I've been living in an Airbnb in Boulder, Colorado for a week. Having never visited Colorado before, I didn't know what to expect. I was delighted to wake up to the sunrise below.
I was pleasantly surprised to realize that Boulder is the best city in the US to visit right now. I've detailed a few facts about Boulder below:
- People are friendly. People in Boulder are more friendly than anywhere else that I've visited in the United States. From store clerks, Uber drivers, security guards, park rangers, waiters and fellow restaurant patrons, the overwhelming kindness is remarkable. Acts of kindness are non-random and frequent.
- Everyone exercises. People in Boulder are in great shape. There appears to be a much lower prevalence of obesity. Many of the rolling expanses of road have bike lanes. Dedicated bike paths are common throughout the city. Public spaces, including parks and amphitheaters are heavily frequented for exercise.
- High speed driving. I've never liked driving, but early morning drives around the roads encircling Boulder provide an opportunity for high speed fun. Street signs read "Speed Limit 75, Minimum 50." For a Northeastern boy, this was a real treat.
- Foothills of the Rockies. The Rocky Mountains are phenomenally beautiful all the time but sunrise is particularly stunning. The hiking, skiing and views available a short distance from Boulder are world class.
- Boulder is a mountain town. In Boulder there is no dress code, people wear whatever they feel will make them comfortable. Whether their shirt is Polo or Tie Die, no one judges.
- Technological superiority. Recently, there has been a tech boom in Boulder/Denver area. Google is constructing a large campus in the area along with a variety of other technology companies in sub-sectors ranging from internet services to cryptocurrency.
- Deregulation of alcohol. Colorado has long been at the forefront of the home brew movement. There are more microbreweries in Colorado than any other state. Roughly 10% of total US breweries are in Colorado, though it has only 2% of the US population. Microbreweries are also beginning to partner with the craft whiskey community to create new product/business combinations. The atmosphere makes for a highly competitive beer market and great diversity of taste.
- Rational marijuana policies. Colorado has been at the forefront of rational policy regarding the consumption and sale of marijuana. Post-legalization, responsible consumption seems like the norm and tax revenue has been a huge benefit to state finances. Quality of product is assured and people no longer need to interact with the black market.
- Cultural preservation and green belt. There exists a large green belt around the city of Boulder. This green belt helps to preserve the area around boulder so that everyone can have a view of the mountains. New structures cannot be built more than four stories tall so as not to impede the view of other citizens. This will likely have an inflationary effect on home prices.
- Traffic patterns are changing. We've heard that traffic around the Denver area has gotten much worse since marijuana legalization in 2012.
- Economic resilience, Colorado residents call the great financial crisis the great pause (indicating the recession didn't hit them too hard) and the boom that's happened since 2012 has been enormous.
There are many great places to visit in the US, but none with Boulders combination of attributes. A special journey is well worth the expense.