The Boulder Theater plays host to big-name acts and big fun. DeVotchKa is pictured here playing at the storied venue.
The Boulder Theater plays host to big-name acts and big fun. DeVotchKa is pictured here playing at the storied venue. ( Zak Wood )

The best entertainment spots in Boulder, as voted on by Colorado Daily readers, are as follows:

BEST MUSIC

VENUE

Boulder Theater

2032 14th St.

303-786-7030

bouldertheater.com

Locals voted the Boulder Theater as their favorite music venue.

It's no surprise, as the downtown nightclub features a wide assortment of indie, acoustic, rock, jam and jazz acts. Plus, the venue offers an amazing sound system and a very cool vintage ambience.

The theater always brings in big national acts like Jeff Tweedy, Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, Medeski Martin & Wood and the Broken Social Scene, and shows off up-and-coming local bands.

The Boulder Theater also hosts movies and film festivals, and lots of special events. In addition, the staff's always friendly and helpful.

RUNNER-UP

Fox Theatre

1135 13th St.

303-443-3399

foxtheatre.com

BEST MUSIC

FESTIVAL

CU WelcomeFest

Held on Farrand Field, CU Boulder

303-492-7704

programcouncil.com

Score another one for the CU Program Council.

Every August, PC hosts a free concert on CU's Farrand Field that's been dubbed WelcomeFest. The event is strictly for students-- and every year the event features up-and-coming indie artists.

Past WelcomeFests have featured 3OH!3, Pretty Lights, Girl Talk and Chiddy Bang. All the shows packed Farrand Field with 10,000 students.

You can bet something big's planned for this August.

RUNNER-UP

Steven Keys, 23, of Boulder, catches some air during the opening day of Eldora Ski Resort in November last year.
Steven Keys, 23, of Boulder, catches some air during the opening day of Eldora Ski Resort in November last year. ( Jeremy Papasso )

Snowball Music Festival

snowballmusicfestival.com

BEST SKI RESORT

Eldora Mountain Resort

21 miles west of Nederland

303-440-8700

eldora.com

Who has the time and money to travel to expensive ski resorts?

Eldora Mountain Resort is located 20 miles up Boulder Canyon and you can get there by bus. The bus trip is free -- if you have an Eco Pass.

The local ski resort offers affordable ski packages, lesson for all levels, 11 lifts, 680 acres of skiing, free parking and lots of special events.

RUNNER-UP

Vail

vailsnow.com

BEST SPA

Essentiels Spa

2660 Canyon Blvd.

303-440-0711

When Boulderites want to relax and be pampered, they head over to the Essentiels Spa.

The spa's located in Boulder's Marriott Hotel and offers a wide variety of services.

Clients can enjoy massages, facials, body wraps and a variety of services found at elite spas.

RUNNER-UP

St. Julien Hotel and Spa

900 Walnut St.

720-406-9696

www.stjuliencom

Colorado Daily readers named Essentiels Spa as the city’s best spa.
Colorado Daily readers named Essentiels Spa as the city's best spa. ( MARTY CAIVANO )

BEST RUNNING AND HIKING TRAIL

Mount Sanitas

.05 mile west of Fourth St. on Mapleton Ave.

303-441-3440

bouldercolorado.gov/index

Boulder's one of the healthiest towns in America, and a good chunk of the population loves to run and hike.

Locals picked Mount Sanitas as their favorite place to run, hike and walk. The beautiful trail is located west of the Pearl Street Mall, so it's close enough for easy access and far enough away to feel like you're really in the mountains.

The trails are perfect and the scenery is inspiring. That's why Boulder loves to hike Mount Sanitas.

RUNNER-UP

Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park, 900 Baseline Rd.

303-442-3282

chautauqua.com

BEST OPTICAL

STORE

Aspen Eyewear

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-303-447-0210

aspeneyewear.com

Aspen Eyewear is a third-generation company that's been operating in the Boulder area for over 50 years.

