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Life > Experiences

My Ingredients for a Perfect Boulder Pick-Me-Up

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

We all have bad days. It’s a part of life! Everyone has a different solution for getting through these rough days: some people surge forward as if nothing’s wrong, some people stay in bed all day, and some people turn to their favorite things for comfort. Here, I share my personal recipe for a guaranteed pick-me-up in Boulder, Colorado.

Stop #1: The Boulder Bookstore

I am not exaggerating when I tell you this is my favorite store in all of Boulder. I am a huge bookworm and have been to some wonderful bookstores in my life, but this one has got to take the cake. If I feel down, coming here is sure to lift my spirits (and lower my bank account). On the rare occasion that I come here and don’t buy any books, just the smell (which, fun fact, is called bibliosmia!), the sight of thousands of beautifully made covers, and the quiet shuffle of peoples’ feet mixed with the turning of pages are enough to bring a smile to my face.

The official Boulder Bookstore Instagram shows off their gorgeous storefront after a hail storm this past June.

Stop #2: Trident Booksellers & Cafe

Okay, this is technically another bookstore, but I mostly come for their coffee and pastries (although they do sell some awesome small-print books, and I love flicking through their collection of local author/illustrator zines). Make sure to bring company with you when you visit, as Trident boasts a sprawling seating area that features both a cozy indoor space and a lovely outdoor patio. Once seated, grab a drink—my go-to’s are their chai tea, a cappuccino, and any one of their in-pot, freshly brewed loose-leaf teas. Trident is my absolute favorite space in Boulder for getting some homework and studying done, or just to unwind with a warm drink and a good book.

A customer shows off their iced coffee — yum!

Stop #3: The Boulder Star

Having lived in Colorado for my entire life and in Boulder for four of those years, it can be easy to take our stunning mountain views for granted. When I lose perspective like this, taking a drive up Flagstaff Mountain to the Boulder Star (after it is lit, every night from Veteran’s Day through early January) knocks me off my feet. You can pair the drive with a night hike, or just pull off the side of the road to take in the sights: the Star, and a stunning, panoramic view of the Boulder Metro area. Sidenote: please be safe when visiting the Star. The road up to it is full of corkscrew turns, and it gets dark at night when you leave the main part of the city. Dress warmly and exercise caution if you decide to do the hike!

Drone footage from content creator @duzer captures the ethereal views you can witness on the Flagstaff mountaintop.

Stop #4: Chautauqua Park

You didn’t think I could write this without including a hiking spot, did you? This is Boulder, after all! Chautauqua is located right in the middle of the city, with easy access by car, bus, or bike. There is also a free Park-to-Park program, which runs on summer weekends, from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Getting your blood pumping on one of the park’s 11 hiking trails, which range in length and difficulty, is a fantastic way to burn off some steam, soak up some sunshine, and breathe in that fresh mountain air. Plus, most of the trails are dog-friendly, so you can say hi to some furry friends along the way!

A breath-taking photo, courtesy of @fr33water and featured on @coloradoexperiences

Stop #5: Purrfect Pause Cat Cafe

Having just opened in May 2022, Purrfect Pause is a true hidden gem. What’s not to like about a place that is designated to hang out with dozens of kitties, all of which are adoptable?! And I haven’t even mentioned the cafe’s monthly Caturday Yoga offering (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like, and yes, I am ecstatic about it). Whether you have always wanted a cat or are just missing your own that is back at home, this adorable cafe will leave you paw-sitively beaming.

I couldn’t possibly spotlight just one of these sweethearts, so here’s all of the (adoptable!) kitties currently at the cafe, as of September 13, 2023.

Whether you stop by all or just one of these places, I hope that these suggestions help to get you back on your feet. It’s okay if these suggestions aren’t things that you are interested in, or visiting them doesn’t help—what works for me won’t necessarily work for you, and vice versa—and that’s okay! You’ve got this.

Jordan Chamberlain is a fourth year student at the University of Colorado Boulder and an editorial assistant for CU’s chapter of Her Campus. In her editorial position, Jordan reads and edits many of her fellow authors’ articles, providing feedback on spelling, grammar, AP formatting rules, and cohesion and flow. Jordan herself enjoys writing about traveling, education, her home state of Colorado, and the general messiness of life in your early twenties. Outside of Her Campus, Jordan can be found working on her Elementary Education degree at CU Boulder. She is very excited to graduate in May of 2024, and hopes to transition directly into the teaching profession. She hopes to teach upper elementary, and is currently a student teacher for fifth grade. In her free time, Jordan enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, listening to music, and disappearing into fictional worlds through reading, creative writing, and watching an unhealthy amount of T.V. shows and movies. You can find her scouring Boulder for the best coffee shops, collecting funky postcards, and listening to a chaotic collection of music.