Golden, Colorado is a charming and historic mountain town located at the base of the Rocky Mountains and just 20 minutes away from Denver. Known for its stunning views, phenomenal hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, fly fishing, kayaking and golfing, Golden is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re looking to hike in the mountains, sample craft beers at one of the many local breweries, or explore the charming downtown area, Golden has something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the many attractions and activities that Golden has to offer, and share some tips on how to make the most of your visit.
Experience a mountain getaway without the drive or the traffic. Golden offers authentic, small town charm in a gorgeous setting. There’s ample parking and easy access, making Golden a perfect spot to stroll and shop.
Golden is the world’s biggest little beer town. The city is home to nine craft breweries and the
world’s largest single site brewery, Coors. Golden produces more beer than any other city in the
Top things to do in Golden
1. Clear Creek Trail and Golden History Museum
Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along Clear Creek, which runs through the heart of Golden. Along the creek trail you’ll stumble across the Golden History Museum! Check out the one room schoolhouse and frontier cabin, blacksmith shop, chicken coop and heritage gardens.
The creek is also popular for rafting and kayaking in the summer months.
2. Lookout Mountain
Take a drive up to the summit of Lookout Mountain for incredible panoramic views of the Front Range and the Denver metropolitan area. There are several different trails starting from the top parking lot, as well as a nature center which offers interactive exhibits as well as a hands-on play room for kids!
3. Colorado Railroad Museum
This one in particular is especially fun for train-obsessed kiddos! The Colorado Railroad museum is dedicated to preserving the state’s rich railroad history and features a collection of more than 100 narrow and standard gauge steam and diesel engines, passenger cars, cabooses and Gondolas. Visitors can take a ride on the museum’s narrow-gauge train and explore the extensive collection of artifacts and photographs that tell the story of Colorado’s railway history. The museum also has a library and research center for those interested in learning more about the state’s railway heritage. The museum is open year-round, and there are special events and train rides on select days. It’s a great place to visit for families, train enthusiasts, and history buffs.
Our favorite time to visit this museum is over the holidays when the Polar Express event is being run! Our kids loved watching the shows, writing a letter to Santa, taking the immersive train ride along with all the characters from the movie, and of course eating all the yummy treats.
4. Outdoor Rock Climbing
5. Attend a Red Rocks Concert
This is one of the most unique concert venues in the world, and a bucket list experience. You can visit this in the daytime to see the amphitheater, or book tickets to one of the many phenomenal concerts for the full immersive experience!
Best time to visit Golden
Golden is a great family friendly destination that offers something for everyone throughout the year! During the summer months, you can take advantage of the loads of biking, kayaking, and hiking opportunities that the area has to offer. The Rocky Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for these activities, and the warm weather makes it the perfect time to explore pretty much anywhere in Colorado!
Winter in Golden is also a great time of year, with a wide variety of holiday activities, cross country skiing, nearby downhill skiing, sledding, and more. Our absolute favorite event to take place in Golden over the holidays is the Polar Express at the Colorado Railroad Museum. The snow-covered Rockies provide a picturesque setting for winter sports. There are many nearby ski resorts which offer a wide range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders, and Golden is conveniently the closest Front Range town to these ski resorts. This means you can skip the exuberant fees of staying in the ski towns if you’re only planning to go skiing a handful of times.
My personal favorite time of year in Golden is the fall. The leaves turn to a beautiful golden yellow, and the town is transformed into a stunning sea of gold. The cool temperatures and clear, sunny days make it the ideal time to take a leisurely stroll through Clear Creek Trail which cuts right through the heart of the town.
Where to Stay in Golden, Colorado
The Golden Hotel
The Golden Hotel is located in the heart of the charming mountain town and offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. It is just a short walk from the beautiful Clear Creek River. Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel’s Bridgewater Grill restaurant, which serves a variety of local and seasonal dishes.
Places to Eat
We had lunch at this place during our stay and the Thai food was delicious!
If you’re in the mood for some Mexican food, this is the place to be! They offer lots of great take out options, and you can check out their options here.
Cafe 13 has great coffee, yummy pastries and a small selection of sandwiches. It’s in the heart of downtown and an easy walk from basically anything in Golden.
In the mood for healthy bowls? Kona offers a wide variety of super-food packed bowls. Check out their menu here.
If you have some extra days…
If you’re lucky enough to be staying here for a longer period of time, Golden is conveniently just a short drive from Summit County’s best hikes, beautiful alpine lakes and world-class skiing!
Herman Gulch trail is my personal favorite in the spring and summer, as you can see many of the Colorado wildflowers starting to bloom. Mayflower Gulch is also a local favorite, with gorgeous views of the mountains, some log cabins and beautiful lakes!
Dillon Reservoir Trail boasts magnificent views of the largest lake in Summit county and is an easy hike right off the highway.