The Ultimate Travel Guide for Boulder, Colorado

Top Wineries and Tastings in Sonoma & Napa Valley, CA The Travel Brats

Gloria Ferrer WinerySince we hired a driver to pick us up from San Francisco, we decided to put two renowned wineries on our itinerary that day before being dropped off at our hotel in downtown Napa Valley. We had to drive through Sonoma, so we made that our first stop at Gloria Ferrer Winery. The most beautiful views I had ever seen as it had a long driveway up to the wine tasting and you overlooked Sonoma while diving right into your pairings.  We chose to do Taste on the Terrace, which allowed us to try 4 different wines and incredibly prepared food that was beyond my palette. There are many options for tastings so be sure to browse their website for what works in your plans. Also a pro tip – most vineyards and wineries are only open until 3pm – 5pm so you’ll have to start early. Domaine Carneros Winery Since we hired a driver (which I highly recommend), he waited for us to finish our 12:30pm tasting at Gloria Ferrer and took us over to Domaine Carneros Winery, which was basically a breathtaking castle. The pictures just don’t this place justice, but the pairing and tasting options were high quality and worth the price of admission. We did the Bubbles & Bites – Journey To Spain for $95 a person, which by this point, we were quite tipsy and absolutely loved every second. Their tastings are constantly changing, so stay up to date with them on their website and social media. We were set after 2 wine tastings, and definitely couldn’t have handled a third for the day. Robert Mondavi WineryOne of the most epic scenes and classic look was the infamous Robert Mondavi Winery and we splurged and did the Vineyard to Table lunch which included a tour, lunch, and a delicious tasting geared towards red wine lovers. The culinary experiences are what they are known for, and this is a great spot for couples, honeymooners, and smaller, more intimate groups. Culinary Experiences | Robert Mondavi Winery It was on the pricier side by being $165 per person, but browse their selection to see what experience fits into your price range. The grounds were beautifully kept and the tour really made the experience top notch, whereas most tastings didn’t involve a tour or walking around. Robert Mondavi Winery was established in 1966 and proudly brands this quote all over their website: “Walking through To Kalon, admiring its contours and vines, smelling the richness of its soil, I knew this was a very special place. It exuded an indefinable quality I could not describe, a feeling that was almost mystical.”JaM Cellars – Sponsor for the renowned BottleRock Festival I truly saved the best for last with JaM Cellars, as they put a hip, new spin on wine tasting and entertainment. Known for their delicious buttery Chardonnay and concerts at their wine tastings, JaM Cellars is also the sponsor of the BottleRock Festival, which is one of the coolest festivals to attend. While JaM Cellars hosted me at a wine tasting, their electric energy was undeniable – the nicest people worked there, the wine was so good that we had to buy some and ship it home, and the concerts they have are the perfect balance between entertaining and chill. It’s also located downtown Napa Valley and is a must visit. Fun fact for you all, the J in JaM stands for John and the M stands for Michelle because they started this winery together and they even have a podcast called JaM Happy Hour. You can easily shop their wine online and order it right to your door steps. Enjoy your wine tastings and as always, drink responsibly. 
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As many of you know, that I co-created the “Who Wear There” Podcast with my wonderful friend, Sofia. I love to share these resources with my followers on Thoughtful Blonde, so here’s the run down – In episode 33, The Travel Brats interview the lovely and well-rounded, Suzi, who is well versed in all things Boulder, Colorado, skiing, adventuring, breweries, and yummy places to eat. In this episode, Suzi shares her insight about making the most out of your Colorado trip by showcasing the best local eateries, CU Campus, biking and skiing hot spots, and must dos.

Travel Brats asked: “Where are we talking about today?”

Suzi said:

“Boulder is a city at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, in northern Colorado. To the west, are the Flatirons which are craggy rock formations overlooking the city. Downtown’s is the pedestrian Pearl Street Mall which includes art galleries, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. To the north, about 45 minutes away is Rocky Mountain National Park and to the south/southeast is Golden and Denver.Fantastic skiing exits 90 minutes away with half a dozen world class ski resorts nearby.

Boulder is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado, the state’s largest university. The city frequently receives high rankings in art, health, well-being, quality of life, and education.

Boulder was a popular hippie town in the 1960s and re-invented itself as an affluent outdoorsy town, but it’s still very rooted in its hippie traditions.” 

Travel Brats asked: “Who lives there? What’s the environment like?”

Today, there’s lots of organic, natural items, as well as a number of breweries, and lots of great restaurants. “I like to say all the hippies had to grow up and wanted education and outdoor recreation for their children.

Additionally, there are world class road cyclists, skiers, and climbers that call Boulder home. Both NOAA and NIST have sites in Boulder and most recently, many tech companies have moved to Boulder and even Google has a large campus in town.”

Travel Brats asked: “What are the best things to do there?”

Suzi said: 

  • Lots of road biking – anywhere on the Front Range as well as climbing into the mountains.
  • Lots of mountain biking – generally one must go up and then come down. Single track and dirt roads.
  • Lots of climbers – seek out Boulder to climb year round
  • Lots of hiking – can be either flat or up the mountain. Lots of trails from Golden to Lyons. 
  • Climbing the Flatirons from Chautauqua is a favorite tourist To Do.

Travel Brats asked “ What are more things to do along with the best hikes in Boulder?

Suzi said: 

Suzi continued on to say:

“What you find in Boulder is that everybody does everything meaning most folks do hike, bike, ski, climb, and anything else outdoors. The Pearl Street Mall is a pedestrian mall that has lots of restaurants and shop. Both locals and tourists alike will be on “the mall”. The “hill” is a subsection of Boulder where the CU Boulder students congregate or hang out. Generally, most locals stay away from the “hill” since that area of town borders the CU campus.”

Travel Brats then asked the infamous question — “Where should you eat there?” 

Suzi said: 

“Favorite Breakfast Spots:

Walnut Cafe – on 30th – known for great pie

The Buff – great coffee & skillets

Dougs Diner – awesome breakfast bowls

Snooze – nice casual & healthy

Village Inn – typical counter diner

Dot’s Diner – good diner

Tangerine – a bit upscale with local food

Lots of Coffee shops – 

Ozo Coffee –

Amante –

Sole –

Red Rocks –

Laughing Goat –

Tune Up in Full Cycle (Bike shop) –

Favorite Lunch Spots:

Le French Cafe – great lunch (crepe & salad) as well as breakfast.

Snarf’s – great deli

Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse – good happy hour

Verde – Upscale Mexica

Favorite Dinner Spots:

Frasca – Foodie people – creative local food – Italian influence

Carelli’s – near Will Vill (dorm on campus) excellent traditional Italian with lots go great fish; awesome garlic toast

Audrey Jane’s Pizza – carryout – to die for! Just on Diners & Drive in.

The Kitchen & Kitchen Upstairs & Next Door – real food (Boulder, Denver, Chicago)

Sushi: Zanmai or Japengo – Both on Pearl Street

Jax – Oyster Bar – a few in other CO cities

The Cork – Old school steak house; great happy hour

Favorite Breweries:

Avery Brewery –

Gunbarrel –

Upslope – both in town – snacks only – empanadas & soft pretzels

Southern Sun and Mountain Sun – great beer, burgers, salads, buritto, nachos, & wings. Love the Colorado Kind (AMERICAN E.S.B 6.2% ABV)

Twisted Pine – good appetizers  – pizza

Oskar Blues Taproom – on Pearl Street. Solid!

For more information on Boulder, listen to our podcast! Enjoy