When I first moved to Denver around twelve years ago, one of the first things on my “bucket list” was to absorb Golden, Colorado. After all, the advertisements that I had seen over the years (admittedly, mostly via Coors commercials) portrayed this place as one of the last great towns of the west! However, I have spent years biking, hiking, golfing, climbing, eating, drinking, and listening to great live music there. Now, I have to say I am not sure the advertisements are 100% accurate! It is not only Golden but also Morrison that you must experience! Fortunately, they are both in the same general vicinity and easy to enjoy together.
Hike – Why not take in some of the most stunning views in the Front Range with a nice hike on one of the twelve different trails in the majestic Golden Gate State Park. Golden Gate State Park is comprised of over 14,000 acres with a stunning variety of scenery from huge rock outcroppings to peaceful meadows with water and Aspen groves!
Bike – Apex. This one word conjures up feelings of pain, frustration, and achievement for most mountain bike enthusiasts in Denver. Known for the steep and rocky assents, this is not a trail for the beginner; but, for those with some experience, Apex is the premier mountain bike destination. It is located only 4 miles outside of downtown Golden.
Eat – Pull up a chair on the patio of the Bridgewater Grill, located in the famous Golden Hotel on the banks of Clear Creek. After a great morning or day of outdoor activity, there is no place better to sit for a meal or an appetizer and enjoy the sights and sounds of Clear Creek and downtown Golden. If your preference is a cold adult beverage, just walk across the street to enjoy live music and the fantastic staff at the famous Buffalo Rose.
Morrison has a town motto of “The Nearest Faraway Place.” This motto is as fitting as there may be for any town motto in the United States. Although historic downtown Morrison is located within minutes of major highways (namely, C-470, US 285, and I-70), the town makes you feel like you are miles and miles away from the hustle-and-bustle of Denver. Morrison is most famous for the world renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but true fans of Morrison appreciate it for so much more!
Hike –Take one of the most breathtaking hikes year round at Dakota Ridge/Matthew Winters. Situated above downtown Morrison, this 6-mile hike will having you shaking your head that so much beauty is located within twenty miles of downtown Denver. On a clear summer evening, grab a seat and listen to the faint sounds of a live band playing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Bike (Road/Mountain) – Park your car in the lot just north of the Morrison exit off of C-470. Peddle approximately a mile and half up Rooney Road until you are at the base of Green Mountain. Then, take a short break (you will need to catch your breath for the next push). Now ascend for approximately 3 to 4 miles until you have reached the summit of Green Mountain. Look down on the celebrated, new, luxury development of Solterra or take in one of the most profound views of downtown Denver and its surrounding suburbs.
Eat -After a long day’s work/play, head to downtown Morrison to enjoy a glass of wine and a fantastic meal at Café Praugue, or take in one of most unique dining experiences in the Front Range at the Fort Restaurant, featuring entrées such as fresh elk medallions, bison, pheasant, quail eggs and the ever famous Rocky Mountain Oysters. If you want to enjoy a more laid-back environment, indulge in the best margarita in town at the Morrison Inn. During the summer, enjoy live music on the rooftop at the Morrison Inn.
Please contact me if you are (rightfully!) thinking about relocating to Denver because this is how you envision your lifestyle. Or, just shot me an e-mail, should you need additional recommendations for your next visit to Golden or Morrison.