Brighton is a small Colorado city founded in the 1870s as a railroad depot and farming community. Although Brighton is today considered a suburb of Denver, it has its own distinct personality. It stretches along the banks of the South Platte River on the slopes of the Front Range Mountains. The nearby Barr Lake State Park is famous as home to more than 350 species of birds, and the lake is fun for anglers and kayakers.
1.Barr Lake State Park
Barr Lake State Park is a 2,715-acre park near Brighton, Colorado, established in 1977. The park is heaven for bird watchers, with 350 species of birds and a large number of rare bald eagles that spend their winters in the park. One pair of eagles stays in the park every year to raise its young. There are 12 miles of trails that wind through the park, including a scenic 8.8-mile trail around Barr Lake. There are numerous wildlife viewing stations along the trails. The trails are also accessible to bikers and horseback riders. Boating and fishing are permitted in the northern parts of the park. The park’s Nature Center has fascinating displays that offer detailed information about the wildlife in the park. Anglers can hope to catch channel catfish, rainbow trout, small and large-mouth bass, bluegill, walleye, wiper, and tiger muskie.
13401 Picadilly Rd, Brighton, CO 80603
2.Riverdale Golf Courses
© Riverdale Golf Courses
Riverdale Golf Club in Brighton, Colorado has Dunes and the Knolls, two very different public golf courses only a short drive from downtown Denver. Both are an absolute must play, with 36 holes, bent grass greens, tees, and fairways with superb conditions maintained to the standards of a private golf club. The Dunes is a Scottish style links course designed by Pete and Perry Dye. It meanders along the South Platte River and is known for its pot bunkers, water and mounds, and trademark railroad ties. The Knolls has a traditional park layout, crossed by canals, with plenty of trees, hazards, and elevated greens.
13300 Riverdale Rd, Brighton, CO 80602, Phone: 303-659-6700
3.Colorado Clays Shooting Park
© Colorado Clays Shooting Park
Colorado Clays Shooting Park is a popular family-owned shooting range in Brighton, Colorado, about half hour driving from downtown Denver. The park provides the most complete shooting range experience in the region, offering skeet, trap, and sporting clays, a 25 yard long hand gun range, and a 100 yard long rifle range. Shot guns are available for rent. The park is located along a bottom of a cottonwood creek and overlooks Colorado’s magnificent Colorado snow covered peaks. Colorado Clays specializes in serving both recreational and competitive shooters of all skill levels and ages. The park is open to the public, with no membership is required.
13600 Lanewood St, Brighton, CO 80603, Phone: 303-659-7117
4.Berry Patch Farm
© Berry Patch Farm
Berry Patch Farms is a 40-acre certified organic family farm established in 1991. The farm grows a range of organic produce but is well known in the region for encouraging its customers to come to the farm between June and September and pick up their own fruits such as strawberries, cherries, raspberries, currants, plums, small cucumbers for pickling, basil, and flowers. If you need something else that grows on the farm, you should look for it in their Barn Store. The farm is a popular place for school field trips for the regional schools. Kids love roaming through the fields, picking up their favorite fruits, and learning how things grow and what is involved in agriculture.
13785 Potomac St, Brighton, CO 80601, Phone: 303-659-5050
5.Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park
© Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park
Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park is the new outdoor aquatic park in Brighton, Colorado that replaced the old local pool. This modern water park occupies 4.8 acres of land next to the historic Bromley-Koizuma Hishinuma Farm. The park features two large waterslides, a leisure pool with an area for water basketball, a lazy river with a wave generator, and a play structure for tiny tots with interactive sprays. The park also has various concessions, lockers, a climbing wall, and a party pavilion. The wave generator, the only one of its kind in Colorado, produces two-foot-high waves that run down the lazy river. The park is a popular spot for celebrating kids’ birthdays.
