Sep 26 2010

11 Things in Golden, Colorado

Today’s guest post is written by Travels with Children reader (and also my sister) Laurie, who has found a perfect family destination near her new home of Denver, Colorado.  Do you have a small town that you enjoy visiting, or 11 great tips for a popular vacation destination?  Read all about 11 Things to see how you can be featured.

We moved to the Denver, Colorado, area recently and shortly thereafter I won a “staycation” to Golden, CO.  We were given tickets to several attractions in Golden.  Since Golden is just a short drive for us, even though we haven’t really used many of our free tickets, we have visited Golden several times and loved our experiences.  I know I’m supposed to list 11 things but that’s almost impossible to do for Golden – there is so much to do there!

Golden, Colorado

Golden, Colorado

Here are 11 things to do in Golden, CO:

  1. Visit the beautiful downtown – it has a wonderful downtown area with lots of shops and restaurants.
  2. Enjoy Clear Creek – the creek flows by the downtown area and has a great path along it.  In the summer you can grab an inner tube and tube down the gentle rapids.  You can sit at the tables on the bridge on Washington Street and enjoy the water.
  3. First Fridays – On the first Friday of every month the main downtown street is closed for a fun night of food, entertainment and a relaxing, fun time.  You can also find your way to the park for music and a movie.  There are free horse and carriage rides also.
  4. Farmers Market – Saturdays from May through September.  Right along the river and right next to the library – lots of great fresh produce and other fun stuff.
  5. Buffalo Bill Days – We got to enjoy a GREAT parade and other festivities – put this one on your calendar!
  6. Coors Brewery – free tours of this huge brewery (right next to Clear Creek near the downtown area.)  The tours are at your own pace with an audio guide.  You get free samples of beer at the end of the tour.
  7. Colorado Railroad Museum – this was one of our free tickets.  We got lucky and went on Buffalo Bill Days and road the steam train and were there for the “great train robbery”.  Tickets are more expensive on special days, but it was fun to be there on that day.  There are many trains outside on display and a nice museum inside with a model train set up in the basement.
  8. Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza – on the east end of the downtown area.  Great pizza (buffet or to order) and a fun atmosphere.  They also have sandwiches and other foods.
  9. The Alley – we found this little gem on a First Friday.  We wanted to have some ice cream, but the line outside the big ice cream shop was huge.  We almost walked past this narrow little deli when we saw their ice cream sign – really cheap, yummy and not too much wait – even on a busy Friday night!
  10. Golden History Museum/Astor House/Clear Creek History Park – these are on our list of things to do.  There is a wonderful history in the Golden area.  These places also offer special events with reenactments etc.
  11. I can’t quite keep it to 11, so I’ll just add the rest of the places we won tickets to.  We’ll hopefully get to these places soon!  Heritage Square, American Mountaineering Museum, Foothills Art Center. There’s also a nice little quilt museum right downtown.   A great first stop would be the visitor’s center on the corner of Washington on the west side of the creek.

As you can see there is so much to do in Golden, CO.  Today we planned to go to one of the museums and we showed up there and got to go to the farmer’s market, a safety fair at the fire station and even saw a small Homecoming Parade.  There are a bunch of great little shops and restaurants – we’ve only had the opportunity to try a few of them so far.  Every time we visit we have a better time than we even thought we would.  We will be visiting here many more times – hopefully you will get a chance to visit this great little town!

Learn more about the Golden, Colorado attractions Laurie mentioned at Uptake, or visit the Golden Chamber of Commerce.

The “11 Things” series is designed to give tips for traveling families to destinations well-known or off the beaten path.  Learn how to share 11 Things about your favorite destination, or read other 11 Things posts.

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