For many travelers, the charm of Denver comes from its distinctive old western towns—scattered like gold flecks in a mountain river around the city's center. Once hubs for agriculture and mining at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, today they are the heart of suburban communities bursting with ingenuity and homegrown flair. 

Within 30 minutes from Denver, visitors can experience a small-town Colorado ambiance and inspired boutiques created by local business owners. In the same way that stars flicker through the purple dusk of the Colorado sky, old towns all over the Front Range are blazing through their dusty beginnings, bringing a refined taste for cuisine, lifestyle, and design. With so many towns and small cities to choose from—and each with a different style of appeal—here are some of the best for day (or overnight) trips on your next trip to the Mile High City.

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