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.
Putting trust in Satellite Board Shop is a no-brainer when you know that the University of Colorado snowboard team entrusts it with all their tune-ups. Satellite technicians show all their customers the same level of professionalism and care when waxing boards, tuning up skis, or explaining that a “snowboard” isn’t the legislative branch of winter presided over by Jack Frost.
Satellite also stocks plenty of new snowboards and skateboards including the Never Summer Cobra board, designed to handle any mountain terrain, and the Anti Hero skateboard deck emblazoned with a giant bee. In addition, Satellite can outfit customers with T-shirts, shoes, and sunglasses as well as fleece-lined jackets that keep them warm when they accidentally build themselves into an igloo.
For more than 35 years, Boulder Army Store has sold its customers one thing: adventure. Behind its 19th-century brick storefront, the store stocks all the requisite apparel and gear needed for outdoor exploration. Its knowledgeable staff outfits customers for year-round thrills with outdoor gear, clothing, and footwear for all seasons from brands such as Merrell and Columbia Sportswear. In fact, some of the store's items almost seem to have minds of their own, since they can adjust for different temperatures or even generate electricity.
The shelves and walls also brim with camping equipment and gear designed for specific activities, including backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing. For summer months, more than 200 styles of footwear keep outdoorsy types protected as they scale hiking trails or levitate just a few inches above rough terrain.
Since 1921, Art Cleaners' meticulous wardrobe washers have been giving stains and blemishes the boot with a full roster of dry-cleaning, laundry, and alterations services. Today, they harness the cleansing power of the GreenEarth cleaning system, which eschews harmful petroleum-based solvents in favor of liquid silicone derived from pure, natural sand. This eco-friendly solution thoroughly but gently expunges stains and grime from all types of clothing and furniture fabric before dissolving back into its natural states—water, carbon dioxide, and sand. Like a skunk that's studied Emily Post's Etiquette, it leaves behind no odor. The staff at Art Cleaners also picks up and delivers clients' laundry for free within Boulder County.
Colorado Ski Tunes' experienced technicians–all snowboarding and skiing enthusiasts–are well versed in both minor repairs and major overhauls for winter sports equipment. The staff also displays a determined dedication to the environment, filling all of their delivery vehicles’ gas tanks with vegetable oil, which greatly reduces toxic emissions while increasing cravings for french fries.
To the staff of Giantnerd, nerdiness isn’t defined by pocket protectors or taped-together glasses. Rather, it’s the thrill an outdoor enthusiast has for the newest, best outdoor sporting equipment—be it a GT road bike, a Patagonia fleece jacket made with recycled material from 25 2-liter soda bottles, or a Suunto Ambit “watch” that tracks barometric altitude and includes GPS and a heart-rate monitor for mountain exploration. Giantnerd’s staff wanted to take the thrill of finding quality outdoor equipment and athletic apparel to the next level by creating a more transparent shopping experience. To this end, they allow users to rank and review the products they’ve bought, pushing the best finds to the top.
Giantnerd’s sizeable online shop puts customers in touch with whatever gear they need, whether they seek climbing harnesses, snowboarding goggles, or an extra-warm Marmot jacket for holiday visits to snowman relatives. Their bike selection is particularly extensive, with road bikes, mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, and other varieties from brands such as Tommaso and BAMF. A 365-day return policy gives buyers a year to return items, so long as they’re in the same condition and have the original packaging.