The Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do in Golden, Colorado

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do in Golden, Colorado


Imagine yourself standing on Lookout Mountain, feeling the wind whistle through the pines while a dazzling Colorado sunset paints the sky.

You can see the sprawling city of Denver far below, nestled among the vast Rocky Mountains.

Just a short while ago, you were wandering through Golden’s historic streets, enchanted by the echoes of the Wild West in its old-fashioned facades.

The smell of wood-fired pizza wafted from a lively patio, and the sound of laughter spilled out from a brewery onto the sidewalk.

This is Golden, Colorado – a place where wild landscapes meet small-town hospitality, where the thirst for adventure is as strong as the locally roasted coffee.

Get ready to leave your everyday routine behind and explore soaring peaks and wide-open spaces, trade your usual hangouts for historic saloons and hidden mountain trails.

Golden is calling, and a whole world of Rocky Mountain magic awaits.

Book your flight with Skyscanner to Golden and tour the famed Coors Brewery to learn about brewing history and sample some local beers.

FAQs about Golden, Colorado

Golden, Colorado from Lookout Mountain

 Is Golden, Colorado worth visiting?

Golden offers a unique blend of outdoor adventure, Wild West history, a charming downtown, and proximity to Denver – something for everyone.

What’s the best time of year to visit Golden?

Golden shines year-round. Summer is perfect for hiking and water activities. Fall brings stunning foliage. Winter offers cozy vibes and proximity to ski resorts. Spring is less crowded with pleasant weather.

Is Golden, Colorado expensive?

Golden tends to be slightly less expensive than Denver while offering a similar Colorado experience, making it a good value. Accommodation varies, so you can find options to fit different budgets.

Is Golden, Colorado family-friendly?

Yes! Museums, parks, the historic downtown, outdoor activities, and events create a welcoming atmosphere for families.

How do I get to Golden, Colorado?

You can fly into Denver International Airport (DEN) and take a rental car, shuttle, or light rail to Golden. It’s also easily accessible by car from within Colorado.

👉Stay in a riverside lodge in Golden for easy access to water sports on Clear Creek and scenic river walks.

Golden Outdoor Adventures That Will Leave You Breathless (And Not Just From the Altitude)

Rocky Mountians from the Top of Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado

Do you believe that outdoor adventure requires you to give up on comfort?

If so, let me tell you that Golden offers an experience that lets you conquer mountains in the morning and relax on a patio with craft beer in the afternoon.

The toughest choice you will have to make is to decide whether to go for a kayak or a comfy hiking boot.

Golden’s Mountainside Icon: Explore Lookout Mountain

Colorado - Golden: View from Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain rises majestically above Golden, a beacon for adventurers and history buffs alike.

With a captivating tagline like “Where Epic Views Meet Wild West Legends,” it’s easy to see why it’s a must-visit.

Why it’s Awesome:

Lookout Mountain offers a taste of everything that makes Golden so unique – stunning scenery, outdoor adventures, and a fascinating slice of Colorado history.

Things to Do:
  • Hike or bike to the top for panoramic views of Denver and the Rocky Mountains.
  • Visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave to learn about the iconic showman.
  • Explore the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve.
  • Drive the scenic Lariat Loop Road for unforgettable vistas.

👉Find the best flights to Golden on Skyscanner and hike the trails of Lookout Mountain for breathtaking views and a visit to Buffalo Bill’s grave.

Hikes with a View: 5 Must-Do Trails in Golden

Apex Trail - May 2013

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just enjoy a scenic stroll, Golden, Colorado delivers trails with stunning views that will make the climb worth every step.

Here are five highlights to put on your adventure list:

North Table Mountain Park:
  • Why it’s Awesome: A challenging climb rewarded with sweeping vistas and unique volcanic rock formations. Less crowded than Lookout Mountain.
  • Things to Do: Hike the main loop for a workout, or explore the network of surrounding trails. Keep an eye out for rock climbers!
Mount Galbraith Park:
  • Why it’s Awesome: A moderate hike with a mix of forest trails and meadow paths, offering beautiful mountain views and wildflowers in season.
  • Things to Do: Hike the main loop, connect with other trails in the foothills, or enjoy a picnic with a view.
Apex Park:
  • Why it’s Awesome: A network of trails with options for all levels, known for diverse terrain, wildflowers, and panoramic lookouts.
  • Things to Do: Tackle the challenging climb for killer views, choose easier trails, or try mountain biking.
Windy Saddle Park:
  • Why it’s Awesome: Easy-to-moderate trails winding through meadows and evergreen forests, perfect for a relaxed walk in nature.
  • Things to Do: Hike the main trail, opt for connecting paths in the foothills, or relax at the park with a picnic.

