What to do in Boulder when it’s hot

(And you’re still social distancing)

By Tatyana Sharpton Jun 4 2020

As the temperatures begin to rise and many of us face life without A/C, we must hunt for cool in Boulder where we can find it. Here’s a list of fun activities in and around Boulder you can do when you crave some adventure.

Hit up your local lake

This seems almost impossible to encompass in a neat little package, since there’s so much you can do on our lakes and parks. Bring your kayaks (inflatable works too!), canoes, paddle boards, fishing lines and head to the water. We’ve even seen dogs pass by on paddle boards with their humans, taking an occasional swim. Some of these lakes have stricter regulations than others, like allowing fishing but not boating, so make sure you check before bringing your water toys and boats.


A common sight every day of the week as paddle boarders enjoy the water and mountain views on neighboring Longmont’s McIntosh Lake right outside of Boulder. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.
Yoga in the middle of a lake? Yes please. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.
Take a break to cool off in the shade. Image: Tatyana Sharpton. 
Image: Tatyana Sharpton

Most lakes have walking trails where you can bring your bikes and roller blades, or if you’re in a small group (we count two a group!) bring a volleyball or badminton and spread out on the grass to play.

And of course, we always condone a good lay in the grass with your pup and a book. Just make sure you bring enough water so you can share — or just bring a separate water bottle for your dog! You can get silicone retractable bowls you can clip onto your belt loop or some daisy chain so no one gets too hot.

Waterside Trails

Boulder’s most winning asset lays in its beautiful outdoor trails where you can summit and see everything around. Switch up your usual hikes for some near the water.

Many of these trails, you can also access by bike and nothing beats feeling the wind on your face as you enjoy Boulder’s beauty on the go. If you’re packing a paddle board or kayak, you probably won’t be biking to the lake but you can certainly bike to other beautiful places if you plan on staying landside.


Upslope Brewing Company announced its opening on Instagram three days ago. @upslope

As businesses begin to reopen, we can’t deny the beauty of a good brewery. Plus, you can bike there. Get your sweat on then grab a beer-to-go. Here are a few open for pickup and delivery, and a couple that just reopened with modified services and seating!

Gunbarrel Brewing — pickup + delivery
Stein Brewing Company — pickup + delivery
Vision Quest Brewery — pickup + delivery
Kettle & Spoke — pickup + delivery
Twisted Pine Brewing Co. — pickup + delivery
Sanitas Brewing Co. — pickup + delivery
Finkel & Garf Brewing Co. — opened with modified services + seating!
Upslope Brewing Company — opened with modified services + seating!

Stein Brewing Company — opened with modified services + seating!

Iced beverage, anyone?

We should probably say, in the heat of Boulder’s summer, any of the above activities go great with a refreshing drink.

And we don’t mean just alcohol. Here are some local spots near trails or lakes that make for a great liquid snack and power up your next adventure.

Some local spots to caffeinate 

“Very exclusive pool party,” Mary Ann writes on IG. “Mostly because my kiddie pool isn’t at least 6 ft wide 🤣 but I’ll be right here for the rest of quarantine spring/summer.” @merry.with.mary

Get your juice on

Home + Cool

And just for fun — isn’t all of this? — we have to mention one of our favorite escapes from the heat we’ve  seen from our Boulder community: personal kiddie pools!

Just add water.