RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, 720-865-2494 %u2028
Second Place: Boulder Theater Third Place: Chautauqua Auditorium Fourth Place: The Fox Theatre Fifth Place: eTown Hall
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is beloved by musicians and music lovers alike. The rock structure that forms the amphitheater creates a stunning visual backdrop around your favorite artists in addition to providing astounding natural acoustics. Dozens of artists have made live recordings at Red Rocks, including U2, Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young and Phish. With a maximum capacity of less than 10,000, a show at Red Rocks can also feel more intimate than many outdoor amphitheaters. In fact, Pollstar magazine awarded Red Rocks best small outdoor venue 11 times in a row before finally naming the award the Red Rocks Award and removing Red Rocks from the running.
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO CONTINUING EDUCATION 1505 University Ave., 303-492-5148
Second Place: Naropa University Extended Studies Third Place: Front Range Community College Fourth Place: Boulder Digital Arts Fifth Place: Rolf Institute of Structural Integration
University of Colorado Continuing Education is our readers’ choice in this category, and why not? It offers opportunities to advance your degree with evening and Saturday classes. You can earn online credit, take private and group music lessons for credit and much more. We should never stop learning, and CU has made that possible and convenient.
HUMANE SOCIETY OF BOULDER VALLEY 2323 55th St., 303-442-4030
Second Place: Eco-Cycle Third Place: Planned Parenthood Fourth Place: Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center Fifth Place: Emergency Family Assistance Association
Aww, look at that little fur ball that lives with you! Isn’t he cute?
Aw, he plays fetch and snuggles with you when you’re sad and keeps you company on long hikes and… occasionally chews your favorite shoes to shreds.
Having a pet is wonderful, but it takes a lot of responsibility, and sometimes you just need a little help. The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is there to help, from adopting a pet to training your pet to keeping your pet healthy through its lifetime. The HSBV provides shelter and care to more than 8,000 animals each year, and all of their services, including training and behavior courses, are open to the public.
Place to Wi-Fi
BOULDER PUBLIC LIBRARY 1001 Arapahoe Ave., 303-441-3100 (and other locations around Boulder County)
Second Place: Ozo Coffee Co. Third Place: The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse Fourth Place: Brewing Market Fifth Place: Amante
Public libraries have long been a resource for those interested to access information and educate themselves, and the Boulder Public Library is stocked with empty tables not just ready for books and magazines, but laptops and other Wi-Fi-equipped devices eager to surf the Interwebs. The free public Wi-Fi is available any time the library is open, when you need to print, users can connect wirelessly to the library’s printers.
BOULDER MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (BMOCA) 1750 13th St., 303-443-2122
Second Place: University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Third Place: Boulder History Museum Fourth Place: National Center for Atmospheric Research Fifth Place: WOW! Children’s Museum
When you need to cram your brain with interesting and exciting artifacts and exhibits, where do you turn? If you’re like the majority of our voters, you turn to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, or BMoCA. With travelling exhibits, performances, music, visual art and programs for everyone from youngsters to art enthusiasts, BMoCA is truly a comprehensive museum for the community. Check out the others on the list for different bents and scopes.
ELEVATIONS CREDIT UNION 2960 Diagonal Highway, 303-443-4672 4760 W. Baseline Road, 303-443-4672 and other locations around Boulder County
Second Place: Wells Fargo Third Place: Chase Bank Fourth Place: Boulder Valley Credit Union Fifth Place: FirstBank
Coloradans take pride in being a few thousand feet higher than the rest. So it’s no wonder our readers voted Elevations Credit Union as number one. We trust people who are on our level, not only physically but also in terms of quality. The people over at Elevations epitomize everything banking should be: fast, friendly, accessible and trustworthy. Just like the Rocky Mountains, Elevations is stable and always there when you need them. Whether you need wealth management advice or a new home equity loan, Elevations has got you covered.
