Ralphie V., the University of Colorado mascot, will be dressed for the cold.… (Associated Press )
USC Trojans football fans will find much to do as they arrive in Boulder for Friday night’s game against the University of Colorado Buffaloes. The city is tucked against the Rocky Mountain foothills 40 minutes northwest of Denver International Airport, making it an appealing destination even without a football game. Bon Appetit magazine has named Boulder "America's Foodiest Town," a designation reserved for a city with a population of less than 250,000.
WHERE TO GO: The Pearl Street Mall, a shopping and dining district reminiscent of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, but not as hectic.
Besides Pearl Street, there's Twenty Ninth Street, a planned development of shops and restaurants, and University Hill, the classic collegiate hodgepodge of bars, sandwich shops and burger joints.
The Hill is also home Boulder's seemingly endless array of restaurants that focus on seasonal and locally available ingredients. Try Café Aion for delicious and sometimes surprisingly well-priced food.
A local fave: The Kitchen, on Pearl Street, where the restaurant uses wind power for electricity.
ABOUT THAT WIND: Expect plenty of it, especially if you head out to Eldorado Canyon State Park, a stunning hiking and rock-climbing destination about eight miles from town.
THIS WEEKEND’S FORECAST
Thursday: Mostly sunny, highs in the mid-40s.
Friday: Mostly sunny in the morning, then partly cloudy. Highs in the mid-50s. Lows in the lower 30s Friday night.
Saturday: 20% chance of rain and snow. Highs in mid-40s
As of noon Wednesday, tickets to Friday’s 7 p.m. game were still available. Colorado University Athletic Ticket Office, (800) 872-8337.
Freelancer Robyn Norwood contributed to this report.