Castle Rock, CO is an affluent Denver area suburb, named in honor of the eponymous Castle Rock butte within Colorado's Piedmont region. More than one-fourth of the charming town's landscape is devoted to parks and open space, with 75 miles of public trails offered for hikers, bikers, and equestrian riders.
1.The Miller Activity Complex
The Miller Activity Complex, commonly referred to as the MAC, is a 64,000-square-foot recreational complex within Castle Rock's 300-acre Phillip S. Miller Park, offering a wide variety of indoor and outdoor sporting opportunities for visitors of all ages. Inside the complex, visitors can use a full indoor pool and aquatic center with four 25-yard lap lanes, a zero-entry area, water table, water slide, and vortex whirlpool tub, along with full-sized and half-sized synthetic turf athletic fields. An 18-hole golf simulator is also offered, along with batting cages and a 16-bed trampoline. Outside, a 2.5-acre adventure playground offers a wide range of obstacles and activities for young visitors, and a 7.4-mile trail network features a 200-step challenge staircase. Other amenities include picnic pavilions, a children's splash pad, and an outdoor lounge with a fireplace and children's activities.
1375 Plum Creek Pkwy, Castle Rock, CO 80109, Phone: 720-733-2222
Rock Park is a 62.3-acre public open space in Castle Rock, developed in sections between 1947 and 1991 with the addition of land parcels donated to the city from private settlements and business tracts. In 1987, existing 24.4-acre and 3.6-acre tracts were joined together to create what is now Rock Park under the supervision of John Emerson and Paul Hill. The park, which is named in honor of a massive castle-esque rock discovered in 1859 in the area by gold prospector David Kellogg, offers a short but difficult hiking trail to the rock's apex, which offers sweeping views of the surrounding Rocky Mountain region. Visitors should note that trails are unpaved and wear appropriate footwear during climbs. General-use and reservable picnic pavilions are offered at the site, along with picnic tables and public restrooms. Well-behaved dogs are permitted at the park on leashes.
1710 Front St, Castle Rock, CO 80104, Phone: 303-814-7444
3.Outlets at Castle Rock
© Outlets at Castle Rock
Outlets at Castle Rock has been voted as the best outlet shopping center in Colorado each year since 2015, offering the state's largest open-air outlet shopping experience. The outlet center, which is located within the Denver metropolitan area in Castle Rock, sells more than 100 of the world's top designer brands at prices of up to 70% off retail prices, allowing shoppers to walk away with more deals for less money. Top designer outlets include Kate Spade, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, Guess, The North Face, and Coach, with a wide variety of womens, mens, and children's apparel stores offering steep discounts, including Francesca's, American Eagle, Brooks Brothers, Gap, and Lane Bryant. Restaurants range from full-service dining options such as Villa Italian Kitchen and Ruby's Diner to quick-service favorites such as Starbucks, Subway, and Qdoba.
5050 Factory Shops Blvd #437, Castle Rock, CO 80108, Phone: 303-688-4495
4.BURLY Brewing Company
© BURLY Brewing Company
BURLY Brewing Company is one of Castle Rock's premiere craft microbreweries, originally opened to the public in 2018 by George Goodman. The brewery strives to craft unique, tasteful variants of traditional brewing styles, transforming its former homebrewing operation into a 10-barrel brewhouse and spacious public taproom facility. Beers offered by the company include its Blonde Beer'd Golden Ale, RaspBURLY Wheat Ale, Don't Fear the Reaper Chili Ale, Hipster Juicebox IPA, Sailor Take Warning Red IPA, and Hundred Acre Honey Brown Ale. 24 taps of the brewery's beers are available at all times, including year-round, seasonal, and one-off variants. The brewery is open to the public seven days a week, with food truck pop-ups from local restaurants such as Uncle Tapas and Colorado Pizza Company hosted on site periodically.
680 Atchison Way Suite 800, Castle Rock, CO 80109, Phone: 720-486-0541
5.Hidden Mesa Open Space and Trail
Hidden Mesa Open Space and Trail is a 1,224-acre tract of public open space jointly managed by the Town of Castle Rock and Douglas County, serving as a natural land buffer between the cities of Castle Rock and Franktown. The open space provides protection for natural grassland, shrubland, forest, meadow, and riparian ecosystems, with habitats for native wildlife such as coyotes, elk, mule deer, pronghorn, prairie dogs, and raptors. A 74-acre area south of Highway 86 abuts the nearby Gateway Mesa, which offers 3.5 miles of hiking rails, while extensive areas of land north of the highway are home to seven more miles of trails for hiker, cyclist, and horseback rider use. Trails range from moderately easy to moderately difficult, with amenities available such as picnic shelters, horse trailers, and public restrooms. The open space is also home to a research and demonstration orchard overseen by Douglas County.
