ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE
Charley Cropley, ND
1109 Portland Place, 303-442-6161
Runner-up: Rolf Institute
Think about most of the doctors you’ve been to over the years. How many were more than 60 years old? How many were in awesome shape? And how many were both? Unless you’ve been to see Dr. Charley Cropley lately, we’re guessing the answer to that last one is “zero.” Cropley has been a practicing naturopathic physician in the Denver/Boulder area for the past 25 years, and he’s his own best advertising. In better shape than most guys half his age (or younger), the results of his natural, nutrition-based methods are evident whenever he takes off his shirt. Rolf Institute is the runner-up in this category, while Great Wave Accupuncture takes third, Chautauqua Health takes fourth, and Helios Integrated Medicine snags fifth.
Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
1750 30th St., # 22, 855-888-8553
Runner-up: Way of the Crane
So what’s the difference between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the traditional Japanese jiu-jitsu? While both martial arts are similar in a lot of ways, Brazilian jiu-jitsu was designed to focus on body leverage for people to control opponents bigger and stronger than they are, while Japanese jiu-jitsu was designed to help you defend yourself against people with weapons. And there isn’t a better place to learn the Brazilian martial art than Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The instructors are professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, UFC and MMA competitors who hold black belts trained under the infamous Gracie family. Even if Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t your bag, they also teach Muy Thai Boxing, self-defense, mixed-martial arts and fitness classes. Way of the Crane, the oldest and longest running martial arts schools in Boulder was our runner-up, and Tran’s Martial Arts came in third place. Boulder Aikikai placed fourth in our survey, with Boulder Fung Fu coming in fifth.
2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite C2,
Runner-up: Swan Lake Chiropractic Clinic
There are licensed chiropractors in all 50 states, as well as the nation’s capital. So whether you’re glacier climbing in the wilds of Alaska, shaking it a bit too hard at a Louisiana street party or just rubbing elbows a little too vigorously with the fat cats in D.C, you can find a practitioner to put you back together. And if you need to see a chiropractor in Boulder County, our readers suggest The Joint, known for quick, professional service and affordable prices. So climb those Flatirons till the sun goes down, mountain bike from here to Longs Peak and play as many pick-up games of hoops as you want. The doctors at The Joint have got your back. Runner-up Swan Lake Chiropractic Clinic also offers top-notch service. Third place goes to Café of Life, fourth to Duggan Chiropractic and fifth to North Boulder Chiropractic.
2590 Walnut St., Suite 10, 303-443-0028
Runner-up: Alchemy of Movement
Looking for a place to help your little sugarplum channel some of that young, feverish energy? Or maybe feeling inspired to prance and pirouette yourself? Check out this year’s winner for Best Dance Studio, Boulder Ballet. The school has four locations around the Boulder area and offers classes from beginning to professional levels, while also putting on numerous performances each year. Along with regular ballet classes, Boulder Ballet hosts musical theater classes that focus on jazz, tap, character dance in audition-style mixing classes, mime and juggling. The school also has several programs for boys. Alchemy of Movement took runner-up with its variety of self-expressive classes, and Streetside Studios took third place. Ballet Nouveau pirouetted into fourth, and Community Dance Collective jammed into fifth.
St. Julien Hotel & Spa
900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Runner-up: Essentiels Spa
The spa at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa isn’t your grandma’s day spa. With a 10,000-square-foot spa and fitness area, which includes a pool, cardio machines, a steam room, and a full-service salon, it has everything you need to look and feel your best. The hotel’s spa offers escapes that range from an hour-long massage to a full day of pampering, with products made from Colorado ingredients. Services include hydrating wraps made from natural, organic ingredients; aromatherapy and Swedish massages, body scrubs, and various other skin and hair packages for any kind of treatment you may want. Our runner-up is Essentiels Spa, well known for experienced estheticians and tranquility. In third place is Ten 20, where you can watch Sex in the City while nibbling M&Ms. Sensorielle scooped up fourth place, and Finishing Touch finishes in fifth place.