Important Note: Trail conditions change with weather, so check recent reports before heading out. Pack water, snacks, and sun protection, and remember to leave no trace behind!

👉Book a family-friendly hotel close to the Colorado Railroad Museum for a convenient and educational stay.

Conquer Clear Creek: Where Adventure Flows

Clear Creek, Golden, Colorado

Golden is a hub for water activities, with Clear Creek offering something for everyone, from gentle floats to thrilling whitewater. 

Why it’s Awesome:

Clear Creek offers varied experiences and easy access right in town.

Its clear mountain water is a refreshing escape on hot Colorado days.

Things to Do:
  • Whitewater Rafting: Gear up for an adrenaline rush as you paddle through thrilling rapids with experienced guides. Check out companies like Golden River Sports for tours.
  • Kayaking: Rent a kayak and explore the creek at your own pace, seeking out calmer stretches for a peaceful paddle.
  • Tubing: Grab an inflatable tube for a relaxing float with friends, perfect for soaking up the sunshine and scenery.
  • Clear Creek Trail: Follow this paved path along the creek for a scenic walk or casual bike ride.

Tip: Water levels and activity availability change seasonally. Check with local outfitters or the visitor center for up-to-date information.

👉Use Skyscanner to plan your trip to Golden for a day of kayaking and tubing on Clear Creek, perfect for family fun and adventure.

Where History Meets Hipster in Golden, Colorado

Golden, Colorado is not your typical historic mountain town.

Although it still retains echoes of its Wild West roots in its brick-lined streets and weathered facades, it also exudes a modern vibe that attracts artists, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking something a little different.

Golden seamlessly blends its rich past with a vibrant present, offering fascinating museums that transport you back in time, trendy local shops, and lively patios.

Here, history and modern life interweave to create a unique and welcoming atmosphere, where history doesn’t feel dusty but rather woven into the very fabric of the town’s identity.

Get ready to discover Golden, where the past and present meet in perfect harmony.

👉Find a cozy B&B near downtown Golden to enjoy local dining and shopping just steps from your door.

Coors Brewery: The Heartbeat of Golden

Colorado - Golden: Coors Brewery

You can’t mention Golden without the Coors Brewery.

It’s not just a place to drink beer, but a landmark that is an essential part of the town’s history and identity.

Why it’s Awesome:

Even if you’re not a big beer fan, the Coors Brewery Tour provides a captivating view of the brewing process on an enormous scale.

Additionally, it is the world’s most extensive single-site brewery, which is pretty impressive!

Things to Do:
  • Take the Coors Brewery Tour: Get an inside look at the malting, brewing, and packaging process, and delve into the company’s rich history.
  • Sample the freshest Coors: Enjoy complimentary samples of ice-cold Coors and its various beverages.
  • Explore the Gift Shop: Snag some Coors memorabilia and unique Colorado souvenirs.

Note: Adults 21+ get the full tasting experience, but all ages are welcome on the tour to learn about the brewing process.

👉Secure your flight with Skyscanner and explore the Colorado Railroad Museum, a hit with train enthusiasts of all ages.

Step Back in Time (and onto Buffalo Bill’s Grave):

Colorado - Golden: Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Experience the Wild West like never before by visiting the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave.

Learn about the life and legend of William F. Cody, the famous showman who brought the spirit of the Wild West to audiences around the world.

Embrace your inner cowboy or cowgirl and explore the rich history of this iconic figure.

Why it’s Awesome:

Buffalo Bill’s legacy as a scout and showman shaped our image of the Wild West. Visit his final resting place for stunning views atop Lookout Mountain.

Things to Do:
  • Explore engaging exhibits about Buffalo Bill’s life, his Wild West show, and the history of the American West.
  • Pay your respects at Buffalo Bill’s Grave and enjoy the breathtaking mountain vistas.
  • Browse the museum gift shop for unique Western-themed souvenirs.

👉Choose a cabin near Golden Gate Canyon State Park for a peaceful retreat in nature, ideal for stargazing and wildlife spotting.

Explore Golden’s Roots

For those fascinated by Golden’s story, two museums offer immersive journeys through time:

Golden History Museum & Park:

Step back in time and experience Golden’s evolution from a rough-and-tumble mining camp to a thriving town.

This 15-acre outdoor museum allows you to walk among preserved historic buildings, take a peek into a one-room schoolhouse, visit a blacksmith’s shop, and learn about the families who shaped Golden’s past.