3217 CO-83, Franktown, CO 80116, Phone: 303-660-7495
6.Gateway Mesa Open Space Park
Gateway Mesa Open Space Park was acquired by the Town of Castle Rock in 1999, managed in cooperation with Douglas County and the Colorado Open Lands organization. The park is developed on lands formerly belonging to Jan and Chuck Hewitt, who had once hoped to develop a retirement community on the property but transferred it to the care of the city for preservation of its natural resources and stunning cliff vista overlooks. Today, the park showcases unusual native vegetation for public park lands, including Douglas fir trees, ponderosa pines, Gambel oaks, and a variety of native grasses, with habitats protected for mountain lions, bobcats, coyote, wild turkeys, and a variety of migratory birds. Trailheads are available at the park's parking lot, including an adjoining link with the nearby Mitchell Creek Canyon Trail.
4678 CO-86, Castle Rock, CO 80104, Phone: 303-814-7444
7.Spruce Mountain Open Space and Trail
© De Visu/stock.adobe.com
Spruce Mountain Open Space and Trail is a spacious open mesa located along a significant wildlife corridor near Castle Rock, connecting the Pike National Forest to the Greenland Open Space and Ranch. The open space, which is overseen by Douglas County, offers more than 8.5 miles of recreational trails for use by hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and dog owners, winding through the Spruce Mountain landscape within Douglas fir and ponderosa pine forest areas. Lookouts are offered throughout the trail system, including an overlook offering dramatic views of Pikes Peak, Carpenter Creek, the Palmer Divide, and a number of surrounding buttes. Trails range from low to moderately high difficulty, with amenities offered such as an interpretive kiosk and public restrooms.
13415 S Spruce Mountain Rd, Larkspur, CO 80118, Phone: 303-660-7495
8.Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center
© Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center
Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center is one of the United States' top magic show venues, originally opened to the public in 2003 by married magician duo Carol Massie and Joe Givan, the forces behind the Dream Masterz magic show, which has performed at venues such as Las Vegas' MGM Grand Resort and Hollywood's Academy of Magical Arts. The world championship-winning duo showcase a wide variety of unique acts at their 72-seat theater throughout the year, including world-renowned magicians, jugglers, circus performers, ventriloquists, mindreaders, and comedy acts. A fun Wizard Camp is offered for youth and adult students, culminating in a magic recital by all participants. Visitors can also rent the theater for private special events, including birthday parties, weddings and receptions, and corporate events.
735 Park St C, Castle Rock, CO 80109, Phone: 303-660-6799
9.Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course
Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course is a gorgeous 6,900-yard championship golf course in Castle Rock that was designed by renowned course architect Jim Engh. The course, which was opened to the public in 1999, showcases dramatic elevation changes and beautiful rolling terrains with stunning vistas, with fairways populated by scrub oak and native grasses. Five sets of tees are available for golfers of all skill levels, with a full practice facility available featuring over 35 turf stations, a practice bunker, target greens, and a putting green. A full-service pro shop is available, offering custom club fittings, and PGA-certified instructors are staffed to teach visitors of all experience levels. Delicious American-style fare is served up at the Clubhouse Grill, which is open for lunch and dinner service.
2156 Red Hawk Ridge Dr, Castle Rock, CO 80109, Phone: 720-733-3500
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10.Columbine Open Space
Columbine Open Space combines two open space properties into a beautiful expansive open space park, dedicated in 1999 in honor of the victims of the school shooting at Columbine High School. The open space, which is overseen by Douglas County, includes a 390-acre conservation easement overseen by the Conservation Fund, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the Douglas County Land Conservancy. A 150-acre property is also overseen by the county, with both areas serving as important protected habitats for elk, deer, and a variety of migratory bird and marine life species, including the threatened Preble's meadow jumping mouse. A three-mile loop trail is open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, traversing past an historic barn and rock springhouse. Public amenities include a picnic shelter, horse trailers, and composting restrooms.