BOULDER PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 2590 Walnut St., 303-449-1343 %u2028
Second Place: Colorado Music Festival Third Place: Boulder Symphony Fourth Place: Colorado Symphony Orchestra Fifth Place: CU Presents
The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra has been mesmerizing Boulderites since 1958 with imaginative programming that has progressively gone further and further beyond simply performing music. Their shows break genre boundaries and often include dance, choral and visual elements. The Boulder Phil’s desire to connect and inspire the community through the power of orchestral music has led them to collaborate with dozens of local organizations in recent seasons, including arts, science, nature, youth, social services and more. Their Discovery Concerts work to inspire the next generation of music lovers by exposing fourth and fifth grade students in 28 schools to classical music. The Boulder Phil is truly Boulder’s premier orchestra.
Live Dance Group
BOULDER BALLET 2590 Walnut St., Suite 10, 303-443-0028
Second Place: Frequent Flyers Productions Third Place: Streetside Studios Fourth Place: Lemon Sponge Cake Ballet Fifth Place: Planet Motion World Dance Fitness
Dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp once said, “Ballet needs to be its own story in such a way it can be received without having to be translated into language.”
Our area is blessed with a number of fine dance groups, but when it comes to telling a story without need for language, our readers say Boulder Ballet is the best around.
THE LAUGHING GOAT COFFEEHOUSE 1709 Pearl St., 303-443-0028
Second Place: Conor O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub & Restaurant Third Place: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew (Lyons and Longmont) Fourth Place: Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe Fifth Place: The Attic Bar & Bistro
All great musicians and poets have something in common. At some point they introduced themselves to the public via an open mic somewhere. Open mics aren’t just a great way for such creatives to kick-start their careers, they’re also a great way for the rest of us to catch some really talented folks for free. Win-win. So if supporting such artists is your cup of tea, or coffee, you might want to head over to the open mic night at The Laughing Goat Coffeehouse. It’s the best around.
Performance Arts Venue
BOULDER THEATER 2032 14th St., 303-786-7030
Second Place: The Dairy Center for the Arts Third Place: Chautauqua Auditorium Fourth Place: Macky Auditorium Concert Hall Fifth Place: Boulder’s Dinner Theatre
In Boulder County, we’re fortunate to have a number of really great performance arts venues. Whether you’re going out to see an orchestra, a ballet, a rock concert, a comedy show or anything in between, it will likely be held in a beautiful venue with lots of character. Our voters say that Boulder Theater is their favorite performance arts venue. Attracting a number of national acts and film screenings, Boulder Theater has the right mix of comfort, quality and history. Located in downtown Boulder, it’s easy to make a night of any event that takes place at Boulder Theater.
TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL Telluride, 800-624-2422
Second Place: Colorado Music Festival Third Place: RockyGrass Festival Fourth Place: Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Fifth Place: ARISE Music Festival
Forget Bonnaroo and Coachella. Don’t bother with Lollapalooza or the Electric Daisy Carnival. We have a better festival in our own backyard. For more than 40 years, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival has been providing Colorado with stellar tunes set amid a gorgeous Rocky Mountain view. For a festival to have staying power it needs to have heart, and Telluride Bluegrass Festival has that in spades. Besides the well-known names, the festival has also opened the musical doors for several up-and-comers, and in another 40 years you’ll be able to say you saw them way back when. Sit back, relax and enjoy the good music, good people and good soul.
BOULDER THEATER 2032 14th St., 303-786-7030
Second Place: AMC Flatiron Crossing 14 Third Place: Century Theatre Fourth Place: Boedecker Theater Fifth Place: Chautauqua Auditorium
It’s hard to believe that some moron once considered tearing down Boulder Theater so that some more generic office space could be created downtown. After all, Boulder’s crown jewel of entertainment has been around since 1906 and has played host to opera, the first silent film (The Jazz Singer) shown in Boulder in 1927 and to musicians and cultural icons ranging from Timothy Leary to Bonnie Raitt to the Plasmatics and Billy Bob Thorton & The Boxmasters. Now that’s variety. No wonder our readers love this venue.
