Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Arvada, CO

  • Published 2022/08/05

Arvada is a historic but thriving home-rule city in Colorado’s Adams and Jefferson counties.

Established in 1870, the organized territory formally became a city in 1904.

The city has a rich history even before Colorado became a state in 1876.

Miners first discovered gold in the Rocky Mountains, which sparked the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush.

It was a center for agriculture famed for cultivating celery, which earned it a reputation as the “Celery Capital of the World.”

The city also built the Colorado Central Railroad.

People don’t need to travel far in Arvada to enjoy great outdoor and cultural activities.

Arvada is home to miles of hiking and bike trails, convenient access to ski resorts and mountain towns, and a vibrant downtown.

You can also find one of the country’s top multi-purpose art venues, and more.

Here are the best things to do in Arvada, Colorado.

Eat, Drink, and Shop at Olde Town Arvada

Olde Town Arvada Square

Xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With its charming historical charm and contemporary conveniences, Olde Town Arvada is the beating heart of this city.

Olde Town Arvada is ideal for a weekend hang out or a quick afternoon break.

It’s easy to stroll around the area and find things to do during the day and night.

Explore the streets lined with a wide variety of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, and a winery!

Information box at Olde Town Arvada

Andreas Gamst Laursen /

Take advantage of their extensive calendar of events, which includes live music, kid-friendly activities, and a ton of outdoor recreation.

The vibrant local food scene, events, and shopping will make you want to plan multiple visits to experience everything!

Signage of Olde Town Arvada

Andreas Gamst Laursen /

The National Register of Historic Places has added Olde Town Arvada to its record.

You can trace its beginnings to the Gold Rush,

Since then, it has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Join a Class at the Majestic View Nature Center

The Majestic View Nature Center is Arvada’s environmental learning facility.

The center features interactive displays, a children’s play area, wildlife exhibits, classrooms, and conference rooms.

This 3,000-square-foot nature center offers numerous group and school programs to introduce and engage kids to the outdoors.

The facility is connected to the Majestic View Community Park, which spans more than 80 acres.

The park also includes a lake, wetlands, a demonstration garden, prairie grasslands, interpretive trails, and various wildlife species.

Whether taking a walk, joining one of their many educational classes, or discovering native wildlife, the Majestic View Nature Center always gives a positive experience.

Go Skating at Arvada Skatepark

Arvada Skatepark is one of the largest skateparks in the country and has hosted many major skating competitions.

Team Pain, a Florida-based skate park design and construction firm, designed and built the park’s expansive 40,000-square-foot skating surface.

A local landscaping company, Urban Farmer, completed the other components and infrastructure of the park, elevating it into one of the state’s top skating attractions.

The skate park includes sculpted features like the “eggshell,” a large bowl, a medium bowl, benches, ledges, rails, and step-ups.

It also has jersey barricades, street obstacles, plaza sections, a beginners’ area, and so much more!

Not only does the park entertain skaters of all skill levels, but it provides enjoyment for the spectators.

The Arvada Skatepark opened in June 2012 after five years of development and planning.

The park opened thanks to the skate park committee and the public, with grants from local businesses and organizations.

Play a Game of Golf at the Indian Tree Golf Club

Spend the day and enjoy a round of golf at the Indian Tree Golf Club, named after a legendary “Indian tree.”

According to folklore, this Indian tree was a hackberry tree planted on a hill in the area.

You can sense this solitary tree’s spirit and mystical ambiance throughout the course, featuring Kentucky Bluegrass fairways and Penncross Bentgrass greens on rolling terrains.

The Indian Tree Golf Club opened in 1969 and has since undergone numerous renovations and upgrades.

It’s an 18-hole par-70 of 7,000 yards with a slope of 129 but also offers a 9-hole par-3 course of 1140 yards.

The golf club takes pride in delivering a personal club quality of service for a reasonable price.

Prepare to have all your expectations surpassed in every way.

Bring your friends to the Indian Tree Golf Club!

Visit the Arvada Flour Mill

Side view of Arvada Flour Mill

Xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Arvada Flour Mill is a flour mill-turned-museum built in the early 1920s.

