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Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center

Renewable Energy Materials Research Science and Engineeering Center

Local Information

Boulder and its Surroundings

Boulder enjoys a mild climate, with approximately 300 sunny days per year and some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the United States. The elevation of Boulder is approximately one mile above sea level. With around around 80,000 inhabitants, Boulder has been variously named the "Smartest City in America", the "Best City for Singles", the "Best Overall Place to Live in America", and the "Best City for Cycling", and is consistently rated among the top ten nationally for artists, green-living, running, and fitness.There are innumerable opportunities for outdoor recreation in Boulder and 12-13 thousand foot peaks less than 20 miles away from Boulder. There are also many cultural activities in Boulder, with cafes and bookstores at every corner. The University of Colorado at Boulder has a beautiful campus, at an altitude of 5400 feet, located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The weather during August is usually very pleasant, with a low humidity; the average high temperature is in the 80's (Fahrenheit) while the average low temperature is in the 50's. Boulder and its surroundings offer a large spectrum of first rate outdoor recreational activities, which include hiking, mountain biking, running, rock and ice climbing, white water rafting, fishing, bird watching, outdoor concerts, and numerous local microbreweries. Chautauqua Park, an area right in front of the Flatirons rock formations (the image appearing in most photos of Boulder), south-west of campus, is a must-visit park with a huge selection of trailheads, some leading to Green and Bear mountains. Another attraction, closer to campus is the Boulder Creek Path (just north, downhill from the Duane Physics building), which runs along the Boulder Creek from the foothills, several miles west of town, to the prairie, several miles east. The Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall, located in downtown Boulder, approximately 0.5 miles north of campus, is also a nice place to visit and to hang out in the evenings. The Rocky Mountain National Park is approximately 50 miles north-west of Boulder. For more detailed information about Boulder such as maps, weather, recreation see http://www.colorado.edu/visit/ . For more information about the University of Colorado at Boulder, visit http://www.colorado.edu/.


The altitude of Boulder is 5,430 ft (1,654 m), a significant change for those used to lower elevations. You may notice shortness of breath and an increased heart rate, especially when being physically active. The best ways to minimize the effects of altitude are to drink lots of water and to avoid overexertion. Excess consumption of alcohol exacerbates the effects of high altitude. Ultraviolet rays from the sun are intense at high altitude. It is recommended that you use an effective sunblock (protection factor of 15 or more) when out of doors, and wear sunglasses with UV protection, even on cloudy or overcast days.

In case of emergencies, call 911 for police, fire department, and ambulance.

It is customary to tip 15-20% to restaurant wait-staff and to bartenders. If you have a large party, usually a group of eight or more, gratuities may automatically be included in the bill. Ask if you are unsure. Of course, the amount of your tip is discretionary, and you should leave as much as you feel comfortable.

Boulder's Mountain Time is 7 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time; 8 am in Colorado is 3 pm in London.