Once a small mining town that rapidly grew after the railroad came to take the silver riches to nearby Denver, the Georgetown of today is proud of its past. The historic downtown has a number of renovated old buildings such as the legendary Hotel de Paris (today a museum), an old fire station with a bell that still rings on the hour and half hour, and a number of nice restaurants, including a popular Mexican one. There is even a local brewery, offering what they call “a real mountain beer.” You can take a carriage ride through downtown or take a narrow-track train tour through the mountains.

1. Alpine Hose Number 2

Alpine Hose Number 2
© Alpine Hose Number 2

The Alpine Hose building is one of the first buildings you notice when you arrive in Georgetown, and it is the city’s icon. Built between 1875 and 1880, the building was home to the Alpine Hose Company No. 2, one of the town’s four firefighting stations and the reason this small mining town did not suffer the fate of many other small towns that burnt down. The tower that dominates the fire station and its 1,200-pound bell were donated by one of the city’s notables, William Hamill. The bell can still be heard in town ringing every hour and half hour. The Alpine Hose #2 is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been converted to a fire-fighting museum after careful renovation. The museum has its original carpet, uniforms, trophy case, fixtures, furnishings, and many photos. The original hook-and-ladder truck that belonged to the Star Hook and Ladder Company is also part of the museum exhibit. Browse our Weekend Getaways in Colorado guide for more ideas.

507 5th Street, Georgetown, Colorado 80444,

2. Georgetown Energy Museum

Georgetown Energy Museum
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Georgetown’s Hydroelectric Plant, owned and run by Xcel Energy, has been powering the city since 1900. It is still doing its job, but it also houses the Energy Museum, which features the history of hydroelectric power in Georgetown and other places in general. It has a number of exhibits and photos along with the old generator and some of the first original appliances powered by electricity in the city. The original water wheels are the main museum attraction. The United Light and Power Generation Company originally built the power station in 1900, and it is today the second oldest still operating hydroelectric facility in Colorado. The museum is a great place to learn about hydropower and how it is created as well as about the use of hydropower in Colorado.

600 Griffith St, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-3557

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3. Georgetown Heritage Center

Georgetown Heritage Center
© Georgetown Heritage Center

The Georgetown Heritage Center is a great place to learn about the history of Georgetown and see a number of fascinating exhibits and traditional art. The Center is a popular gathering place that hosts many public meetings, live performances, conferences, folk art workshops, art exhibits, and various activities. The center is located in the historic 1874 schoolhouse that has been meticulously renovated and restored, and it opened to the public in 2015. The focal point of the Heritage Center is a Local History Archive, owned and run by the Clear Creek County Library District. The archive collects the historic records, maps, photographs, and other objects documenting the city past. The library sponsors popular film and diverse children's programs. The Cultural Arts Program teaches traditional folk arts and Colorado State University Extension Master Gardener program runs a demonstration garden and holds gardening classes.

809 Taos St, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-0285

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4. Georgetown Loop Railroad

Georgetown Loop Railroad
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The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a three-foot wide narrow gauge heritage railroad and one of the oldest tourist attractions in Colorado. This spectacularly beautiful stretch of railroad was finished in 1884 and at the time was considered as one of the engineering masterpieces. The steam-powered locomotive pulls a tourist train today between Georgetown and Silver Plume and is about 4.5 miles long, climbing to an elevation of 640 feet. It winds through the beautiful, rugged Rocky Mountains trough Clear Creek canyon, trestles, fills, cuts, and a grand loop, passing by remains of silver and gold mines, offering spectacular views all along. The trip is a great family outing and the kids love it.

