Local Atmosphere

Tuition (in-state)
$32,115 ($10,347)
Admission Difficulty
Very Easy
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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: CU Boulder is the greatest college out there, despite the hefty fees. It's a perfect mix of city and outdoors, it's gorgeous and you can still run to Target while getting a gorgeous view of the Flat Irons. Everyone is very friendly and the busing system is incredible (I grew up in a small town and had to walk everywhere, it was a nice adjustment for me).

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: It is a unique place. Some people love it, some people aren't crazy about it. But it does have a lot of things to do.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Biking is encouraged and there's always something going on!

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It is a small town with mostly college students with plenty of off campus activities. There is always something going on and it never gets too boring. I feel safe while walking around the campus at night or in the day. Our sports and intermurals are a big part of the college and everyone gets involved.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: While Boulder is a college town, it is close enough to Denver to partake in city events, go to museums and the zoo, as well as professional sports games. But, Boulder is also at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, which allows for amazing access to hiking and biking trails, as well as easy access to ski slopes in the winter.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sara K. Jordan
Littleton, CO
International Affairs
View all previous student authors

Long before Martha Stewart was teaching housewives to sew yoga tote bags, Boulderites were already reaping the benefits of the Hindu philosophy. When people were still frequenting McDonald's and lighting up in restaurants, Boulder was snacking on tofu and banning smoking in public buildings. To outsiders, Boulder's aspirations towards reaching utopia are comic, but for its inhabitants, it is simply a way of life. With lavish resorts such as Vail, Copper Mountain, and Aspen only a few hours away, one has to be reminded that taking full advantage of a ski season is viewed as a luxury, and not just a recreational sport. Those wanting to take a leisurely hike can choose from a number of different trails that range from dirt paths along the Boulder Creek to steep divides through the foothills. Yet, Boulder is more than just a modest town offering simple pleasures. The downtown Pearl Street Mall caters to city shoppers seeking the latest styles.

There are few methods to understanding Boulder, but ask any student, and they will provide you with countless ways to describe it. It is a place where people come to ski, but learn that invigoration can be sought beyond moguls and slopes. This is where people breathe a little better and still enjoy a booming business environment, where Starbucks is shunned, Shakespeare is a tradition, and finding parking is still a problem. A college town where local residents resent students for driving expensive SUVs, rioting, throwing parties, and renting a piece of their well-kept secret. It is a place that provides more bars, concerts, happy hours, and drink specials than most cities twice its size, but still blames the students for excessive alcoholism. Overall, Boulder is a town where students consider themselves lucky to spend four years.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Every year, Boulder pays its largest tribute to American veterans on Memorial Day by hosting the annual Bolder Boulder 10K road race. On this day, professional runners, together with walking patriots and wheelchair racers, gather throughout the streets to participate.
  2. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival presents four full-scale productions each summer on campus. Over the course of its 43 seasons, the highly anticipated event has received a number of awards and was even recognized as one of the top three Shakespeare festivals by Time magazine.
  3. The largest herbal tea manufacturer, Celestial Seasonings, is headquartered in Boulder on Sleepy Time Drive. Before Boulder's harvest of wild herbs materialized into a manufacturer's dream, herbal teas were regarded only for their medicinal purposes. Today Celestial Seasonings has revolutionized the tea industry by fashioning natural teas into delicious healthy beverages.
  4. Boulder has one of the largest per capita concentrations of Buddhists outside of Tibet.
  5. The Conference on World Affairs is held each year in Boulder. This acclaimed event attracts renowned representatives from multiple countries who debate current issues and concerns with student participants.
  6. Crocs, the shoe company, has it's headquarters just off the diagonal highway. It all started when three Boulder-based founders decided to develop and market an innovative type of footwear.
Notable Natives
  • Tim Allen (Denver) - star of TV show Home Improvement
  • Jessica Biel (Boulder) - actress best known for playing character Mary Camden on 7th Heaven
  • Scott Carpenter (Boulder) - one of the original seven United States astronauts to orbit the Earth
  • Lon Chaney (Colorado Springs) - well-known "actor with a thousand faces," starred in Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Jack Dempsey (Manassa, close by) - champion heavyweight boxer
  • John Elway (Denver) - Bronco quarterback
  • Douglas Fairbanks (Denver) - actor and one of original founders of United Artist
  • Geoff and George Stults (Morrison) - best known for playing brothers on "7th Heaven"
  • Paul Whiteman (Denver) - jazz conductor
Local Slang
  • Boulderite: Someone who is from, and currently lives in, Boulder
  • Granola: Hippie
  • Hill Rats: High school hoodlums who relentlessly infest the Hill area
  • Marg: Margarita; typically used when referring to the Rio Grande's stiff margaritas
  • The Res: The Boulder Reservoir
Points of Interest
  • Boulder History Museum
  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Boulder Reservoir
  • Boulder Theatre
  • Chataqua Park
  • Coors Field
  • The Farmers Market
  • Fiddler’s Green
  • Flagstaff Mountain
  • The Fox
  • Hiking and biking trails
  • Invesco Field at Mile High
  • Pearl Street
  • The Performing Arts Center
  • Red Rocks Ampitheatre
Shopping Centers
  • 29th Street Mall
  • Cherry Creek Shopping Center
  • FlatIron Crossing
  • Pearl Street Mall
Movie Theaters
Century Boulder
1700 29th St.
(303) 442-1815
Movie Theaters
International Film Series
On campus
(303) 492-1531
Movie Theaters
Magnolia Crossroads Common
2985 Pearl St.
(303) 443-6266
Movie Theaters
United Artist Village 4
2525 Arapahoe Ave.
(303) 443-8232
Major Sports Teams
  • Colorado Avalanche: hockey
  • Colorado Rapids: soccer
  • Colorado Rockies: baseball
  • Denver Broncos: football
  • Denver Nuggets: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Aspen: CO: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Colorado Springs: CO: 2 hours
  • Denver: CO: 30 minutes
  • Vail: CO: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 103 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 104 responses

  • 18% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 77% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 3% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 2% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 0% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 103 responses

  • 31% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 46% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 23% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 103 responses

  • 32% Totally.
  • 50% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 17% No way.



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