Nightlife

Location
Boulder, CO
Undergrads
23,662
Tuition (in-state)
$31,378 ($9,482)
Admission Difficulty
Easy
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Reviews

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4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's always something happening if you know enough people

1 College Senior

Nightlife: Lots of parties if you know where to look. Bar/club scene is weak, nightlife on campus is pretty much non existant unless you're on campus actually studying, and transportation is abysmal (efficient, but not often and no buses after midnight)

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are a variety of activities for all kinds of interests. If you are not into the party scene there are sporting activities to attend and many other activities to get involved in.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: My night life is good.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Always something to do on the hill.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 26th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 242nd
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1347th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Discouraged freshmen needing to escape the limited nightlife on campus often travel a short distance to the Hill, where house parties are thrown relentlessly. The first few weeks back to school are especially exciting, but sometimes overwhelming. The streets encompassing the Hill are flooded with wide-eyed students desperate to fit in. It is common for sophomores to host the most parties since it is their first year off campus. The success of these parties is usually measured by the total amount of people in attendance, so it is not uncommon to see students standing outside their doors inviting random party-hoppers in for a beer. Yet, upperclassmen are usually less inclined to extend an open welcome. Their social circles are well established and are weary of obscene packs of freshmen. Juniors and seniors tend to prefer cocktail parties, which offer a quiet start to a sometimes chaotic evening.

It is important to know that the bars in Boulder are divided into sections. One division of bars is located on the Hill, where students ?ock on Tuesday to start their weekends and sometimes even on Monday nights. CU students usually start by sharing drinks at the Sink or getting a 32-oz. margarita/Long Island Ice Tea at Half Fast and then stumble to the Rack to
shoot some pool. In the spring, students enjoy outdoor bars such as K’s Rooftop. The other section of bars is on Pearl Street. Thursday nights usually either start at Bacara’s Upstairs for a little chill time or at the Sundown Saloon, also called the Sundowner for cheap shots and daily specials. Students wanting a little more of a sophisticated start to the evening have a martini or a glass of wine at the Kitchen Upstairs. Then, students travel up and down Pearl Street testing the waters in bars such as Juanita’s, The Cowboy Bar, the Walrus, and end the night at the Foundry for a little dancing.

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Bacaro
  • The Foundry
  • The Sink
Other Places to Check Out
  • The Church
  • Club Vinyl
  • The Dark Horse
  • Juanita's Mexican Food
  • Old C's
  • Pearl Street Pub & Cellar
  • Poly Esther's
  • The Rack
  • Rock Island
  • Round Midnight
  • Tulagi's
Local Specialties
  • Blue Moon:
  • Boulder Beer:
  • Coors Light:
  • Fat Tire:
  • Flying Dog:
  • Left Hand:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games
  • Flip Cup
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Boulder Weekly
  • Colorado Daily
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
The Sink
Did You Know?
  • Boulder is famous for taking fake IDs.
  • When walking on the Hill from a party, be sure you don't have a cup or open container.
  • Liquor Mart sells the largest variety of alcohol at a discounted price.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Funky Buddha Lounge

Often regarded as the best spot to sip martinis, the Funky Buddha Lounge has a long list of distinctive cocktails. The atmosphere found here is elegant and sophisticated, while maintaining a comfortable sense of leisure and style.

776 Lincoln St.

Denver

(303) 832-5075

Rise Nightclub

In response to the leading club culture that would be found in more lavish cities such as Miami or Las Vegas, Denver has a nightclub that rivals its contemporaries. The three floors have five bars and four dance floors. Rise's unmistakable size allows for sub-venues, ranging from a discreet lounge appropriately titled "Shadow Lounge," to a patio lounge named "Skybar," which adopts the Miami style.

1909 Blake St.

Denver

(303) 383-1909

Round Midnight

Boasting drink specials seven nights a week, Round Midnight is an underground bar in Boulder best known for the fact that it is one of the places a person can go to dance. One side of the bar is filled with pool tables, and the other side of the bar is filled with dancing people.

1005 Pearl St.

Boulder

(303) 442-2176

Vinyl

Depending on the night, you may find yourself either among a group of goths or a crowd of raging ladies. Vinyl prides itself on having the biggest ladies night in all of Denver on Tuesday nights, and on Sundays, they host Denver's oldest goth/industrial night.

1082 Broadway

Denver

(303) 860-8469

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Bacaro

Bacaro always attracts those wanting to indulge with a finer taste and college finesse. And, on Friday and Saturday nights Bacaro gives a chance to show off your dance moves.

