Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Golden, CO

  • Published 2022/12/19

Do you want to relive the rich history of the vintage railroads, handicrafts, and early 19th-century American wild west industries?

Were you fascinated reading about the heroic exploits of a certain “Buffalo Bill” as a kid and fantasizing about seeing glimpses of its life?

This article will give you a glimpse of these pleasures by traveling to Golden, a quaint city in the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Bustling with plentiful small-town charms and the richness of its industrial past, Golden in Colorado should be on the list of your cherished holiday destinations!

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 21 best Things to do in Golden, Colorado:

Pay a Visit to Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Buffalo Bill Museum display

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We begin our journey in Golden with a visit to the grave of the city’s most famous inhabitants from the past.

The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave exhibit legendary scenes and anecdotes from the life of the iconic buffalo hunter and actor, “Buffalo Bill” (William F.Cody).

Cody earned his claim to fame for being the best buffalo hunter of his time.

He was born in 1846 and became an actor in later life.

Buffalo head at Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Gina Stef /

He staged his show, The Wild West, where he regaled the audience with narratives from the experiences gained during his hunting escapades.

You can pay your homage to this celebrated public figure by visiting his tomb in Golden, Colorado.

A museum retelling famous incidents from Cody’s life has also been established.

You can be further enlightened with exciting trivia from the life of this legendary maverick by taking a guided tour!

Bullets kept for exhibit at Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Gina Stef /

Admire Boettcher Mansion’s Architecture

Boettcher Mansion

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From the raw energy of hunting in the Wild West, we take you to the sophistry of an elegant business tycoon’s mansion.

The beautiful Boettcher Mansion sits quietly in a secluded nook in the fantastic Lookout Mountain Natural Preserve.

You can spend a quiet time admiring its exquisite stone and timber architecture that blends the finest elements of the old English and American styles.

The graceful mansion was built in 1917 to serve as the summer house of the influential Denver business magnate Charles Boettcher.

The caretakers have done a fabulous job of preserving the original décor and artifacts for you to rejoice in the beauty of times long gone!

Visit Golden History Museum and Park

Golden History Museum and Park

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Homesteading is reviving, with many new enthusiasts choosing to be involved in the exciting sub-culture.

However, if you want a glimpse of the authentic homesteading from the 19th century, head out to the Golden History Museum and Park.

The park houses several cabins and farm buildings from the 1800s preserved in their original form.

In addition, you can see a school, barn, and a chicken house from the homesteading period to peek into the ways and habits of those times!

It is the perfect tourist spot for people who like to try off-beat things and love exploring sub-cultures.

On special days, they also organize exciting blacksmithing and cooking demonstrations in the old homestead-era style.

The demonstrators also dress up in clothes in line with the fashion of the times to provide you with an immersive experience.

Go Kayaking at Clear Creek White Water Park

Kayaking at Clear Creek White Water Park

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From the gentle confines of homesteads to the thrill of sharply dropping rapids, we now take you on an adventurous kayaking expedition in the Clear Creek White Water Park.

You can challenge your kayaking skills to your heart’s fill by meandering over its three levels of rapids!

Novices can alternatively navigate the course in tubes and still tumble and fumble on the waves!

Tubing at Clear Creek White Water Park

Merrimon Crawford /

An insider tip is keeping to the center as the currents are moderate.

The outer edges carry the most substantial waves, and expert kayakers are best left to venture into them.

Their innovative water park offers the most excitement in the third stage, where the rapids drop the sharpest.

Incredibly, they do not charge any fees for availing of this fun, and you can go and ride the thrilling eddies!

Kayaking at Clear Creek White Water Park

Steve Boice /

See the Railroad Artifacts at Colorado Railroad Museum

Thomas the tank engine at Colorado Railroad Museum


Colorado was home to some of the earliest railroads that sprang up because of the thriving coal industry of the region.

We take you to the Colorado Railroad Museum to let you feast on the finest vintage railroad artifacts from that golden era!

Explore exciting locomotives, passenger coaches, and freight cars from the early days of railways.

Trains exhibited at Colorado Railroad Museum

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Those who love mechanics can have a pleasure riot by observing the earliest structures, propulsions, and linkages that powered these steam workhorses.

The evolution of any technology mirrors that of civilization itself.

You can almost hear the cries of railway pioneers echo in these artifacts that exhibit their struggles to fine-tune this fantastic technology.

An old train egine at Colorado Railroad Museum

Richard Semik /

Furthermore, enjoy the experience of wandering through a replica of an 1800s-era railway station at the Depot Museum.

Explore a vintage maintenance house by visiting the roundhouse here.

Kids won’t feel left out, either. They can toy around with the G-scale garden railway.

A young boy curiously looking at the displays at Colorado Railroad Museum

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Grab Some Beers at Coors Brewery

Coors Brewery

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How does the prospect of visiting the largest single-site brewery in the world sound?

Add to that a rare chance to see master artisans guiding their workers as they make the finest brews using only authentic, manual techniques.