3400 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-2129
And other locations
Runner-up: North Boulder Dental
The phrase “like going to the dentist” obviously isn’t synonymous with “having an awesome rocking party.” For most people, it’s nerve wracking, upsetting or at the very least expensive as hell. But the next time you’re sitting in an air-conditioned reception room, waiting for a highly trained dentists with the latest medical equipment to take your x-rays and maybe fill a cavity or two, try to remember something: Archeologists have found evidence of dental drilling in teeth dating from as far back as 7,000 BC. No Novocain, no rubber gloves, and no out-of-date issues of Us Weekly to kill the time while you’re waiting for your turn in the chair. No chair, either, but that probably goes without saying. With that in mind, it’s easy to be grateful for places like Comfort Dental, where not only can you expect safety, cleanliness and comfort, but even decent reading in the waiting room. Our runner-up this year is North Boulder Dental, while Boulder Smiles came in third. Alpine Dentistry takes fourth place year, and Dr. Stephen Koral came in fifth.
Half mile west of Fourth Street on Mapleton Avenue
Runner-up: Mesa Trail
When outsiders hear the name Boulder, they think of more than liberal granola-crunchers and raging CU parties. Yes, they really do. All stereotypes aside, anyone who has visited the city will know that Boulder contains some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. As if the snow-capped Rocky Mountains weren’t majestic enough, Boulder’s Flatirons are a distinguishing feature that is hard to forget. Mount Sanitas, a 3.1-mile loop, gives hikers a chance to see the Indian Peaks wilderness, downtown Boulder and the Flatirons. The hike is rated moderate to difficult, which is perfect for those wanting some healthy, heart-pumping exercise in the middle of a busy workday or on sunny weekend. The runner-up, Mesa Trail, is an equally gorgeous trail, weaving along the base of the foothills from Chautauqua Park to Eldorado Springs. This trail is almost seven miles one-way, has a moderate difficulty rating and is perfect for exploring and taking in the beauty of the mountains.
Flatirons Golf Course
5706 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-442-7851
Runner-up: Haystack Mountain Golf Course
The working week can be a stressful 40 hours for a lot of people: meetings, phone calls, deadlines, reports. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. So what better way to relax on the weekend than to get outside, smell the fresh clean air, the dew-soaked grass and enjoy a relaxing game of golf? When our readers want to get their Arnold Palmer on, they head to Flatirons Golf Course, an oasis of green just off Arapahoe Avenue. With daily specials and online tee-time booking, hitting the links here couldn’t be easier. (Whether you can birdie that shot is entirely up to you.) Runner-up Haystack Mountain Golf Course in Niwot is another great place to practice your long drive and precision putting. You might also want to tee up at third place Boulder Country Club, fourth place Indian Peaks, and fifth place Coal Creek — all popular destinations with our readers.
Colorado Athletic Club
1821 30th St., 303-501-1700
Runner-up: 24 Hour Fitness
The Colorado Athletic Club in Boulder has only been open for a little over a year, but it’s already stair-climbed its way into our cholesterol-free hearts. There are many great gyms in Boulder, but the Colorado Athletic Club is flexing its muscles with 70 group fitness classes, Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and a year-round outdoor pool. And the brand new facilities and machines don’t hurt, either. (Well, the treadmill might hurt, but still, no pain, no gain!) They’ve also got a spa perfect for a post-workout rubdown to get rid of the lactic acids. 24 Hour Fitness, the North Boulder favorite, is our runner-up, and the YMCA of Boulder Valley took third place. North Boulder Recreation Center came in fourth, and Flatiron Athletic Club took fifth.