COLORADO MOUNTAIN RANCH 10063 Gold Hill Road, 303-442-4557
Second Place: YMCA Summer Camps Third Place: University of Colorado Science Discovery Fourth Place: Avid4 Adventure Fifth Place: Alexander Dawson Camps
Choosing the right summer camp is vital.
You want your kids to make lifelong memories, but not for the wrong reasons. Sign your kiddos up for Colorado Mountain Ranch to help guarantee a summer of fun. Kids of varying ages can partake in everything they want in a summer camp — outdoor activities, learning, nature appreciation, crafts and community-building activities. Surrounded by beautiful views from 8,500 feet up, your children can enjoy horseback riding, archery, gymnastics and more, all with a friendly staff and specialized instructors. When summer’s over, your kids will be begging you to take them back to camp.
Live Theater Group
BDT STAGE 5501 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-6000
Second Place: Colorado Shakespeare Festival Third Place: University of Colorado Theater and Dance Fourth Place: Boulder Ensemble Theater Company Fifth Place: Peanut Butter Players
Tucked in the middle of the country, Boulder sits at a geographical disadvantage for theater lovers. But even though the Great White Way is so far away, Boulderites can rejoice in a strong theater scene. Leading the charge of great theater is this year’s return winner, BDT Stage. Since 1977, BDT Stage has been consistently putting on wonderful shows. Choosing from a wide variety of musicals from classic to contemporary, the theater delivers a high caliber of talent on stage and never-ending imagination behind the scenes. Plus, there’s nothing better than eating a tasty meal while watching Fiddler on the Roof.
Place to Play Pool
SUNDOWN SALOON 1136 Pearl St., 303-449-4987
Second Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Third Place: The Attic Fourth Place: The Outback Saloon Fifth Place: License No. 1 (formerly Catacombs)
Billiards has been a game for kings and commoners for hundreds of years. In one accounting, the night before they were arrested and, you know, eventually guillotined, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette played billiards. She won, of course, because girls rock at pool. Not convinced? Test that theory out at the Sundown Saloon. While many a bar scatters a pool table here or there, the Sundown Saloon devotes a wall’s worth of space to a row of tables, so it’s not hard to find a spot to put your quarters down and secure a table. Get ready to rack ’em up and whack ’em around like you’re just about to make a really poorly timed suggestion about cake and part ways with your head.
ALEXANDER DAWSON SCHOOL 10455 Dawson Drive, Lafayette, 303-665-6679
Second Place: Friends’ School Third Place: Shining Mountain Waldorf School Fourth Place: Boulder Country Day School Fifth Place: Watershed School
Nothing is more important than our children. And nothing is more important to our children’s future than the education we give them. Well, maybe love is more important, but that’s about all that comes in ahead of ed. According to our readers, Alexander Dawson School offers the best private education to be found in these parts. So if finding a way to prepare your kids for college and a successful career is a priority, Dawson is the place to start.
Place to Dance
THE AVALON BALLROOM 6185 Arapahoe Road, 303-440-8303
Second Place: Tahona Tequila Bistro Third Place: Boulder Theater Fourth Place: St Julien Hotel & Spa Fifth Place: Fox Theatre
When the dance floor starts calling your name, you need to strap on that Tony Manero white suit and work out that boogie fever. The readers have spoken, and The Avalon Ballroom stands out on top as the best place to dance in Boulder. Avalon provides a diverse schedule of events that will suit anyone’s needs, from live music to themed nights to dance classes in styles from around the world. Whether you want to tango or to do a waltz, Avalon will meet your dance machine needs. Grab a partner and get a swingin’.
Second Place: Augustus Third Place: Gregory Alan Isakov Fourth Place: Elephant Revival Fifth Place: Gasoline Lollipops
Take a listen to Face and there’s a whole lot of “How’d he do that?!” going on. The local vocal rock group uses no instruments and no special effects — just five singers and a vocal drummer to create toe-tapping music that’s seen them touring and performing for a good long while as a much-enjoyed local band and regular at Nissi’s in Lafayette.