Locals head over to the eye store for its on-site custom-lab, friendly staff, speed of delivery and repair work.

Aspen Eyewear sells a wide-variety of glasses, sunglasses and frames. Plus, the store offers an independent eye specialist that deals with contact lenses and eye exams.

RUNNER-UP: TIE

College Optical

1310 College St.

303-444-3092

collegeopticalboulder.com

Wink Optical

3301 30th St.

303-443-4311

winkoptical.net

BEST POOL

TABLES

Sundown Saloon

1136 Pearl St.

303-449-4987

This isn't the place where you take mom and dad when they come to town, but locals love to play pool at the Sundown Saloon.

The underground nightspot is the ultimate college hangout. This is the place where you can down PBRs, play a mean game of foosball, get in a few games of pool -- and hear a live band once in awhile.

Last year, local rockers Rose Hill Drive played a free show for Boulder fans at the Sundown.

Ultimately, locals head down to the Sundown to catch a good game of pool. There are loads of tables and it's a relaxed atmosphere to work on your game.

RUNNER-UP

The Connection

Located in CU's University Memorial Center

303-492-6338

BEST LOCAL

MUSICIAN/

GROUP

Words in Flight

myspace.com/wordsinflight

It's a very DIY world in the music industry. Bands are recording music in their basement and surfacing from the underground, so there are a lot of Colorado groups popping up out of the blue.

Words In Flight plays a mix of indie, pop and rock. The local band cites Radiohead, The Decemberists and Bob Dylan as its major influences. The band's been building its following playing local venues like the Dark Horse.

Full disclosure: One member of the band works for the Camera, the Daily's sister paper.

RUNNER-UP

Jeff Brinkman

dithyrambmusic.com

BEST EYE

CARE PROVIDER

Aspen Eyewear

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-303-447-0210

aspeneyewear.com

See Best Optical Shop.

RUNNER-UP: TIE

Beyer Laser Center

1810 30th St.

303-499-2020

bouldereyes.com

Envision Boulder

1011 Pearl St.303-939-8021www.envisionboulder.com

BEST BIKE SHOP

University Bikes

839 Pearl St.

303-444-4196

ubike.com

Boulderites love to bicycle, so when they're looking to purchase a bike or repair their vehicle, they head down to University Bikes.

The bike store features a wide variety of bicycles for sale, and they offer all kinds of bike accessories. University Bikes also provides custom bike fitting and rentals.

Plus, the staff's friendly and knowledgeable, and the repair work is first-rate.

RUNNER-UP

Full Cycle

839 Pearl St.

303-444-4196

ubike.com

1795 Pearl St. and 1211 13th St.

303-440-1002 and 303-440-7771

fullcyclebikes.com

BEST OUTDOOR

GEAR STORE

REI Boulder

1789 28th St.

303-583-9970

rei.com

REI has been of one Boulder's favorite outdoor stores since 2002. This year, Boulder voted REI its favorite outdoor gear store.

REI is known for its extensive selection of gear and outdoor clothing, rental equipment, and ski, snowboard and bike services.

Locals also enjoy the free outdoors classes that REI offers. You can learn about everything from avalanche survival to bike maintenance at these workshops.

RUNNER-UP: TIE

Boulder Army Store

1545 Pearl St.

303-442-7616

boulderarmystore.com

Neptune Mountaineering

633 S. Broadway St.

303-499-8866

neptunemountaineering.com

BEST SKI AND SNOWBOARD SHOP

Boulder Ski Deals

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-938-8799

boulderskideals.com

Locals head over to Boulder Ski Deals once the first snowflakes hit town.

Boulderites know they can find sweet deals on downhill skis, snowboards, telemark and cross-country equipment, outdoor gear and rentals at this ski store.

Boulder Ski Deals is also known for its knowledgeable staff and convenient location.

RUNNER-UP

Christy Sports

2000 30th St.

303-442-2493

christysports..com