As recently as April 2014, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicated Boulder, Colorado as the skinniest city in the United States. Since the pedestrian-friendly city rests in the cradle of the Rocky Mountain foothills, with plenty of nearby opportunities to hike, the ranking is perhaps no surprise to Boulder's 100,000 residents. It certainly comes as no surprise to guides at Boulder Walking Tours, who make their living showing off the city's footpaths through its downtown historic districts.
On one of their signature tours, guides take up to eight guests to explore Boulder's still-operational Chautauqua campus, where an adult-educational movement has thrived since the late 19th century. The morning-long tour benefits from stunning views of the Flatirons, deftly told anecdotes of local Chautauquans, and historical photographs that show off how far picture-taking technology has come.
Housed in a historic brick building, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art challenges minds and peppers peepers with an ever-rotating roulette wheel of exhibits from local, national, and international artists. An individual membership affords artophiles unlimited entry for 12 months, or the approximate time it takes to have a baby. Peruse the industrial-ceilinged, white-walled galleries alone, with a friend capitalizing on the included guest entry pass (one per visit), or with the guidance of a wisdom-infused curator as part of invitation-only exhibitions. Members revel in additional benefits, such as discounts on museum programs and at the museum store, subscriptions to the events calendar and e-news.
Why walk when you can ride? That's the question asked by Colorado Segway Tours, whose fleet of brand-new Segways send riders gliding on tours of Denver and Boulder. The roughly-seven-mile tours take them past historic landmarks, such as Denver's capitol building and its golden dome, as well as Boulder's Gregory Canyon and other natural sights. Each tour begins with an instructional lesson, equipping riders with the skills needed to handle their Segways like professionals.
Founded in 1944, the Boulder History Museum helps Colorado natives and out-of-town visitors connect with the area's deep history through an anthology of more than 35,000 local artifacts and engaging rotating exhibits. Donated by Boulder-area families and organizations, the museum's collection features period clothing, personal keepsakes, recreational artifacts, antique tools, historic communications, transportation relics, and cave paintings depicting John Denver's initial discovery of the Rocky Mountains' mineable chocolate stores. Current and future exhibits include Treasures of NOAA's Ark (beginning February 18), a collection of 19th century maps and charts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to an exploration of Boulder's involvement in the New Deal Work Projects of the 1930s (through April 30).
On September 19, 1975, CU alum Wallace Franze Fiske?s wish ?to build and equip a planetarium for the University of Colorado? was finally realized with the dedication of the eponymous geodesic dome built thanks to his generous bequest. From its inaugural showing of a program detailing supernovae decades ago, the planetarium has upheld Fiske?s vision with an ever-evolving lineup of educational initiatives, engaging events, and outreach activities. Now under the helm of a passionate staff composed of members of CU?s Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, its programs grant the community a chance to explore the wonders of outer space. The skyward dome of Fiske Planetarium, featuring a state-of-the-art 8K theater, one of the first in the nation, acts as a projector screen for immersive, 360-degree educational star shows showcasing the universe's glittering galactic splendor. Laser shows set to jazz, rock, and classical music feature choreographed lasers and special effects that perform a wave-particle Humpty Dance for the audience's amusement. Audiences can catch showings in Spanish as well as English.