You can even try your luck at panning for gold, feed the heirloom chickens, or simply relax and soak up the unique atmosphere of this historic site.

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum:

Unleash your inner geologist and discover the scientific marvels that have contributed to the formation of Colorado’s landscape.

Immerse yourself in exhibits that showcase the process of Earth’s creation, marvel at the astonishing collections of minerals and fossils, and be mesmerized by a room filled with fluorescent rocks that glow under special lighting.

This museum uncovers the hidden beauty and geological forces that make Colorado such a distinctive and unique place.

👉Fly into Golden with Skyscanner and discover the historic downtown area, home to charming boutiques, art galleries, and quaint cafes.

Downtown Golden: Where Foodies, Shoppers, and Music Lovers Unite

Downtown Golden, Colorado

Golden’s historic downtown is the heart of the city, where the charm of its Wild West past blends seamlessly with modern Colorado.

Take a leisurely walk down Washington Avenue, the town’s main street, and discover a delightful mix of experiences.

Indulge in the flavors of locally-owned restaurants and cafes, offering everything from wood-fired pizza to fresh mountain trout.

Explore unique boutiques and galleries showcasing the work of local artisans.

As the sun sets, the air fills with the sounds of live music spilling from pubs and patios that invite you to stay and enjoy the friendly Colorado vibe.

👉Secure a vacation rental near Lookout Mountain for easy access to hiking trails and historical sites.

Golden’s Culinary Scene: Taste the Colorado Vibe

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A post shared by The Golden Mill (@the_golden_mill)

Golden’s downtown dining offers a variety of options, including busy patios, charming cafes, and restaurants with dishes as unique as the town itself.

Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:

  • Pizza with a View: Grab a slice of Colorado legend at Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza. Enjoy their famous creations and killer views of South Table Mountain.
  • Legendary Sandwiches: Experience the deli that’s a Front Range favorite at D’Deli. Savor classic subs or try Colorado-inspired eats like a Buffalo Reuben. Bonus: Grab your meal to-go and picnic by Clear Creek.
  • A Golden Landmark: Locals flock to The Golden Mill for tasty food and a relaxed hangout spot. This revitalized historic mill offers prime outdoor seating right on the creek.
  • Globally-Inspired Flavors: From rustic Italian elegance at Bella Colibri to Chef-driven seasonal menus at Abejas and the cozy wine bar atmosphere at Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar, Golden showcases the best of Colorado’s culinary scene.
  • Buffalo and Beyond: The Buffalo Rose pays homage to Golden’s history with live music and a renovated space perfect for a lively evening.
  • Ramen with Roots: Golden natives have brought their culinary expertise back home with Nosu, offering traditional and creative ramen bowls.
  • Mediterranean Escape: Transport your tastebuds to the Middle East at Ali Baba Grille, where flavorful dishes are served in a vibrant Arabian Nights-inspired setting.

This is just a small sample!

As you explore Golden’s downtown, you will discover hidden treasures and flavors that showcase the town’s unique blend of Wild West heritage and modern Colorado spirit.

👉Book through Skyscanner for a trip to Golden and spend a day at the Golden History Park to see how Colorado settlers lived.

Shop ‘Til You Drop (Or At Least Until Your Wallet Protests): Explore Golden’s Unique Boutiques

Main Street - Golden, Colorado - USA

Golden’s main street is home to a plethora of local boutiques and shops, offering unique gifts, Colorado-made items, and pieces that reflect the town’s independent spirit.

Why It’s Awesome:

Ditch the generic malls and embrace the charm of shopping locally.

Explore welcoming galleries stocked with Western-inspired art, vintage treasures, handcrafted jewelry, and home decor gems.

Things to Do:
  • Get lost in a world of beautiful things – explore boutiques filled with unique clothing, handmade gifts, and Colorado-themed treasures.
  • Discover Golden’s artistic side – browse galleries showcasing local artists and find that perfect piece to take home.
  • Gear up for adventure – Golden’s outfitters have everything you need for your next Colorado outdoor excursion, from hiking to skiing.

Tip from Golden Locals: Friendly shopkeepers are happy to offer expert advice and recommendations – tap into their local knowledge to find the best of the best!

👉Opt for a modern hotel in Golden that offers guided tours to the Coors Brewery and other local attractions.

Tap Your Toes to the Colorado Beat: Golden’s Live Music Hotspots

Buffalo by the Buffalo Rose Saloon

As the sun sets over the Rockies, Golden’s downtown comes alive with the sound of music.

