to do something bold. Whether that’s taking a two-day hike to summit a mountain or simply mixing with the locals, solo travel can open you up to new experiences and make you feel alive,” VacationRenter explains.

The website named Boulder a top spot for singles due to its proximity to the foothills with tons of outdoor adventure combined with a ton going on in the social scene.

If you’re flying solo, here are the best things to see and do in Boulder:

The views at the annual Craft Beer Festival. Photo by Downtown Boulder Partnership

Tour a Local Brewery

This is VacationRenter’s top activity for solo travelers. First, let’s be real: a glass of the hoppy stuff can provide some liquid courage to meet new people. And while it may seem awkward to go to the bar by yourself (although don’t worry, no one around here will notice or care), it’s easier to ease in via a brewery tour. You’ll probably meet some cool locals along the way and there’s an automatic conversation topic brewing (zing!) in front of your eyes.

Other ways to enjoy the beer scene solo: a yoga class at Sanitas Brewing (check out the weekly classes) or one of the many beer festivals in town. There seems to be one every season.

Gluten-free or beer not your thing? Boulder’s got a few lovely wineries and even a meadery.

Fox Theatre Show
A show at the Fox Theatre. Courtesy photo

Catch a Show

Boulder’s got some killer music venues, both large (the Boulder Theater, Fox Theatre and Chautauqua Auditorium, plus nearby Red Rocks Amphitheater) and smaller (Laughing Goat Coffee House, the Dickens Opera House in Longmont). Catch a concert or follow the live music scene; you can catch musicians all over town, like in the St Julien Hotel and Spa lobby, in many breweries on weekends (we love the scene at Oskar Blues) and even in some restaurants. Check a box off your must-see list at the Fox, which has been named the fourth-best club in the country.

Runner on Bear Peak Trail. Photo by Ann Duncan.
Runner on Bear Peak Trail. Photo by Ann Duncan

Take a Hike

Hike alone and spend some quality time with Mother Nature, or join a hiking group. You can find guided hikes through the city or on Meet-Up. The Boulder Hiker Chicks organizes popular treks. Or just stop by the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage and chat up a ranger for advice. Since you are hiking alone, make sure someone knows where you will be and take safety precautions. Don’t try to free climb the first Flatiron alone with no supplies or shoes. Take a relaxing hike and take photos of the scenery. Or enjoy the trails by running or cycling.

Fresh greens from Black Cat Farms. Photo by Tyler Percy

Enhance your hike by first visiting the Boulder Farmers Market downtown (in the warmer months), where you can meet local farmers, buy their tasty produce, get locally made food and drinks and then head off down the Boulder Creek Trail with a full belly (and maybe some new friends).

JP Sears
JP Sears meditating in an ultra way on Pearl Street. Photo by Aimee Heckel

Chill on the Mall

In warmer months, you can spend all day wandering the Pearl Street Mall and people-watching. It’s free entertainment and it’s never predictable. You’ll find some incredible local shops and restaurants. The mall has nearly 120 restaurants, including award-winners.

Pearl Street busker
A busker dog on the Pearl Street Mall. Photo by Jim Heckel

Get a coffee and sip it on the courthouse lawn while you watch buskers perform. Take some time to talk to them; many have incredible stories that will enrich your perspective of Boulder.

Downtown also regularly holds community events, including the summer concert series Band on the Bricks. Dance and celebrate into the night under Boulder’s open skies. Or head to the Bohemian Biergarten for open mic night and cheer on the brave locals. Many visitors comment on how surprised they are by how friendly Coloradans are.

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