Neighborhood Hunting in Boulder, CO
Arrival on August 15th
I took off from Ontario Airport at 5:40 a.m. (!), landed at Denver International Airport, around noon, rented a car ($72/day) via Costco Travel, and drove to Boulder; found an awesome local place for lunch, Mountain Pub & Brewery. I sat at the bar and chatted with the 21-ish bartender who later gave me her mom's contact info as a real estate agent in Boulder! Lucky me. I bought a to-go quesadilia for dinner since I had no idea what dinner options were in Nederland, CO.
As I left Mountain Pub, it started to lightly rain and continued to do so for the 40-minute drive into the FlatIron mountains to my Nederland Airbnb. Why didn't I book a place in Boulder you ask? Way more expensive to stay at hotels or Airbnb's in Boulder - at least double the price of Nederland and Westminster (nights 3 and 4). Plus, I wanted to go into the mountains.
The drive to Nederland is absolutely beautiful - the road is at the base of a deep, narrow, rocky valley that's thickly covered in pine trees. The road pairs up with the rushing river and winds back and forth until the view opens up to a small, dammed reservoir. At the west end of the reservoir is the little town of Nederland. Sorry...no pictures. I had planned to take pics on Tuesday (next day) when hiking around the lake, however, on Tuesday, it poured rain and was not hike-able.
Breakfast at Nederland, CO - not pricey, and not good. Forgot to note the name of the place - what ever it is, I do not recommend it. Coffee was pretty bad. The tiny town had major potholed roads. The Airbnb is super cute inside although smells…very…moist. I would stay here again at the “Hobbit House” if I had to stay in Nederland again. It’s too far from civilization to live here.
Left Nederland for the 30-minute, beautiful, windy drive to Boulder. Stopped at Einstein bagels to get coffee and then drove south on the 93 with the goal to check out Golden. The coffee was not great.
Pulled off at Eldorado Springs – see review below. Snapped some shots and headed south to Golden. Passed some kind of production plants along the way – the first within a couple miles of Eldorado Springs has a big-ass pile of soil (?) or coal (?). ACTION ITEM: find out what industry is just south of Eldorado Springs. A couple more production plants passed on the east side of the 93. Large lake. Reached Golden – see review below.
Drove east from Golden – lots of railroad cars parked - looks like a hub that butts near Coors. Then drove NE toward Westminster – open spaces + ranches. Westminster is closer to Denver (north) and further from Flatirons/mountains. Really nice housing areas – big homes – too big for us.
Ended up on the 36 through a weird place called “Interlocken”. Looks like a deserted Silicon Valley. Business parks, lots of high-end hotels and very quiet – wide streets like Irvine, but no traffic. Maybe this area is a pandemic artifact?
ELDORADO SPRINGS – there’s a dilapidated post office and nothing else other than scattered homes – some WT-looking, others nice. Talked with two women who looked like me in shorts, walking uphill and asked if they live in Eldorado Springs. One does and loves it because she steps outside her door every day and hikes. The closest grocery store is 5 minutes and there’s Boulder and Denver as needed for more service. >>> Eldorado Springs lies along the road in this first photo and on the foothills at the base of the mountains. Eldorado Springs is a contender if we can find the right house at the right price.
GOLDEN - has a neat downtown kind of like Monrovia’s. Several restaurants, shops. The Coors brewery is still brewing on the Clear Creek river. There are some shuttered, big Coors buildings north downtown. Wondering if they’ll convert or demolish the buildings. Walked along most of downtown – seems safe; came across a couple of homeless. Housing here is about $1 million for a fixer-upper that's about 2,000 sqft. I didn't get good vibes here like I did in Eldorado Springs and I wonder what this place will become once Coors shuts down the brewery.
Before heading back to Nederland, I stopped in Boulder at a really cool Whole Foods - the Whole Foods here are much better than those at home - clean and what looks to be higher quality. I hit the salad bar and loaded up a big box for dinner. See here >>> it's called "Ideal Market" although it's now a Whole Foods. See further below for the rest of the retro-looking shops.
By the time I reached Nederland, it was pouring rain, so I didn't hike around the reservoir as planned nor did I take pics. Instead, I wolfed down the salad and went to bed. It was 6:30 p.m. Dave called me at 9 p.m. :-)
Checked out of the Nederland Airbnb; headed toward Boulder, then north from Boulder with the plan to drive to Fort Collins. Grabbed a terrible coffee from Bill’s Bagels; no luck this trip with coffee.
Per Zillow, Realtor.com, remodel-necessary, homes less than 2,000 sqft are at a minimum, $1.1 million north of Boulder all the way toward Fort Collins.
Headed up the 36 and quickly noticed a drastic reduction in pine and tree density. Also, saw many bikers along the 36 headed north at this time - about 8:30 a.m.
Decided to stop in Lyons and explore – see review below. When finished exploring Lyons, decided to not go to Fort Collins given that it’s unlikely we would live anywhere further from Boulder or Denver than Lyons. Headed southeast to Hygiene – see review below. Continued south of Hygiene on 75th street; when at about Lagerman Reservoir, noticed a ton of new home construction – tall, densely packed homes – looks like a new community with nearby business park. Never reached Valmont; ended up reaching north Boulder and parked it at a Barnes and Nobles at around 10:30 a.m. to hang out until lunch time.
LYONS – found a relatively recent constructed housing area encompassing a new middle / high school.
And, there’s ground clearing and “explosive activity” in a wide area adjacent to the recent housing. I’m thinking they’re clearing for more home construction. The housing area is called, "Lyons Valley Park". They have a pickle ball court. The Lyons downtown is rustic; stopped at a local coffee house – very good drip coffee and excellent hot chai latte. The drive from Boulder is about 20 minutes, no traffic. ACTION ITEM: find out about the new construction in Lyons. Research this area (supermarket, pharmacy, etc) as well as traffic to/from Boulder and Denver. Lyons is a contender if we can find the right house at the right price.
HYGIENE – very mellow, relaxed farmland (corn!) areas and cattle, horse ranches. A lot of bikers and runners here too. Hygiene is too far from the mountains and not a good match for us.
WESTMINSTER - feels like Irvine - 90's style wide streets, housing tracks, apartments. There are quite a few homes for sale in the neighborhood I'm staying here about 20 minutes outside of Boulder. Although this area is nice and it offers trails, local hiking, it's too far from the mountains. I'm staying here tonight and the next night at a ginourmous Airbnb (clean and cheap!).Sorry, no pics - just picture Irvine.