Nestled amidst the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Georgetown, Colorado, is a hidden gem that promises visitors a delightful blend of history, outdoor adventures, and small-town charm. With its well-preserved Victorian architecture, rich mining history, and stunning natural beauty, this historic town has much to offer. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Georgetown has something for everyone. Let’s explore the top things to do in this enchanting destination.
1. Georgetown Loop Railroad
Step back in time as you embark on a journey aboard the Georgetown Loop Railroad. This historic narrow-gauge railway takes you on a scenic ride through the breathtaking mountains. You’ll cross high trestles, navigate hairpin turns, and learn about the region’s mining history. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a must-do activity for families and history lovers alike.
2. Historic Georgetown
Wander through the charming streets of Georgetown, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by well-preserved Victorian-era buildings. Visit the Hamill House Museum, an exquisite mansion that offers a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy in the 19th century. Stroll along Sixth Street, lined with unique boutiques, cafes, and art galleries. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon of shopping and exploration.
3. Guanella Pass Scenic Byway
For those seeking outdoor adventures, the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway is a dream come true. This 22-mile drive takes you through the heart of the Rocky Mountains, offering breathtaking views, hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. In the fall, the changing aspen leaves create a mesmerizing display of colors. The byway is also the gateway to the famous Mount Bierstadt trail for hikers looking to conquer a “fourteener.”
4. Silver Plume
A short drive from Georgetown, you’ll find the charming town of Silver Plume. Explore this historic mining town with its colorful buildings and the fascinating George Rowe Museum. Learn about the region’s mining past and the lives of the people who lived in this rugged landscape.
5. Georgetown Lake
Cool off in the summer or enjoy some ice fishing in the winter at Georgetown Lake. Surrounded by mountains, this serene lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and picnicking. It’s an ideal spot for a family outing or a relaxing day by the water.
6. Winter Activities
Georgetown isn’t just a summer destination; it’s also a winter wonderland. The area offers great opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. If you’re a fan of downhill skiing and snowboarding, you’re just a short drive away from major resorts like Loveland Ski Area and A-Basin.
7. Georgetown’s Annual Events
Throughout the year, Georgetown hosts various events that showcase its vibrant community spirit. From the annual Christmas Market in December to the summer Guanella Pass Hill Climb bicycle race, there’s always something happening in town. Check the event calendar to plan your visit accordingly.
8. Enjoy Local Cuisine
Don’t miss out on the local dining scene in Georgetown. You can savor hearty meals at historic establishments like The Alpine Restaurant and The Happy Cooker. And, of course, no visit is complete without a stop at Georgetown Candy Company for some old-fashioned sweets.
9. Georgetown Energy Museum
Dive deeper into the town’s mining history with a visit to the Georgetown Energy Museum. This interactive museum provides a fascinating insight into the region’s energy history, featuring exhibits on geothermal energy, hydroelectric power, and the early days of electricity in Georgetown.
10. Georgetown Gallery
Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Georgetown Gallery, a local art cooperative showcasing the works of talented artists from the area. You can browse and purchase a wide variety of art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and more. It’s an excellent opportunity to support local artists and take home a unique piece of Georgetown.
11. Ice Cream Social at the Hamill House
During the summer months, don’t miss the Ice Cream Social events hosted at the Hamill House Museum. These charming gatherings allow you to step back in time and enjoy homemade ice cream served in the elegant gardens of the historic Hamill House. It’s a delightful experience for families and history enthusiasts alike.
12. Georgetown Valley Candy Company
Indulge your sweet tooth at the Georgetown Valley Candy Company. This local confectionery shop is famous for its handmade fudge, chocolates, and other delectable treats. You can also watch the candy-making process, making it a delightful stop for visitors of all ages.
13. Georgetown Christmas Market
If you’re visiting Georgetown during the holiday season, be sure to explore the Georgetown Christmas Market. This traditional European-style market features artisan vendors, festive decorations, live music, and delicious holiday treats. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit and find unique gifts.
14. Georgetown Art Festival
During the summer months, Georgetown hosts an annual Art Festival, showcasing the talents of local and regional artists. You can peruse a wide variety of artwork, from paintings to jewelry and sculptures, and meet the artists behind the creations. It’s a fantastic way to appreciate the vibrant arts community in Georgetown.
15. Guanella Pass Brewery
For craft beer enthusiasts, a visit to the Guanella Pass Brewery is a must. This local microbrewery offers a selection of handcrafted beers with a mountain twist. Whether you prefer IPAs, stouts, or lagers, you can relax in the brewery’s welcoming atmosphere and savor some unique brews.
16. Hiking and Backpacking
Georgetown is surrounded by an abundance of hiking and backpacking trails for adventurers of all levels. Whether you’re interested in a leisurely stroll or a challenging backcountry trek, you’ll find the perfect trail. Popular options include the Silver Dollar Lake Trail, which offers stunning alpine lake views, and the Herman Gulch Trail, known for its wildflowers and alpine meadows.
17. Bird Watching
Bird watchers will appreciate the diverse avian life in the Georgetown area. Grab your binoculars and explore the local trails and parks to spot a variety of bird species. Georgetown Lake is a particularly good spot for bird watching, with its mix of waterfowl and migratory birds.
In conclusion, Georgetown, Colorado, is a destination that offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventures, or simply seeking a peaceful getaway, this charming town has something for everyone. The blend of Victorian elegance, natural beauty, and vibrant community events make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the heart of the Rockies. Plan your trip to Georgetown, and prepare to be charmed by this hidden Colorado treasure.