Located just 12 miles from downtown Denver, historic Golden is easy to reach, has plenty of free parking, and offers a true Colorado mountain experience. Here’s some ideas:
WALK ALONG A MOUNTAIN CREEK FOR MILES ON A FLAT, PAVED, ALL WEATHER TRAIL.
The Clear Trail has been named the prettiest trail on the Front Range, and it’s certainly one of the most accessible. You can pick the trail up in downtown Golden by the Visitors Center or there are two trailheads with 140 free parking spots just a mile west of Golden on Hwy. 6. No matter where you pick it up, in no time you will feel like you’re in a Colorado postcard. Bridges cross the creek several times and there are many benches and scenic spots with views of the beautiful river and the rugged Rocky Mountain canyon. The flat, paved trail is easy for people of all ages – and easy on those out of towners not accustomed to higher elevations. After a hike, follow the trail right to downtown Golden and stop into a restaurant or brew pub.
GIVE YOUR FLATLANDER RELATIVES A THRILL ON THE LARIAT LOOP.
Give your visitors a taste of classic Colorado mountain driving – hairpin turns, drop-offs, cliffs, and an unsettling absence of guardrails. Ah, but the views! It’s no wonder this road is one of the state’s best scenic drives, climaxing at the 7,379-foot summit of Lookout Mountain with 360-degree views. It’s just a short walk from the free parking on top to Buffalo Bill’s museum and grave. Don’t miss the giant gift shop – rated one of the best places for souvenirs in Colorado.
SPEAKING OF SHOPPING, “SHOP SMALL” IN A QUAINT, ALL-AMERICAN SMALL TOWN.
There’s nothing “big box” about shopping in downtown Golden. This historic town (Colorado’s first state Capital) is filled with historic buildings now housing art galleries, fashions, quilts, Western wear, and every type of recreation gear from fly fishing to rock climbing. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday and there is no shortage of wonderful locally owned shops to visit and fanfare throughout downtown to promote “shopping small.”
GO ON AN ITTY, BITTY ART TOUR & CHECK OUT GOLDEN’S & ARTS & CULTURE SCENE.
Golden is home to a thriving arts scene, with colorful murals, sculptures and even “itty bitty art” installations along Washington Ave and the Clear Creek Trail. You can follow an online map to direct you to public art and the itty, bitty art installations or just take it on your own.
CATCH A PERFORMANCE OR LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC.
It’s opening weekend for holiday performances at Miners Alley Playhouse, where you can catch A Christmas Story or the Nutcracker. Golden always has great live music – check out the offerings at Buffalo Rose, Goosetown Station, Golden Mill and more.
VISIT FOOTHILLS ART CENTER’S HOLIDAY ART MARKET.
Why not browse unique gifts crafted by more than 100 Colorado artists? You can pick up wonderful, one-of-a-kind gifts of jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography and paintings at the Holiday Art Market in Golden’s Foothills Arts Center.
SHOW OFF COLORADO’S SUNSHINE AT A BEER GARDEN IN COLORADO’S LARGEST BEER TOWN.
We can’t promise it, but statistics show that Thanksgiving Weekend will be dry, sunny and mild. Impress your out-of-town friends by taking them for a beer – outdoors! Golden has eight, year-round outdoor beer gardens. Golden City Brewery, Mountain Toad, Golden Mill, The Eddy Taproom and Hotel, and New Terrain are just a few that combine outdoor picnic tables, food trucks, fire pits and mountain views. And you can just casually mention that Golden brews more beer than any other town on earth – and maybe take them on a tour of the world’s largest brewery, Coors!
GAME ON! CHALLENGE YOUR FAMILY AT GOLDEN GAME GUILD.
Take your game night to a new level at Golden Game Guild, Golden’s board game café!
EAT SOMETHING OTHER THAN TURKEY!
There are more than two dozen restaurants in Golden offering everything from sushi to poke bowls, pizza, BBQ, Mexican, Thai and the great specialty of Colorado – buffalo. Dine in Southwestern elegance at Table Mountain Inn or outdoors at the Golden Mill, or in the historic first capitol building at the Old Capitol Grill or overlooking Clear Creek at the Eddy or Golden Hotel. There are so many choices with free parking, mountain views, and all just minutes from home!