Boulder and Denver

Information about our beautiful city, Boulder, and the nearby city of Denver.


The International English Center is located on University Hill in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.  Our school is just a few minutes walk to the University of Colorado campus.  The population of Boulder is around 100,000, and the city rests in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Outdoor Activities

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in outdoor activities right in Boulder.  There are hiking trails for all skill levels.  The Boulder Creek Path travels through the city for eight miles and you will see people walking, jogging, and biking along this beautifully maintained trail.  Chautauqua is an area that has numerous hiking trails that go up into the mountains, and it is within walking distance of the IEC.  Biking is also very popular in Boulder and is a fun way to get around town. If you like to ski, or would like to try skiing or snowboarding, our closest ski area, Eldora, is only 40 minutes by car or bus, and many other ski areas are within a two hour ride. 

Campus Activities

The University Memorial Center (UMC) at CU hosts bowling, pool (billiards), video games, and more.  CU is also home to the Fiske Planetarium, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, and the CU Recreation Center.  You can swim, play hockey or skate on the ice rink, or work out in the weight room at this great facility. Visit the CU website for more information on all that the university offers.  

Restaurants and Dining

You will have many restaurants to choose from in Boulder.  International cuisine is offered at many restaurants, in addition to American food like pizza and hamburgers.  Many students eat lunch at the nearby Food Court and have their choice of Thai, Japanese, Indian and American food.  The university also has numerous places to eat.  Very popular is the new C4C, a state of the art dining hall featuring eight restaurants and a bakery. Boulder is the home for a large number of coffee shops, most of which have free Wi-Fi.  These coffee shops serve pastries and delicious snacks as well.  For more information, please see the Food section under General Information.


A great cure for homesickness is shopping, and Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall is conveniently located downtown. In the evening and on weekends, you’ll frequently see a variety of street performers on the Pearl Street Mall. From April to November, visit the downtown Farmer’s Market for fresh fruits and vegetables, prepared foods from many different local restaurants, and musical entertainment. Shop at our newly rebuilt Twenty Ninth Street Mall in department stores, restaurants, and many different specialty shops.  At the Twenty-Ninth Street Mall, you’ll find a large Apple store for Mac users, a 16-screen movie theater, and a shop where you can build your own frozen yogurt treat. Just a short ride away, between Boulder and Denver, is the Flatirons Mall, a multi-level indoor mall, with many chain department stores, as well as smaller locally-owned shops and a large food court.  Denver boasts additional shopping locations.

Cultural and Seasonal Events

You can attend many events in Boulder throughout the year.  In early summer there is the Boulder Creek Festival, and in late summer, the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival that includes arts and crafts, a classic car exhibit, and live music.  On New Year’s Day, you can watch (or participate in!) the Polar Plunge at the Boulder Reservoir.  Springtime brings the Conference on World Affairs featuring speakers and discussions on hundreds of topics of interest, all free on the CU campus.  In May, the Bolder Boulder is a world-renowned 10K race that attracts thousands of participants from all over the globe.  


Denver is just a 30-minute car or bus ride from Boulder and it provides a blend of outdoor adventure and urban offerings.   At 5,280 feet above sea level, Denver is nicknamed the Mile High City, and offers both a view of snow-capped mountain peaks and 300 days of sunshine per year.  You can enjoy one of the nation's largest city park systems, over 90 golf courses and more than 650 miles of paved bike trails. There are plenty of attractions like the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, the Downtown Aquarium, and the Denver Botanic Gardens.  If you enjoy watching sports, Denver has eight professional sports teams, including baseball, football, basketball, hockey and the Colorado Rapids Major League soccer team. To learn more about what the city of Denver has to offer, please visit the City of Denver website.

International English Center students can use their CU student identification card and bus pass to take the Boulder Express bus to downtown Denver.  From there, it's possible to walk to the 16th Street shopping area and go to the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Colorado State Capitol building.  Also close to downtown is the Children’s Museum of Denver, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, the Downtown Aquarium, and Elitch Gardens, an amusement park.