If you’re looking for the quintessential mountain getaway, look no further than a weekend in Georgetown, Colorado, located just off I-70, 45 minutes west of Denver. As a transplant to Clear Creek County exploring the area, I’ve spent a ton of time in Georgetown and put together a guide of things to do while you’re in town.
Georgetown, Colorado is conveniently located close to skiing, hiking, biking and scenic drives. The town’s charming restaurants and local events make you feel like you’re visiting Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow. Many of the Victorian houses in Georgetown were impeccably maintained since the 1800s, making a stroll through town feel like walking through a postcard.
Oh, and the mayor of Georgetown is a dog. I’m not kidding. This town is clearly ahead of the rest of the U.S. when it comes to electing the right leaders!
Here’s a list of my favorite things to do in Georgetown, Colorado.
Things to Do in Georgetown, Colorado: Explore Guanella Pass by Car & Foot
Guanella Pass is a scenic byway that starts at the edge of Georgetown. It’s filled with breathtaking views, especially in the fall, when Colorado’s aspens turn their leaves. (NOTE: In the winter, Guanella Pass closes to motor vehicle traffic but can be accessed by snowmobile).
Popular among hikers, campers, and leaf peepers alike, 22-mile Guanella Pass offers a great mix of trails and alpine lakes that allow fishing. If you’re planning a weekend in Georgetown, Colorado you must plan a morning or afternoon to explore.
The Silverdale Heritage Trail, just a few minutes into the drive, also provides a slice of the area’s mining history.
A major draw for many hikers visiting Georgetown is Mt. Bierstadt. Bierstadt is one of Colorado’s famous “14ers,” or peaks over 14,000 feet. Every day, people arrive to the trailhead as early as 4 a.m. so they can summit and get back to their cars before afternoon thunderstorms roll in. If you’re planning to hike Bierstadt, know that while it’s one of CO’s “easier” 14ers, it’s still nothing to attempt if you are out of shape, suffer from elevation sickness, or are unprepared. Pack plenty of food, water and layers. Also be aware that you’ll feel like absolute crap the next day as your body recovers from this demanding hike (in my experience, I felt hungover!).
Otherwise, there are plenty of shorter, lower elevation hikes that can be done in the morning or early afternoon. I recommend downloading the AllTrails app, and be sure to download maps before you drive up Guanella Pass, because there is minimal cell service after a certain point.
Important PSAs for hiking in Colorado:
- Be prepared. Carry a compact first-aid kit, layers, a rain coat, enough water and a snack in case the hike takes you longer than anticipated, or you get injured along the way.
- Pack out your trash. There are no trash cans in the wilderness. I can’t tell you how many pieces of trash I put in my backpack while hiking in Colorado. I started bringing a plastic bag with me on hikes for this purpose so gross trash wasn’t mixing with my stuff.
- That includes your dog’s sh*t. I was horrified by how many people left their dog’s business in plastic baggies along every trail we visited, all over the state. Seriously, why even bother bagging it if you’re going to leave it behind? Worth noting: I didn’t not put dog crap (or discarded coronavirus masks) in my bag. No one should have to pick that kind of stuff up for you. Be an adult.
- Don’t forget a beverage! Capping a hike with a beer became tradition during our month in Colorado. I highly recommend either packing some in your car or hitting up one of the area breweries post-hike. Oh, and of course, you should bring at least two bottles of water with you on the hike!
The Best Restaurants & Breweries in Georgetown, Colorado
Before moving to Colorado, I rarely drank craft beer. But when in Rome, right? To recover post-hike, there are two breweries located right in Georgetown. Both are dog-friendly with outdoor seating. They also both offer beer and food to-go, for those who prefer takeout.
Guanella Pass Brewery is located – not surprisingly – right near the start of the pass in downtown Georgetown. The place bills itself as “the first brewery in Georgetown since Prohibition” and serves Detroit-style pizza in addition to beer. They are also attached to a bar, Silverbrick, that has a more extensive menu.
Cabin Creek Brewing is at the opposite end of Georgetown in a truly picturesque setting right by Georgetown Lake. Cabin Creek has a full menu of pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
If you’re not into craft beer, here are some of the best restaurants in Georgetown, Colorado:
- Pho Bay – I was pleasantly surprised to find a Vietnamese restaurant in this tiny town, and the food did not disappoint. Family-owned Pho Bay offered “make your own” pho as well as rice/noodle plates and boba drinks. The soup was perfect for a chilly night!
