What is it about the mountains that feel so peaceful to awaken to? For some, it may represent strength and stability. To others, it could mean success or the peak of spirituality. No matter its meaning to you, when you visit Golden, Colorado, you may wonder, “why have I not been here before?”
At least that was my initial thought when we checked-in to the Table Mountain Inn. The Rocky Mountains majestically surround the entire town of Golden. Our purpose for visiting this hidden gem was to relax and renew our spirits with a sense of adventure!
If you’re looking for serenity and exciting explorations, Golden is conveniently located just 12 miles West of Denver. We knew we were staying at the right hotel when our suite overlooked magnificent views of the mountains. And came with two balconies? Yes, please!
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The hotel itself looked like it stepped out of Sante Fe with its Spanish architecture. The Table Mountain Inn is a boutique hotel that was first called The Berrimoor in 1925. It’s been a landmark ever since with a long history of survival. Today it is the premier place to stay in Golden, Colorado.
You can’t have a Table Mountain Inn without Table Mountains, right? We couldn’t wait to hit those Table Mountain trails after admiring them on our balcony. The location of our hotel was walkable to the South Table Mountain trails, less than 20 minutes away.
South Table Mountain
The South Table Mountain’s unique character is a flat cap at its peak. It has short trails with moderate hikes that can be done within 2 hours. The trail wasn’t busy as it usually was due to COVID, so social distancing was not an issue. This is a great trail for runners and bikers or a quick trail for hikers. At the peak, you will be rewarded with fantastic views of Golden. It was so peaceful at the top, it inspired me to do yoga!
North Table Mountain
For longer and challenging hikes, try North Table Mountain. Some of their trails are rated Black Diamond. Our glutes totally felt the resistance as we hiked the rather steep elevation. If you’re a rock climber, you’d also enjoy the elevated rock walls at the peak.
The Table Mountain peaks are mesas filled with life. It’s an excellent workout to get to the top, but you’ll quickly forget about the steep elevations when you see the splendor. The mesa felt like the Great Plains rather than the mountains. We saw herds of deer, golden wildflowers, and shrubs.
After long days of hiking and exploring, it’s wonderful to come back to a comfortable room and revive. What’s more invigorating than a nice bath to ease the tension? The jetted tub and spa-like toiletries in our suite was just the ticket for our achy muscles.
Dinner at The Grill and Cantina Restaurant
We were starving after a relaxing bath, so we headed downstairs to The Grill and Cantina restaurant. It’s so convenient that’s in the hotel. We were in the mood for some spice and Southwestern cuisine sounded perfect. The back patio had open seating with a festive ambiance.
Southwestern cuisine is similar to Mexican and TexMex, but with some distinctions. The biggest differences are the cuts of meat and spices used in the food. Southwestern cooking uses larger cuts of meat, namely pork and beef, and less use of tripe and brain. It also uses a lot more cumin in its recipes.
We started out with their locally made Chips and Salsa with Guacamole because who can resist them? The drinks we ordered were above average. We had the zero-proof strawberry mojitos and it was awesome. The server did tell us they make killer drinks and to go for their margaritas. We don’t drink alcohol, but I totally believe it!
Mike got the Table Mountain Enchiladas with the Barbacoa and I had the Prairie Flank Steak Frites. Both entrées hit the spot! The portions were generous and made fresh to order.
After a satiating meal, we’d be crazy to get dessert, right? Well, we sure did anyways. We were rather curious to try their Flourless Chile Chocolate Torte. To our delight, it really did taste like spicy chocolate. The Key Lime Pie was similar to what you’d find in Key West, sweet and tart.
After dinner, we could not wait to get back to our suite and just relax. You never know what the weather was going to be like in Colorado. The fireplace in our living room was convenient for those unpredictable chilly nights. We appreciated the comfy couch and tons of space to lounge. We don’t watch much TV but found it easy to hook up our electronics in the Executive Suite.
With plenty of leftovers from dinner, it was convenient to have a refrigerator in our room for a late-night snack and a microwave to heat it up. If we needed extra bottles of water, the front desk never minded giving us a few bottles for the dry climate in Colorado.
It felt rejuvenating to awaken to the mountains in the morning. The bed was so comfy that I didn’t realize I fell asleep. When I awoke first to see the mountains from our room, I knew it was going to be a good day.
Brunch at The Grill and Cantina
Brunch is our favorite meal, though we don’t eat during that time every day. When we do, we know we’re on vacation. Perhaps that’s why we love it so much. The hotel does have room service, but we’d rather eat outside in their cute front patio.
It was our last morning in Golden, and we wanted to try a Southwestern brunch. I had the Carnita’s Hash, and Mike tried the Chorizo Benedict. What we like most about Southwestern cuisine is the abundant amount of fresh, colorful veggies in the recipe. The hearty meal prepared us for the day.
We loved our time in Golden and the location of the Table Mountain Inn! It’s walking distance to almost everything we wanted to do and see. The cutest shops and restaurants are nearby. It’s by far the best place to stay in Golden. Both the hotel and the town are very clean and pandemic conscious. Our room was meticulously cleaned, and the service was always on point.
We also enjoyed our walks through the vibrant town of Golden. The hotel, boutique shops, and restaurants have storefronts that remind me of Santa Fe. Mountains and serene creeks encircle the town of Golden with a river running through it. In the Summer, families tube down Clear Creek.
Just be aware that the museums are closed right now in Golden, but most everything else is open. If you go during this time in September as we did, the weather was gorgeous for the outdoors. But you never know the climate for sure in Colorado. The locals told us it snowed the week before.
Golden not only attracts adventure seekers but those who love historic towns with Western tales and stories. It’s also quite the photographer’s dream with the upcoming Fall foliage already in motion.
We found a variety of wonderful cuisines, ice cream parlors, and specialty shops in this interesting little town. Get an ice cream or chocolate Bon Bons at Golden Sweets. Don’t miss trying the Chicken Fried Eggs and Bison Hash at Sassafras Café. It’ll change the way you think of an Egg’s Benedict.
If you ever find yourself in Denver or Boulder, do not miss visiting Golden and staying at the Table Mountain Inn. Before COVID, the hotel was almost always booked to capacity. The locals from nearby cities love coming here as we did to recharge and explore. Take a weekend to discover the local’s hidden gem for your next Colorado getaway!
Now is the perfect time to visit Golden, Colorado when the crowds are at its lowest. Book direct here and save on booking fees.