Best of Boulder 2012: Fitness & Health

Boulder Weekly Staff | Boulder Weekly

Alternative Health Care Provider


1109 Portland Place, 303-442-6161

Second Place: Chautauqua Health

Third Place: Rolf Institute of Structural Integration

Fourth Place: Hellos Integrated Medicine

Fifth Place: Mountain Acupuncture Clinic

One day, someone on staff got the sniffles so we Googled natural remedies. Ever since, we’ve been swallowing two cloves of garlic twice a day to prevent colds at their onset. And it works almost every time someone tracks in a bug, or a vampire, — if we get to the garlic in time. That’s part of the beauty of alternative health care. And year after year, naturopathic physician Charley Cropley helps others practice that beauty. He teaches people the natural way to work with their bodies to heal instead of bombarding them with foreign drugs: no medicines and no cures. It’s a method that may seem unconventional, even though it’s been within us the whole time.

Medical Marijuana Wellness Center


845 Walnut St., 303-459-4676

Second Place: The Farm

Third Place: Helping Hands

Fourth Place: Boulder Kind Care/14er Holistics (tie)

Fifth Place: Terrapin Care Station

The Dandelion is just one of the many medical marijuana wellness centers in Boulder. So what sets the store apart and makes it the best in Boulder? For one, the hospitable and knowledgeable staff welcomes patients into a stress-free atmosphere. Second, patients have a wide variety of quality options for medication, from edibles to beverages to tinctures and more. Whether you need indicas, sativas or a hybrid, The Dandelion has a wide assortment to choose from. There are daily deals on many products, including ounces, edibles and oils. The deals get even better when you join the membership program, which has a multitude of benefits for patients who assign The Dandelion as their caregiver. The store strives to educate its patients about their medication and to make its customers’ experiences the best they can be.

Medical Facility


1100 Balsam Ave., 303-440-2273

Second Place: Boulder Community Foothills Hospital

Third Place: Boulder Medical Center

Fourth Place: Kaiser Permanente

Fifth Place: Avista Adventist Hospital

Best medical facility is a lot like having a best cop category. You’re not likely to be sitting around, wishing for an opportunity to see one, but when you need one, few things are more appreciated. The fact that Boulder Community Hospital won this category tells us a few things. First, that most of the people going in eventually make it back out and are happy with their care, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able and willing to vote for the place. Second, we’re pretty sure that most of the people driving around with those green and white “native” bumper stickers were born there, and that has to be an advantage when it comes to gleaning votes.

Chiropractic Care


2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite C2, 303-440-8019

Second place: Café of Life

Third place: Duggan Chiropractic

Fourth place: Swan Lake Chiropractic Clinic

Fifth place: North Boulder Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is an all-natural approach to reaching a healthy physical balance by relieving the stresses in the spine, muscles and joints. Hence the clever name of our winner, The Joint. Or maybe the name doesn’t have anything to do with that. We don’t care. All any of us need to know is that our readers think that the businesses above can help you feel and live better, and that’s good enough for us.

Climbing Gym


2829 Mapleton Ave., 303-447-2804

Second Place: Movement Climbing

Third Place: The Spot Bouldering Gym & Climbing School

Fourth Place: Lakeshore Athletic Club

Fifth Place: Colorado Athletic Training School

If you’ve got to stay in climbing shape over the cold, winter months — and let’s face it, you do — then you’ll want a climbing gym that’s going to treat you right and keep you entertained.

The Boulder Rock Club is the place you can go where everybody knows your name, where the staff at the front desk plays music that’ll get you partying in your harness — not while you’re belaying, of course ­— and the routes are reset regularly enough to keep even gym climbing from getting as dull and repetitive as things with the word “gym” in them occasionally do.

They’re testing out new ropes, and their route setters occasionally place totally wicked and absurd climbs that defy the standards of gym climbing and get you working on skills you’ll use when you’re climbing where you really want to be climbing: outside.

When you want to go outside, the BRC’s Colorado Mountain School can guide you in the great outdoors, too.

Of course, we have nice things to say about the chic Movement Climbing and its plentiful routes and bountiful fitness and yoga classes, including acro yoga, and The Spot’s devotion to bouldering fiends, too. After all, any climbing must be good climbing, or “buildering” never would have evolved.

Dance Studio


2590 Walnut St. Suite 10, 303-443-0028

Second Place: Alchemy of Movement

Third Place: Streetside Studios

Fourth Place: The Avalon Ballroom

Fifth Place: Kakes Studio

First position for dance studio goes to the Boulder Ballet. The studio has been a Boulder staple since the early ’80s for anyone who wants to learn the craft — whether just a hobby or as a serious career. The company puts on classic shows like the Nutcracker and Cinderella. Boulder Ballet’s classes are for all ages.