- Cooper’s on the Creek – If you’re planning a special meal in Georgetown, Cooper’s is your spot. The menu offers more upscale options than the typical pub fare you’ll find throughout town, but they also serve some of the best burgers you’ll find. Cooper’s has outdoor seating on a heated patio overlooking the creek. Just make sure to call a few days in advance and make a reservation if you’re visiting on a weekend. This place sells out!
- 511 Rose – In more of a saloon atmosphere, 511 Rose serves food that is equal in quality to Cooper’s. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s my favorite restaurant for the food in Georgetown! They also serve an extensive whiskey menu, as well as some wine, beer and cocktails. 511 Rose also has live music some nights. It can get quite busy on weekends, and they don’t take reservations – but you can always go to Guanella Pass or Silverbrick while you wait!
- The Alpine – If you’re looking for something really casual, The Alpine is where it’s at. They serve delicious comfort food, though there’s really not much on the menu that is healthy. The wraps, pizzas and calzones are usually good bets–but whatever you do, make sure you get their fries. They are SO good!
- Mountain Mama’s – If you’re looking for more of a quick bite or grab and go, Mountain Mama’s serves delicious soups and sandwiches right downtown. The café doubles as a gift shop, in case you need to do some shopping.
Go for a Walk, Fish, or Look for Sheep at Georgetown Lake
Before or after hitting up Cabin Creek, walk around beautiful Georgetown Lake. The path that loops the lake is relatively flat, although there is a brief opportunity to get higher up into the mountains for those seeking an elevation gain. It’s perfect for a casual morning or early evening walk.
You’ll notice as you stroll around Georgetown Lake that tons of people are fishing. In the winter, the lake freezes over and is a popular ice fishing spot.
There’s also an area where you can scan the mountainside for bighorn sheep. However, in my experience, you’re more likely to spot them while driving up Guanella Pass and/or on the side of I-70 while driving.
In the Winter: Go Skiing at Loveland Ski Area
Loveland Ski Area is one of the best kept secrets of Colorado. It’s just 15 minutes from Georgetown, and thanks to its location before the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70, deals with less traffic than other major ski areas. On top of that, Loveland offers some of the best season pass and day lift ticket deals in the state. While you won’t find fancy restaurants here, the skiing is great and offers something for all levels.
In the Summer/Fall: Go Downhill Biking from Loveland to Georgetown
If you are visiting Georgetown in the summer or fall, you can take a self-guided bike tour from Loveland instead. If you don’t have a bike, AVA Rafting will rent you one and drop you off at Loveland, where you’ll follow a paved trail 15+ miles back to Georgetown. If you have your own bike and two vehicles, you can also do this on your own. The Loveland to Bakerville trail can be found on AllTrails, and then you can use Google Maps to road bike the rest of the way.
Where to Stay in Georgetown, Colorado
Georgetown offers several hotels and motels, as well as Airbnbs. When selecting a location, keep in mind that the whole town is about a mile long, so it really doesn’t matter much where you stay in terms of location! (Note: these are affiliate links, which means I’ll earn small commission if you book!)
- Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Georgetown Lake – This is the only chain hotel in Georgetown and is conveniently located right next to the lake and Cabin Creek brewery. Perfect if you are looking to spend your trip to Georgetown fishing. It’s also only a few blocks from Cooper’s on the Creek and convenience stores (Circle K and Family Dollar). Keep in mind that there are no sidewalks between the two, so you’ll have to walk on the road or drive.
- Georgetown Lodge – Located closest to the highway and right across the street from Family Dollar. This location is not as picturesque, but is budget-friendly and offers easy access to I-70.
- Hotel Chateau Chamonix – On the more upscale side, Hotel Chateau Chamonix is perfect if you’re looking for a more romantic getaway with its rooms overlooking the creek. It’s quite centrally located, so you can walk on sidewalks to the gas station, the cannabis dispensary, a BBQ takeout restaurant, Georgetown Coffee & Tea, Cooper’s on the Creek and Georgetown Market. It’s also a short walk to The Alpine and Pho Bay.
- Clear Creek Inn – Clear Creek Inn is another splurgeworthy place to stay if you’d prefer to be closer to downtown. It’s also located on the creek, and is a quick walk to Mountain Mama’s, 511 Rose, Guanella Pass Brewery and shopping on historic 6th Street.