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Colorado is a state the prompts a lot of different images in people's heads. I know that when I think of Colorado, I think of scenes from old western movies that include cowboys, horses, corrals and hospitality that's hard to beat. Of course, the mountains are ubiquitous there as well, as the landscape is what seems to shape the culture there. One place I had never been until recently was Boulder. Before I got there, I assumed it would be much like Denver – a big, beautiful and cosmopolitan city where the countryside was woven into the daily vibe. Boy, was I wrong. I wound up in Boulder for 24 hours after a series of completely random events, so I had a day to kill. I decided to stay there and explore the city, as the area itself was incredibly beautiful in a visual sense. There also seemed to be a lot going on, so I wanted to experience it from the standpoint of living there. I was traveling, as always, with my HotelTonight app so finding a Boulder hotel room would be quite simple. I booked one almost immediately and dropped off my things before jumping into my day.

The Weather

When I thought of Colorado before I got to Boulder, I thought of a beautiful place that was relatively cold and snowy. Once again, my preconceptions were blown completely out of the water once I got there and talked to some people. It was a gorgeous, warm and sunny day when I was in Boulder, and from what I was told the people there get to enjoy approximately 300 sunny days every year. That's more than a lot of places in Hawaii or California. Sure, there it gets cold sometimes, but for the most part people can plan their days as they want to without having to worry too much about what Mother Nature may deliver.

The Education

I had heard that Boulder was a college town at heart, as the University of Colorado at Boulder is located there. This is a breathtaking campus that's seemingly built right into the landscape that surrounds it, and I spent several hours walking around campus and talking to people who both studied and worked there. One thing that was common was that every one of them was happy with their decision to come to this place and every one of them wanted to stay in Boulder. As it turns out, that's pretty much how things work – there is an enormous number of people living in Boulder with PhD's, and most of them are not professors at the university. Boulder is an immensely educated town, and the value of education is part of the foundation of their culture.

The Outdoors

You can't live or otherwise spend time in Boulder without enjoying the outdoors. You can't even look around without seeing incredible geography that you're tempted to explore as soon as possible. I am very active by nature, and as luck may have it I was wearing some hiking shoes that day. As it turns out, I needed them, as there are hiking trails both in and around the city that will have you losing yourself in what you're experiencing for hours. I didn't even pay attention to what time it was as I walked, as I was too busy taking photos of the mountains and the sights nearby.

The Food

After all of that hiking and exercise, it was time for me to grab something to eat. Boulder in general is very diverse in its offerings, and that definitely shows itself in the options with regards to cuisine. I wanted something hearty and filling, as I was ravenous after taking in all of that mountain air. I was told about a place that served some of the best steaks I'd ever taste, so I wanted to give that a shot. I was glad I did as soon as they brought it to my table. Not only was the steak enormous, but it had this salty and sweet seasoning on it that blended perfectly with the tender meat. The garlic mashed potatoes were also outstanding, and a beer from a local brewery completed the entire meal for me.

HotelTonight – Boulder Hotels

I was full, happy and at that point perfectly exhausted. It was time to get myself into my Boulder hotel room for some rest. When I booked it by way of my HotelTonight app earlier that day, I didn't realize how easy it would be to get there when I was ready to crash. I only had a couple of blocks to go, and when I got to my room I had a nice shower and fell asleep within seconds of getting into bed. It had been a great day.