Is Golden, Colorado, Worth Visiting?

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View of a mural in Golden Colorado

When you think of Colorado, what comes to mind? The Rockies, the mile-high city, or perhaps a cold brew? The Rocky Mountain State stuns with its lush forests, towering peaks, deep canyons, and roaring rivers. If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Colorado is a top candidate.

Just outside Denver is the city of Golden. There are many things to do in Golden, Colorado, including hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and other recreational activities. 

And it’s also home to the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. There’s so much to do that you might never want to leave! Let’s take a close look at all that this city has to offer!

Where Is Golden, Colorado?

Golden sits along Highway 6 in central Colorado, just northeast of Lakewood and directly east of Denver. It’s about 15 miles from downtown Denver and about 8 miles north of the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Interstate 70 runs along the southern border of the city.

Golden sits at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. You’ll find endless recreational opportunities here, from biking to hiking to kayaking. Even if you’re not an outdoor enthusiast, Golden, Colorado’s spectacular scenery makes it worth visiting.

View of Golden, Colorado

How Big Is Golden, Colorado?

Golden is the county seat of Jefferson County, which is part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, Colorado Metropolitan Statistical Area. About 20,300 people live in the city, which is also home to Coors Brewing Company and Boston Market.

In addition, Jolly Rancher was first created in Golden, Colorado. The city covers about 9.6 square miles of land and sits at 5,675 feet in elevation.

10 Things to Do in Golden, Colorado

With so many things to do in Golden, Colorado, it’s hard to narrow them down to the top ten. You could spend weeks exploring just this one city outside Denver and still not see and do everything.

1. Book a Coors Brewery Tour

You can’t go to the home of the Coors Brewing Company and not book a tour and tasting. This company has been the centerpiece of Golden, Colorado, since 1873. The brewery tour lasts 60-90 minutes and showcases the largest single-site brewery in the world.

Tour guests will also receive three samples in branded recyclable aluminum take-home cups. Reservations are required.

2. Visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

If you love the old American West, another suggested thing to do in Golden, Colorado, is visit the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. Tens of thousands of people come here every year to learn more about this legend and see his grave on Lookout Mountain.

During the winter, the museum only opens Tuesday through Sunday, but during the summer, it opens every day. Visitors must pay a small admission fee for everyone over the age of 5. However, they can visit the gravesite for free. 

3. Spend an Afternoon at the Colorado Railroad Museum

Another popular museum in Golden is the Colorado Railroad Museum. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday, and all visitors over the age of 2 must have a ticket. But this isn’t just a museum.

Visitors can board the train and take a ride, walk around the railyard and view historic locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars, and stroll the outdoor garden railroad.

It offers fun for the whole family!

4. Stroll Historic Downtown Golden

Downtown Golden offers visitors plenty of shopping and dining options.  You can pick up your outdoor gear, try the local beers, and take a selfie under the famous “Welcome to Golden” arch.

From June to October, you can also visit the Golden Farmers Market and enjoy fresh produce and local farm products.

For more information, stop by the Golden Visitors and Information Center at 10th Street and Washington Avenue.

View of a welcome sign in Golden, Colorado

5. Watch a Performance at the Miners Alley Playhouse

If you love art and theater, check the calendar and get tickets to a performance at the Miners Alley Playhouse. The local theater company produces plays, concerts, and musicals throughout the year.

They also have a children’s theatre program. Past performances included “A Christmas Carol,” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “The Crucible,” “The Frog Prince,” and more.

6. Take the Kids to the Splash at Fossil Trace

For families looking for a day to let the kids run wild, plan a visit to the Splash at Fossil Trace. Adjacent to Fossil Trace Golf Club, this park is open Memorial Day weekend through mid-August. The admission prices vary for Golden residents, Jefferson County residents, and non-residents.

This attraction includes a leisure pool with slides and water features and a lap pool for both swimming and diving.

Keep in Mind: Colorado is home to over 150 wineries! These are the top wineries worth adding to your itinerary.

7. Hike the Golden Cliffs Trail

If you’re looking for outdoor recreation, there are plenty of things to do in Golden, Colorado. Hiking allows you to explore the natural beauty of this city. The Golden Cliffs Trail is one of the most popular trails.

You can park at the North Table Mountain Park West trailhead lot to get started on this 3.5-mile out-and-back trail. Rated moderate for its 1,053-foot elevation gain, this trail offers mountain views and birding opportunities.

8. Climb North Table Mountain

You can also go climbing in Golden, Colorado. Through Front Range Climbing Co., you can book a half-day or full-day excursion to North Table Mountain.

Also known as the Golden Cliffs, North Table Mountain overlooks the city, making it one of the most popular climbing areas around. The company also offers climbs in Clear Creek Canyon.

9. Go Kayaking at Clear Creek Whitewater Park

If you’re more of a water enthusiast, another thing to do in Golden, Colorado, is to go kayaking at Clear Creek Whitewater Park. Although the water flows cold and swift, paddlers enjoy the thrill of the experience. Clear Creek runs through the city and offers visitors beautiful views.

The Whitewater Park is 1/4 of a mile built with natural boulders, drops, pools, and waves. Paddlers should have proficient experience in cold, fast-moving water.

View of Clear Creek Whitewater Park in Golden, Colorado

10. Attend a Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Finally, one of our favorite things to do in Golden, Colorado, is visit the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Check the calendar and get tickets to a performance. If no event has been scheduled during your stay, consider starting your Saturday with Yoga on the Rocks.

You can also enjoy trails for hiking, biking, and running throughout the park.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Golden, Colorado?

If you don’t want to participate in winter recreational activities, you won’t want to visit Golden, Colorado, before June. If you enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, or ice fishing, head to Colorado during the winter. 

But if you enjoy the sunshine and green grass, you will want to visit during summer. And for those who enjoy fall, Golden, Colorado, has stunning autumn colors. 

Additionally, in the summer, temperatures rarely reach 90 degrees. In September and October, the average temperatures sit around 45 to 60 degrees.

Keep in Mind: Did you know Colorado has castles too? And you can visit them too!

Enjoy All the Indoor and Outdoor Things to Do in Golden, Colorado

There are plenty of things to do in Golden, Colorado, from indoor activities like visiting museums or touring breweries to outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and kayaking.

Golden is also close to Denver, which also provides different attractions and events. You could easily visit both cities to enjoy all of Colorado’s beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation. 

Will you be visiting the Rocky Mountain State any time soon?

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