1831 Pearl St., 303-447-0880
Runner-up: West End Salon
What is it about hair that seems to say so much more about a person? How can something as trivial as a bad hair day completely ruin our mood? For a species known as “the hairless ape,” our society seems inordinately obsessed with the stuff that grows out of the top of our heads (and everywhere else for that matter). Whatever the reason, a good hairstyle makes anyone happier to be a human, and if your own ’do isn’t doing you any favors, then look no further than Twig Salon. They can take care of men’s and women’s cuts, colors, highlights and shaves all in an eco-friendly facility. For those of us concerned with the hair growing in other places, Twig also offers waxing services of all kinds. Runner-up goes to West End Salon, with Urban Pearl Salon and Spa in third. Rumours Hair Studio takes fourth place, while Pompadours Hair Salon Aveda comes in fifth.
1810 30th St. Suite B, 303-499-2020
Runner-up: Boulder Eye Surgeons
Sure, glasses can be a great fashion accessory. Just ask Rivers Cuomo or Tina Fey. And, hey, Elton John sure had fun with them. But as stylish as they are, sometimes glasses just get in the way. They break, get lost, pick up scratches and really aren’t great for skiing or rock climbing. Over the course of a lifetime, they’re frickin’ expensive, too. So if you want to ditch the frames, check out Boulder Eyes and see if LASIK eye surgery is an option for you. And if you really love the glasses looks, do what the hipsters are doing: chunky black frames with no lenses. Those clever kids. Our runner-up is Boulder Eye Surgeons. In third place, readers chose Insight Lasik, while Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado came in fourth.
St. Julien Hotel and Spa
900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Runner-up: Essentiels Spa
While many know the St. Julien Hotel and Spa for its excellence in jazz, dancing and sleeping spaces, our readers say the downtown staple is also the best place to get a massage in Boulder. St. Julien Hotel and Spa offers therapeutic massage, couples’ massage that includes champagne and roses, and a girls’ getaway massage, as well as classic Swedish Massage, deep tissue massage and hot stone massage. Even the most stressed Boulderites will find the tension melt away when they place themselves in the hands of the spa’s staff. Our runner-up was Essentiels Spa, another great option for those days when you need a bit of pampering and tranquility. In third place is the Boulder College of Massage, and coming in fourth is Massage Specialists. Massage Envy took fifth place.
Boulder Community Hospital
1100 Balsam Ave., 303-440-2273
Runner-up: Foothills Community Hospital
No one wants to be sick. And certainly no one wants to find themselves facing long-term health problems or surgery. But luckily for us, we have a host of top-notch medical facilities to choose from, like this year’s winner, Boulder Community Hospital. Community owned and cutting edge, there’s a lot to love about BCH. Even the neighborhood — homey north Boulder — is a plus. So if you do get sick, need surgery or (more happily) are about to have a baby, this is a pretty great place to do it. Our runner-up is Foothills Community Hospital, an offshoot of BCH. Boulder Medical Center came in third, and Kaiser Permanente and Avista Adventist took fourth and fifth, respectively.
MMJ REFERRAL SERVICE
845 Walnut St., 303-459-4676
Runner-up: Boulder Kind Care
Winner of this year’s Best MMJ Referral Service, The Dandelion, didn’t choose its name willy-nilly. The dandelion, much like its heavily regulated and hotly debated cousin, cannabis, might not be the prettiest plant to look at, but it has far more benefits for humans than most people realize. So when you’re looking for a knowledgable referral service, check out the place that understands what weeds are all about. Runner-up Boulder Kind Care also takes good of their patients. Third place in this all-write-in category goes to Holos Health, fourth place to Relaxed Clarity and fifth place to GrassRoots Medical Clinic.
MMJ WELLNESS CENTER
845 Walnut St., 303-459-4676
Runner-up: High Grade Alternatives
With the stiff competition, tangled maze of ordinances and skyrocketing operating fees, you’d have to be as resilient as a dandelion to survive in the medical marijuana industry. Which might be why The Dandelion, winner of multiple Best of Boulder awards this year, is not only surviving, but thriving. With reasonable prices and skilled staff, The Dandelion delivers quality medicine and care to its MMJ patients. In second place, voters chose High Grade Alternatives, and in a close third is Boulder Kind Care. The Farm got fourth place, and Helping Hands earned fifth.
