Boulder

Cresting the hill on Highway 36 into Boulder and gazing down at the red rooftops of the University of Colorado, the dramatic sandstone slabs of the Flatirons and the snow-capped peaks beyond, it's easy to see why this intriguing town has been dubbed "the city nestled between the mountains and reality."
At 5,430 feet above sea level, acres of vast open space roll into Boulder's quaint cityscape, tucked into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Come explore pine-scented trails, taste the flavors of "America's Foodiest Town," tour 20 craft breweries, stroll historic Pearl Street and soak up this creative community's laid-back lifestyle.

Population: 103,000
Highlights: Pearl Street Mall, Flat Irons, Chautauqua, University of Colorado-Boulder, Google, world-renowned chefs, open space.