The studio makes an effort to target boys with classes like boys ballet and the multidisciplinary class Boyz dance. Outside of ballet, the studio offers other fitness classes and even a nutrition class called “Diet for Dancers.”

Day Spa


900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696

Second Place: Essentiels Day Spa

Third Place: ten20 Spa

Fourth Place: Finishing Touch Spa

Fifth Place: Sensorielle Spa

After a long day hiking Chautauqua or biking around town, Boulderites need a place to relax and treat their bodies to the ultimate pampering. The St Julien Hotel day spa takes first place for making its patrons feel luxurious. It offers a variety of different treatments, including manicures, facials, massages and skin services. The spa is also equipped with steam rooms, saunas, a relaxation lounge, lap pools and a fitness center. But if that’s not enough, the St Julien also offers “experiences” such as the heavenly sounding Head-to-Toe Delight, which features a sugar scrub, massage, body wrap, hot oil scalp massage and a finale dip into a rose petal bath.

Dental Care


3400 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-2129

Second Place: Boulder Smiles

Third Place: North Boulder Dental

Fourth Place: Alpine Dentistry

Fifth Place: Stephen Koral

Braces and cavities and flossing, oh my! To some, the dentist may be more terrifying than all of Dorothy’s feared yellow brick road encounters combined. However, even the most drill-shy, cavity-ridden person won’t cower away from Comfort Dental. Whether it’s a simple tooth cleaning or a more complicated root canal surgery, these dentists can keep a mouth healthy and a wallet full. Besides treating various sorts of mouth malfunctions, Comfort Dental, along with other local dentists like runner-up contestant Boulder Smiles, offer preventive care such as oral cancer screenings. Consider Comfort Dental the Oz of dentists, and with dozens of offices throughout Colorado, a tooth checkup is just a click of the heels (and a short car drive) away.

Golf Course


5706 Arapahoe Ave., 303-442-7851

Second Place: Boulder Country Club

Third Place: Haystack Mountain Golf

Fourth Place: Indian Peaks Golf Club

Fifth Place: Coal Creek Golf Course

The first written record of distilling Scotch Whiskey is appropriately found in Scotland and dated from 1494. It is equally fitting that shortly thereafter, drunken Scotsmen started playing a game wherein they used sticks to hit a rock across a field and into a small hole. We can only guess that they found it equally exhilarating and frustrating. Golf was born.

Back then, drinking drove the Scots to golf. Today, golf drives those of us who play the game to drink. Either way, our readers know that playing a round at Flatirons beats the heck out of a hard day at the office, sheep-herding or a big plate full of hagus. Win or lose, we suggest hitting the 19th hole for a single malt before adding up your score. That way you’re always a winner.

Gym/Fitness Center


1821 30th St., 303-501- 1700

Second Place: 24-Hour Fitness

Third Place: YMCA

Fourth Place: Flatiron Athletic Club

Fifth Place: North Boulder Rec Center

Boulder is consistently hailed as one of the fittest towns in America, so we know us Boulderites take our workouts seriously. Twig Salon Taking this year’s award for the best gym/fitness center in the super-fit Republic of Boulder is the Colorado Athletic Club. Boosting the Club’s favorable reputation is their aquatic center — open year round — and popular group classes like hot yoga and Pilates.

Hair Salon


1831 Pearl St., 303-447-0880

Second Place: The Parlour

Third Place: Salon Salon

Fourth Place: Side Door

Fifth Place: Urban Pearl

What do the environment and to-die-for hair have in common?

Touted as Boulder’s most eco-friendly hair salon, Twig takes environmental concerns as seriously as the hair on your head.

The salon is dedicated to not only teasing out your natural beauty, but also to preserving the natural beauty of the planet. They offset their energy use, recycle all their color tubes and foils, and are a zero-waste paper salon. In fact, it seems like the only thing that travels from this salon to a landfill is your hair. Aside from their sustainability efforts, Twig offers topnotch hair care services sure to make you feel your best. And, gentlemen, this salon is not just for the ladies. They offer men folk an array of services as well.

Lasik Services


1810 30th St., Suite B, 303- 499-2020

Second Place: Boulder Eye Surgeons

Third Place: InSight Lasik — Boulder

Fourth Place: Eyecare Center of Northern Colorado

Catch 22. If you can’t read this, you probably need to. Or, if you can read this but only by looking through that pair of glasses that you lose daily, sit on monthly and complain about constantly, then keep reading.

