We took a day-trip into Boulder during our stay in Granby, Colorado
As we awoke in Granby, the temperature was in the low-teens. We packed and got bundled up for our day trip to Boulder, a beautiful 2-hour drive from Grand County. There were ice crystals on the windows of the car, but as we drove down the mountain and headed east, the temperature rose and was in the mid-sixties when we arrived.
The drive from Granby didn’t feel like 2 hours, as there was much to see. The snow-covered mountain landscape changed to rolling hills and rock formations as we approached the Boulder area.
Our first stop was ModMarket. Their menu includes many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, which is very helpful for Sam who is gluten-intolerant! Come to find out, Boulder has been dubbed the gluten-free capital of the US.
Their food is made from simple, whole ingredients and leaves you feeling energetic and satisfied, not heavy and weighed down!
We were all pleased with our food selections. We ordered an array of items including a sandwich, wrap, salad and flatbread pizza. All were delicious!
Next, we went to Redstone Meadery to sample the local honey wine!
Visitors are encouraged to stop by the meadery for a free tasting of their award winning meads.
A free tour of the facility is also available to those who are interested in learning more about the process of making mead.
We must have sampled 15 different kinds of mead, including black raspberry nectar, boysenberry nectar and nectar of the hops. (I should mention that mead is naturally gluten free!)
We paid a few dollars to sample some of the more expensive reserve meads, not included in the free tasting.
We had a great experience sampling mead. My in-laws had never tried it, so it was a new experience for them. My own mother actually makes an award winning mead, so I consider myself somewhat of a honey wine aficionado!
Our next stop was the Pearl Street Mall, home to hundreds of locally owned and operated shops and eateries. Pearl Street Mall is a great place to enjoy the outdoors while walking from shop to shop.
Shops range from locally made arts and crafts to toy stores for kids and from antique shops to fashion boutiques.
There are always a variety of street performers found along the walkways of this outdoor mall.
One of the flagship stores in this outdoor shopping mecca is the Boulder Bookstore. There are 3 floors containing over 150,000 books! Sam is quite the bookworm, so he spent a decent amount of time in this particular store.
And, of course, who can make a trip to Colorado without visiting the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, conveniently located in the Pearl Street Mall?!
The downtown area was all spruced up for Christmas, including the local courthouse.
After spending some time walking up and down Pearl Street perusing the plethora of shops, we decided it was time to go wine tasting… again!
We made our way to Bookcliff Vineyards Winery & Tasting Room. We were honestly expecting a location that would overlook vineyards and were slightly disappointed when we drove to a location in a strip mall, but the experience turned out to be wonderful regardless.
Guests can sample 5 wines for only $5 and if you purchase 2 bottles of wine, your tasting cost is refunded. So, yes, our tasting fee was refunded! 🙂 We especially enjoyed the port wine paired with chocolate chips!
Bookcliff owns and manages 37 acres of vineyard (located about 4 hours from the tasting room).
Their wines are made from 100% Colorado grown grapes and include fourteen different award-winning varieties: Chardonnay, Viognier, Muscat Blanc, Riesling, Orange Muscat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Graciano and Malbec.
Although it wasn’t the picturesque vineyard view we were hoping for, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at Bookcliff. Ulla (half of the winemaking duo) was a delight and shared her enthusiasm and expertise throughout our tasting experience.
Once we left Bookcliff, we were racing against the setting sun to see the Flat Irons, rock formations that are pretty much the ubiquitous symbols of the city of Boulder.
We parked at the Chautauqua trail head and started our short and quick walk to the base of the Flat Irons.
The lighting was absolutely perfect!
The surrounding landscape was comprised of rolling hills and unique rock formations.
The sun had just dipped below the horizon, casting the most beautiful glow upon the city of Boulder.
After our short descent from the Chautauqua trail, we again visited the downtown area to grab a bite to eat before heading back to Granby.
We came across Foolish Craig’s, a restaurant featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Known for its crepes, Foolish Craig’s also offers a variety of omelets, sandwiches on freshly baked breads, burgers, salads, homemade soups, and combinations for breakfast and lunch.
The dinner menu features a variety of fresh seafood, steak, chicken, pasta, burgers and sandwiches. My father-in-law ordered the Bison (Buffalo) Burger (pictured above) and Sam ordered the Hippie Burger (jalapenos, fried egg, bacon, thousand island, lettuce, tomato, and onion) on gluten-free bread.
My mother-in-law and I both went for the Chicken Duxelle Crepe (grilled chicken, portabella and button mushrooms, garlic, shallots, tomato vodka cream sauce with garlic smashed potatoes, and broccoli). Both of our meals came out cold, probably because the burgers took so long to cook, but they quickly re-made our meals and brought them out piping hot! To be honest, the flavor wasn’t as amazing as I was hoping for, but it did the trick and filled me up!
Following our meal, we again hopped in the car for the 2-hour drive back to Granby. Parts of the drive were a little scary, since we were on dark, unfamiliar roads, but we made it safe and sound! I wish I could say the same for another vehicle that hit a large deer who attempted to dart across the highway!
All said and done, I wish we had a little more time to spend in Boulder. It was a lot to cram into a few hours and there was certainly more we wanted to see, but we’re glad we got to experience much of what this beautiful city has to offer!
For a quick-reference destination guide to what we did during our entire stay in North Central Colorado (including Denver, Boulder, & Grand County), click here.