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Top Rated Attractions in Boulder

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The Flatirons are a unique geological feature that are by far the most famous attraction in Boulder. Accessible through Chautauqua park and visible anywhere in the city, the Flatirons are a completely natural formation that occurred when a glacier pushed the mountains onto their sides, leaving the flattened undersides and layers of sediment visible in a way they usually aren't. The Flatirons take their name from their shape, which resembles three irons set down on the ground. A popular hiking spot, rappelling destination and visual treat in one, the Flatirons must be seen to be believed. Hidden under the cover of white snow or blazing red in the summer heat, Flatirons and its meadows filled with vibrant wildflowers, are a picturesque getaway and ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.

Chautauqua Park

This picturesque park, nestled at the base of the Flatirons, is one of three remaining areas from the historic Chautauqua Movement. The progressive movement, born in Chautauqua, New York, created a multitude of peaceful gathering places across the nation for educational and cultural programs. The original structures, built from 1898 to 1918, remain intact today and include such historic gems as the Dining Hall, and Academic Center. Still a prominent center for Boulder culture, the association hosts numerous activities year round, including the popular Summer Concert Series. There are hiking trails which lead up into the Flatirons and during the winter this is a popular sledding spot.

Eldorado Canyon State Park

Nestled in Boulder County, Eldorado Canyon State Park is an entrancing state park is a natural wonder par excellence. A paradise for climbers, mountain bikers, hikers and naturalists alike, this park is encircled by a tapestry of imposing mountain ranges and is a rock climbing and bouldering heaven. The canyon's innermost fabric once sheltered the Native Americans, today stands as a stirring canvas of aged, natural wonders. Many visitors make the trip from Boulder just to rejuvenate their bones within the forested hills and clear mountain streams. Others come just to watch the climbers or to sprawl out and enjoy a picnic, especially during long, bright summers. The park is interspersed with crisscrossing hiking trails, while its summit affords astounding views of its scenic surrounds. Further augmented by stark cliffs, seemingly-gilded rock walls, and agile waters of the South Boulder Creek, the park plays host to other activities like fishing, skiing and snowshoeing.

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Established in 1960 to examine and explore world weather patterns and climate, NCAR (pronounced en-car) is a center that works under the auspices of the National Science Foundation. The center is housed inside a landmark building and its filled with busy doctors and scientists looking over patterns and algorithms. It also doubles as an educational center packed with interactive displays that will amaze adults and kids alike. The scenic nature trails surrounding the complex contain learning stations that explain weather patterns and there are also brochures as well that allow you to guide yourself.

Macky Auditorium Concert Hall

Macky Auditorium is the venue of choice for many orchestras and it is the primary home of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. It is run under the learned hands of the internationally acclaimed director, Theodore Kuchar, who also leads the prestigious Australian Festival of Chamber Music every year, in fact, this Philharmonic has long been recognized as one of the finest in the West. Guest appearances have featured the likes of Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, and Sarah Chang.

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Take the kids on an expedition deep into the natural history of Colorado. The exhibits entice the visitor to explore the mysteries of native cultures and prehistoric lands as well as the region's flora and fauna. There are six exhibit halls which contain over three-million geological, archaeological paleontological and zoological specimens. The Discovery corner offers kids hands-on adventures and other interesting features include the Dinosaur Hall, Anasazi artifacts and a bug room. New exhibits are featured at the museum every month. Admission is free although donations are suggested.

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