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2017 Best of the West: Readers’ Choice for Recreation


Our readerss named their favorite ways to stay entertained and active.

Indian PeaksGolf Course

Indian Peaks
Good old reliable Indian Peaks. It’d be worth driving to if it weren’t so close, and it’d be worth paying more if it weren’t a public course. 18 greens with ample water hazards and the views of the Front Range help make even a bad day of golf a worthwhile endeavor.


24 Hour Fitness
Locations. Locations. Locations. That makes them plenty popular, but the range of  equipment and apps, clubs and encouragement to keeps its members motivated — and loyal.

Bike Shop

(EC) Louisville Cyclery
A Louisville staple for 37 years, this charming bike shop has it all: knowledgeable salespeople savvy mechanics, and a satisfaction guarantee on every bike.

(B) University Bikes
University Bikes is best known for its expansive bicycle selection and speedy service, and whether you buy, rent or repair, this shop’s prices are always fair.

Ski Shop

Boulder Ski Deals
The place where ski bums are born. The key to snow sports addiction is a proper fit and quality equipment, all of which you’ll find at this local enabler of winter vacation days.

Sporting Goods

(EC) Jax Mercantile
Need an all-purpose camping knife? How about a reliable pair of hiking boots? Jax has all the outdoor gear you need for any Colorado adventure — and then some.


Outstanding customer service and quality apparel aside, REI’s membership program might be its shining star. Perks like the members-only garage sale and yearly dividends make it even easier to opt outside.

Rec Center

(EC) Erie Community Center
Looking into the center, the first thing to catch our eye was the 32-foot climbing wall, and its 12-foot bouldering companion. Then there are all the aquatics features, which include a lap pool, a two-story slide, and a lazy river. But the comprehensive classes, for children and adults, show that this facility is a recreational center as well as a community hub.

(B) N. Boulder Rec. Center
Another example of a rec center that’s much more than a gym. The North Boulder Rec Center offers drop-in classes before and after work, summer camps and several sports leagues for adults and youth. It also offers social programs like the Youth Services Initiative much like a YMCS and its EXPAND program offers a variety of activities for people with disabilities.

Ski Resort

With 680 acres to ski in Boulder County, Eldora wins as much for its travel-friendly proximity as it does for the nordic and alpine options (20% Greens, 50% Blues, 30% Blacks).

Martial Arts

Boulder Ki Aikido
Readers like the “peace-focused” mix of the non-striking Aikido and Japanese yoga.

Yoga Studio

Core Power
Lots of different classes and locations, this one wins the people’s choice; some yogis may want to find a class that speaks to their needs.

Fair or Festival

Boulder Creek Festival
The Boulder favorite hosts a weekend of music and hundreds of vendors. After more than 25 years, this marks the unofficial start to summer.

Live Music Venue

Boulder Theater
Another one of Boulder’s Art Deco gems, the venue wins on style alone, but the music sounds great there, too.

Movie Theater

AMC 14 FlatIrons
It offers the latest in viewing tech and overall experience; booze, recliners and assigned seats.


Longmont Museum
It has exhibits of the past, but we think it wins for its role in the present:hosting weekly events, from comedy routes to dances. The museum is many things to many people.

Theater Company

Boulder Dinner Theater
BDT Stage marries star-quality musical theater with attentive food service for an experience that is equal parts rare and inspiring.


Dispensary (21+)

The Farm
The large, swanky and authoritative local dispensary wins again for the attentive staff. The Farm sells Boulder-grown cannabis, including its own strains, and plenty of oils, topicals and edibles.

Dispensary (Medical)

Root MMC
A new winner, Root is the medical offshoot of The Farm, and as equally respected by you readers. They’ve bolstered their offerings of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, providing more options for patients.

Ultra runner Gina Lucrezi.

Ultra runner Gina Lucrezi.

VIP Pick
Gina Lucrezi
Ultra Trail Runner

Favorite Place to Unwind: Upslope Brewery – Lee Hill. It feels like a locals spot. Small and intimate. Free wifi and no obnoxious tv’s playing ESPN.
Best Spot to Crosstrain: Movement. It is a climbing gym, but they also offer yoga and spin classes, and they have an impressive weight room (for a climbing gym).
Favorite local trail (and favorite flat trail):
I love the Lion’s Lair trail on the backside of Sanitas. It is a gradual non-technical climb, or a cruiser when running downhill. As for flat, I really dig the trails near Boulder Reservoir. I just call them the “NoBo” trails. They are great for easy runs or tempos, and amazing views of the Flatirons.

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