Colorado is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, and the charming city of Golden is no exception. Nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Golden offers a delightful mix of outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and historical treasures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or foodie, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque city. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in Golden, Colorado.
1. Visit the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum:
Start your journey in Golden with a visit to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum. This museum is a hidden gem and a haven for geology lovers. You’ll find an impressive collection of minerals, fossils, gemstones, and even a moon rock! It’s both educational and fascinating.
2. Tour the Coors Brewery:
Golden is home to the Coors Brewery, one of the largest and most famous breweries in the United States. Join a guided tour to learn about the beer-making process, see the brewing equipment, and sample some of their products. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful views of Clear Creek and the surrounding mountains from the brewery.
3. Explore Clear Creek History Park:
Step back in time at the Clear Creek History Park, an open-air museum that recreates life in the 19th century. You can wander through historic buildings, interact with costumed interpreters, and get a glimpse into the past. It’s a perfect spot for history enthusiasts and families.
4. Hike North Table Mountain:
Outdoor enthusiasts will find a true paradise in North Table Mountain. The extensive trail network offers various difficulty levels, making it suitable for both novice and experienced hikers. The reward for your efforts is breathtaking panoramic views of Golden, Denver, and the surrounding mountains.
5. Raft or Kayak on Clear Creek:
For a thrilling adventure, consider rafting or kayaking on Clear Creek. The swift-flowing waters offer exciting opportunities for water sports. Several outfitters in the area provide equipment and guided tours for all experience levels.
6. Golden Gate Canyon State Park:
If you crave more outdoor adventures, head to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. This park features over 12,000 acres of forested land, hiking trails, and serene mountain lakes. You can camp, hike, bike, and even horseback ride here.
7. Visit the American Mountaineering Museum:
Golden is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, and the American Mountaineering Museum is a testament to this. The museum showcases the history of mountaineering, famous climbers, and the equipment they used. It’s a fascinating place to learn about the spirit of adventure.
8. Stroll through Downtown Golden:
Downtown Golden is a charming district filled with historic buildings, boutique shops, art galleries, and delicious restaurants. It’s a great place to explore, shop for unique gifts, and savor some local cuisine.
9. Attend an Event at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre:
While not technically in Golden, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a short drive away and hosts world-famous concerts and events. Check their schedule for upcoming performances and experience the incredible acoustics in this natural amphitheater.
10. Try Local Craft Beer and Cuisine:
Golden has a burgeoning craft beer scene, and it’s well worth sampling some local brews at the various breweries in town. Many of them also have delicious food menus. It’s a great way to wind down after a day of exploration.
11. Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave:
Learn about the life and legend of Buffalo Bill at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. This museum provides a glimpse into the Wild West era and showcases memorabilia, artifacts, and exhibits dedicated to this iconic American figure. Don’t forget to visit Buffalo Bill’s final resting place with its panoramic views of the plains and mountains.
12. Golden History Center:
To delve deeper into the history of Golden, make a stop at the Golden History Center. Here, you can explore the city’s history through interactive exhibits, photographs, and documents. The knowledgeable staff can provide valuable insights into the past.
13. Dinosaur Ridge:
If you’re a fan of paleontology, Dinosaur Ridge is a must-visit. This National Natural Landmark boasts well-preserved dinosaur tracks and fossils, making it a captivating destination for both adults and kids. Take a guided tour to fully appreciate the ancient history of the area.
14. Take a Scenic Drive:
Enjoy a scenic drive along the Lariat Loop National Scenic Byway. This 40-mile loop takes you through breathtaking mountain scenery and historic sites, including Lookout Mountain, where you can visit the grave of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
15. Shop at the Golden Farmers Market:
If you happen to visit Golden during the warmer months, don’t miss the Golden Farmers Market. This vibrant market offers fresh, locally sourced produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal goods. It’s an excellent way to support local businesses and discover unique items.
16. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre:
While you’re in the area, take some time to explore Red Rocks Park. This stunning park features dramatic rock formations and is an excellent place for hiking and picnicking. Even if you’re not catching a concert at the amphitheater, the venue itself is worth a visit.
17. The Golden Bike Library:
For a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, consider borrowing a bike from the Golden Bike Library. This service allows you to rent bicycles for free and explore Golden’s numerous bike trails and paths.
18. Rock Climbing at North Table Mountain:
North Table Mountain is a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. The unique geological formations provide excellent opportunities for climbing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find routes to challenge and inspire you.
19. Golf at Fossil Trace Golf Club:
If you’re a golfer, Fossil Trace Golf Club is a must-play course. This award-winning golf club offers a challenging and scenic course set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The course features unique rock formations, making it one of the most visually impressive courses in Colorado.
20. Experience Seasonal Events:
Keep an eye on the local events calendar, as Golden hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Golden Fine Arts Festival, Buffalo Bill Days, and more. These events showcase the city’s vibrant culture and community spirit.
Golden, Colorado, offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all interests and ages. Whether you’re intrigued by geology, fascinated by history, captivated by nature, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, this charming city has something for everyone. Make sure to put Golden on your travel list and explore the heart of Colorado.
So, pack your bags, prepare your hiking boots, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating city of Golden.