646, Loop Dr, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-2030

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5. Guanella Pass Scenic & Historic Byway

Guanella Pass Scenic & Historic Byway
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Starting in historic charming Georgetown, Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway runs for about 22 miles to the town of Grant. While not long, this pass can at times take hours depending on the weather. It has been recently paved, but it still might be closed in winter if the weather is bad. The byway runs along South Platte River and South Clear Creek and offers fantastic views of Mount Bierstadt and Mount Evans. The byway is a slight detour from Highway 285 and offers a perfect example of Rocky Mountain ecosystem – don’t be surprised if you come across beavers and bighorn sheep. You can stop and take a break at many scenic picnic areas along the way or you might want to wait until you reach the famous Coney Island Hotdog Stand on Highway 285. (website link)

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6. Hamill House Museum

Hamill House Museum
© Hamill House Museum

Completed in 1879 for the Georgetown’s most famous silver baron William Hamill, Hamill House was built for his family to his exacting specifications, using only the finest materials available. Most of the furnishings and décor were brought from as far away as England. The lovely Gothic Revival building is today a house museum, and visitors can see its original details such as the marble fireplace, walnut woodwork, and hand-painted wallpaper. The house is a great example of the lifestyle of rich families in thriving Colorado mining towns at the end of the 19th century. It is part of the National Historic Landmark District.

305 Argentine Street, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-2840

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7. Things to Do in Georgetown: Hotel De Paris Museum

Things to Do in Georgetown: Hotel De Paris Museum
© Hotel De Paris Museum

When it opened its doors in 1875, Hotel de Paris was one of the major hotels and restaurants in Colorado. Frenchman Louis Dupuy, who came to Georgetown in 1870 to try his fortune in mining, built the establishment. After an explosion in the mine, Dupuy's mining career was finished, but he stayed in Georgetown, bought a Delmonico bakery, and quickly transformed it into a large, popular luxurious hotel with gourmet French restaurant. The inns of Normandy from his native France served as his inspiration. In 1954 the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Colorado bought the hotel and made it into a museum. The museum has a number of period objects on display in the hotel’s former rooms. The objects, part of the larger collection, rotate on display. The museum is open to the public by appointment.

409 6th Ave, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-2311, (website link)

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8. Things to Do in Georgetown: Capital Prize Gold Mine Tours

Things to Do in Georgetown: Capital Prize Gold Mine Tours
© Capital Prize Gold Mine Tours

See another side of Georgetown when you book a visit at Capital Prize Gold Mine Tours. Tours with Capital Prize will take visitors 1,000 feet down one of the most massive mines in Colorado to experience what the life of a hard rock miner would have been like over a hundred years ago. Not only will guests see the tools used by miners, like single-jack and double-jack drills, but they’ll also be able to see and follow up to seven gold and silver veins that were discovered in the mines. Other activities to enjoy at Capital Prize include rock-breaking activities that geologists do and chats with real miners actively hunting for gold.

1016 Biddle Street, Georgetown, Colorado 80444, Phone: 303-569-2468

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9. Guanella Pass Brewing Company

Guanella Pass Brewing Company
© Guanella Pass Brewing Company

If you believe that where you drink your beer is as important as what beer you drink, you will really enjoy visiting Guanella Pass Brewing Company. Located in the heart of the Rockies in the small former mining town of Georgetown, Guanella Pass is a true mountain brewery with a range of excellent craft beers you can explore at their rustic, fun, and always busy tap room. The brewery and the adjoining tap room are located in the small yellow house in the town center. You cannot miss it – there are plenty of tables and chairs outdoors when the weather permits where people enjoy their brews, listen to some local live music, and taste the food from one of the food trucks parked nearby. Dogs are welcome. Take some of their beer with you – not only does it taste great but the bottles also have fun labels that are true art.

501 Rose Street, Box 952, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-5167

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10. Argentine Pass

Argentine Pass
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There is no shortage of bucket list activities to enjoy when in Georgetown, Colorado. One of them can be found within the Rocky Mountain high country area of the Argentine Mining District – the Argentine Pass. Avid explorers to the Argentine Pass will find themselves taking an adrenaline-pumping ride to one of Colorado’s highest off-roading destinations. Originally built in the 1860’s to help people cross the Continental Divide, the Argentine Pass, formerly known as the Snake River Pass, is a hugely popular 4x4 and ATV route. Rocky and narrow, it’s an excited road to take for those who are brave enough to traverse its difficult trails. The Argentine Pass is accessible to visitors from July to October and, at its highest, hits an elevation of 13,207 feet.

Off Road Trail, Leavenworth Creek Road, Georgetown, Colorado 80444

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More Ideas: Georgetown Mountain Inn

Ideally located within a few miles from the Loveland Ski area, the Georgetown Mountain Inn offers a cozy alpine atmosphere with spectacular mountain views. Situated within walking distance of Georgetown’s historic downtown area and its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, the Inn features 33 comfortably furnished guest rooms with private bathrooms and modern amenities.

