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It’s been a rough year of staying home. So, after getting vaccinated earlier this year, TJ and I were more than a little excited for an overnight date. Our Golden, Colorado getaway proved to be the perfect respite we needed.
Golden is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Denver but it feels worlds apart. It’s often referred to as Denver’s closest mountain town. With its plentiful hiking, biking, rock climbing and kayaking experiences I couldn’t agree more.
On a recent Friday evening, we dropped the kids with their grandparents and headed up to the “world’s biggest little beer town.”
Golden gets that name because it’s home to eight craft breweries including Coors, the world’s largest single-site brewery. As such, Golden produces more beer than any other city on the planet.
The Golden Hotel: A Perfect Choice For a Colorado Getaway
I was stoked to check out some good local brews, but first, we checked into our home for the evening: The Golden Hotel.
The hotel is set in the heart of downtown Golden. The town is easy to walk around and filled with locally-owned shops, galleries, restaurants and the aforementioned breweries.
It’s in an awesome location overlooking Clear Creek and our room had expansive views of the creek and the foothills beyond.
The rooms in The Golden Hotel are contemporary in design and come with really comfy beds. They come in a number of shapes and sizes but if you want a more romantic vibe book the Creekside Suite. This suite has a jetted tub, gas fireplace, plush robes and direct Clear Creek views.
Dinner at The Buffalo Rose Saloon
After unpacking we headed to Buffalo Rose for dinner. The historic Golden restaurant, bar and live performance venue recently underwent a renovation and has a really cool ambiance inside and out.
It also has a really cool backstory. The business is set in a number of historic structures dating back to Goldens’ beginnings in the mid-19th-century.
The Buffalo Rose Saloon building, for instance, began as The International Bowling Saloon in 1859. At that time it had two stories. The second floor was taken out in the 1880s when a large organ was brought onsite in an attempt to bring female customers to the bar.
We chose to sit on the patio and listen to live music with our dinner. I’d really missed listening to live music during the year of Covid so this was an added bonus.
Our starter choice was the Chorizo Jalapeños. The peppers are stuffed with Oaxacan chorizo and goat cheese and glazed in cherry chipotle. They were delicious.
For our mains I went with the Street tacos. They were served in a trio with cilantro jicama slaw, Cojita cheese, red onions and red chile mayo with a side of Spanish rice and black beans.
TJ opted for a Wild West Burger with smoked bacon, cheddar, Fresno chiles and coyote onions. Overall, we loved Buffalo Rose. It’s definitely a place we will return on a future Golden, Colorado getaway with the kids.
Colorado Getaway Continues With Music and Cocktails
The live music at dinner just triggered our desire to listen to more so we headed next door to the Buffalo Rose’s concert venue. Here we listened to jams by Stone Beat Invasion, a Rolling Stones cover band.
We quickly realized that so much time locked at home with kids had us really antsy for a big night out. After singing along to the Stones top hits for a while we wrapped up the night at the Golden Moon Speakeasy.
The speakeasy is part of the Golden Moon Distillery. The distillery handcrafts its own spirits and then the speakeasy turns them into some impressive cocktails. It was the perfect place to end the night.
For drinks try the Cloud City (Early grey infused Violette, lemon and ginger shrub) or the Phoenix Down (whiskey, cinnamon and brown sugar syrup bitters smoked in the glass). Both were also really affordable for such decadent beverages, priced at $12.
Breakfast and Hiking
After a big night out it was so refreshing to get a solid 8-hours sleep in a super comfy bed back at The Golden Inn. With young kids, I don’t get to experience this often so it was an extra special treat.
We woke up starving and headed to breakfast at the nearby Bridgewater Grill. They have a great patio overlooking Clear Creek and serve a variety of classic breakfast items from burritos to pancakes.
I went with the Vanilla French Toast to please my sweet tooth. Served with caramelized apples, hazelnuts and whipped cream, it was divine. TJ opted for the Huevos Rancheros with two eggs, fried corn tortillas, black beans, smoky chipotle ranchero sauce and poblano crema.
Stomachs full, we decided to end our staycation with a hike to work off all that alcohol and food. Every Colorado getaway should include hiking and luckily, Golden is known for its world-class outdoor recreation.
The city has 254 acres of parks and more than 5,000 acres of County Open Space nearby making it prime for hiking and biking adventures. There are also climbing routes, a kayak park and miles of creeks for fly fishing.
We decided to check out the Golden Summit Trail. It was just under 3-miles and easy to access. The views from the top were golden.
For any Colorado hike or camping trip, you’ll want to check out Mountain Warehouse before you go. Find top-selling hiking pants, tents, outdoor accessories and more necessities here.
Although I was excited to see my kids after 24-hours away, I was sad to leave Golden so quickly. Luckily its easy proximity to Denver and abundant family-friendly activities and dining mean TJ and I will return often.
Book This Trip
Start planning your trip out to the Rocky Mountains to explore Golden, Colorado. You can get prepared with local restaurant reviews, hotel and VRBO reservations, hiking trails and more on TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
When you are ready to plan your dates, you can find exclusive savings on flights and ground transportation deals here. Be sure to protect your trip from any sudden changes or lost luggage with travel and trip insurance from TravelGuard.
To learn more about Golden, check out: https://www.visitgolden.com/
Don’t miss our Colorado Travel Guide with more information on what to see and do around Colorado.
Author Bio: Living across Europe and South America unlocked Carri’s passion for traveling. Never shying away from a new adventure whether swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas, bird watching in the Galapagos or Heli-Hiking in British Columbia, you never know where you will catch Carri Wilbanks next. She resides in Colorado between freelance trips with her husband and son where they enjoy hiking, mountain biking and skiing.