From the Mile High City to the scenic mountains of Boulder

Rise and shine sleepyheads! It's day two in Colorado and adventures await you. Since it is day two of your trip in Colorado it is vital that you do some sort of scenic hiking. But first things first- brunch. You need a hearty meal to provide you with energy to conquer the mountains. For brunch, I suggest exploring the neighborhood of the historic Larimer Square. Larimer Square is lined with Victorian homes, string lights above the lamp posts, cute minimalist souvenir shops and great restaurants. I know it can be cumbersome to have to choose from a long list of great places for brunch so allow me to guide you. Rioja is a great Spanish restaurant with delicious brunch specials. You can choose to sit inside or sip your coffee and people watch outside. Rioja offers a fresh selection of complimentary bread with brunch- you can choose from rosemary goat cheese biscuits, sourdough and multigrain. Definitely try the rosemary and goat cheese biscuits. You're welcome.

Speck, tempura jalapeño, Hawaiian red crab, spiced melon, melon coulis 

Speck, tempura jalapeño, Hawaiian red crab, spiced melon, melon coulis 

Eggs in purgatory- goat cheese grits, tomato olive ragu, baked eggs and focaccia 

Eggs in purgatory- goat cheese grits, tomato olive ragu, baked eggs and focaccia 

Chicken confit and potato latkes with sunnyside up eggs and apple thyme jam with sour cream on top

Chicken confit and potato latkes with sunnyside up eggs and apple thyme jam with sour cream on top

Ahhhh feeling full and satisfied? Good! Now you're off to Boulder. Boulder is only 30 minutes away from Denver by car. You may know Boulder as a college town and you're right however, this town offers so much more than just that. The fall foliage in Boulder is incredible and belongs in a magazine. The town itself will remind you of a bigger Stars Hollow (yasss Gilmore Girls). Pearl Street is the center of town and filled with shops, bars, restaurants, "cafes" and more. If you cross the main street and head towards the gorgeous tea house, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, you will find yourself in a beautiful oasis in the middle of this busy town. The teahouse is a few feet away from the gorgeous Boulder Creek Path where you'll see dogs enjoying the water, their owners chasing them, and auburn, crimson, orange leaves falling on you as you're walking. On weekends there is a farmers' market that sets up shop here too. 

Now we have to get to the hiking! You are in Colorado after all. The Chautauqua Park and Trail is only about 10 minutes away from the center of town by car. Not only is the trail gorgeous but it is accessible for all types of hikers (beginners, intermediate, experts) and offers breathtaking views of Boulder (see below). Before you start the trail you can speak with the park ranger who sits in the ranger house at the bottom of the trail and he will give you maps of the trail. I even asked him to recommend a trail for me based on my hiking comfort level and time limit. 

View from the Chautauqua Hiking trail

View from the Chautauqua Hiking trail

Hopefully you have enjoyed the trail and gotten some great instagram worthy pictures of your hike. The sun is setting and you are right in time for happy hour. Head to Centro Mexican Restaurant on Pearl Street to catch their $6 drink and food special. I ordered a margarita and the salsa sampler which comes with 3 different types of salsa. The chips are homemade and warm when served.

Margarita with the three salsa sampler: avocado, serrano-pepita, citrus habanero

Margarita with the three salsa sampler: avocado, serrano-pepita, citrus habanero

Take some time to wind down at Centro. Centro has a great outdoor patio where you can enjoy the weather and people watch. Afterwards you can either continue doing happy hours at other bars on Pearl Street (there are plenty) or you can grab some beer and play games at Press Play Boulder. This place has booze, trivia nights, pool, pinball and arcade games. 

For dinner check out Blackbelly Market. Blackbelly is a butcher by day and an unassuming restaurant by night and yes they're located within a strip mall. Blackbelly has communal eating tables, chef's table and 2-4 seat tables. Because they are an open kitchen you'll be mesmerized by the smell of all types of meat when you walk in here. I highly recommend ordering any of the meat dishes whether it is charcuterie, their local steak or the lamb.

Lamb terrine, waygu beef terrine, goat and sheep's milk cheese

Lamb terrine, waygu beef terrine, goat and sheep's milk cheese

Dry aged local, grass fed beef

Dry aged local, grass fed beef

Rotisserie leg of boulder lamb with pearl pasta, pistachio, eggplant, olives, harissa, preserved lemon yogurt

Rotisserie leg of boulder lamb with pearl pasta, pistachio, eggplant, olives, harissa, preserved lemon yogurt

Roasted potatoes with paprika, rosemary and garlic

Roasted potatoes with paprika, rosemary and garlic

Triple chocolate espresso torte with western slope plum coulis

Triple chocolate espresso torte with western slope plum coulis

Day two in Colorado complete! Get ready for day three.