Golden continues to honor its Western gold-rush heritage while evolving as a destination for those seeking a new kind of rush: hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, and kayaking—right in the city. Thanks to the presence of engineering-focused Colorado School of Mines and close proximity to Denver, the town manages to honor its past while embracing a forward-thinking future.
Claim to Fame: “Where the West Lives” — City of Golden slogan
Lay of the Land
The benefit of Golden’s geography is undeniable. It’s just 25 minutes outside of Denver, yet it enjoys close access to Colorado’s ski resorts and a nestled-in-the-mountains atmosphere—bookended by North and South Table Mountain mesas on one side and Mount Zion and Lookout Mountain on the other. Clear Creek flows right through historic downtown, whose “Howdy, Folks! Welcome to Golden” sign arches over Washington Avenue.