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The Hottest Things to do in Boulder, Colorado This Summer

The cooler spring this year left some feeling skeptical, but as the dog days of summer approach, the temperatures are starting to hit their peak. Thankfully, there’s still plenty to do in and around Boulder to keep cool in the summer heat. From the classic outdoor hikes in the Flatirons, to free outdoor concerts (that are even family friendly!), here’s a list of our favorite things to do in Boulder in the summer.

Take a dip

A local favorite and tourist attraction that can accommodate groups of up to 1,000 people, Boulder Reservoir has picnic tables, grills, a sandy beach, and a large lake to cool off in. The Reservoir features something for everyone, with on-site kayak and paddle board rentals, and even fishing. 

For those with a taste for adventure, Boulder Creek offers one of the most popular tubing rivers in the country. Whitewater Tube Co. rents tubes, lifejackets, and helmets. Avid tubers with their own equipment can self guide at their own discretion! If you want to stay closer to home, there are a variety of pools in Boulder to choose from. The RallySport Fitness Club offers swimming day passes, punch cards, and a specific Kids Corner for families looking to take a dip. For an impromptu “swim”, take a walk through the pop-jet fountain near 14th street.

Go on a hike 

The list of great hikes in Boulder is a long one, but the most iconic and summer-heat friendly are in the Flatirons and Eldorado Canyon. Thanks to the higher altitude of the mountains, the Flatirons will be cooler than in the city by a few degrees. This, combined with the flat peaks, create a hiking experience that won’t result in sweaty, hot hike. 

Eldorado Canyon offers large cliffs and mountains that will block the relentless sun, and greenery that offers shade for hikers. Although swimming isn’t permitted, kayaking is (when the water levels are high enough). Needless to say, the fast rushing stream through the canyon certainly cools down a hot day.

Enjoy a show

It’s no secret: Boulder’s music scene is almost as hot as the summer temperatures! Whatever the night of the week, there’s a very good chance that you can head outside and find a live music concert! describes these outdoor concerts as a chance to “head to a live show under the stars and mingle with locals for dancing, picnicking, and soaking up the sweet sounds of music on the Colorado breeze”, and what could sound like a better way to finish a long, hot day? Check out the live sounds on Pearl Street, Red Rocks, Chautauqua Park, and 29th Street. 

If live music isn’t your thing, check out the Colorado Shakespeare Festival presented by the University of Colorado. Running since 1958, this series of performances brings world-renowned performers to Boulder every year to perform Shakespeare favorites. Tickets this year start at $18 a piece, and shows go until August 11.

Get a nightcap 

Cap off the summer with the ultimate nightcap- the 6th Annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival! Bringing together the best breweries from all over Boulder County, this event starts at $35 a ticket that includes a tasting glass which allows for unlimited, 2 oz. pours from participating breweries. VIP tickets are $50 a person, and include unlimited pours along with speciality breweries and limited edition merchandise. For designated drivers, tickets are $10 a person, and include a food voucher for the same value for food at the Beer Festival – these are available online only! Boulder is sometimes referred to as the Napa Valley of craft beer, making the festival a must-do for beer lovers!