Golden, Colorado’s claim to fame is the world-renowned Miller Coors, which draws in guests in from across the globe. But this charming town has much more to offer if you know where to look for it. Nestled at the foot of the Rockies, in-between North and South Table Mesas, the city is an idyllic, former gold rush town. Clear Creek cuts a glistening path through the city-center, and with no lack of show-stopping views, it’s easy to see why Golden is one of Colorado’s best kept secrets.
For the outdoor enthusiast, Golden is a small slice of paradise. The International Making Cities Livable Conference recently accredited the city with “Walkable Neighborhoods” commendation. The neighborhoods in Golden connect with parks, schools, and commercial centers. The city has 24 miles of biking and hiking trails that lead up beyond the residential areas and into the mountains for a quick city escape.
Washington Avenue is the local hot spot where you can find local restaurants, breweries, and the like that showcase the budding culinary scene. Besides Coors, Golden is home to at least five small breweries and two craft distilleries. The two large community gardens focused on urban renewal are a testament to the town’s commitment to local food.
Fun Fact: Golden has 402 acres of open space and maintains 253 acres of park within the city itself.
Today Golden is abundant in outgoing people, thriving businesses, outdoor adventures, and scenic beauty. But back in 1859, when the city was founded, people were settling there in droves hoping to strike gold; it quickly became an important supply stop for miners and their families. The fertile soils of Clear Creek Valley and the rich clay deposits found at Fossil Trace Golf Club allowed agriculture to boom, which is still a staple of the city’s commerce today.
While these industries were taking off, the city was poised to become a center of intellectual development. The Colorado School of Mines established itself in the city in the 1870’s. Specializing in applied sciences and engineering, CSM was ranked 29th in the nation among national public education and top in terms of salary potential for graduates. The National Renewable Energy Lab also contributes to the city’s reputation in applied sciences.
To maintain its authenticity, residents rejoice in the longstanding traditions of the past. Its small town charm can be experienced through summer festivals, farmer’s markets, Buffalo Bill Days, and wandering down Washington Avenue.
Fun Fact: In 1862, Golden became the capital of the federally recognized Colorado Territory. Locals were outraged when neighboring Denver stole the honor of becoming the capital of the newly formed state in 1876.