Living In Golden, Colorado: A Comprehensive Guide

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains along Clear Creek, Golden is a charming small city with a rich history and stunning natural surroundings. If you’re considering moving to Golden or just want to learn more about what it’s like living there, this comprehensive guide has all the details you need.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Golden is a great place to live if you love the outdoors, don’t mind somewhat limited amenities and housing options, and want easy access to Denver without living right in the big city.

Location and Geography

Golden, Colorado is a charming city nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Its prime location offers residents a unique blend of natural beauty and urban convenience.

Proximity to Denver

One of the major advantages of living in Golden is its close proximity to Denver. Situated just 15 miles west of downtown, residents have easy access to all the amenities and cultural attractions that the Mile High City has to offer.

Whether you want to catch a Broncos game at Mile High Stadium, explore the vibrant art scene in the RiNo district, or indulge in the culinary delights of Larimer Square, Denver is just a short drive away.

Mountain Views and Access

Golden is renowned for its breathtaking mountain views. With the iconic Table Mountain and the stunning Lookout Mountain as a backdrop, residents are treated to awe-inspiring vistas every day. The city is also a gateway to outdoor adventures, with numerous hiking, biking, and climbing trails in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

Whether you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, Golden offers unparalleled access to the great outdoors.


The climate in Golden is truly something to be cherished. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, residents can enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities throughout all seasons. Winters are mild, with average temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 50s, making it a perfect location for winter sports enthusiasts.

Summers are warm and pleasant, with temperatures often reaching the 80s. The city also experiences a colorful fall season, with vibrant foliage that paints the landscape with hues of red, orange, and gold.

For more information about Golden, Colorado’s location and geography, you can visit the official city website at



Golden is a small but growing city in Colorado. According to recent estimates, Golden has a population of around 20,000 residents. The population has seen steady growth over the past decade, with an increase of approximately 15% since 2010.

Several factors have contributed to Golden’s population growth:

  • Proximity to Denver – As housing prices in Denver continue to rise, more people are looking to nearby cities like Golden for more affordable options. Golden is only 15 miles west of downtown Denver.
  • Economic opportunities – With major employers like the Coors Brewing Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Colorado School of Mines, Golden offers a stable job market.
  • Outdoor recreation – Golden’s location at the base of the foothills, with access to hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities, appeals to many new residents.

Golden’s population is expected to continue growing at a moderate pace in the coming years. The city estimates its population could reach 25,000 by 2030.

Age and Households

Golden has an educated, largely middle-class population. The median age is 34.8 years old. Nearly one quarter of the population is under 18 years old, while only 10% are over 65. This indicates Golden has appeal for young families.

Most households are occupied by families, with over 60% being married couples or couples with children. Approximately 30% of households are single occupants. The average household size is 2.3 people.

The population is highly educated, with over 60% of adults holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. This reflects the influence of industries like renewable energy and mining that employ many engineers and technical workers.

Golden’s demographic profile reveals a young, educated, and largely middle-class population. This contributes to the city’s vibrant, family-friendly character. As Golden continues to grow, maintaining affordability and amenities for families will likely remain priorities.

Housing Market

When it comes to the housing market, Golden, Colorado offers a variety of options to suit different needs and budgets. Whether you are looking to buy, rent, or build a new home, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

Home Prices

The housing market in Golden, Colorado has been experiencing steady growth in recent years. The median home price in the city is currently around $500,000, making it a desirable location for those looking to invest in real estate.

It is important to note that home prices can vary depending on the neighborhood and the size of the property. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on home prices in Golden, it is recommended to consult reputable real estate websites such as Zillow or


Renting is a popular option for those who prefer flexibility or are not ready to commit to buying a home. Golden offers a range of rental properties, from apartments to single-family homes. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Golden is around $1,500, while a three-bedroom house can cost upwards of $2,500.

It is advisable to check rental listings on websites such as or to find the most suitable rental options for your needs.

