North Table Mountain Looking north from South Table Mountain, with Golden nestled below.

The Basics:

Golden, Colorado, nestles at the foot of the Rocky Mountains astride Clear Creek. Although Golden is only 15 miles west of Denver and 30 miles from the Denver International Airport, two large mesas east of Golden (North and South Table Mountains) protect the city from urban sprawl. Boulder is 20 miles to the north; the historic gaming towns of Central City and Blackhawk are 30 miles to the west.

Founded in 1859, a year into the Colorado gold rush, Golden was named for Thomas Golden, a settler who panned gold in Clear Creek. The new town grew into a supply center for the gold fields to the west. In 1862 Golden was named the capital of the Colorado Territory but lost this distinction to Denver in 1867 amidst much political intrigue. The railroad arrived in 1870, and three years later Adolph Coors founded a brewery that would become the world's largest, with annual beer production of more than 20 million barrels. Early schools evolved into the Colorado School of Mines with the coming of statehood in 1876. Today, Golden is the county seat for Jefferson County and its half million residents. Passenger rail service to Golden, which ended in 1950, resumed in 2013 with the opening of the Regional Transportation District's "W" light rail line from Denver's Union Station.

Golden's population of about 19,000 enjoy an average of 270 days of sunshine each year. The coldest month is January when temperatures average 30 degrees Fahrenheit. July is the warmest month with average temperatures of 74 degrees. Typically, daytime high temperatures are 30 or more degrees warmer than nighttime lows, so even in January the average high temperature is 40 degrees, and in July, an average nighttime temperature of 55 degrees makes for good sleeping. Relatively low humidity (40% on average) makes hot days feel cooler and cold days feel warmer than in more humid locales.

Tourist attractions, including MillerCoors Brewery tours, Buffalo Bill's Museum and Grave, Colorado School of Mines, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Clear Creek Trail, American Mountaineering Center and the Colorado Railroad Museum, among others, attract an estimated 2.5 million visitors to the Golden area each year.

The Golden Parks and Recreation Department, which was named the 2010 Gold Medal winner for US Cities with a population fewer than 25,000, has produced a video that will give you a flavor of the things to do in Golden.  Click here to watch the video.