Eldora Mountain Resort
2861 Eldora Ski Rd., 303-440-8700
Runner-up: Vail Ski Resort
There’s no question that Colorado has some of the best skiing and riding in the world. We Coloradans are proud of this fact and often spend our weekends (or sick days) shredding through powder in the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Yet even the most die-hard skiers can become disheartened when they sit in I-70 traffic for hours on end. Eldora Mountain Resort offers the same beautiful scenery and snow as the larger resorts, but at a cheaper price and without the traffic hassle. It is the best alternative to those who want to have a quick and satisfying ski day. Eldora is slightly more than 20 miles outside of Boulder and is perfect for beginners and experts alike. For those who don’t mind the traffic or have a mountain home, Vail Ski Resort is the obvious second choice. It is larger than most of the other resorts combined, and the runs seem to last forever as you glide through the glistening snow, incredible back bowls and inviting tree runs. Readers voted Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort as third place. Copper Mountain took fourth place, and fifth place was snagged by Breckenridge Ski Resort.
MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL
Six miles southwest of Boulder
Runner-up: Marshall Mesa
Isn’t it hilarious that the best mountain biking trail in Boulder is named Walker Ranch? Walker? Get it? Because it’s a trail for bikes, see. Isn’t that funny? No? Not even a chuckle? Fine, forget we even brought it up. Just take our word for it that it’s a great, 6.4-mile trail with amazing scenery and a good mix of terrain. Keep in mind that it’s suited for intermediate to advanced riders, and weather conditions can change quickly. Runner-up Marshall Mesa cruised (like it’s on a bike, get it? Oh, never mind) into second place, while Heil Ranch rolled into third, and Hall Ranch tied with Betasso for fourth place. West Magnolia got fifth.
3020 Carbon Pl., Suite 330,
Runner-up: Bolder Pilates
Sometimes, you just need a little “me time,” which may mean indulging in a massage, sweating out your worries in a workout class or getting a helping hand through physical therapy. This year’s winner of Best Pilates Studio, Boulder Bodyworks, has you covered for those needs with the help of experienced, certified instructors who teach privately or for small groups. Boulder Bodyworks offers 12 different kinds of massages to relax and rejuvenate, yoga and Pilates classes to tone and tighten, as well as physical therapy training. They are now helping you get your “me time” from their new location in the Steel Yards. In second place this year is Bolder Pilates, and in third is North Boulder Pilates. Pilates of Boulder took fourth, followed by the Pilates Center, which came in fifth.
SKIN CARE SERVICES
Avanti Skin Center
2595 Canyon Blvd., #360
Runner-up: Six Persimmons
If you want to have healthy, beautiful skin, you need to take care of it, just like anything else. Colorado’s dry climate doesn’t always make that easy. Factor in an active, outdoors lifestyle, and it gets even more difficult: A long, windy day on the slopes can turn even the prettiest princess into a frog, while UV radiation speeds signs of aging. Avanti Skin Center of Boulder works hard to take you from leather to lovely, offering everything from Botox to “liquid” facelifts to laser hair removal. For a deeply natural skin-care regimen, visit second-place winner Six Persimmons Apothecary on Pearl Street. Marianna’s L’Esthetique came in third place, Dermatology Specialists took fourth, and iV Seasons completes the top five.
HAIR SALON (WRITE-IN)
1037 Walnut St., 303-444-3747
Runner-up: Voodoo Hair Lounge
Human hair grows slowly, about a half-inch per month on average. No wonder so many people are nervous about getting a haircut. Once you sit down in the chair at The Parlour, though, you can put your mind at ease. The stylists here take their craft seriously, and their ongoing education program covers all aspects of advanced hairdressing. Earlier this year, the salon brought in world-renowned, New York-based stylist Nick Arrojo for a weekend of advanced training and demonstrations, all to make sure you walk away with a fabulous look. Talk about commitment! The Parlour also offers skin care and waxing services, as well as wedding day packages for brides-to-be. Runner-up Voodoo Hair Lounge, located on Pearl Street, can work some wickedly good magic on your hair, no matter what style you’re looking for. Rounding out the top five, readers chose Salon Salon for third place, Rubicon for fourth and Salon Sabiha for fifth.