Rooms enjoy large beds, plush décor, kitchenettes with microwaves and fridges, cable TV and free wireless Internet, and guests have access to a year-round indoor heated swimming pool and an outdoor hot tub. Enjoy complimentary morning coffee and muffins in front a crackling fire in the inviting lobby before heading out to enjoy some of the many outdoor activities in the area.

Guest Accommodations

The Georgetown Mountain Inn features a variety of comfortable accommodations ranging from Standard Rooms, Antique Rooms, and Log Rooms, to Colorado Style Rooms and Guest Suites. All guest rooms and suites have king or queen-size pillow-top beds dressed in high-quality linens, down or hypoallergenic comforters, and pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with shower/bath combinations, single or double vanities, lighted make-up mirrors, plush towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products. Modern amenities include flat-screen televisions with cable channels, mini-fridges, microwaves, telephones, alarm clock/radios, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Standard and Log Rooms are decorated with country-style décor and wooden furnishings and feature two double beds, or two doubles, one single, or one king-size bed, while Antique Rooms feature one queen-size pillow-top bed dressed in high-quality linens, down or hypoallergenic comforters and plush pillows.

Colorado-style Rooms are spacious, comfy and rustic retreats that feature original beetle-kill pine walls, comfortable log furniture, and one king, two queens, or two double and one single bed. En-suite bathrooms have shower/bath combinations, single or dual vanities, lighted make-up mirrors, plush towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products and modern amenities include flat-screen televisions with cable channels, mini-fridges, microwaves, telephones, alarm clock/radios, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

The luxurious three-room Guest Suite offers all the creature comforts of home with a queen-size pillow-top bed dressed in high-quality linens, down or hypoallergenic comforters, and pillows, and en-suite bathroom with shower/bath combination, oversized vanity, lighted make-up mirror, plush towels and bathrobes, and organic bath products. The suite has a fully equipped kitchen and airy living area with comfortable seating, two flat-screen televisions with cable channels and a VCR player, and complimentary wireless Internet.


Complimentary coffee and muffins are served in front of the fire every morning.

Amenities and Recreation

Upscale facilities at theGeorgetown Mountain Inn include an indoor heated swimming pool, an outdoor hot tub and a complimentary coffee and muffins served in front of the fire every morning. Situated within a few miles from the Loveland Ski area, the Georgetown Mountain Inn is within proximity to an array of attractions and activities for guests to enjoy. Nearby attractions include the Loveland Ski Area, the Echo Mountain Ski Resort and Park, the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Our Gang Ice Racing, and Mile Hi Rafting. Local parks include Werlin Park, City Park, and Foster's Place.

Enjoy Washington D.C.’s rich history and heritage on a tour with DC Insider Tours, a luxury tour company that offers visitors the opportunity to explore and uncover the city. A choice of different types of tours are available to suit every need, from private chauffeured tours to walking and specialty tours, each led by professional and knowledgeable guides who share the history and interesting information about the city. Visit areas of the city such as Dupont Circle and Georgetown, experience the city’s famous monuments by night, explore the many museums the city has to offer, or enjoy a specialty tour such as ‘Ghosts, Scandals and Murder’, or ‘Hail to the Cocktail’. Tour groups are kept to a minimum to ensure a personal experience and can be enjoyed by all ages.

Located on historic M Street in Georgetown, Old Glory is the place to go for authentic and delicious barbecue. Capturing the essence of America in the mouthwatering smoked meats and poultry that are served hot off the grill, Old Glory features an open kitchen with huge open barbecue pit, a classic 1901 Silver Dollar Four Winds hand-crafted bar that boasts a lively atmosphere and a family-friendly home-away-from-home ambiance. The menu offers a range of slow-cooked meats served with regional house made Bar-B-Que sauces, freshly made sides and salads and an ample beverage list. Old Glory also offers a special kid’s menu, with hamburgers, BBQ ribs and classic macaroni and cheese.

