city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States

Golden is a city in the Denver Area of Colorado. It sits at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and distance-wise is roughly halfway between the cities of Boulder and Denver. It is the home of the Coors Brewery, the Colorado School of Mines, and the Colorado Railroad Museum.

Golden Colorado Welcome Sign

The city of Golden has a distinct country-western atmosphere due in part to its gold-mining history and in part to its proximity to the front range. A slogan often used to describe the city claims that it's "Where The West Lives". Also, an iconic, antique signboard draped over Golden's Main Street ushers in travelers with "Howdy Folks! Welcome To Golden".

In keeping with the general spirit of the Rockies, Golden is an outdoor, active town. It's not unusual to see kayakers lugging boats around town and playing in the mile long whitewater course that runs through town, or mountain bikers returning from a ride up to the surrounding hills.



Golden is a tourist town in summer and a college town the rest of the year.

Golden is not between Boulder and Denver. It is west of Denver and south of Boulder. There are other cities between Golden and Denver, e.g. Lakewood and Wheat Ridge.

Get in


See this Colorado travel map. Colorado is on Mountain Standard Time (UTC-07) in the winter and on Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-06) in the summer.

By air


By car


Golden is served six major highways:            
Rental cars are available at Denver International Airport and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

By rail


The Amtrak California Zephyr and Winter Park Express serve Denver Union Station. You can use the RTD light rail W line for the 43-minute ride from Denver Union Station to the Jeffco Government Center Station in southeast Golden.

By bus


Greyhound Lines serve Denver.

Get around


Public Transit


Golden is served by the RTD light rail W line which connects to Lakewood and Denver, RTD bus routes 17 and GS, and the RTD GDFX FlexRide bus service.

Downtown Golden consists of a strip of businesses surrounded by residential neighborhoods. This commercial and business portion of Golden is relatively small, and can be driven or biked through, or even covered by foot, in a short amount of time. In fact, Golden is very alternative-transportation friendly, and groups of walkers or bikers are always seen moving through town. The downtown area is an active hub for area residents. Numerous events are sponsored there throughout the year. One of these is a weekly Friday night street party with music and local restaurants selling tapas and beverages. In August the city sponsors a popular fine arts festival. In 2012 professional cyclists will, for the second consecutive year, begin a day of racing in the middle of town.

Colorado Railroad Museum

Activities in Golden are usually split between visiting its historical sites including the Coors Brewery, and doing outdoors activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking.

  • 1 Coors Brewery, 13th & Ford Streets, +1 303 277-BEER (2337). Tours operate M-Sa 10AM-4PM. guests over 21 years old offered limited free samples, guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The main tourist draw for the city, the Coors Brewery in Golden is also the largest beer brewing plant in the world on a single site. It is easily recognized for its sheer size and space consumption, and in particular, its plain grey walls and large, red "Coors" sign mural. If you visit Golden, you will undoubtedly notice the distinct fragrance of grains, hops, and alcohol wafting through the air at any point in town, any time of the year. The brewery is a popular attraction mainly because of the guided tours it offers. These tours last about 45 minutes, and guests over the age of 21 are treated to a free sample of the brewery's confectionery. $20.
  • 2 Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave, +1 303-279-4591. Open every day, excluding holidays, 9AM-5PM. Created in 1959 to preserve the history of Colorado's rollicking railroad era, this museum is now a haven for aficionados of heritage railways, antique cabooses, and steam locomotives. Railfans will want to check out the museum's periodic train ride days, where you could have a wine & cheese tasting on a train, or let the kids meet "Thomas the Tank Engine". Also, the museum is a non-profit establishment that publishes its own books about railroad history. It also has indoor and outdoor model train layouts.    
  • Clear Creek Whitewater Park. Along 10th St in Clear Creek. Considered to be the heart of the Colorado kayaking social scene, the mile long course in Clear Creek provides a playspot for both playboaters and slalom kayakers, as well as a plethora of tubers and boogie boarders. Even if you don't want to get in the water, head down to the park to watch kayakers ripping it up in the holes some of the best kayakers in the state practice here on a regular basis. If you want to try kayaking, local kayak school RA Guides provides lessons here regularly during the summer months, or, if you having boating experience, kayaks can be rented from either of the two river stores in town, Golden River Sports or Alpenglow. The park is beginner friendly and folks are more than happy to help out newcomers, as long as you have some common sense and basic courtesy. Look but don't touch others' boats, wait your turn and be safe.

Despite being a college town, a surprising number of Golden's restaurants close early, or are only open for breakfast and lunch. The late night crowd moves to bars (or Denver proper) instead.

  • Ali Baba Grill, 109 North Rubey Dr., F, +1 303-279-2228. Daily 11AM - 9PM. Friendly and elaborately-decorated Lebanese restaurant in the northern part of town.
  • Café 13, 1301 Arapaho St, +1 303-278-2225. M-F 6:30AM - 3PM, Sa 7:30AM - 3PM, Su 7:30AM - 1:30PM. Coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and other light fare. The locally-made muffins are excellent.
  • Windy Saddle Cafe, 1110 Washington Ave, +1 303-279-1905. Su-W 7AM - 6PM, Th-Sa 7AM - 9PM. Comfortable spot to grab a sandwich for lunch and watch the activity on Washington outside. Kid-friendly.


  • 1 Ace Hi Tavern, 1216 Washington Avenue, +1 303-279-9043. If one bar is the locals' watering hole, this is it. Music is from the jukebox and the place isn't the prettiest, but on any night of the week this place will be full of college students and old-timers alike. Great place to drop in and get to know the residents of the town. Located on Washington next to Foss Drug.
  • 2 The Buffalo Rose, 1119 Washington Avenue, +1 303-278-6800. A stereotypical biker bar on Washington Ave, with loud and often live music and plenty of Harleys parked out the front. It's big and hard to miss, with a large sign out the front.
  • 3 Golden City Brewery, 920 12th Street, +1 303-279-8092.
  • 4 New Terrain Brewing Company, 16401 Table Mountain Parkway, +1 720-697-7848.



Several hotels, particularly the chain hotels, that claim to be in Golden are often well outside the city proper – no more than a few minutes' drive away on US-6, but not within walking distance. Addresses on 6th Ave., or any name including "Denver West", are both tip-offs.

  • Hampton Inn Denver West/Golden, 17150 W. Colfax Ave (1 block west of the junction of US-40 and US-6), +1 303-278-6600, fax: +1 303-278-6660. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Fairly generic, but in a good way: simple and well-maintained.
  • Residence Inn Denver Golden Red Rocks, 14600 W. 6th Ave, +1 303-271-0909. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Equipped kitchen with a refrigerator & microwave. Complimentary high-speed wireless internet access and in room cable TV, HBO, and pay-per-view movies. $120.
  • Table Mountain Inn, 1310 Washington Ave, toll-free: +1-800-762-9898. Southwestern-style hotel in downtown Golden, right next to the Colorado School of Mines campus.



Go next

Routes through Golden
Grand JunctionIdaho Springs  W   E  ArvadaDenver
Grand JunctionIdaho Springs   W   E  LakewoodDenver
Steamboat SpringsIdaho Springs  W   E  LakewoodDenver
Ends at    W   E  → Wheat Ridge → Ends at  
Ends at  Boulder   N   S  Ends at  
Ends at    W   E  LakewoodEnds at  

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