The Coors Brewery has served its renowned brews to beer lovers since 1873.

You can watch the entire process first-hand, right from the malting of the barley, to the mashing process and ending up with the final fermentation and aging.

Interior view of Coors Brewery

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It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch the brewers here approach their craft as absolute labor of love!

The tasting session after the tour ends doesn’t hurt, either!

Finally, you can see some exciting memorabilia retelling the rich history of this great brewery!

Exterior view of Coors Brewery

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Visit Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

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Next, it is time to head out into the welcoming arms of the beautiful natural expanses of the Golden State Canyon State Park.

You can enjoy glorious views of the stunning landscapes featuring mountains and forests spread over 12,000 acres.

The best way to drink in the full pleasures of these formations is to set up a campsite for a few days.

Tall trees at Golden Gate Canyon State Park

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Alternatively, book your stay by renting a log cabin and enjoy the umpteen charms of the wilderness.

You can then take part in a plethora of outdoor activities on offer.

Go on long hikes amid the breathtaking scenery and get lost in the pristine elegance of nature.

Lake at Golden Gate Canyon State Park

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Mix in a dash of adventure by going rock climbing or horseback riding.

Alternatively, catch a wide variety of fish in pond waters dotting the region.

Fog covered hiking trail at Golden Gate Canyon State Park

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Sip a Cup of Coffee at Higher Grounds Café

You can take your gang to enjoy simmering hot espressos and lattes with delicious snacks at the Higher Grounds Café.

Their breakfast burrito is the perfect way to begin your day on your trip!

This place has an easy air about it, and you can beat the stress out by simply lazing in the warm ambiance while ordering cups of your favorite cappuccino.

They also offer free Wi-Fi to enjoy movies, games, or music while relaxing.

Experience the Guided Tour at State 38 Distilling

Learn the delicate art of handcrafting fine liquor by visiting the State 28 Distilling.

You can enjoy watching their artisan brewers make glorious liquors using only locally sourced ingredients and pure Rocky Mountain water.

Their extensive guided tours take you through the whole processing line, starting at the procurement stage to finishing up with the shimmering golden liquor bottling.

Finally, they reward your patience with a tasting session of two of their delicious liquors.

They currently have five varieties in their product line, and they use exotic flavors such as bourbon and organic blue agave to distill them!

Take a Trip to Lookout Mountain Nature Centre and Preserve

Lookout Mountain Nature Centre and Preserve

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You can escape city life’s clamor by taking a day trip to Lookout Mountain, only 12 miles from Denver.

The Lookout Mountain Nature Centre, situated in these foothills, provides a rich glimpse of the region through its fantastic exhibits.

After this, you can explore the beautiful nature of this region yourself by hiking on the labyrinth of great trails crisscrossing the mountain.

View from Lookout Mountain Nature Centre and Preserve

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Your path will cut through dense forests teeming with stunning pine trees and lush green meadows.

This region is home to rich wildlife, including marvelous black bears, mountain lions, and elk.

Gazebo at Lookout Mountain Nature Centre and Preserve

Faina Gurevich /

Revisit History at Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

Golden is unique in being home to many sites related to exciting crafts.

For example, quilting is a fantastic handicraft, and you can trace its rich history at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.

You can watch closely how the craft of quilting over the years as new and better techniques were added to the repertoire of master quilting artisans.

The museum houses exquisite quilts depicting the various styles used for the craft.

The quilts carry lavish patterns made with rich plumes of colored thread, and the exquisite craftsmanship will spellbind you.

Shop Some Handicrafts at Spinster Sisters

We quickly switch from traditional handicrafts to their modern avatar by visiting the Spinster Sisters apothecary and soap-making facility.

The company sells more than 30 handmade soaps with sweet aromas and silky textures.

Their portfolio also boasts extensive lotions, salt soaks, and scrubs.

In addition, the company prides itself on supplying natural products using eco-friendly ingredients such as essential oils, homegrown herbs, and sustainably produced oils.

Grab Some Liquors at Golden Moon Distillery

More handcrafted liquors await you at the environment-friendly Golden Moon Distillery.

This unique distillery is renowned for making the finest handcrafted liquors from natural herbs and artisans using an authentic artisan process dating back to the 19th century.

Their rich collection of fine spirits boasts renowned variants such as gin and grappa.

Their specialty absinthe is a sheer delight, and you can have the complete absinthe experience in their tasting room by drinking it over burnt sugar!

A spoonful of absinthe is enough to transpose you to unworldly bliss!

Other remarkable bouquets include the apple jack, specialty amer dit picon, and crème de violette.

You can enjoy all these great liquors along with toothsome snacks at the in-house bar, the Golden Moon Speakeasy.

Pre-prohibition punches and craft cocktails are a must-try if you visit this place.

Dine at Bonfires Burritos

You can enjoy authentic Mexican delicacies with a sumptuous feast at the Bonfires Burritos.

Their delightful burrito offerings include vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties to cater to all taste buds.