Don’t ask us how it works. But they’ve figured out how to shine a little laser in your eye and make you see just as good as you could when you were a kid, unless, of course, you couldn’t see that good when you were a kid — in which case, you’ll see better. Our readers picked Boulder Eyes as their favorite place for Lasik. So if you’re having to have somebody read this to you out loud, you might want to give them a call.

Martial Arts


1676 30th St., 303-443-8773

Second Place: Easton Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu

Third Place: Boulder Quest Center

Fourth Place: Boulder Kung Fu

Fifth Place: Boulder Aikikai

Martial arts classes are great for learning patience, control, respect and how to break a board in half with your forehead. Punching and blocking its way to the top spot for martial arts classes is Boulder Karate. Youngsters and older folks alike head to Boulder Karate to learn some wax-on, wax-off skills, and generally find out how to be a better ninja. And who doesn’t want to be a better ninja. Other than pirates, of course.



900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696

Second Place: Massage Envy

Third Place: Essentiels Day Spa

Fourth Place: Bodywork Bistro

Fifth Place: Boulder College of Massage Therapy

After a long, stressful week of hiking in the Flatirons, drinking homemade kombucha, protecting prairie dog habitats and enjoying 80-degree days in the spring, a Boulderite might be in need of some relaxation and a good rubdown. What better way to spend one of those sunny afternoons than inside Boulder’s swankiest hotel? For a truly decadent massage experience, the St Julien Hotel & Spa has massage therapists certified in a number of different types of massage, including couples, deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone, foot, prenatal, and pressure point.

Medical Marijuana Evaluation Service


3000 Center Green Drive, Suite 130, 303- 404-2232

Second Place: The Dandelion

Third Place: Relaxed Clarity

Fourth Place: GrassRoots Medical Clinic

Fifth Place: Boulder Kind Care

Care of the Soul author Thomas Moore once said, “Nothing is more suitable for care of the soul than family.” This idea is clear at Fully Alive Medicine. The integrative holistic family practice strives to treat and prevent long-lasting diseases and to teach its patients how to best take care of themselves. Shared medical appointments allow patients to get treatment with others who have the same or similar conditions, while also having a built-in support group and receiving ongoing education. With more than 100 collective years of experience in treating patients, primary care practitioners Dr. Rob Ivker, Dr. Joe Cohen and Dr. Todd Nelson help patients by creating self-care treatment plans designed to empower patients in their own care. The FAM group considers themselves a family that focuses on a family practice for the whole person: body, mind and soul.

Barber Shop


2790 Pearl St., 303-442-2279

Second Place: Al’s Barber Shop

Third Place: Silver & Gold Barbers and Stylists

Fourth Place: Northside Barbers

Fifth Place: Alpine Barbers

The traditional barbershop isn’t quite in danger of going the way of the dodo, but it’s in the same category as the Couch’s Spadefoot — threatened. Barbers, those who went to an actual barber college, are now outnumbered 10 to 1 by hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists, who all ply a similar trade to the traditional man-withthe-candy-cane-striped pole. You, dear reader, have selected Floyd’s 99 Barbershop as the best place to revive this dying art, with Al’s Barber Shop coming in second. Go before the barber’s pole and the straight razor become nothing more than fixtures in the Smithsonian.

Nail Salon


3280 28th St., 303-444-4841

Second Place: Ten20

Third Place: Star Nails

Fourth Place: Iris Nails

Fifth Place: Polish

Hot, steamy paraffin wax, sensual arm massage, tough buffer, base coat, top coat, Skinny Dipping in Lake Michigan (that’s a nail polish color, men). For all you prudes out there — I’m talking about a manicure. And Boulder’s The Nail Studio will give you the best one you’ve ever had. Let their experts do your body right, and take care of your fingers and toes the way they were meant to be treated. You’ve only got 20 of those little piggies, you might as well let the friendliest and most professional ladies in town spoil ’em. If this super-popular joint is booked solid — which it very well might be — hit up Ten20, where you can grab some M&Ms, sip some Diet Coke, and get handpampered the downtown Boulder way.

Pilates Studio


3020 Carbon Pl., 303-444-2739

Second Place: Colorado Athletic Club

Third Place: Bolder Pilates

Fourth Place: Core Wisdom

Fifth Place: Body Dynamics

Joseph Pilates should have set up shop in years ago when he first created the core-strengthening exercises that share his name. In Boulder, where there is an emphasis on staying fit, Pilates is a favorite of those who want a great core workout, and this year Boulder Bodyworks was saluted by Best of Boulder voters as the best place to get your abs looking and feeling strong. The studio offers private Pilates instruction and group classes as well as yoga, physical therapy and massage. Their mission is to empower you and assist you in making positive changes in your life, your community and your world. And, of course, they’re there to help make your abs swimsuit-ready.