From cozy pubs to vibrant patios, these spots offer a taste of Colorado’s diverse music scene:

Why it’s Awesome:

Live music in a laid-back mountain town is special.

Golden’s venues offer an intimate, authentic experience, perfect for discovering local bands or enjoying a lively night with friends.

Things to Do:
  • Catch a Show at the Historic Buffalo Rose: This iconic spot with ties to Buffalo Bill hosts a variety of musical acts in a newly renovated space.
  • Discover Local Talent: Golden’s pubs and breweries often feature up-and-coming Colorado bands, from bluegrass to rock and everything in between. Check event calendars online for what’s on.
  • Enjoy Outdoor Tunes: During warmer months, many restaurants and bars have live music on their patios, creating a festive summer vibe.

Insider Tip: Schedules change often, so check with Golden’s venues directly or on their social media for the most up-to-date live music listings.

👉With Skyscanner, reach Golden and tackle the climbing routes at North Table Mountain, offering challenges for all skill levels.

Must-Visit Gem Near Golden: Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

A natural wonder and one of the world’s most iconic concert venues, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, is located just a short drive from Golden. A perfect day trip!

Carved into the embrace of massive red sandstone formations, this open-air amphitheater is a breathtaking sight on its own.

The magic of live music echoing off the ancient rock walls makes the experience unforgettable.

Why it’s Awesome:

Red Rocks offers a one-of-a-kind experience with its breathtaking views, unparalleled acoustics, and dramatic setting, not only limited to concerts.

Things to Do:
  • Catch a Concert Under the Stars: If you can, snag tickets to a show and feel the energy of thousands of music fans sharing a magical moment under the vast Colorado sky.
  • Explore During the Day: Red Rocks Park is open year-round. Hike the trails surrounding the amphitheater, soak in the panoramic views, or visit the Performer’s Hall of Fame to learn about its rich musical history.

Insider Tip: Don’t have a concert ticket? Visiting during the day offers incredible scenery and hiking without the crowds, plus a chance to experience the venue’s unique acoustics for yourself.

👉Discover a boutique hotel in the heart of Golden, perfect for exploring the vibrant cultural scene and local events.

Golden Trip Planning Essentials

South Table Mountain from Downtown Golden, Colorado

Planning a trip should be fun, not stressful!

We’ll break down the must-know details for a smooth journey, so you can focus on maximizing your time soaking up Golden’s charm.

Best Time to Visit: Golden Shines Year-Round

Golden is a fantastic destination no matter the season. Here’s what to expect:

  • Outdoor Adventurers: Summer is prime time for hiking, biking, and water activities. Fall offers stunning foliage and cooler temperatures. Spring has fewer crowds and pleasant weather. Winter brings proximity to ski resorts and a cozy mountain town vibe.
  • Festival Fans: Golden hosts events throughout the year, from summer music festivals to winter holiday celebrations. 
  • Budget Conscious: Shoulder seasons (spring and fall) tend to offer better deals on accommodation.

Getting There and Around

  • Flying In: Denver International Airport (DEN) is the closest major airport, about a 30-minute drive from Golden.
  • Driving: Golden is easily accessible by car from across Colorado and surrounding states.
  • Within Golden: The historic downtown is walkable. Local buses, light rail, and ride-sharing services offer options for exploring further afield.

Where to Stay in Golden: Find Your Perfect Basecamp

Golden offers a surprising variety of accommodation to suit different preferences and budgets:

  • Historic Charm: Stay in the heart of the action at boutique hotels within Golden’s downtown.
  • Mountain Retreat: Cozy cabins tucked into the foothills offer a peaceful escape close to nature.
  • Family-Friendly: Hotels with pools and spacious rooms cater to families.
  • Budget-Conscious: Motels along Highway 6 provide convenient, affordable options.

Tip: Book in advance, especially during peak seasons and for popular events.

👉Find your flight to Golden on Skyscanner and unwind in the natural beauty of Golden Gate Canyon State Park, a haven for picnickers and hikers.

Conclusion: Discover Your Golden Adventure

Golden Colorado Sign

From Wild West legends to modern-day mountain escapes, Golden, Colorado, truly offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re drawn to epic hikes with breathtaking views, the lively energy of its downtown scene, or a captivating journey through history, Golden delivers an unforgettable experience.

Ready to start planning?

Your Golden getaway awaits – it’s time to trade the ordinary for a dose of Rocky Mountain magic!

👉Select a charming inn close to North Table Mountain for a stay that caters to outdoor adventurers and rock climbers.

The post The Ultimate Guide To The Best Things To Do in Golden, Colorado appeared first on Take More Adventures.