When I visit a new place my most favorite thing to do is to walk and explore. By taking it slow you can get a deep sense of the flavor of the place, explore nooks and cranny’s that would be missed by car and take a good look at how people live. A few years back, in anticipation of a trip to San Francisco I bought a book that gave detailed walking tours highlighting the hidden staircases of San Francisco. I only had time to do one of the walks but in doing so, I explored an area of town that I had never seen, stumbled on a great restaurant and at the end of the day felt very satisfied in the journey.
In that spirit I’ve created a few Boulder walking tours that highlight fun neighborhoods to walk through. The tours are detailed but feel free to explore on your own off the designated route. You may want to combine this walking tour with the Whittier Neighborhood walking tour.
This tour starts in the heart of downtown Boulder at Pearl Street and Broadway on the Pearl Street Mall and sets a course into the oldest and most prestigious neighborhoods in Boulder, Mapleton Hill.
I think the easiest way to do the tour is to download and print the PDF. You can do that by clicking this link: Boulder Walking Tours Mapleton Hill
Here are the directions if you don’t have ready access to a printer:
- Begin on the Pearl Street Mall at the intersection of Broadway and Pearl Streets.
Head west (toward the mountains). The pedestrian mall will end in one block and when it does cross the street and stay to the north side of the street. Along this block you will see some good choices for dinner or lunch.
- At 10th Street take a right and start heading out of the commercial area into the residential areas. In one block
- Take a left on Spruce and head west once again. It’s best to get to the north side of the street, especially when you cross 9th Use the cross walk and head west on Spruce to 8th. On this block you will start to see smaller examples of Victorian homes.
- Take a right on 8th Street for a quick jog to Pine Street. As you head up the hill you will find that the houses and lots begin to grow in size. Many of the homes you see are some of the 1,300 homes in Boulder that have been protected by the Historic Preservation program. This means that the owners need to keep the homes looking the same on the exterior.
- Take a left on Pine Street and continue all the way to 4th. Along this stretch you will see some beautiful large houses and some well-preserved smaller homes.
- Take a right at the “T” at 4th.
- And then take the first right on Highland Avenue. As you walk east on Highland you will notice some of the largest and most expensive houses in town. Be sure to notice the peek-a-boo views of The Flatirons to the west.
- At 8th cross the street and head uphill (left) towards the old Mapleton School. It is now an early childhood center. Walk through the park at the back of the building and then continue to the left until you hit Mapleton Ave.
- Head east on Mapleton. Mapleton Avenue is especially nice because of the center median. Stay on the south side of the street and enjoy your walk all the way down the hill to Broadway. On the right just before the steepest section you will see two of Boulders largest and most ornate homes.
- Take a right on Broadway and continue back to your starting point.
The entire tour is approximately 1.5 miles.