1852 E Bromley Ln, Brighton, CO 80601, Phone: 303-655-2095
6.Buffalo Run Golf Course
© Buffalo Run Golf Course
Located in Commerce City, Colorado, Buffalo Run Golf Course is a popular local golf course with beautiful lush greens and expansive fairway, overlooking the magnificent Rocky Mountains. It operates year round and features five sets of tees suitable for golfers of all ages and abilities. The course was designed by the famous golf course architect Keith Foster, and it is 7,411 yards from the back tees and 5,277 yards from the forward tees, with a range of challenging obstacles such as water hazards and bunkers. Buffalo Run has a full-service restaurant, professional golf staff providing lessons and a golf shop offering a wide selection of merchandise.
15700 E 112th Ave, Commerce City, CO 80022, Phone: 303-289-1500
7.Brighton Recreation Center
© Brighton Recreation Center
The Brighton Recreation Center is a modern recreational facility in Brighton, Colorado with an extensive range of amenities. The aquatic area has a 1,875-square foot lap pool, leisure pool with a water slide, a hot tub, and a deck space with benches. The Fitness Area includes free weights, weight machines, and cardiovascular equipment. The Aerobics/Dance Room has its own sound system, mirrors, and dance bars. The Gymnasium has a wood floor, anchors for volleyball, and six glass backboards. There is also space for basketball courts and two official size volleyball courts. The Indoor Track is one mile long and provides 16 laps. The center also has two Racquetball Courts, a daycare area, and a 3,300-square foot community room.
555 N 11th Ave, Brighton, CO 80601, Phone: 303-655-2200
Tiny and unassuming with only three tables inside and a couple of picnic benches on the patio outside, Lauer-Krauts is a diner/drive-in/eatery that sells a delicious German/Russian delicacy called Krautburger, and not much else. These delicious pastries filled with burger meat, cabbage, onions, and sauerkraut are addictive. They are freshly made daily and fly out of the shop as soon as they are made. Family-owned by Germans from Russia, Lauer-Krauts has been around to introduce this traditional pastry to Brighton since 2006. You might want to try one of their hot, rich soups or fabulous European desserts to go with your Krautburger.
26 S 6th Ave, Brighton, CO 80601, Phone: 303-654-9700
La Estrellita is a colorful, unassuming Mexican eatery in Brighton, Colorado that will surprise you with its first class food. If weather permits, sit at their large, pleasant outdoor patio. The menu does not have any surprises, just a large selection of everyone’s favorites like enchiladas, tacos, burritos and carnitas, all made to perfection. They are famous for their house-made salsas and a large selection of imaginative margaritas. Notably, they have won several awards for their incredible pork green chile. The best deal is their buffet, which allows you to try a little bit of everything. They have a different buffet for lunch, brunch, and dinner, and they serve breakfast the whole day.
45 N Main St, Brighton, CO 80601, Phone: 303-654-9900
10.Pinocchio's Italian Eatery
© Pinocchio's Italian Eatery
Pinocchio is a popular Italian restaurant in Brighton, Colorado located in a landmark brick building in the heart of town. It has been lovingly restored and turned into an upscale but incredibly cozy and pleasant eatery with dark red walls, checkered tablecloths and exposed brick. The traditional Italian menu is extensive and has something for everyone, from entrees, pastas, and pizzas to their famous calzones. Some of Pinocchio’s favorites are chicken or veal made Parmesana, Marsala, or Piccata style, served with pasta and salad. Pinocchio is highly sought after for private dining and catering for special occasions.
177 E Bridge St, Brighton, CO 80601, Phone: 303-655-7777
10 Best Things to Do in Brighton, Colorado
- Barr Lake State Park, Photo: tompotterphoto/stock.adobe.com
- Riverdale Golf Courses, Photo: Riverdale Golf Courses
- Colorado Clays Shooting Park, Photo: Colorado Clays Shooting Park
- Berry Patch Farm, Photo: Berry Patch Farm
- Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park, Photo: Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park
- Buffalo Run Golf Course, Photo: Buffalo Run Golf Course
- Brighton Recreation Center, Photo: Brighton Recreation Center
- Lauer-Krauts, Photo: Lauer-Krauts
- La Estrellita, Photo: BestStockFoto/stock.adobe.com
- Pinocchio's Italian Eatery, Photo: Pinocchio's Italian Eatery
- Cover Photo: tompotterphoto/stock.adobe.com