Though the Front Range of Colorado is saturated with people, there are many outlets to escape the hustle-bustle. Located just 20 minutes from Boulder and 30 minutes from Denver, Golden, CO, is one of those escapes. If you’re looking to boat, bike, or run, Golden has it, and in some cases directly downtown. Golden is also surrounded by beautiful open spaces and mountain parks that are just a short distance away. If you need a break from the busyness of the city life, here’s your answer.

Here’s an outline of what you can find in Golden, CO.

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Play: Just 11 miles from downtown Golden sits the White Ranch Open Space. Here you’ll find a perfect mix of wildflower meadows, Pinon Pine covered forests, and craggy rock formations. With just over 20 miles of single track, both technical and smooth trail will carry you from the low creek bottom of Van Bibber Creek to dramatic views of the western plains and Denver. North Table Mountain a little closer to town provides equally stunning vistas and is a great option for mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, and climbers alike. Given the wide variety of steep and technical to smooth and flat terrain, there is something for everyone in Golden.

For paddlers, downtown Golden has its very own play park that is easily accessible and makes for a great place to learn the basics of kayaking or get in a quick afterwork surf session. Clear Creek is also inner tube friendly, which makes for a great spectator sport, too.

Stay: Sorry dirtbags, but Golden is relatively strict about parking and camping. No overnight camping is allowed anywhere in the city. Believe me. Mostly all of Colorado’s open spaces and mountain parks close their gates at 10pm. Don’t let this be a deterrent though. You can hike a mile from your car at White Ranch and park for free (there’s even access to potable water). There are multiple RV Parks and a KOA about a 30-minute drive up into the mountains that you can expect to pay $30.00 a night for.

Eat: Golden’s casual downtown area is welcoming and beautiful. There are tons of eateries in Golden, but the D’Deli and Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza are the two places not to miss when visiting. If you think you’ve earned it, head over to Goozell Yogurt and Coffee for a fine tasty treat, but be warned: your eyes may be bigger than your stomach…. and wallet!

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