The Outdoors,  Travel Guides

Experience the Thrill of Adventure with These Things to Do in Golden, CO

things to do in Golden, CO

These days, it’s tourist season in Colorful Colorado. If you plan to visit this expansive state, deciding where to go and what to see can be difficult. There is so much to see. From the many national parks (Gunnison and Rocky Mountain) to thriving cities like Fort Collins, and quaint Colorado mountain towns like Salida. I’ll admit that even 3 years of living here hasn’t been enough to experience it all. Of course, your Colorado vacation depends on many factors. Are you a road trip and camp kind of gal? Or do you prefer to treat yourself on your travels? Maybe you’re hoping to fit a bit of both in? If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, look no further than Golden, Colorado. Not only is Golden tucked away in the gorgeous foothills of the mountains it is also just 20 minutes from Downtown Denver. This perfect location makes the list of things to do in Golden, CO endless. The best things to do in Golden, CO are easily accessible and sure to please. So, whether you’re on a day trip from Denver or hoping to vacation in Colorado this summer, Golden makes for the perfect escape. 

What is Golden Colorado Known For?

When considering things to do in Golden, CO, thinking about what makes Golden so special may be your first inquiry. We all want to visit special places, don’t we? Anyway, Golden is home to Coors Brewery and the Colorado School of Mines, offers the closest hiking and biking trails to Denver, and has close proximity to Red Rocks Amphitheater. Golden also sits on Clear Creek which provides access to even more outdoor recreation. And yes, Golden, CO has a downtown area with shopping, dining, and drinking galore. 

Coors Brewery, Golden Colorado

Coors Brewery is just a few blocks from Golden Colorado’s Downtown, so you can easily schedule a brewery tour between your shopping and dining plans. The full tour is 30 minutes on weekends only and requires a reservation. You can also reserve a tasting tour Thursday-Sunday or just explore the gift shop with no reservation. I went on the full brewery tour where you can see every step of the process from brewing to packaging, and get some Coors history lessons. However, my favorite portion was the tasting room, not just for the beers, but because the tasting room is so cool. It’s an old-school diner-style room filled to the brim with Coors memorabilia.

Hikes in Golden, Colorado

One of my favorite things to do in Golden, Colorado is hike. There are several reasons for this, the first is that it is the most convenient hiking playground from Denver. You can find incredible views and all levels of hiking at just a 20-30 minute drive. The hikes in Golden, Colorado suggested here are all hikes I have tried before both solo and with guests. 

Tubing in Golden, Colorado

Going tubing along the Clear Creek River Whitewater Park in Golden Colorado’s Downtown is a unique and cheap way to keep cool this summer. Your float along the rapids is free if you bring your own tube. However, many of us don’t have a sturdy floating device hanging around our small apartments, so you can rent a tube at places like Adventure West or Golden River Sports. Adventure West also started shuttle services which you can pick up at the end of runs and avoid the walk back to take another lap down the river.  

The whitewater park is manmade to be safe for activities like tubing. It is also walkable from downtown as the creek runs along 10th Street in Golden, Colorado Downtown. Here are directions from Denver. Dropping into Clear Creek may require some walking along the Clear Creek Trail and parking can be limited. Use this map for help finding parking and preferred access points. 

Best Restaurants in Golden, CO

If I’m being totally honest, I haven’t eaten much in Golden…so, I’m offering up The Eater’s Guide to Golden, CO. They never seem to miss. Anyway, I can tell you about a few places I’ve been and/or that have been reported to me by family and friends. First things first, The Golden Mill is a brand new food hall in Golden with rave reviews from the family. They loved the unique idea of the RFID cards. These cards are linked to a credit or debit card and then you just scan it for whatever beverage or meal you want. The Golden Mill is big, outdoorsy, and fun! Makes for a great spot for large groups. Okay next up is Woody’s Pizza. Woody’s is pretty much the opposite of the Golden Mill. It’s an old-school staple in the heart of downtown Golden. Woody’s is absolutely more than pizza and a great way to treat yourself after your outdoor adventures. Woody’s also has the best deal on the block at $15.99 for a soup, salad, and pizza buffet. 

Golden Colorado Bars & Breweries

Drinking should definitely make the list of things to do in Golden, CO. From dives, and basement bars, to high-end cocktails, and breweries, you’re sure to find the perfect watering hole. If you’re not too picky, just take a walk along Washington Street between the blocks of 10th and 13th Street and pop into any number of bars. Here you’ll find dives like The BC Underground and Ace-High Tavern. More elevated spots include Golden Moon Speakeasy and Buffalo Rose
Besides Coors of course, Golden, CO is also home to several outstanding microbreweries. You can check out this list here, just know that most of Golden’s finest breweries are a drive from the downtown area. However, I can assure you they’re worth it. My absolute favorite is New Terrain Brewing Company. Their Mirage beer is quite possibly the best microbrew I’ve ever had. 

Golden Colorado Downtown

Sure, we’ve already mentioned the dining, drinking, and tubing that you can experience in Golden’s Downtown, but if you can believe it, there are more things to do in Golden, CO downtown. Of course, walk along Washington for some souvenir and boutique shopping. Golden’s downtown also demonstrates the city’s pride and history as a “gold rush” town dating back to the 1850s. Of course, you can’t miss a picture under the charming sign that gives a warm “Howdy folks”, but be on the lookout for statues, murals, and other pieces of history that line the blocks.

Golden Colorado Events

Okay, so I know that Red Rocks is not technically in Golden and is actually in Morrison, CO but with its close proximity, I can’t not include it here. I highly encourage going to any number of events at Red Rocks including things like drive-in movies and yoga. Beyond the epic events at Red Rocks, the city of Golden hosts recurring events and festivals like the Golden Farmer’s Market, Buffalo Bill Days, The Golden Fine Arts Festival, and of course the annual Goldens in Golden. Yes, that’s exactly what you think. A whole festival dedicated to our beloved Golden Retrievers.

Admittedly, I have often written Golden, CO off as a mountain getaway due to its proximity to Denver. But after my recent visit with family, I realize that was a poor assumption. Golden, CO is a unique and welcoming Colorado mountain town without all of the hassle. It makes for the perfect day trip from Denver that allows us to escape into the mountains without going too far. Not to mention, The things to do in Golden, CO are endless and will always leave you wanting more. So, get ready to have a special day away from the city and live your full Wild West fantasy in Golden, CO.

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