New Construction

For those who prefer a brand new home, Golden has a thriving new construction market. There are several reputable builders in the area offering a range of floor plans and styles to choose from. The advantage of purchasing a new construction home is that you can customize it to your liking and enjoy the latest design trends and modern amenities.

To explore new construction options in Golden, it is recommended to visit the websites of local builders such as Lennar Homes or Taylor Morrison.

Employment and Economy

One of the key factors that make Golden, Colorado an attractive place to live is its thriving employment and strong economy. The city is home to a diverse range of industries, providing ample job opportunities for its residents.

Major Employers

Golden boasts several major employers that contribute significantly to the local economy. Among them is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a leading research facility focused on developing sustainable energy solutions.

NREL employs thousands of scientists, engineers, and support staff, making it a major driving force in the region’s green energy sector.

Another prominent employer in Golden is the Coors Brewing Company. As one of the largest breweries in the country, Coors provides employment opportunities in various fields, including brewing, packaging, marketing, and distribution.

The company’s presence has not only created jobs but also contributed to the city’s reputation as a hub for the craft beer industry.

In addition to NREL and Coors, Golden is also home to numerous other companies, including technology firms, healthcare providers, and educational institutions. These employers collectively create a diverse and robust job market, offering a wide range of career opportunities to residents.

Job Market

The job market in Golden is generally strong, with a low unemployment rate compared to the national average. The city’s proximity to Denver and other major metropolitan areas in Colorado further expands employment prospects for its residents.

Many professionals choose to live in Golden and commute to neighboring cities for work, taking advantage of the city’s desirable quality of life.

The city’s economy is supported by a mix of industries, including technology, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and hospitality. Golden’s strategic location in the Denver metropolitan area, coupled with its access to major transportation routes, makes it an attractive destination for businesses looking to establish a presence in the region.

Income and Poverty

Golden’s strong economy is reflected in the median household income, which is higher than the national average. The city’s residents enjoy a relatively high standard of living, with access to quality education, healthcare, and recreational amenities.

While Golden boasts a robust economy, it is important to acknowledge that poverty still exists within the community. Efforts are being made by local organizations and government agencies to address this issue and provide support to those in need.

Community programs, such as job training initiatives and affordable housing projects, aim to uplift individuals and families facing economic challenges.

For more information on employment opportunities and economic statistics in Golden, visit the City of Golden’s Economic Development website.


Public Schools

Golden, Colorado is renowned for its exceptional public school system, offering a high-quality education for students of all ages. The Jefferson County School District, which serves the city of Golden, is committed to providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for future success.

The district consists of several highly-rated elementary, middle, and high schools, each offering a diverse range of academic and extracurricular programs. Some of the top-rated public schools in Golden include Mitchell Elementary School, Bell Middle School, and Golden High School.

These schools boast impressive student-teacher ratios, ensuring that each student receives individualized attention and support. The faculty members are dedicated professionals who strive to create a nurturing and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Parents in Golden can have peace of mind knowing that their children are receiving a top-notch education in a supportive and stimulating setting.

Higher Education

Golden is also home to several prestigious higher education institutions, allowing residents to pursue advanced degrees and expand their knowledge in various fields. One notable institution is the Colorado School of Mines, a renowned public research university specializing in engineering and applied sciences.

Colorado School of Mines consistently ranks among the top engineering schools in the nation and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Students benefit from state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a faculty comprised of leading experts in their respective fields.

In addition to Colorado School of Mines, Golden is in close proximity to the University of Colorado Denver, providing access to a broader array of academic disciplines and programs.

Adult Education

Golden recognizes the importance of lifelong learning and provides various opportunities for adult education. Whether you’re interested in expanding your professional skills, pursuing a new hobby, or simply engaging in intellectual pursuits, there are numerous options available.

The Community Education Program, offered by Jefferson County Public Schools, provides a wide range of adult education classes, workshops, and seminars. These classes cover diverse topics such as cooking, fitness, art, and technology.

Furthermore, the Golden Community Center offers a variety of adult education programs, including fitness classes, language courses, and personal development workshops.

