Destination Weddings in Boulder, ColoradoWords by Jennifer Stein
Having traveled to Colorado countless times over the years, I’ve always been amazed by the majestic landscapes, soaring mountains and abundant sunshine. It is a favorite place of mine, and now a regular summertime retreat bringing my exploration of the area to another level.
One recent stop was to Boulder, Colorado. I had heard of the infamous Flatiron rock formations and open space parks there, but had never actually experienced them firsthand. And as we drove into the area, it was unmistakable what we were looking at. Both my husband and I said simultaneously, “we’re going hiking tomorrow for sure!”
But before we could take our much anticipated nature walk, we had to check out the St. Julien Hotel & Spa. Located in downtown Boulder, this modern-meets-rustic-chic property couldn’t have been more inviting. Floor-to-ceiling windows flanked almost every wall in the lobby creating an “indoors meets out” kind of feeling. Once we made it up to our room, we were delighted with the view – a panoramic of the Flatirons we would be exploring the very next day (note: the outdoor patio space they use for weddings has the exact same view). The nature outside our window paired with the comfortable and inviting four-poster bed screamed for a little afternoon nap.
Before we knew it, it was time for our dinner reservation at Jill’s. A seamless extension of the natural contemporary design of the hotel, we almost missed the restaurant completely. Once we found our way, we were swiftly seated and our server brought with her the wine list, a complete knowledge of the menu and strong opinions on what we should order. We decided on the goat cheese fondue, the vegetarian plate (fall vegetables, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes) and market steak with pommes fries and arugula salad. To finish things off we went for the chocolate & bananas – and the result (besides a pretty severe food coma) were smiles of satisfaction that lasted us into the next day.
The next morning, we were offered beach cruisers to take a mini-tour of the downtown area. Loving the great little perks of a forward thinking hotel, we hopped on and cruised much of the historic districts and creek running through Boulder. After all the biking we needed some fuel, so stopped off at Snarf’s – a local hotspot for gourmet sandwiches. One Italian sub and tuna-salad-with-the-works later, we were ready for our next adventure – hiking the open space park at the base of the Flatirons.
There are times in life where the impactful beauty of the natural terrain in the United States hits you squarely between the eyes. This was one of those moments. Mouths agape, we walked through the park and gazed up to the interesting rock formations feeling smaller than ants on an ant hill. After being together for 12 years, my husband and I have started reading each other’s minds, so just as I was thinking, “we need to move here,” my husband says, “hey babe, do you think we could live here?”
After a long hike, still full bellied from our Snarf’s sandwiches, we decided to take a recommendation from the St. Julien concierge and investigate The Bitter Bar. Known for serving authentic cocktails in a laidback and quiet atmosphere, we couldn’t think of a better way to end our short trip. I ordered an Aviator and the hubs, a Manhattan (hey, he’s secure in his masculinity!). Hand-crafted by their famed “mixologists,” the drinks they create are for the true connoisseur, not some light-beer-drinking-loud-mouth-on-a-cell-phone (and they have rules against those types listed on the first page of their drink menu). The cocktails were some of the best I’ve ever had, and expensive too – but worth every penny.
Sadly, after our visit to The Bitter Bar and a much needed retreat at the St. Julien, it was time for us to wave goodbye to beautiful Boulder.
So far our address hasn’t changed, but another trip there may be just what we need to make it official.
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Stein (top) and St. Julien
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