I'm a traveling wedding and elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. I capture real moments with bright, bold, natural images. My goal is to make your wedding day the best it can be and ensure that you have a meaningful, memorable, FUN wedding day that is the start of a lifelong adventure.
As a wedding and elopement photographer, my couples will often ask me for recommendations on date ideas in Boulder, Colorado. I’ve lived in Boulder for a few years now, and it’s such a cool city with so much to do. Whether you’re looking for incredible hikes, scenic views, great restaurants, or unique experiences, you can find it in Boulder.
So here are my personal recommendations for date nights in Boulder!
Boulder is known for amazing hiking, and for good reason! The city is built at the base of the Flatirons – those big rocky mountains that you probably see in almost every photo of Boulder. With 150+ miles of trails, there are so many good ones, but here are my favorites!
Length: 2.7 miles out and back
Why you’ll love it: This trail gives you incredible views of the iconic Flatirons. You’ll start at Chautauqua Park, and then climb up to see the Flatirons practically right in front of you. This trail is great for sunset!
Length: 4 miles out and back
Why you’ll love it: This trail is one of my favorite trails in Boulder! The trail isn’t particularly difficult, but the views are beautiful the entire time. The trail to the summit is so pretty, and the summit itself offers spectacular views. If you go around golden hour before sunset, you’ll get excellent sunset views throughout.
Length: 2.6 miles
Why you’ll love it: This is a classic Boulder trail. This one is steep, but the views from the top are great. You’ll be able to see the Flatirons, Boulder, and maybe even Denver in the distance. You’ll likely hear or see “Sanitas” mentioned in passing or in business names. This is the peak they’re referring to!
Length: 4.4 mile loop
Why you’ll love it: This is a relatively easy trail with great mountain views throughout. The Red Rocks portion of the trail takes you to a really cool rock formation where you can do a bit of scrambling or just sit to relax and admire the view.
Length: 3.4 miles out and back
Why you’ll love it: Not going to lie, this trail is steep. But the end makes it all worth it! This trail starts at Chautauqua Park and then ends at a giant stone arch that overlooks Boulder.
Length: 1.5-mile loop
Why you’ll love it: This trail is perfect if you want a relatively easy stroll with great views of the Flatirons. You’ll start at Chautauqua Park, and then take a leisurely walk through the forests at the base of the Flatirons.
Boulder has some great places to watch the sunset! Here are some of my favorites!
This is THE place if you want to watch a sunset in Boulder. Lost Gulch is a rocky overlook that gives you incredible views of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a popular spot for good reason, so it can get crowded especially on weekend evenings. Bring a snack, a non-alcoholic beverage, or a picnic, and enjoy watching the sunset over the mountains.
This one is actually located in Longmont, but it’s one of my favorite spots and it’s only about 20 minutes from Boulder. This spot is great because you can watch the sunset over Longs Peak, and if you’re lucky, you can get some beautiful reflections in the reservoir. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife!
Boulder is home to lots of delicious restaurants! Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Mexican, Pizza, Thai, Indian, or burgers, you can find it in Boulder. Just make sure to check the hours, because some spots close earlier than you might expect.
Here are a few of my personal favorite restaurants in Boulder:
Boulder is home to a number of unique attractions and activities. Here are a few of my favorites!
The Dushanbe Tea House is an incredible place with beautiful architecture, fascinating history, and of course, a practically endless selection of premium tea. This is a must for anyone visiting Boulder. You can have a meal here, which is also delicious, or you can make a reservation for afternoon tea. Reservations for afternoon tea fill up fast, so plan accordingly!
Pearl Street is Boulder’s famous pedestrian mall. But it’s not your average shopping spot. Pearl Street is lined with mostly outdoor retail stores. You’ll find storefronts for Patagonia, The North Face, Cotopaxi, Backcountry, and more. Mixed in with the outdoor gear stores, there are also a number of boutiques, bookstores, and restaurants. Plan to spend a few hours wandering the stores and shops on Pearl Street!
Trident is perhaps my favorite coffee shop in Boulder. They serve great coffee in a cafe that’s connected to an eclectic bookstore. They’re open late too, which is convenient! Trident is on Pearl Street, so plan to stop while you’re browsing the stores.
Boulder hosts a vibrant Farmer’s Market during the summer months. You can find fresh produce, prepared food, flowers, bakeries, and more. Check their website for dates and vendors!
If you’re into art, make a stop at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. They have really cool modern exhibits from a variety of artists. Sometimes, the museum is open with free admission during the farmer’s market!
No trip to Boulder is complete without stopping at the iconic Chautauqua Park. This park offers arguably the best view of the Flatirons, and it’s right in the heart of Boulder. Stop to admire the view, go on a hike, or pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn.
There you have it! These are my favorite things to do in Boulder, Colorado. And of course, if you’re looking for a photographer in Boulder for your wedding, elopement or engagement, I’d love to work with you! Learn more about me and then get in touch!
I'm Abby Shepard, a traveling wedding and elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado USA. I document real moments with bright, bold, natural images and help you have a meaningful & fun wedding day.
Love is love.
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