comScore
Chautauqua Park picture in Boulder
John Kieffer / Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • Free
  • 24/7 daily

Details

  • Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.7
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Perched on the southwest edge of the city, this tiny extension of Boulder Mountain Park offers some of the city's most photo-worthy vistas. Originally established in the late 1800s as a verdant retreat, this National Historic Landmark now hosts a handful of community events like concerts and festivals. Even when there isn't anything marked on the social calendar, Chautauqua is still a place to go for a breath of fresh air: Numerous paths and gardens await hikers, bikers, picnickers and dog walkers, while more adventurous travelers explore the rugged mountains nearby.

Visitors are blown away by the park's landscape and its facilities, which include lodging, dining and auditoriums. However, some reviewers were less satisfied with the crowds and limited parking. Because of the park's accessible location just minutes from downtown Boulder, Chautauqua sees more visitors than some of the city's other hiking spots like Eldorado Canyon State Park and Flagstaff Mountain. If you can, try to get to the park early before your fellow hikers start clogging the trails.

The park is always open to visitors and general entrance is free. If you wish to learn more about the history of Chautauqua, you can tag along on a guided tour, offered by Boulder Walking Tours at 10 a.m. on Sundays from June through September. You can also choose to sit down for a meal in the dining hall or stay the night in one of the several cottages on the premises (both dining and lodging are offered for a fee). The park is located less than 2 miles southwest of the University of Colorado Boulder. You could easily bike or walk from downtown Boulder to Chautauqua, but if you'd rather drive, you'll find a parking lot and limited street parking. HOP 2 Chautauqua provides bus service to the park during the summer season. For more information on prices and events, check out Chautauqua's website.

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#1 The Flatirons These jaw-dropping rock walls flanking Green Mountain have become the symbol of the city, with many Boulder businesses sporting their image as a logo. Flatirons One through Five are the ... Read more » Ed Freeman / Getty Images

#2 Chautauqua Park Perched on the southwest edge of the city, this tiny extension of Boulder Mountain Park offers some of the city's most photo-worthy vistas. Originally established in the late 1800s ... Read more » John Kieffer / Getty Images

#3 Pearl Street Mall Stretching from Eighth to 20th streets in downtown Boulder, this buzzing thoroughfare is a shopaholic's Yellow Brick Road. Here, you'll find familiar brand names like Urban Outfitters and ... Read more » Denise Chambers / Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau

#4 Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory No wonder everyone in Boulder seems so relaxed: The city is home to North America's largest producer of herbal tea, which packages and sends more than 8 million tea ... Read more » Courtesy Celestial Seasonings

#5 Breweries After you've conquered the Flatirons, what better reward than an ice-cold pint of local Boulder ale? Though Denver is often regarded as Colorado's reigning beer city, Boulder can ... Read more » Denise Chambers / Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau

#6 Eldorado Canyon State Park Cascading canyon walls, lush pine forests, winding trails ... Eldorado Canyon State Park has much to offer in the way of natural beauty. Its 885 acres provide opportunities to rock climb ... Read more » welcomia / Getty Images

#7 Boulder Creek Path Ask any Boulder resident for a hiking recommendation and they'll probably point you to the Boulder Creek Path. This 5½-mile-long trail  completely undisturbed by automobile traffic  traces Boulder Creek ... Read more » Sandra Leidholdt / Getty Images

#8 Flagstaff Mountain & Summit Nature Center If you're looking for a hike the whole family can enjoy, aim for the top of Flagstaff Mountain. Rising out of Boulder Mountain Park, Flagstaff Mountain sits about 5 ... Read more » James Hayes / Getty Images

#9 University of Colorado Boulder Even if you're not a prospective student, recent visitors recommend you pay a visit to the beautiful University of Colorado Boulder campus, located just minutes from downtown Boulder. When ... Read more » Casey Cass / University of Colorado

#10 Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art You don't have to be a hiker, a skier or a rock climber to experience Colorado's scenery. For a more laid-back glimpse at the mountainous landscape, head to ... Read more » Denise Chambers / Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau

#11 National Center for Atmospheric Research Most people consider a conversation about the weather to be a desperate attempt at small talk. But at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, sun, rain, wind and snow are ... Read more » Wally Gobetz / Flickr

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Boulder Creek Path picture in Boulder
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Climbing the Flatirons picture in Boulder
Chautauqua Park picture in Boulder
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Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art picture in Boulder
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Previous visitors say that no trip to Boulder would be complete without spending time admiring the Flatirons. Ed Freeman / Getty Images

Perched on the southwest edge of Boulder, Chautauqua Park offers some of the city's most photo-worthy vistas.  John Kieffer / Getty Images

The bustling Pearl Street Mall is filled with top brands like Urban Outfitters and Patagonia, plus local quirky boutiques and art galleries. Denise Chambers / Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory in northeast Boulder is the largest producer of herbal tea in North America. It produces everything from green tea to chai. Courtesy Celestial Seasonings

Avery Brewing Co. is just one of many Boulder breweries that offer free guided tours. Denise Chambers / Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau

Cascading canyon walls, lush pine forests, winding trails ... Eldorado Canyon State Park has much to offer in the way of natural beauty.  welcomia / Getty Images

This popular path follows Boulder Creek through downtown. Sandra Leidholdt / Getty Images

Rising out of Boulder Mountain Park, Flagstaff Mountain sits about 5 miles southwest of the city.  James Hayes / Getty Images

The annual Colorado Shakespeare Festival is presented by the University of Colorado Boulder. It's one of the nation's few repertory groups to complete the entire Shakespeare canon. Casey Cass / University of Colorado

This museum houses one of America's largest private collections of late 20th-century Western art. Denise Chambers / Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is a must-see for any aspiring scientist. Wally Gobetz / Flickr

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