Chautauqua Park

Top choice park in Boulder

Image by Education Images UIG via Getty Images

This historic landmark park is the gateway to Boulder’s most magnificent slab of open space adjoining the iconic Flatirons; its wide, lush lawn attracts picnicking families, sunbathers, Frisbee folk and students from nearby CU. It also gets lots of hikers, climbers and trail runners. It's a popular site so parking can be a hassle. During the summer the city of Boulder runs a free shuttle on the weekends from downtown and satellite parking lots (

If you're hiking with kids, stop by the Ranger's Cottage to borrow a free nature discovery pack with binoculars, field guides, activities and more.

Once an important site for the inspired rural educational organization, the Chautauqua Movement, these days the park encompasses lodgings, a good restaurant and an auditorium where world-class musicians, dancers and actors perform each summer.