921 Pearl St.

Boulder

(303) 444-4888

Catacombs

Steps below the renowned Hotel Boulderado lies a blues-playing, rock-and-roll-loving bar. Though the traditional number of pool tables scattered throughout the dark basement are less than surprising, what most wouldn't expect are the number of arcade games available. Catacombs also serves host to live venues that attract a range of Boulderites with $2 domestic drafts and well drinks on Sunday nights.

13th & Spruce St.

Boulder

(303) 443-0486

Centro

By night, this Latin/Caribbean infused restaurant transforms into one of Pearl Street's Thursday night favorites. Best known for its mojitos and other tropical drinks, Centro is painted in brilliant colors and charming murals. Despite not having a dance floor, students and young professionals frequent the bar consistently to rub shoulders with Boulder's trendsetters.

950 Pearl St.

Boulder

(303) 442-7771

Conor O'Neil's

No bar scene would be complete without an old-fashioned Irish pub, and Conor's is the best in Boulder. Thursday night bar hoppers regularly start their night at O'Neil's. Small circles of 21-and-over students usually stop in early for O'Neil's infamous $3 car bombs. Tuesday is open-mic night.

1922 13th St.

Boulder

(303) 449-1922

The Foundry

The Foundry just refurbished the entire interior to make room for more bar tables, which overlook the dance floor. The larger dance floor is not only a stage where bands play at times, but also the space in front of it. You can even play pool and dance while you're waiting for your turn to shoot. Tuesdays are '80s nights.

1109 Walnut St.

Boulder

(303) 447-1803

Mamacita's

People can be found at Mamacita's intimate Mexican setting on just about any night of the week. The quaint bar usually serves as a gathering for close friends. The cozy booths that line the small space serve as perfect fixtures for friendly conversations, which could otherwise be drowned out from the loud music of the bars nearby.

1149 13th St.

Boulder

(303) 443-2300

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

Moutain Sun caters to the hippie, woodsy types in Boulder. Healthy fare like salads, hummus, and black bean chili balance out the delicious homebrews.

1535 Pearl St.

Boulder

(303) 546-0886

The Rio

Whether it is their uncanny ability to challenge sobriety with just one drink, or their undisputed title as having the best margaritas in Boulder, the Rio packs the bar to capacity every Thursday. The Rio is the most popular Mexican restaurant in Boulder. Whether you plan on drinking at the bar or enjoying a few drinks at dinner, know that policy permits only three drinks per customer, due to their margaritas' secret powers.

1101 Walnut St.

Boulder

(303) 444-3690

The Sink

Inside, the walls are inscribed with the names of students who have developed devotion for the landmark, which was built in 1923. Next to the names remains classic "Sink art" that portrays comical aspects of college life. During the day, all students can enjoy a burger while studying for an exam, but at night, the Sink requires ID for admission. Monday nights are flip night, where the toss of a coin determines whether you pay only 25 cents for a drink, depending on your luck.

1165 13th St.

Boulder

(303) 444-7465

Sundown Saloon

Sundown boasts the best bourbon in town and hooks CU students with the free pool daily until 10:30 p.m. Locals mingle with students, making the Sundown a pretty diverse bar for the area.

1136 Pearl St.

Boulder

(303) 449-4987

The Walrus

The Walrus would be best described as a young man's dream, with televisions dangling from the ceilings showing sports all day. Here, foosball and video games are only steps away from a bar, and pool tables are free Monday through Friday during the 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. happy hour. The Walrus also provides free peanuts and the lure of tossing the empty shells onto the floor. Could a man ask for anything more?

1911 11th St.

Boulder

(303) 443-9902

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Those first few years at CU might prove frustrating, considering all the hype that the bar scene creates. Fortunately, live music venues, only steps from campus, provide younger undergraduates with the sanctity of song and dance.

The Boulder Theater

A music venue which caters to most types of music.

2032 14th St.

Boulder

(303) 786-7030

The Fox Theatre

Despite its size, which is capable of only seating 700 people, the Fox's stage has seen some of the most legendary names in music. The Fox has found its niche by providing the diversity that other theaters might be reluctant to host. Here, jam bands have been booked alongside punk shows and hip-hop acts. All-ages shows are also popular at the Fox, which allows for versatility in venues, as well as crowds.

1135 13th St.

Boulder

(303) 447-0095

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 86 responses

  • 1% There are no good options.
  • 8% Use a designated driver.
  • 17% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 22% Public transportation.
  • 1% Taxis.
  • 50% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 83 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 86 responses

  • 5% Parties? What parties?
  • 2% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 9% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 58% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 26% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 5 responses

  • 56% The Hill
  • 33% Pearl St.
  • 11% Follow the party frats

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 5 responses

  • 80% Halloween
  • 20% St Paddys

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