With a wealth of educational opportunities available, residents of Golden can continue to learn and grow throughout their lives.


When it comes to getting around in Golden, Colorado, residents have several transportation options to choose from. The city is known for its well-connected transportation system, making it convenient for both commuters and residents to travel within and outside the city.

Commuting by Car

For those who prefer commuting by car, Golden offers a well-maintained road infrastructure. The city’s main highways, including Interstate 70 and US Route 6, provide easy access to neighboring cities and attractions.

The traffic flow is generally smooth, especially during non-rush hours, making commuting a breeze.

It’s important to note that Golden has implemented several initiatives to encourage carpooling and reduce traffic congestion. The city has designated carpool lanes, and there are plenty of parking spaces available throughout the city, both on-street and in parking structures.

Public Transportation

Golden also offers a reliable and efficient public transportation system. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) operates several bus routes that connect Golden to Denver and other nearby cities. The bus service is affordable, and the routes are designed to cater to the needs of both commuters and residents.

The RTD website ( provides detailed information about routes, schedules, and fares.

Additionally, Golden is part of the RTD’s light rail system, providing residents with another convenient option for traveling to and from the city. The light rail connects Golden to downtown Denver, Denver International Airport, and other key destinations in the metropolitan area.

Pedestrian and Bike Friendliness

Golden is a pedestrian and bike-friendly city, with an extensive network of sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails. The city has made significant efforts to prioritize the safety and convenience of pedestrians and cyclists.

Whether you’re walking to a nearby park or biking to a local cafe, you’ll find well-maintained paths and designated lanes to ensure a pleasant journey.

Golden is also home to the Clear Creek Trail, a popular recreational trail that runs through the heart of the city. The trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking, offering scenic views of the surrounding nature and easy access to downtown Golden.

For those who prefer bike-sharing options, Golden has partnered with various bike-sharing companies to provide residents with affordable and convenient transportation alternatives. These bikes can be rented through mobile apps and are ideal for short trips around the city.

Things to Do

Outdoor Recreation

If you love the great outdoors, living in Golden, Colorado is a dream come true. With its stunning natural surroundings, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy. From hiking and biking trails to fishing and rock climbing, Golden offers something for everyone.

One popular destination is the iconic Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, known for its breathtaking views and world-class concerts. The nearby Clear Creek offers opportunities for kayaking and tubing, while the nearby Rocky Mountains provide endless possibilities for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months.

Restaurants and Breweries

Golden is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its vibrant culinary scene. Whether you’re a foodie or a beer enthusiast, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants and breweries to explore.

From farm-to-table eateries and gourmet food trucks to award-winning breweries and cozy coffee shops, Golden has it all. Be sure to try the local favorites such as the famous Buffalo Bill’s Grave and Museum, where you can enjoy a delicious meal with stunning views of the city.

Arts and Culture

For those who appreciate arts and culture, Golden has a rich history and thriving arts community. The city is home to several art galleries, museums, and theaters, showcasing the work of local and international artists.

The Foothills Art Center, located in the heart of Golden, is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. The center offers rotating exhibits, art classes, and workshops for all ages. Additionally, Golden is known for its annual Golden Fine Arts Festival, where artists from all over the country gather to display and sell their creations.

Historic Downtown

One of the highlights of living in Golden is its charming and historic downtown area. With its well-preserved Victorian buildings, boutique shops, and cozy cafes, strolling through downtown Golden feels like stepping back in time.

The downtown area is also home to the Golden History Museum, where you can learn about the city’s rich history and heritage. Don’t forget to visit the historic Clear Creek History Park, which features restored buildings and exhibits that depict life in Golden during the 19th century.


With its small-town vibe yet close proximity to Denver, abundant outdoor recreation opportunities, and lively historic downtown, Golden offers an appealing way of life for many. While the housing market is growing more expensive and options are still limited compared to larger cities, Golden remains a top choice for Coloradans who want the best of urban and rural living.

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