As a cultured and well-educated community (almost 60% of adult residents have at least one college degree), Boulder is especially noted for its summer music, dance, and Shakespeare festivals. Major entertainment events take place year-round, both downtown and on the University of Colorado campus. There’s also a wide choice of nightclubs and bars, but it hasn’t always been so: Boulder was dry for 60 years, from 1907 (13 years before national Prohibition) to 1967. The first new bar in the city opened in 1969, in the Hotel Boulderado. The notoriously healthy city banned smoking in public places in 1995, 11 years before the state did the same thing.

Entertainment schedules can be found in the Daily Camera’s weekly Friday Magazine; in the daily Denver Post; in Westword, the Denver weekly; or in the free Boulder Weekly.

The Performing Arts

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Music, dance, and theater are important aspects of life for Boulder residents. Many of these activities take place at Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado (tel. 303/492-8008; www.colorado.edu/music) and other campus venues, as well as the Chautauqua Auditorium, 900 Baseline Rd. (tel. 303/442-3282; www.chautauqua.com), and the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut St. (tel. 303/440-7826; www.thedairy.org).

Sellout Picnic -- As the revered Chautauqua Auditorium opens up to let the breeze in during summer performances, the sound carries out into the surrounding public parkland. In the event of a sellout (or if you just are pinching pennies), pack a picnic dinner and head to the park to get a free listen as you watch the sunset over the Flatirons.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.