comScore

National Center for Atmospheric Research

#11 in Best Things To Do in Boulder

National Center for Atmospheric Research picture in Boulder
Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • Free
  • Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Details

  • Museums, Tours Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
US NEWS LOGO

Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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 always important topics. At this stunning sandstone building atop Table Mesa  a landmark some might recognize from Woody Allen's film, "Sleeper"  scientists study weather-related phenomena such as ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. On a visit to the center, you can see some of the tools used to conduct experiments, like weather balloons, satellites and even robots. Meanwhile, hands-on exhibits are sure to excite the budding meteorologist in your family. After you've sufficiently toured the complex, get some fresh air along the Walter Orr Roberts Nature and Weather Trail, where you can learn all about Table Mesa's wildlife.

Guided tours of the center are available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between noon and 1 p.m., and recent visitors recommend coming prepared to learn as knowledgeable tour guides are eager to answer your questions. You can also opt for a tablet or cellphone tour; whichever option you choose, travelers highly recommend taking some time to explore on your own before grabbing a snack and enjoying the view from the on-site cafeteria.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is open to visitors Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the center and guided tours are free. The center is located about 15 minutes south of downtown Boulder; a car is the best way to get here. For more information, check out the center's website.

Powered by Viator

Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Rodeway Inn and Suites The Broker

Rodeway Inn and Suites The Broker ...

  • 1.7 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
Boulder University Inn

Boulder University Inn ...

  • 2.4 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
Best Western Plus Boulder Inn

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn ...

  • 1.8 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Boulder »

More Best Things to Do in Boulder

Climbing the Flatirons picture in Boulder
Hiking, Natural Wonders Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Chautauqua Park picture in Boulder
Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Summer on the Pearl Street Mall picture in Boulder
Shopping, Neighborhood/Area Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory picture in Boulder
Sightseeing, Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Avery Brewing Co. Tour picture in Boulder
Entertainment and Nightlife, Tours, Wineries/Breweries Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Eldorado Canyon State Park picture in Boulder
Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Boulder Creek Path picture in Boulder
Hiking, Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
View from Flagstaff Mountain picture in Boulder
Hiking, Recreation Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Colorado Shakespeare Festival picture in Boulder
Sightseeing, Sports, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art picture in Boulder
Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
National Center for Atmospheric Research picture in Boulder
Museums, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
|

#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

Climbing the Flatirons picture in Boulder
Chautauqua Park picture in Boulder
Summer on the Pearl Street Mall picture in Boulder
Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory picture in Boulder
Avery Brewing Co. Tour picture in Boulder
Eldorado Canyon State Park picture in Boulder
Boulder Creek Path picture in Boulder
View from Flagstaff Mountain picture in Boulder
Colorado Shakespeare Festival picture in Boulder
Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art picture in Boulder
National Center for Atmospheric Research picture in Boulder
Climbing the Flatirons picture in Boulder
Chautauqua Park picture in Boulder
Summer on the Pearl Street Mall picture in Boulder
Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory picture in Boulder
Avery Brewing Co. Tour picture in Boulder
Eldorado Canyon State Park picture in Boulder
Boulder Creek Path picture in Boulder
View from Flagstaff Mountain picture in Boulder
Colorado Shakespeare Festival picture in Boulder
Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art picture in Boulder
National Center for Atmospheric Research picture in Boulder

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

×

See full list of Best Things to Do in Boulder »

Explore More of Boulder

Find the Best Price

Enter your check in and check out dates to find the best price

PriceFinder powered by TripAdvisor Primary Logo