This gateway to the Rockies is well worth a visit in its own right, and not just for the beer.

Once the territory of Colorado's capital, Golden was named after what brought people here in the first place: gold. It was one of the original gold rush towns of the 1860s and considered part of the Wild West frontier. Need convincing? Buffalo Bill Cody is buried on nearby Lookout Mountain.

Today, however, there are fewer cowboys and more – a lot more – beer. Golden is home to the Coors Brewery, which you can tour, as well as a host of up-and-coming craft breweries. But let’s face it, if you’re in Golden, it’s probably for the mountains.

Golden is one of the gateways to the Rockies, with the town lying in the foothills of America’s largest mountain range. In summer, the Clear Creek valley is criss-crossed with biking and hiking trails. There are plenty of stores in town that can rent you bikes or kit you out in the right gear should you want to try rock climbing or the more hardcore trails. This valley and the Rockies offer some of America’s most stunning scenery, so you’ll fall in love no matter what season it is. In July and August, go tubing down the river and in winter try snowshoeing the trails. There are plenty of hills to indulge your inner child and go sledding, too. Note: you don’t have to go it alone. Book guided tours, geocaching adventures, and overnight camping spots.

All that adventure is sure to work up an appetite. Fortunately Golden has a number of places serving delicious food. Fittingly for a mountain escape, the most famous is a Nepalese restaurant. Like many places in Colorado, local, organic, and farm-to-fork are all big concepts here, as are farmers markets and delis.