Ahh Golden… With its stunning mesas, scenic trails, and western culture, no city in the Colorado is quite like it. Kinda makes you want to see it all.
For this list, we break down the “top ten places to go in Golden” in 2019.
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10) Golden Community Center
Located on 10th street across from Lions Park, the Golden Community Center is a 71,000 square-foot behemoth. Take your kids to the leisure pool, work on your fitness in the lap pool and exercise equipment, take a class, or schedule a party or meeting in their spacious community rooms. Check the link in the description for a complete guide to this great location.
9) Mother Cabrini’s Shrine
Located right off of I-70 west at exit 259, this iconic local is hard to miss because of its 22-foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Originally built as a summer camp for orphans living at Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver in 1910, when you visit Mother Cabrini’s shrine, you might be on sacred ground. The story goes that, in the summer of 1912, the nuns living at the shrine were dying of thirst. As they obeyed Mother Cabrini’s charge to lift a rock and dig, the nuns ran into a water supply that is still running to this day. Drink from the famed fountain, meditate in the rosary garden, and take the 373-step trek up to summiting statue of Jesus. There’s no view quite like it.
Whether you’re on a mountain bike, or just looking for a great hike, you’ll be hard pressed to find a trail system that’s as rewarding as Chimney Gulch. Almost 6 and a half miles from bottom to top, this trail will take you to from highway six to the top of Lookout Mountain. With gorgeous views of the entire city of Golden, Denver, and the vast eastern plains of Colorado, you’re sure to feel like you’re on top of the world. Make sure to take a camera and, if you’re lucky, you may just spot some paragliders in the skies above!
While Golden may be known for getting outside and getting active, for this pick, we’ve decided to challenge your aesthetic preferences. Home to Golden’s famous Holiday Art Market every winter and home to Golden’s best-curated collection of fine art the rest of the year, you’d be crazy to skip Foothills Art Center any time you’re in Golden. With upcoming 2019 exhibits like Otto Kuhler’s “Designing the Future” and past exhibits like the Mai Wyn’s paint on metal, the Foothills Art Center team not only knows how to put on a great show, but they also know how to curate a fascinating experience.
He’s the West’s “Greatest Showman.” Named for his contract work in supplying Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with bison meat and famed for his Wild West shows, Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody) is synonymous with American West Iconography. Dying on January 10th, 1917, Cody was buried on Lookout Mountain, overlooking the great plains that were such an iconic part of his life. A visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is essential to any trip to Golden that aims to capture Golden’s signature phrase, “Where the West Lives.”
Ascend to the highest peak on one of Golden’s two mesas: North Table Mountain. Located right off of Highway 93, this 2.4 mile trail is for everyone! Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting to acclimate to the Colorado altitude, Lichen Peak Trail offers stunning views of the entire city of Golden for everyone. While the beginning of the trail is moderately difficult, after you ascend the first mile, the rest of the trail is easy and the views are well worth the effort. Just be sure to bring along some water and let yourself hike at your own pace!
4) Golden History Museum and Park
Founded in 1859 as an idyllic gold rush town, Golden is a city with historic western roots. With a touch gallery for children, a Wild West-themed Salon that serves as a theater for the museum’s film collection, biographies of all of Golden’s most influential people, the Golden History Museum will not only leave you entertained but also well educated. If that wasn’t enough, just across Clear Creek, is an entire park dedicated to Golden’s history. With historic cabins, a blacksmith shop, old chicken coop, and even an entire schoolhouse, this park serves as a relocation and preservation area for some of Golden’s most historic buildings.
It’s a spot for everyone, no hiking boots required. In fact, strip down to just a bathing suit during the summer, and you’ll fit right in. Located just parallel to 10th street, Clear Creek Trail is famous for the holiday lights that adorn it during the winter, the tubing, kayaking, and swimming in the summer, and as a favorite photography spot all year. So whether you’re going for a light jog, leisurely walk, or taking a dunk, Clear Creek trail is Golden’s obvious choice for fun, year round.
It’s the world’s largest single-site brewery and an attraction to thousands of visitors every single year. If you live in or near Golden and haven’t been on the tour, shame on you. Founded in 1873 by Prussian immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler, Coors has been an American beer staple for almost 150 years. Responsible for the sale and creation of over 53 different varieties of your favorite brews, Molson-Coors accounts for over 26% of all beers sold in the United States. Who wouldn’t want to tour that facility? And the best part is, it’s free. Just grab a ticket from the lot off of Ford Street and prepare to be amazed (and maybe get a few drinks while you’re there)!
1) Welcome to Golden Arch
Was there really any doubt? What makes Golden so iconic is its signature “Wild West” feel and no part of Golden’s borders captures this feeling quite like the arch. Commissioned in 1948 for $1,000.00 by Golden Businessman Lu Holland, local metal artist Paul Reeves started the project and, in 1949, the arch was completed almost $7,000.00 over budget. The arch was none-the-less celebrated with a great parade. The arch has gone through renovations in 1975, 1979, 1997, and finally in 2008. Over the years, the original neon lighting has been removed and its signature tagline “Where the West Remains” has been changed to “Where the West Lives”. This arch truly captures the essence of what it means to be Golden.