These guys also rally around the cause of supporting the next generation of local musicians and music groups by making fundraiser concerts for school music programs a big part of what they do, in addition to offering educational programs for students interested to learn more about their vocal technique.
Live Jazz Venue
ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA 900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Second Place: The Laughing Goat Third Place: Nissi’s Fourth Place: Caffe Sole Fifth Place: Oskar Blues Brewery
Jazz is a defining thread on the tapestry of American culture. It’s also cool to listen to and Boulder County is fortunate to have a number of places to sit down, grab a drink and listen to a jazz band do its thing (or thang, as the case may be). Our voters decided that the St Julien Hotel & Spa is the finest venue for live jazz in the area. That’s because St Julien has a large, casual space for music, while retaining a modern elegance that defines the space. Though there are many options for jazz around these parts, St Julien has been a tastemaker in the scene for years.
ZIP CODE MAN%u2028
Second Place: Jessica Biel Third Place: Gregory Alan Isakov Fourth Place: Big Head Todd Fifth Place: Hazel Miller
David Rosdeitcher has been performing on the Pearl Street Mall for more than 20 years — you may know him as Zip Code Man. If you don’t know him, just Google Zip Code Man and there he is in travel blog posts, NPR pieces, YouTube videos and of course here in the Boulder Weekly (he even wrote an article for us back in 2010 supporting fellow street performer and contortionist Ibash-I in his fight against deportation). His talent is simple but amazing — tell him your zip code and he’ll tell you what town you’re from, and maybe his favorite restaurant there. He estimates that he knows between 35,000 and 40,000 zip codes. Zip Code Man is pretty beloved around these parts, as he beat out Jessica Biel, Gregory Alan Isakov, Big Head Todd and Hazel Miller for local celebrity.
THE LAZY DOG SPORTS BAR & GRILL 1346 Pearl St., 303-440-3355
Second Place: World Famous Dark Horse Bar and Grill Third Place: Harpo’s Sports Grill Fourth Place: The West End Tavern Fifth Place: Walnut Brewery
Sometimes you have to ride the ju-ju. For many sports fans that means watching their favorite team from the same location week in and week out until that team loses and dreams are crushed on yet another season. Or, you could just like going out to a sports bar to catch your team play and slowly get annoyed by the guy who is clapping just a little bit too loud. Either way, Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill was the winner for best sports bar. It has all the requirements for a good sports bar: cold beer, good eats and plenty of TVs.
THE DAIRY CENTER FOR THE ARTS 2590 Walnut St., 303-440-7826
Second Place: Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art Third Place: Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery Fourth Place: Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art Fifth Place: Art Soul Gallery
Galleries are critical to a thriving art scene in any community. Boulder County has several options for the art observer, each with a different scope and feel.
Our readers chose The Dairy Center for the Arts as their favorite art gallery in town, likely because the bustling arts center, which houses a vibrant array of visual art, cinema, theater, dance and other art forms, gives every inch of available wall space over to showcasing art, often from talented local artists who have painted or photographed Colorado with the love only shown to your home state.
Festival/Event — Non Music
BOULDER COUNTY FARMERS’ MARKET 13th Street between Arapahoe and Canyon, 303-910-2236 Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont Fifth Avenue, between Main Street and Kimbark, Longmont
Second Place: Boulder Creek Festival Third Place: Frozen Dead Guy Days Fourth Place: Colorado Shakespeare Festival Fifth Place: Boulder International Film Festival
More than 150 farmers, food establishments and artists come together to sell their produces and products at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market twice each week, and the streets are flooded with fresh produce and those eager to take them home. Fruit from the Western Slope, plants and flowers, homemade soups and wreaths round out offerings from mainstays like leafy greens to rarities like white eggplant. This year the market, which runs from April to November, is adding new options for entertaining and educating children and teaching adults how to make use of all that good food.