Georgetown, known as the “Silver Queen of the Rockies” was, for many years, among the last areas of civilization before the Continental Divide. Its historical charms are still vibrant, and evoke the Victorian era of its heyday. One might feel they’ve traveled back in time, except that now you can find a proper cafe latte or a great slice of pizza among the buildings and mining structures of the Colorado Silver Boom.
Enjoy the stunning vistas of Guanella Pass from the comfort of your SUV, or take a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, an original steam locomotive that elegantly takes passengers up the canyon, along rugged views of the Rockies to Silver Plume, allowing glimpses of many old gold and silver mines. Explore the Hotel de Paris, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An American hotel, inspired by European elegance, it carries the spirit of 1875, and that of its founder, Louis Dupuy.
Georgetown’s business district is filled with modern treasures, quaint shops, museums, churches, fabulous restaurants and watering holes. Surrounded by majestic mountains, downtown Georgetown is connected by red sandstone sidewalks, features a Victorian-themed playground, and a seasonal ice-skating rink, all a short jaunt from the variety of special residential properties in the area.
And, if you’re looking to ski, you’re within an hour of eight world-class mountains — Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Winter Park, and Vail.
The City of Idaho Springs is the most populous municipality in Clear Creek County. And yet, with a population of just 1,717 (as of 2010), it retains a small community-feel. Upstream from Golden, and 30 miles west of Denver, Idaho Springs is nestled in the mountains of Clear Creek Canyon.
Founded by prospectors in 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, Idaho Springs was the hub of the region's mining district. The town has since evolved into a popular tourist destination along U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 40. It’s a unique mix of historical intrigue and suburban living, just down the canyon from the Loveland ski area.
For those who enjoy a therapeutic dip, its name comes from a Native American tribe from Idaho, who journeyed yearly to the area’s radium hot springs, which the tribe believed to have magic healing waters. Today, a popular resort allows modern travelers to do the same.
Fancy yourself a lover of things creative? Evergreen was selected as one of seven Colorado Creative Districts candidates in 2014. Founded in 1875 and located 40 minutes west of Denver in the gorgeous foothills of Jefferson County, Evergreen is a thriving community of thoughtful art and nature enthusiasts.
Historic Main Street is nestled between the flowing, robust waters of Bear Creek on one side and a pink cliff of enormous ascending boulders on the other. Surrounded by this beauty, one can stroll and discover the inspiring variety of arts and crafts shops, as well as darling boutiques, cafes, and bistros. Along the creek, residents and visitors enjoy a plethora of dining and live music options.
Evergreen is home to a thriving community of professionals, from health and wellness, to creative artists, to builders and designers. It’s a great place to call home.
Settled in the 1860s, Morrison was a small gateway town that flourished during the Gold Rush. The town was named after George Morrison, a stonemason and businessman who brought attention to the region for its high-quality dimension stone of lime and gypsum. Two of his three stone buildings are still standing and are recognized sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The stone for these structures was quarried in his "red sandstone quarry" near Morrison.
Located at the bottom of beautiful Bear Creek Canyon, Morrison is perhaps most famous for the nearby natural outdoor concert venue, Red Rocks Amphitheater, which has hosted countless world-class performances since 1906.
Morrison’s main street is tiny, but boasts a variety of restaurants to satisfy any foodie. For nature enthusiasts, and lovers of geology, a bike path follows Bear Creek to an extensive trail system and reservoir to Dinosaur Ridge where exposed dinosaur prints have been perfectly preserved in sandstone. The Morrison Natural History Museum is home to even more dinosaur bones.
Morrison is an engaging blend of art, nature and history.
Conifer is a community in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 35 miles southwest of Denver. A stagecoach stop in the 1860s, Conifer is known for its majestic mountains, abundant wildlife, and cattle ranching (in the southern part of the community.)
The hills are rich with history of Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute tribes who inhabited the area. Historic Reynolds Park is nearby, standing as a memorial to the pioneer era.
Conifer is a growing little community, sprinkled with new homes. Today, the area blends rustic with state-of-the-art, and is surrounded by fir, pine, aspen and blue spruce trees, as well as wildlife and wildflowers.
With Denver Metro just a short 20-30 minute commute, you don’t have to choose between natural and urban living.
Pine, home to the annual Rhubarb Festival, is an excellent place to fly-fish along the South Platte River, and host to miles of trails to ride and climb in Pike National Forest and Pine Valley Open Space Park. It’s also adjacent to Buffalo Creek, which encompasses part of the long-distance Colorado Trail.
After a long day enjoying the great outdoors, perhaps climbing the Sphinx Rock formation, residents refresh themselves at famed establishment, The Bucksnort Saloon.
Pine's downtown is rich with historic structures and an array of dining and shopping opportunities, as are the nearby communities of Conifer, Bailey and Evergreen.
Consistent with its neighbors, Bailey is another gem in a jewel box of historically rich areas, with an abundance of natural beauty. Within the five-acre McGraw Park, explorers will discover a log cabin dating back to 1864, and a one-room schoolhouse built just 30 years later. Bailey is also a great place to fly-fish or kayak, and you may likely encounter the herd of bighorn sheep, who reside in the mountains just outside of town.
When you return from those excursions, you’ll find a solid offering of eateries to nourish you before your next adventure.
Bailey is host to the Bailey Day Street Festival, an annual summer event featuring bands, vendors and family activities, and the Bailey HUNDO, a 100-mile endurance mountain bike race that benefits the construction of new bike trails and youth biking initiatives in Colorado.