It stands on a rock and concrete base with a full basement and a protruding one-story office extension.

Front view of Arvada Flour Mill

Hustvedt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eugene Emory Benjamin built this massive wood-frame structure near Arvada’s historic downtown railroad tracks.

The mill started operation in the 1920s and stopped production in the 1950s.

Entrance of Arvada Flour Mill

Xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1975, the National Register of Historic Places added the Arvada Flour Mill to the record.

The Arvada Historical Society renovated and reopened the mill, 30 years after it shut down for good.

Today, the museum offers tours by appointment.

Celebrate the Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival

Join the Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival, a guitar exhibition and music event honoring the art, research, and passion behind the archtop guitar.

Arvada celebrates the world of archtop guitars for one September weekend.

First held in 2019, the Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival presents performances and workshops by world-class luthiers and musicians.

This one-of-a-kind festival brings together more than 30 of the best guitar makers in the world to display their creations.

Top musicians, instructors, and music clinicians also give workshops and perform in and around Olde Town Arvada.

This weekend-long Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival enjoys sponsorship from several local businesses.

This festival is the most distinctive guitar-focused music festival in the nation.

Explore the Van Bibber Open Space Park

Take a breather and drive about three miles west of downtown Arvada to the Van Bibber Open Space Park.

This place is a 164-acre urban getaway that provides home and a migration stopover for wildlife.

You can see the wetlands of Van Bibber Creek from an observation deck.

The creek gets its name from Isaac Van Bibber, who had a farm near the creek in 1859.

There are 5.2 miles of accessible trails that wind through wide open meadows, with views of the mountains, including a 1.5-mile handicap-accessible paved path running the length of the park.

In 1978, Jefferson County Open Space acquired the site that eventually became Van Bibber Open Space Park.

They added more land until they established the park’s boundaries in 1995.

You can find benches and picnic shelters along the trails leading to ponds and wetlands.

A boardwalk allows guests to explore further and perhaps encounter more wildlife.

Experience Arts and Music at Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Exterior of Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Jeffrey Beall, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is one of the country’s biggest and finest multidisciplinary cultural venues.

It offers 144,000 square feet of classroom space, gallery, and theater.

From creative reinterpretations of Broadway hits to heartfelt narratives of human connection, the center brings dance, music, tears, and laughter together onstage.

The center hosts a variety of outdoor performances, from big bands to classical virtuosos.

Performance of Julieta Venegas at Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Julio Enriquez from Denver,CO, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

More than 740 exciting learning programs and classes welcome adults and children across all fields of study.

The center houses the Arvada Historical Museum.

The museum has more than 10,000 square feet of gallery spaces showcasing notable works of artists from the western region, including Colorado.

You can check out all of it for free.

Their Event Space can also host any events, such as conferences, galas, expos, and weddings.

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities will compel you to see, hear, feel, think, and delve deeper into various fields.

Bike the Ralston Creek Trail

See the beauty of Arvada through the Ralston Creek Trail, the longest public trail in the city.

It follows the Ralston Creek, a tributary of Clear Creek, and winds through several parks, communities, and open spaces in Argada.

Ralston Creek Trail is a 27.2-mile out and back concrete trail that is fantastic for biking, running, and hiking.

The 400-foot-long, cable-supported Gold Strike Park Pedestrian Bridge stands out in this journey, so make a quick stop and capture photos if you must.

Most of the trail is accessible, with few steeper sections to the east.

You can sit on the benches and picnic tables along the Ralston Creek Trail for a short break.

Take a Wine Tour at Silver Vines Winery

If you love wine, stop by Silver Vines Winery on one of your historic Olde Town Arvada trips.

Silver Vines Winery handcrafts wines on-site and gives visitors an authentic winery tour by letting them see and taste from their barrels and tanks.

The winery sells your favorite reds, whites, and dessert wines by the glass or bottle.

They also provide tours and private wine tastings.

Likewise, they create personalized labels for special gatherings like weddings and corporate events.

The Chayer family had worked in the wine industry for several years, gaining experience from Minnesota, Texas, and Washington.

In 2011, they finally opened Silver Vines Winery in Olde Town Arvada.