Ski Resort


2861 Eldora Ski Road, 303-440-8700

Second Place: Vail

Third Place: Winter Park/Mary Jane

Fourth Place: Copper Mountain

Fifth Place: Breckenridge

In a state riddled with some of the country’s best ski resorts, it can be hard to choose where to spend your weekends (or sick days). Eldora Mountain Resort’s convenient location only 20 miles from Boulder has made it a favorite among locals, whether they’re taking on the freestyle terrain or learning to pizza and french-fry on the bunny hill. The convenient bus from Boulder, excellent student rates and well-crafted kids program make this a great place to ski the day away and be home before dark.

Skin Care Services


1629 Canyon Blvd., 720-432-1108

Second Place: Sensorielle

Third Place: Six Persimmons

Fourth Place: Dermatology Specialists

Fifth Place: Avanti

In a place like Boulder, being environmentally conscious and eating organic food are always in fashion, which has kept the services of Divine Resonance popular. This year’s winner in skin care services gives its customers a way to be even more organic with skin treatments that include ayurvedic facials, Sapphire 3 abrasion, organic facelifts, aromagemtherapy, light therapy and much more.

If all those still aren’t enough to lure you and your “hippie chic” friends, Divine Resonance also offers “phenomenal touch” massage, where the massage therapist moves the body of the client in something that looks a bit like an interpretive dance.

Tanning Salon


1670 30th St., 303-447-8844

Second Place: Tans To Go

Third Place: Hottie Body Tans

Fourth Place: Liquid Sun

Fifth Place: Executive Tans

For some people, Boulder’s 300 days of sunshine just aren’t enough. For such people, hitting the tanning salon is the only way to get that bronze, oompa-loompa glow that we all love and admire. Veranda Sun is this year’s winner in the best tanning salon category. Veranda Sun has 18 tanning beds of all shapes and sizes, from the lay-down “Super Beds” and the “Ultra Sun Powerhouse 6000” to stand-up beds and the “Legacy Leg Tanner.” The salon also offers airbrush tanning for those who are less excited about exposing their bodies to UV rays, and teeth whitening to put the finishing touches on the “exotic beauty” look.

Veterinary Care


2323 55th St., 303-442-4030, option 2

Second Place: Alpine Hospital for Animals

Third Place: Boulder Natural Animal

Fourth Place: Arapahoe Animal Hospital

Fifth Place: Boulder Veterinary Hospital

Not only does the Humane Society of Boulder Valley provide Boulderites with their adorable adoptables, but they offer top-notch medical care for them, too. The HSBV veterinary clinic offers a variety of services, from lab work and dental care to the ol’ snip and clip (sorry, pooches, blame it on Bob Barker). And rather than have people avoid the vet because of financial reasons, HSBV offers low-interest payment plans and subsidized vet services for low-income families. They also participated in 9News’s 9PetCheck, which provided free wellness exams and rabies vaccinations in April. Even crotchety dogs love going to this clinic, probably because there’s always a soothing voice and a handful of treats at the ready, while humans enjoy HSBV because they leave with peace of mind and enough money to make rent.

Yoga Studio


1129 13th St., 303-440-8952

645 27th Way, 303-497-9642

3280 28th St., 303-440-3930

Second Place: Yoga Pod

Third Place: Om Time

Fourth Place: Little Yoga Studio

Fifth Place: Studio Be

In only two places in the world is it just naturally assumed that a yoga practice will fit into your lifecycle at some point: Boulder and yoga’s home country of India. Somewhere along the line, you are almost certain to be recommended, coerced and commanded by your naturopath; directed by your chiropractor; or advised by your doctor, your friends, your climbing partner, your hiking buddy, your personal trainer or your mom to breathe deeply, do a few downward-facing dogs, wring toxins out of your system with a few twists and attempt — and eventually manage — to stand on your head.

And in Boulder, the stamp of approval for practicing yoga with a guide goes to CorePower Yoga, once again the winner of our reader survey. Classes range from the amp-you-up CorePower Vinyasa to the craft-your-biceps Yoga Sculpt, from the heart-pumping vinyasa and hot yoga blend in Hot Power Fusion to the soothe your soul, calm your mind and heal your body CoreRestore classes.

Also bounce on over to the pleasant, home-grown institution Yoga Pod, our runner-up, for an alternate view on getting upside down.