1670 30th St., 303-447-8844
Runner-up: Tans to Go
It might be surprising that a place like Boulder, which gets more than 300 days of sunshine every year, needs even one tanning salon. Unfortunately, a large portion of those sunshiny days happen when the thermometer is hovering around the freezing point. And no matter how dedicated you are to getting a glowing tan, sunbathing in the snow isn’t really an option (unless you’re very drunk, a Siberian native, or both). So during the winter — and the summer, if you can’t handle the scorching temps we sometimes see — grab your bikini or swim trunks and head over to Veranda Sun for a beautiful bronze glow. Runner-up Tans To Go can get you ready for summer, too. Who wants to hit the beach looking paler than a fish belly? The name says it all at third-place Hottie Body Tans. Taking fourth place is Polish Tan & Nail Spa, while Le Tan takes fifth.
Humane Society of Boulder Valley
2323 55th. St., 303-442-4030
Runner-up: Alpine Hospital for Animals
Between leash-less jogs down Boulder Creek and searching for organic catnip, it is clear that pet guardians in Boulder take their jobs very seriously. And when it happens that a furry friend needs some help healing, residents leave behind their medical marijuana cards and turn to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, where certified veterinarians work their magic. This nonprofit clinic tends to the medical needs of creatures of all shapes and species, offering everything from dentistry to dermatology. The clinic is open Monday through Saturday by appointment only and expects payments in full. To make critter care something universally accessible, the clinic has recently implemented a CareCredit payment option that allows for progressive payments on medical bills and special prices for qualifying low-income families. Revenue from the clinic goes directly back to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to maintain the health and wellness of homeless animals from near and far. Runner-up Alpine Hospital for Animals takes their mission just as seriously, as do the third-, fourth- and fifth-place winners: Boulder Natural Animal, Gunbarrel Veterinary Clinic and Broadway Animal Hospital.
1129 13th St., 303-440-8952
645 27th Way, 303-497-9642
3280 28th St., 303-440-3930
Runner-up: Yoga Pod
Yoga is as popular in Boulder as recycling, and there’s little wonder why. Spend 90 minutes stretching muscles you never knew you had and try not to emerge relaxed. This is easily one of the most competitive categories in our Best of Boulder vote, and CorePower Yoga once again emerges victorious. With nearly 50 studios around the country, CorePower has become a force in educating people about the mental and physical benefits of yoga. If you want to get serious, CorePower also offers retreats, instructor training and intense wellness cleanses. For an alternative to the yoga chain, runner-up Yoga Pod offers classes in a smaller, funkier environment. Om Time Yoga came in third, Studio Be Yoga got fourth, and Bikram’s Yoga College of India came in fifth.
INDOOR CLIMBING GYM
Boulder Rock Club
2829 Mapleton Ave., 303-447-2804
Runner-up: The Spot Bouldering Gym
Author Jeff Achey wrote, “Writers go to New York. Actors go to Hollywood. Climbers go to Colorado.” Well, if that’s the case, then Boulder must be a climber’s mecca. One group helping the die-hards of the area make their pilgrimage is the Boulder Rock Club, this year’s winner of Best Indoor Climbing Gym. They offer classes for kids and adults, as well as various membership opportunities. Even if you are a recent convert to the world of climbing, not to worry — the BRC has courses specifically designed to help rookies learn the basics of climbing and belaying for both indoor and outdoor settings. In second place is The Spot Bouldering Gym, with its freestanding walls, and in third place is Movement Climbing and Fitness. Lakeshore Athletic Club won fourth, and Colorado Athletic Training School won fifth.