They even have unique breakfast burritos to give you the perfect energy boost at the start of the day!

One of the funniest things about Bonfires Burritos is that people praise it for serving the best green chili in the whole of Colorado!

You can also book a space to host a party in a high-energy atmosphere with the choicest burrito served to guests!

Experience Holiday Brewing’s Beers

The number of excellent breweries is staggering, and the list never seems to end.

Holidaily Brewing is another fantastic addition, but this brewery specializes in gluten-free beers.

They are careful not to leave traces of common beer ingredients mixed with their products.

For example, they only use millet and buckwheat for their beer.

The brewery is dedicated to its cause, procuring only zero gluten ingredients.

Their efforts are highly appreciable for letting gluten-allergic people enjoy the pleasures of a frothing craft beer!

Visit Windy Saddle Café

Windy Saddle Café doubles up as Golden’s modern version of the medieval town hall where people can gather over great food, wine, and coffee in a shared camaraderie.

The rich menu boasts a wide variety of choicest delicacies, including pastries and biscuits.

You can top off your feast by choosing from their extensive drinks menu, including fine wines and craft beers.

A visit to this place can be even more pleasurable in winter when the community sits around a warm log fire.

The friendly vibes of this place can leave you warm and happy!

Admire the Works of Colorado Artists at Foothills Art Center

The Main Gallery entrance at Foothills Art Center is handicap accessible, and there are two designated parking spaces in its lot.

Visitors may utilize the free wireless Internet connection.

Over 100 native Colorado artisans adhering to the highest standards of handicraft are represented at the Art Center. Their works include exquisite ceramics, fiber, fused glass, jewels, paintings, carpentry, photography, holiday decorations, and more.

Their displays are accessible to the general public, so everyone may use art to discover inspiration, acquire new insight, and form new relationships.

Come by and fill your shopping list with something for everyone!

Have an Evening Meal at Sherpa House Restaurant and Culture Center

Whenever you come to Golden’s Sherpa House Restaurant and Cultural Center, you’ll be taken to the Himalayas and able to feast in a typical Sherpa-style home tucked away in lush gardens.

Sherpas translate as inhabitants from the east.

They embrace the Tibetan branch of Buddhism in keeping with their ancestry.

Taste the diverse cuisine of other lands.

While dinner runs from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, lunch is served from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm.

Sherpa House Restaurant and Culture Center is the perfect place to celebrate any special occasion, including birthdays, weddings, holidays, family gatherings, and other milestones.

Explore and Take a Look at the Exhibits at Mines Museum of Earth Science

Approximately 30,000 people visit the Mines Museum each year, the site of one of the two Goodwill moon pebbles that Colorado has acquired since the Apollo 17 mission.

The Museum displays the largest public display of Colorado minerals and acts as the official repository for the state’s mining legacy.

Enjoy the 15,000 square feet of intriguing rocks, minerals, relics, and other geological science-related items.

There is constantly something fresh to see because they now have more than 2,000 pieces on exhibit and more significant than 40,000 objects in their collection overall.

Exhibits are constantly changed so visitors can enjoy new educational opportunities and presentations.

Play a family-friendly treasure hunt to get a freebie rock or mineral, and keep an eye out for shifting themes!

Wander around the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum

The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum, a collaborative project of the Colorado Mountain Club and the American Alpine Club, aims to commemorate mountaineering’s heritage and motivate its future.

The Museum seeks to inform people about mountaineering as a sport and mountain culture and to arouse in contemporary climbers better respect for climbing heritage.

It has 3,500 square feet of area and is located in the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado, tucked away at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

View their seasonal exhibitions and permanent displays to learn more about the history of mountaineering.

The displays feature historical relics like Jim Whitaker’s equipment, which he used to become the first American to summit Mount Everest in 1963, as well as some other pieces that highlight the valiant efforts of several other mountaineers.

Drop by During Happy Hour at Table Mountain Grill & Cantina

Pay a visit to the historic Golden, Colorado, home of Table Mountain Grill & Cantina.

Table Mountain Grill & Cantina evokes the feeling of dining in a close friend’s home with its vibrant Santa Fe decor and flavorful Southwestern food.

Enjoy happy hour, a tasty meal with local rocky mountain trout, or breakfast with a burger while taking in the atmosphere.

The Southwestern restaurant is close to several exciting places, including hiking paths outside, museums, shopping, and more.

Additionally, holding your exclusive event at Table Mountain Inn may transform your gathering into a great occasion.

Final Thoughts

When planning a trip alone, with girlfriends, or with your whole family, Colorado’s Golden should be among your top choices since it is brimming with small-town beauty and the wealth of its industrial heritage.

Don’t miss a great time at this tourist destination, home to breweries, old mansions, parks, and other tourist hotspots worth seeing.

Golden, Colorado, boasts a relaxed atmosphere and an extensive beverage menu that you must try.

Overall, a journey to Golden, Colorado, is made unforgettable by its beautiful scenery, historical importance, and unique features.

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