I was a true Golden Girl a couple weekends ago when I had the opportunity for a ‘work then play’ trip to Colorado.
I am no stranger to Colorado – I’ve been to Denver 3 times in the past 3 years, and did a ski trip one year out to Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge. I love trading in the city skyscraper/lakeshore drive views for big, beautiful mountain views every now and then.
I traveled to Denver on a Wednesday for the Type-A Parent Blogger Conference, where I held down the booth for my company’s sponsorship, and gave a presentation on Affiliate Marketing tips and tricks. Their motto is ‘Blog Hard, Play Hard’ which is why I like them so much! I learned a ton at the show and got to see some of downtown Denver that I’ve never saw before with their unique evening activities.
After the conference was over that Saturday, I had plans to meet up with my best friend from high school who recently moved to Golden, CO – a cute little town at the foot of the mountains. I took the following Monday off work to allow for more time to visit with my friend and see her new hometown.
Denver’s Union Station recently went through a remodel and now offers tons of dining options and comfortable sitting areas. It happened to snow that day (yes, it was May), so I opted to save her the trouble of coming downtown and take the train to Golden from Union Station. It’s unbelievable how easy this was!
There’s a route that goes right to Golden from Denver and only takes a little over a half hour. The Golden stop is the very last stop on the West Rail Line, and a train leaves every 15 minutes – super convenient. The ticket was only $4.50, so also way cheaper than an Uber. I was basically the only person on my train car, so I had a nice, peaceful ride to Golden.
My friend met me at the stop and so began our fun weekend in Golden! We caught up, drank a bunch of wine, sang karaoke, watched movies (you know, the typical girl stuff), and of course – explored Golden.
Golden is adorable, ya’ll. Just look at what you first see when you come into town..
We easily found a parking meter on the street and jumped out to walk around. There’s cute shops, restaurants and bars everywhere. We walked to the edge of Main Street to watch the bubbling brook and just gaze into the snow capped mountains. It started to warm up a little bit by this point, and there was even a shirtless someone rafting down the creek, which is a super popular activity for summertime. I’d love to do that someday.
We settled down at a panini shop – Dagotto’s Panini Bistro – which was super tasty and very filling. It is the perfect meal for an after hiking adventure or skiing on the slopes all day.
After our refuel, we were ready to venture out again. We walked down to the Coors Brewery. We weren’t planning to do the tour, but we wanted to enjoy some of the most delicious and coldest light beer in all of America in their tasting room. Unfortunately, they don’t allow purses inside the Coors Factory – no exceptions for small purses. So BE WARNED and don’t make the same mistake we did! We walked too long and too far to be turned away, so we ended our trip to downtown Golden in defeat with some amazing ice cream back on the main strip.
On my final day in Colorado, we went to Red Rocks Amphitheater. I had been there before, but I wanted to run the trails surrounding the amphitheater this time. I was training for a half marathon that I was to complete the following weekend, so it was a good time to run some hills in a very high altitude town. (AND that half marathon marks something off my ’30 before 30′ list!)
The Red Rocks are only a 15 minute drive from Golden. And they are breathtaking. I had seen the views that the top of the amphitheater offer, which are awesome because you can even see downtown Denver. But I’ve never explored outside and around the stage. It’s too cool. The trail run was rough, so I kept stopping to take pictures. I couldn’t help myself! See for yourself how beautiful the red rocks are, especially amongst the white snow and blue skies:
Running this trail and the steps of the amphitheater certainly helped me prepare for the hilly half marathon course in Cincinnati. It was the only exercise I got all week in Colorado!
Thanks to my wonderful hosts, I had the best time for my first time in Golden. I’m itching to go back!
Have you been to Golden? What’s your favorite thing to do in Colorado? Comment below!