When you hear the real estate mantra “location, location, location,” the sentiment typically refers to schools, walkability, and easy access to major thoroughfares.
But with over sixty parks inside city limits, one of Boulder’s most overlooked real estate features is a listing’s proximity to one of these parks. Which parks are iconic anchors, which parks are hidden treasures, and which parks are pocket-sized? Read on to find out.
North Boulder Park
Whether you’re young or old, ultra-active or more of the sit-and-visit type, North Boulder Park has something for everyone. Located along 9th Street between Dellwood and Alpine, North Boulder Park is the perfect place to enjoy some fresh Foothills air. When the snow falls in the winter, click into your cross-countries for a few laps around the park’s snow-covered acreage. When the sun shines in the summertime, pack a picnic lunch for some grassy, barefooted fun.
As the starting line for Boulder’s first-ever Bolder Boulder 10K run, North Boulder Park has seen its fair share of races and their associated athletes—but its history doesn’t end there.
After losing his daughter Emma in a tragic car accident, Joe Walsh, guitarist and keyboardist for The Eagles, built and dedicated a drinking fountain to her in North Boulder Park, where Emma often played with her mother after moving to Boulder in the early 1970s. The unassuming fountain, now worn by the elements and time, still stands today.
Harlow Platts Park
Tucked away in a laid-back part of South Boulder, away from the traffic and bustle of downtown, lies Harlow Platts Park. This SoBo mainstay provides gorgeous views of the Flatirons with placid Viele Lake in the scenery’s foreground, offering plenty of opportunities to explore and observe nature—on and off the water.
That’s right: non-motorized boats shorter than 14 feet are allowed on Viele Lake. On any given afternoon, you’ll spot nature lovers canoeing, kayaking or fishing in its calm waters. On land, picnic tables and charcoal grills dot the lake’s perimeter and a grassy open space offers plenty of room for bocce ball, corn hole or a soccer game.
For those looking to grab a bite nearby, Harlow Platts is close to several South Boulder restaurants, including the oft-recommended Southern Sun and offers easy access to the SKIP bus line.
THE SMALL & HIDDEN TREASURES
In addition to the notable larger parks, there are some off-the-beaten-path gems. These are a few of our favorites:
Between Cloverleaf Drive and Catalpa Way in Boulder’s Melody Heights neighborhood is Pineview Park, a grassy, L-shaped gem surrounded by private homes and offering a seamless experience from street-side to nature.
Renovations to the park in 2013 included a new natural-play playground, aiming to infuse traditional playground toys with nature’s design inspiration, as well as a large, open, grassy area, perfect for families to take an afternoon break with a frisbee and a blanket.
In 1937, Boulder developer William Beach gave Boulder’s Hill neighborhood its first public park and playground. Beach Park, a swath of land originally plotted as the backyard of the Harbeck House (which now houses Boulder’s Historical Museum), was offered to the city as twenty-two vacant lots between Euclid and Aurora to the north and south, and 12th and 13th Streets to the east and west. While William Beach and his wife had no children of their own, the couple wanted the neighborhood to have a place for children to play.
Today, the park’s picnic tables, walking paths and playground pay homage to Beach’s generosity and support of its younger generations.
Centered in the Holiday Neighborhood (the original site of the Holiday Drive-In—its charming refurbished sign still exists), the Holiday Park is a neighborhood park of the truest sense. In addition to having a nature-inspired playground in a condensed housing area, the site is often home to the outdoor summertime event “Movies at Holiday Park.”
Holiday Park is also known for its NoBo artsy flair. On a warm summer evening in 2016, the public art feature White Fields leapt and spun on the grass while on display. Another night, Boulder's Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet performed a one-time piece that had never been seen before and won’t be seen again.