An Underestimated Town in the Colorado Foothills
Golden boasts a great boutique inn, delectable bites like candied bacon, and a farmers' market to write home about
Golden feels a million miles away and yet it’s just 14 miles from Denver. A remote, mountainous ambiance doesn’t mean it isn’t a busy place in the summer; many of people like to frolic here and are especially drawn to the activities provided by Clear Creek.
Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
I love visiting while the Golden Farmers’ Market is in full swing; it runs Saturdays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, June 2 through October 6, 2018 (except July 28 due to Buffalo Bill Days). This farmers’ market is located at 10th and Illinois in the Golden Public Library parking lot. I like to access the market via the river path next to the Rose Garden outside of the Golden History Museum. The museum just reopened after a major renovation.
It’s a beautiful market with a little something to make everyone smile. Baked goods are stacked up in wicker baskets, bright red radishes, tomatoes and Palisade cherries load down table tops. There is sweet honey to taste and sauces galore to tempt shoppers. If, like me, you have a weakness for hot and spicy sauces, this is the market to attend.
In addition to plenty of foodstuffs, handmade soaps and oils are also available. Plan to pick up breakfast or lunch at one of several food trucks here, and perhaps a dozen scrumptious tamales for later.
Photo courtesy The Dove Inn
Golden is not short on nice hotels. On my most recent trip to town, we stayed in the Castle Rock Suite at The Dove Inn. This historic home has been converted into a boutique inn that’s a perfect fit in Golden. Guests are eased into a carefree vacation mode from the moment they enter this gorgeously renovated property.
It’s a mix of vintage design with modern conveniences, such as a state-of-the-art kitchen that includes cold coffee and kombucha on tap.
Photo courtesy The Dove Inn
The Castle Rock Suite is well-equipped for a weekend or week-long stay, featuring a large kitchen, dining area, bedroom space and contemporary subway-tiled bathroom. With its varying shades of blue, I could have lived happily in this room forever.
The Dove Inn has a hands-off approach to accommodating guests, and a stay comes with all of the amenities but no front desk. Don’t worry—everything has been thought of and provided for in advance.
For a delectable sandwich, visit Cheese Ranch, a short walk from the inn. You can also buy cheese and Charcuterie here to devour later on your room’s patio at The Dove Inn.
Once it’s dinnertime, my new favorite food item in Golden is the spicy, candied bacon at Miner’s Saloon. The saloon has great food, but be sure to check out their cocktail menu. The bartenders know their stuff so ask them to create something using your favorite spirit—you won’t be disappointed. A short walk from The Dove Inn, the saloon’s patio has a great view of the “M” on Mount Zion (an ode to the Colorado School of Mines, located in Golden).
Whether you visit to float the river and enjoy a free carriage ride through downtown or you come to experience the fairytale-like Candlelight Walk in late November, Golden is a dreamy getaway that’s close to Denver.