Travel

Where to Eat, Hike, and Shop in Boulder, Colorado

Created with Purely Elizabeth

Written by: Kelly Martin

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Published on: May 30, 2024

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Around the same time that her granola company, Purely Elizabeth, took off, founder Elizabeth Stein put Boulder, Colorado, on her vision board. Historically Boulder has attracted natural food brands the way it has hikers, bikers, and rock climbers. Stein made her move there 10 years ago and eased into a slower way of life. As modern as the city feels, she says, it still has a spirit that most would consider…well, granola.

STAY

ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA

When friends visit from out of town, Stein recommends St Julien. It’s the nicest place to stay in Boulder, with especially good views: Guests might spend some time on the patio looking out at the hills. And the hotel spa does the best massages in town. Stein’s favorite is the gemstone chakra-balancing treatment.

EAT

LUCKY’S BAKEHOUSE

Lucky’s Bakehouse isn’t entirely gluten-free, but it has the best gluten-free pastries in Boulder. They often sell out by 11 a.m.—Stein gets there before the morning rush to pick up treats for the Purely Elizabeth office.

WONDER

Wonder is Stein’s go-to for smoothies and fresh-pressed juice. She orders a juice with ginger, lemon, and apple.

THE KITCHEN AMERICAN BISTRO

For the past 20 years, the Kitchen has nailed casual bistro dining with global influences. You’ll find rabbit confit pappardelle, crispy cauliflower with tamarind chutney, mussels with creamed leeks, and a citrusy beet salad—all good. The low-lit lounge upstairs is often full of couples on dates cozied into the banquette seating or at the bar, which is lively.

FRASCA FOOD AND WINE

For special occasions, Stein recommends Frasca, a northern Italian spot that’s won James Beard awards for its chef, service, and wine program, in addition to a Michelin star just last year.

OAK AT FOURTEENTH

Stein goes to Oak at Fourteenth, a neighborhood brasserie with open-fire cooking and award-winning cocktails, for her favorite-ever kale salad. (“And I’ve had my fair share of kale salads,” she says.) This one is shaved, with apple, Manchego, and toasted almonds.

Photos courtesy of Casey Wilson (plate) and Oak at Fourteenth (patio)

HIKE

Before her hikes, Stein fuels up with a parfait made with yogurt, fresh farmers’ market fruit, and Purely Elizabeth granola for a salty-sweet crunch. (She has spent so much time perfecting the baking production process of Purely Elizabeth granola that she rarely makes her own from scratch—she buys hers at Whole Foods like the rest of us.)

Our 3 Favorite Purely Elizabeth Granolas

We’ve long been fans of the original, which is made with organic oats, ancient grains, and superfood seeds like chia, quinoa, and amaranth. If you prefer your granola grain-free, the nut option doesn’t disappoint. And they’re all gluten-free and vegan.

  1. Purely Elizabeth
    Original Ancient Grain Granola
    Purely Elizabeth, $7.99SHOP NOW
  2. Purely Elizabeth
    Chocolate Sea Salt Ancient Grain Granola with Probiotics
    Purely Elizabeth, $7.99SHOP NOW
  3. Purely Elizabeth
    Vanilla Almond Butter Grain-Free Nut Granola
    Purely Elizabeth, $7.99SHOP NOW

If you start at the Chautauqua trailhead, you can hike through a grassy meadow dotted with wildflowers and work your way all the way up toward the Flatirons, the iconic sandstone slabs that sit above Boulder. Prepare to scramble a bit to get to the top of the hill.

For a hike with less elevation gain, drive farther out of town to Walker Ranch. The eight-mile loop passes through forest and over rivers, with waterfall views.

SHOP

MAX

Max is where Boulder locals shop for luxury fashion. You’ll find Ulla Johnson’s signature prints, easy Dries separates, and the latest from Loewe. (Shoppers will also find Max in Denver and Aspen, and Vail is getting an outpost, too.)

JONES + CO.

Jones + Co. stocks a well-curated selection of stationery, decorative candles, breezy dresses, delicate jewelry, and clean beauty. Stein stops here whenever she needs to pick up a gift.

CEDAR & HYDE MERCANTILE

Like Jones + Co., Cedar & Hyde stocks a little bit of everything. But the main draw here is its earthy home goods: soft linens, glassware, coffee-table books, and handmade ceramics from independent potters.

BE WELL

MECHA

Those looking for an intensely challenging workout will find it at Mecha, a Megaformer studio that balances the intensity of its classes with a serene space.

CYL INFRARED STUDIO

Stein finally went in on a sauna of her own, but before she did, she dropped in at CYL for sweat sessions in infrared heat.

EDITOR’S PICKS: IN YOUR BEAUTY BAG

  1. goop Beauty
    72-Hour Supercharged Hydrating Water-Cream
    goop, $68SHOP NOW
  2. goop Beauty
    Cloudberry Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser
    goop, $35SHOP NOW
  3. goop Beauty
    Lift + Depuff Eye Masks
    goop, $125SHOP NOW