Learn About This Location
Founded as a true gold rush town in 1859, the city of Golden is actually named after miner Tom Golden and not the precious metal. The original Golden City has served as the territorial capital but lost its battle to nearby Denver following the Civil War when the other city built a larger railway system. Golden became more industrial as breweries, including the still-present Coors Brewery, a paper mill and five smelters were established. Today, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the American Mountaineering Center are both located in Golden.
The Community of Golden
Interstate 70 lies to the southeast of Golden and allows for a quick trip to nearby Denver. The downtown district is in the northern part of the city, with recreational opportunities more to the west and residential areas to the east.
What to Do in Golden
Established in 1873, Coors Brewery has evolved into the largest single-site brewery in the U.S. and offers regular tours. A self-guided, 30-minute overview lets you see how malting, brewing and packaging are done, then adults can sample the finished product. Once you've finished the tour, you'll get a commemorative Coors glass and can get even more Coors merchandise at the gift shop.
The Colorado School of Mines has more than 2,500 types of gems and minerals on display, including the Miss Colorado crown that boasts 21 diamonds and a moon rock collected on the Apollo 17 mission. Two 45-minute guided tours feature either the museum's collection or the outdoor geologic trail.
The Golden area abounds in recreational opportunities, and many are found in nearby Golden Gate State Park. More than 12,000 acres are home to campgrounds; trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding; and stocked fishing ponds. In the winter, the park is well-known for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Golden
Buffalo Bill Cody was a larger-than-life figure of the Old West, and he's buried in Golden. Visit his grave overlooking Lookout Mountain and tour the small museum dedicated to his life. While not as extensive as the Buffalo Bill Center in Cody, Wy., you'll be able to learn quite a bit about Buffalo Bill's influence on the west through his performances and see a significant firearms collection. The drive up to the museum is especially scenic.
Dining in Golden
The contemporary Abejas restaurant in downtown Golden focuses on sustainable, local produce and organic meats. Decorated with reclaimed materials, Abejas serves a renowned weekend brunch with eclectic offerings like Smoked Steelhead Trout Benedict and Duck Confit Hash. Staying for dinner? You can't go wrong with a delicious hanger steak or seared scallops.
Woody's Wood-Fired Pizza is a community standard, and you'll see why when you try a slice. The all-you-can-eat pizza, soup and salad bar fills you up, or try a burger or sandwich. If you're ordering a full pizza, try the Golden Backpack with sausage and pepperoni; the sales benefit the local program to provide food for needy kids.