As a non-native of Colorado, I've learned a few lessons over the years about what sorts of activities work with visitors to my wonderful adopted state.

What works: Short, flat hikes; drinking craft beer; short drives in the nearby mountains.

What doesn't work: Steep hikes and saying "it's just ahead" when it's not; drinking too much craft beer, invoking an altitude hangover; long, twisty drives with people who are stuck exclaiming the beauty of our canyons and mountains between waves of nausea.

Now that it's summertime, you probably have friends and family who want to visit. You probably also have some, ahem, acquaintances who want to visit, so let's start the tips there:

Weed out the dips

You already have a lineup of friends and relatives you actually like clamoring to visit Boulder this summer. You don't have time for these dips from back wherever who want a summer base camp for rock climbing or pot tourism or avoiding paying the pet deposit for their new hamster or whatever.

The key is not to give them an opening. Because once they arrive, you'll be doing that whispering-in-your-bedroom thing about how the hell to pry them (and the hamster, who surprisingly walks on a leash) off your couch. So practice these phrases:

"Oh man, we already have Joe's entire bluegrass band staying here that weekend, totally full house, there's like 23 of them."


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"Oh no, I'm allergic to hamsters! Otherwise..."

"The next weekend? We're having the house bug-bombed. Bed bugs. So heinous. They're in the couch you'd be sleeping on."

Moderate everything

You're a Boulderite, so you're used to shenanigans like riding your bike 60 miles and then going for a beer and then going for a trail run after that and then working on your novella about eco-terrorists who train a bear to disrupt fracking operations for an hour when you get home, and then going out that night and drinking more and then meditating before your bedtime yoga.

But your guests -- these people you like, who you did not feed the bed bugs line to -- cannot keep up with this schedule. Perhaps they work at desks all day, and perhaps they do not bike 60 miles for fun. They might not even do bedtime yoga.

Dial it back a notch when you have visitors, brave Boulderite. You can be a badass again when they leave, but while they're here, just have a good time.

Little new things

If you've lived here a while, you've probably found yourself taking visitors to the same spots. Even if they're not bored with it, you will be.

So change it up. Dare to not go to Rocky Mountain National Park. Take not-so-active folks for an easy stroll around Wonderland Lake or on the South Boulder Creek Trail, because Boulder is beautiful.

Also, pop into unusual places. On one memorable visit, my family stopped at a now-defunct coffee roaster in Ward, where a couple of high dudes showed my folks how to roast beans, and the dirtier of the two shared his chai with my mom.

She still talks about that mountain chai.