See Vintage Cars at Cussler Museum

Texaco gas pump at Cussler Museum

J.Campbell /

See world-class vintage cars at the Cussler Museum, devoted to preserving scarce and vintage vehicles from around the world.

Clive Cussler, a well-known, best-selling author, began this enormous collection of more than 100 classic car models dating from 1906 to 1965.

Some of these cars even appeared in his best-selling Dirk Pitt novels.

Display of vintage cars at Cussler Museum

J.Campbell /

In early 2020, Clive Cussler passed away, but the museum went to his daughter.

It continues to preserve his historical collection, which includes the oldest vehicle in the group–a 1906 Stanley Steamer–and the newest–a 1965 Corvette Stingray.

Bright red color car at Cussler Museum

J.Campbell /

The remainder of his collection includes vehicles from Bentley, Bugatti, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Studebaker, and Packard.

You can usually see 60 cars on display at the Cussler Museum.

Grab a Beer at Odyssey Beerwerks

In the 1990s, brewers with a homebrewing hobby decided to start a business.

This brewery became a respectable business that locals and tourists in Argada adore.

Twenty years after starting the hobby, the owners established Odyssey Beerwerks, a handcrafted beer brewery, and taproom, in 2013.

The brewery offers a vast selection of delightful ales and lagers, always at least 15 craft beers on tap.

The large taproom and outdoor seating area are open seven days a week.

Feel free to visit, hang out, and enjoy a couple of pints.

This famous brewery not only features a taproom with brews on tap but also sports TVs, live entertainment, and food trucks.

Odyssey Beerwerks is near the Clear Creek Bike Trail and major highways, making it a convenient location to stop by any day.

Buy Local at the Arvada Farmers Market

Celebrate fresh local food, give the lovely farmers and food suppliers a heartwarming thank you, and stock up on groceries at the Arvada Farmers Market.

The market unites communities by offering a venue for socialization and entrepreneurship.

Buy goods cultivated and produced locally and regionally.

The vendors offer a variety of products harvested and made with love and care to satisfy all of your needs.

Incredible finds at the market include Colorado peaches, bread and pastries, honey, cakes, cheeses, pickled products, and fresh juices.

You can also find house plants and artisan products such as jewelry, soaps, and body products.

The Arvada Farmers Market is in Olde Town Square.

It opens on Sundays from June through September.

Escape to Nature at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge

Vegetation at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge

Merrimon Crawford /

The Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to get close to nature and observe the local wildlife living there.

This 72-acre urban refuge, only 12 miles northwest of Denver’s downtown, is home to over 120 different bird species, beavers, coyotes, deers, red foxes, turtles, and more.

Beautiful sunrise at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge

USFWS Mountain-Prairie, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The refuge safeguards habitats for local and migratory animals.

Likewise, they rehabilitate and maintain the native prairie landscapes and offer wildlife-dependent recreational activities for people of all ages.

Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge has a series of trails that meander across prairie grasslands, forests, and wetlands and gives stunning vistas of the Rocky Mountain Front Range.

A pond surrounded by trees and grass at Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge

Footwarrior, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Escape to nature for free, and explore various outdoor recreation opportunities.

Try hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, landscape photography, and environmental education.

Enhance Your Fitness at the Apex Center

Spend some time at the Apex Center to start your fitness journey or to get in better shape.

The Apex Center offers 23,000 square feet of indoor water enjoyment, including lap and vortex pools, a zero-depth water playground, and spas for adults and the entire family.

In addition, the center has two NHL ice rinks, a natural rock climbing wall, and three full-sized gymnasiums.

Visit a treehouse-themed children’s playground, fitness rooms for cardio and pilates, meeting rooms, and much more.

Apex Center has everything for everyone, with various options to enhance your fitness.

The Apex Park and Recreation District manages this facility to improve community health.

The Apex Center is a hub and a reliable source for various events and initiatives that bring people together and elevate their quality of life.

Final Thoughts

If you want to explore Arvada’s breathtaking outdoors, you might want to stay longer than a weekend.

It is the perfect setting if you’re seeking a family-friendly urban area with loads of natural features and a wholesome country town vibe.

Book your trip and try the best things to do in Arvada.

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