2 Faraway Pl, Castle Rock, CO 80104, Phone: 303-660-7495
11.Crave Real Burgers
© Crave Real Burgers
Crave Real Burgers is a popular chain of Colorado burger joints, originally opened in Castle Rock in 2010 by Jeryn and Jeff Richard, the former owners of Castle Rock's Old Stone Church Restaurant. The company's burgers have won top awards at the Denver Burger Battle for more than half a decade. The hip diner, which also offers locations in Highlands Ranch and Colorado Springs, serves locally-raised Colorado beef burgers with a wide variety of unique toppings, including tempura-fried cream cheese, jalapenos, grilled pineapple, raspberry barbecue sauce, and coffee-dusted onion straws. Clever internationally-inspired sandwiches are also served, along with standard and boozy milkshakes featuring ingredients such as creme de menthe and Arrosta coffee liqueur.
3982 Limelight Ave, Castle Rock, CO 80109, Phone: 303-814-2829
© Union Bistro
Union Bistro is a gourmet American-style restaurant in Castle Rock owned and operated by Christina and Dennis Dickey, the former proprietors of Kansas City's PB&J Restaurants. The duo also brought executive chef Kim Heideman to their new operation, which serves up artisan small and large plates in a rustic setting with a bar and wooden seasonal outdoor patio. Delicious entrees range from cajun spaghettini and grilled salmon with citrus brown butter to barbecue salmon tacos and clever flatbreads, such as the restaurant's Thai flatbread, served with peanut sauce and Asian-style vegetables. Sandwiches and burgers are also served daily, with unique options available such as salmon burgers, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and Mediterranean-style gyro sandwiches. Discounted martinis are available in 22 options all day on Saturdays, with half-price wines available on Wednesdays at happy hour.
3 Wilcox St, Castle Rock, CO 80104, Phone: 303-688-8159
© Castle Café
Castle Café is a charming American-style pub housed within the former Castle Hotel and Bar building, originally constructed in the 1890s and serving as a popular traveler stopover and dance hall throughout the early 20th century. Today, the restaurant converts the former hotel space into a relaxed pub known for its world-famous pan-fried chicken entrees, available family-style with homestyle side dishes such as mashed potatoes and cracklin' gravy. A wide variety of homestyle entrees are served up, including blue corn chicken enchiladas, crispy fried catfish, buffalo meatloaf, and old-fashioned turkey platters. Clever burgers and sandwiches are also available at lunch and dinner, along with shareable appetizers and full bar service at the pub's Next Door Bar.
403 Wilcox St, Castle Rock, CO 80104, Phone: 303-814-2233
14.Siena at the Courtyard
© Siena at the Courtyard
Siena at the Courtyard is a popular trattoria-style restaurant in downtown Castle Rock, serving up hearty Italian-American dishes prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. Lunch and dinner entrees available today include brick-oven-fired pizzas available traditional-style or with gluten-free crusts and a variety of land and sea entrees such as eggplant rollatini and linguine with white clam sauce. Clever burgers and sandwich options include paninis, taco fish wraps, classic reubens, and Italian-style BLT sandwiches. A full four-course wine tasting chef's menu is available, featuring craft wines produced by Fisher Vineyards. Extensive wine menus highlight American, Italian, and international red, white, and sparkling wines, with happy hour deals available throughout the week.
333 Perry St Ste. D, Castle Rock, CO 80104, Phone: 303-688-2622
14 Best Things to Do in Castle Rock, Colorado
- The Miller Activity Complex, Photo: leungchopan/stock.adobe.com
- Rock Park, Photo: ajaded180/stock.adobe.com
- Outlets at Castle Rock, Photo: Outlets at Castle Rock
- BURLY Brewing Company, Photo: BURLY Brewing Company
- Hidden Mesa Open Space and Trail, Photo: BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com
- Gateway Mesa Open Space Park, Photo: NIKHIL/stock.adobe.com
- Spruce Mountain Open Space and Trail, Photo: De Visu/stock.adobe.com
- Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center, Photo: Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center
- Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course, Photo: castort/stock.adobe.com
- Columbine Open Space, Photo: RVPRPhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Crave Real Burgers, Photo: Crave Real Burgers
- Union Bistro, Photo: Union Bistro
- Castle Cafe, Photo: Castle Café
- Siena at the Courtyard, Photo: Siena at the Courtyard
- Cover Photo: Robert Arthur Media/stock.adobe.com