Arrive in Golden and stop for coffee at the local’s favorite, the Windy Saddle just below the Welcome to Golden arch in beautiful downtown Golden.
Visit to the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum, the first and only museum in the United States dedicated to the heroism, technology, culture and spirit of mountaineering. The museum brings visitors into the world of mountain and rock climbing and honors the achievements of mountaineers from America and around the world.
Walk along Clear Creek, under the Washington Avenue bridge. Stop in the Golden Visitor’s Center to peruse the many brochures and meet the friendly staff. Continue on the Clear Creek walking path until you reach the Golden History Museum, From Castle Rock, kayakers, burros, and trains, to Rosebud pottery, Orediggers, and Demons, the history of the second territorial capital runs deep with color and intrigue.
Grab lunch at the Local Market’s creekside location behind the Golden History Museum. Get your lunch to go and walk further west up the Clear Creek Path to Golden’s Kayak Park, enjoy your lunch while watching kayakers shoot the rapids.
Cross Clear Creek and head to the Clear Creek History Park to see how Golden’s early settlers worked and played in the late 1800s. The park’s outdoor setting recreates the look and feel of a late 1800s mountain ranch complete with gardens, a working blacksmith shop, schoolhouse and chicken coop.
Walk to the Astor House, which was built in 1867 and stayed in continuous operation as a boarding and rooming house until 1971—that’s over 100 years! It rented rooms and served hot meals to lawmakers, laborers, miners, students and families, some of who stayed for weeks or even months.
Foothills Art Center, featuring blockbuster exhibit, Chihuly Venetians: from the George R. Stroemple Collection, Foothills Art Center offers award-winning art exhibits in a historic setting. Located in the heart of downtown Golden, the galleries are situated in a gorgeous Gothic church.
Enjoy a beer at “Golden’s second largest brewery,” Golden City Brewery, which was founded in 1993 by two geologists, Charlie & Janine Sturdavant, in their historic home. Today’s the brewery is in the home’s machine shop, but a second level was added inside. The brewery produces those now legendary ales and features a very popular backyard beer garden.
Check out the Buffalo Rose for live music or The Golden Hotel’s jazz on Thursday evenings. Indulge Wine Bar also has a fun later scene.
Breakfast at Café 13 in the Armory Building, the largest cobblestone building, west of the Mississippi.
Hike North Table Mountain. Hikers can choose two different ways up the mountain, the hard way or the easy way. The easy way up is to take the North Table Loop Trail at the north end of the parking lot. That trail winds around the mountain and up the east side over a 2.8 mile trail. The hard way is to take the North Table Loop Trail from the center of the parking lot and start up. The trail to the top is about 0.7 mile with about 450 feet of elevation gain. More info: http://www.examiner.com/hiking-in-denver/hiking-golden-north-table-mountain
Visit the Colorado Railroad Museum. Twelve acres of narrow and standard gauge locomotives, cars, and 50 thousand rare old photographs, papers and artifacts. The museum itself is a replica of an 1880-style masonry railroad depot. The gift shop has over a thousand railroad books, videotapes, posters, prints, jewelry, and other memorabilia.
Lunch at D’Deli, Golden’s favorite sandwich shop.
Afternoon Visit the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, which offers free admission to extraordinary exhibits including Minerals from Colorado, Colorado Mining Heritage, Mining Artifacts, Gold & Silver Display, Gemstones, Mineral Properties & Earth History, special Radioactive exhibits, World Minerals and Fossils. A favorite for many visitors is the representation of a uranium mine, complete with driller and crystal pocket.
Visit the world’s largest single site brewery, Coors Brewery, Come see and taste traditional brewing in the Rocky Mountains! Since 1873, Coors Brewing Company has thrived on a legacy of quality, innovation and customer service. The newly upgraded experience includes a 30-minute self-paced tour highlighting the malting, brewing and packaging processes, sampling of Coors fine products in its hospitality lounge and shopping in the Coors & Co. gift shop.
Check in at Table Mountain Inn and head to their Cantina for margaritas and hearty Mexican food.
Stop by the “to go” window of El Dorado for a to-go burrito. Then drive up Lookout Mountain to visit Buffalo Bill’s Museum & Grave, which features exhibits exploring Buffalo Bill’s life and times include Wild West show outfits and posters, Indian artifacts, and antique firearms. Temporary exhibits, changed every year, explore a variety of Western themes. Children and adults alike can try on cowboy outfits and get a picture while seated on “Stumpy,” the Museum’s fiberglass horse. The complex on Lookout Mountain includes the Buffalo Bill Museum, Buffalo Bill’s grave, and the Pahaska Tepee gift shop and snack bar.
Lunch at Indulge Wine Bistro’s patio, followed by shopping along Washington Avenue. Who says Golden is only a beer town? Indulge is a hip new wine bar and bistro and features a great outdoor patio with great views. Afterwards, stroll up and down Washignton Avenue, where you can find women’s clothing boutiques, art galleries, antiques stores, environmentally-friendly pet-stores and more.
Stop at Heritage Square, a unique family fun experience offering an array of shops, Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide, old time photos, miniature golf, go-karts and amusement rides. The Heritage Square Music Hall features a wonderful family dinner theater, melodrama style, and a Children’s Theatre.
Photos courtesy of Colorado Tourism