- One-night stay for two in a Grand king room <p>
By Anna Skorczeski, Travel Correspondent
Southwestern-Style Inn near Picturesque Mesas
Mountain lions are known to prowl the foothills of Golden, Colorado, but nonetheless, the furry tawny form lurking in the periphery comes as something of a surprise. From Table Mountain Inn’s front desk, it looks like it could be stalking something: head down, left front paw extended, black-tipped tail seemingly stopped mid-twitch. But the cat is no threat. Rather, frozen in taxidermied immortality in the lobby, it’s an exotic extension of the southwestern aesthetic established by the hotel’s pinkish fauxdobe exterior and glazed ochre tiles.
Grand king rooms, which make up one portion of the hotel’s 74 guestrooms, continue the motif with Native American patterns on pillowcases and bed skirts, punched-metal light-switch covers, and TV cabinets with crackled-paint finishes. From each room’s attached patio or balcony, the region’s famous topography can be seen sloping skyward. The in-room wet bar includes two complementary bottles of Crystal Geyser water that can be refilled in the bar’s shiny stainless-steel sink, helping keep travelers hydrated for high-altitude hopscotch matches and visits to the hotel’s modest exercise room on the fifth floor.
For a more robust workout, the front desk issues passes to the Golden Community Center, located about a mile away, where visitors can swim in the pool, attend drop-in classes, or avail themselves of the rock-climbing wall, basketball court, and cardio equipment. Back at the hotel, the on-site Table Mountain Inn Grill & Cantina appeases appetites. Servers in bolo ties and blue button-up shirts dish out southwestern fare such as creamy green-chili mac ‘n’ cheese, and two daily happy hours offer twice the opportunity to sample jumbo Honcho Mesa margaritas.
Golden, Colorado: Outdoor Adventures and Prominent Potables
Year after year, Colorado is found to have the country’s lowest obesity rate, and Golden’s geography—sandwiched between the Table Mountains to the east and Lookout Mountain to the west—suggests why with its abundant hiking, biking, and other active pursuits. Kate Taylor at the hotel’s front desk happily hands out printed directions, complete with a rattlesnake warning, for climbing Castle Rock, the storied formation jutting above the area’s southerly mesa. The 30- to 45-minute hike to the top follows a mostly well-worn trail interrupted by rocky patches where the climbing becomes more difficult, and those who make the ascent are rewarded with 360-degree views of the region.
About 7 miles from the hotel, geologically jaw-dropping Red Rocks Amphitheatre plays host to world-class musical spectacles as well as glistening exercise buffs who sprint up and down the theater stairs like champion boxers preparing for a potato-sack race. Wedged between Ship Rock and Creation Rock, the natural sandstone amphitheater is nestled into the landscape of Red Rocks Park, an 868-acre tract crisscrossed by hiking trails.
Glimpsing Golden’s most famous attraction, the longtime home of Coors beer, requires a half-mile shuttle ride from downtown; pilgrims should get to the pickup site before 1 p.m. or be prepared to wait an hour or more to board. Before dropping travelers off for self-guided audio tours of the brewery, drivers provide a mini tour of the town and relate anecdotes and trivia about the company, such as the fact that Coors employees get three cases of beer each month. Infinitely smaller but equally worth a visit is the Golden City Brewery, a boutique outfit operating out of a backyard machine shop. The tiny brewery offers basic tours on demand and serves pints to patrons seated in its graveled beer garden.
Our Recommendations for Your Getaway
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre<p> Creation Rock and Ship Rock flank this natural sandstone amphitheater, where visitors can watch shows, take tours, and stand upon the stage.
- Lubahn Trail<p> Hikers wend their way up South Table Mountain, finally ascending 50 old concrete stairs to summit Castle Rock and catch views of Denver’s skyline on a clear day.
- Clear Creek<p> The paved footpath along this creek makes for relaxing constitutionals, and burbling waters carry intrepid kayakers and tubers downstream.
- Coors Brewery Tour<p> Now owned by MillerCoors, one of the largest single-site breweries in the world provides free audio tours and hydrates of-age guests with two complimentary beers.
- Golden City Brewery<p> Golden’s second-largest brewery pours craft suds, such as dark, creamy Lookout stout and hoppy Evolution IPA, ideal for sipping in the friendly backyard beer garden.
- Windy Saddle Cafe<p> This vegan-friendly café serves coffee, beer, wine, and sandwiches as well as an array of made-from-scratch pastries.
- Higher Grounds Cafe<p> Located right next to the hotel, this cheerful neighborhood coffee shop is decorated with local art, including a colorful border overhead designed by barista-turned-professional-artist Susan Hart.
- The Buffalo Rose<p> A large back patio draws crowds during warm weather at this bustling bar and music venue housed in a structure originally built in 1858.
1310 Washington Ave.
Golden, CO 80401