To someone who fails to look carefully, Golden, CO, may seem like a sleepy little drive-through town on your way to Boulder. But for those who know where to look for quality over quantity, Golden packs a punch. It is home to one of the largest and most successful brewing operations in America - Coors Brewery - and sits near two impressive mountains that supply hiking, climbing, mountain biking and general oohs and aahs for all.
Welcome to Golden — Photo courtesy of Ken Lund
Coors Brewery tour
Start off your day right . . . with a beer. Tours run Thursday through Monday at Coors Brewery and operate under special hours on Sundays. Transit is available if you're open to busing in from Boulder or Denver. On the tour, you'll learn about the company's history, see the facility and, of course, sample the brews.
This children's park offers musicals and family-friendly plays, a gift shop, carousel and adventure rides. Located near Red Rocks, Heritage Square is the perfect place to spend a few hours before you make your way to the amphitheater.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
You'd be remiss if you went down to Golden for the day and didn't at least stop into famed concert venue Red Rocks Amphitheater. If you can't score tickets, many people go during the day to walk or run the stairs, have a picnic and just admire the general splendor.
Red Rocks in Golden — Photo courtesy of Red Rocks Ampitheater
Known for its local spots, Golden is home to great eats including restaurant Buffalo Rose, which will serve you up one of the best buffalo burgers in the state of Colorado. This saloon-style bar features live music, local beer on draft and a lively atmosphere.
You can also stop in to watch the Broncos play, since TVs aren't in short supply. Eat here for lunch or dinner.
Climbing and hiking
Golden sits in the shadow of two scenic and impressive mountains - Mt. Zion and Lookout Mountain - both of which protect against urban sprawl and give the town a tucked-away sort of feel. Hiking and rock climbing can be found in abundance for you avid outdoorsmen/women. Why not make one of these activities your primary adventure for the day?
A good climbing spot includes the cliffs of North Table Mountain (aka, the Golden Cliffs), while Apex Trail, Clear Creek Trail and Chimney Gulch Trail are the best places to hike in Golden. Note: These spots can be crowded on the weekend, so take a weekday trip to Golden to beat the climbing and hiking crowds.
With all of the activities in and near Golden, you'll be tempted to make it a destination for your next Colorado adventure.