1100 Rose Street, Georgetown, CO 80444, Phone: 303-569-3201

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Attraction Spotlight: Georgetown Loop Railroad

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is just forty-five minutes away from Denver in Colorado, situated high within the Rocky Mountains. The train ride offers amazing mountain views throughout the year, no matter what season during which guests decide to visit. These views are combined with a feeling of being transported back in time, back to the days where outlaws roamed the land, mining was the way of life, and the railroad was the main form of transportation. Visitors can experience the history of the Georgetown area during the spectacular experience of the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

The Georgetown Loop and the local community became a tourist center back in the late 1880’s, a place for people who ventured out West to experience the romance and wild ruggedness. Tourism out in the West began to develop around excursions on the railroad. The Georgetown Loop ran seven trains every day at the height of the railroad’s popularity out of Denver, and is one of the scenic “must see” attractions of Colorado. Postcards and guidebooks provide tourists with images of mountain peaks and steep canyons that can be seen by the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Georgetown, a former site for mining silver situated within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains along Clear Creek, was founded back in 1859 during the Gold Rush of Pike’s Peak. The Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic District consists of Georgetown, as well as Silver Plume and the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining and Railroad Park that is located between the two towns. The town of Georgetown may be small today, but it was a historic center of the booming mining industry in the state of Colorado throughout the late nineteenth century, and was known as the “Silver Queen of Colorado.” The town is now a lively summer tourist spot with historical significance. Several of the structures from the Colorado Silver Boom are preserved and can be seen today.

The Lebanon Silver Mine Tour with the Georgetown Loop Railroad is designed to enhance visitors’ experience on their train ride. The Lebanon Silver Mine is located at the railroad’s halfway point. The tour guides guests five hundred feet into the mine tunnel that was created back in the 1870’s. A knowledgeable guide will share information about the mining industry’s early days and point out the rich silver veins. Visitors are advised to bring a jacket, as the temperature in the mine is typically a constant forty-four degrees. The Lebanon Silver Mine Tour also visits the change room of the miners and the manager’s office.

The Everett Gold Panning and Silver Mine Tour provides guests with an idea of what a mine was like when it was brand new and operational during the late 1880’s. The lighting is maintained at a level similar to candle lights used by the miners.The exhibits of the interior mine include the transition from miners using hand drilling to mechanical drilling, tunnel construction, ore removal, and the difference between dynamite and black powder blasting. Visitors also have the chance to try their luck panning for gold, and are allowed to take whatever they find home with them.

646 Loop Drive, Georgetown, Colorado, Phone: 888-456-6777

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Attraction Spotlight: Georgetown Energy Museum

The Georgetown Energy Museum in Georgetown, Colorado is a fully operational and functioning plant that generates hydroelectricity. The hydroelectric plant is operated and owned by Xcel Energy, and has operated since the year 1900. The museum leases a section of the plant to be used provide interpretation and general history of the power of hydroelectricity. By 1903, the Georgetown Hydroelectric Station was providing electricity to the towns of Georgetown, Black Hawk, Idaho Springs, Central City, Silver Plume, and local mine areas.

The Georgetown Hydroelectric Station is situated on Sixth Street’s east end on the grounds of what used to be the What Cheer Mill. The plant was originally built in 1900 by the United Light and Power Generation Company, and is the state of Colorado’s second oldest hydroelectric station in operation. In 1924, the ownership of the plant was changed to the Public Service Company of Colorado. A large amount of the Georgetown Hydroelectric Station’s original equipment is still used to this day. The doors of the hydroelectric station were opened to the public as an energy museum recently by the Public Service Company in cooperation with Historic Georgetown, Inc.

First constructed back in 1900, the functioning Georgetown Hydroelectric Station is still in operation today. Visitors have the chance to see early electrical appliances, generators, and equipment that dates back one hundred years as they explore the hydroelectric plant. Guests can also learn about electricity’s early development in the state of Colorado, and more about how electricity is generated. Historical information and photographs are also on display at the Georgetown Energy Museum. The museum is open to the public every day of the week from the month of June until the month of September.

The Georgetown Hydroelectric Station, the site of the Georgetown Energy Museum, contains two sets of generator-water wheels. Each generator-water wheel set features a capacity of 720 watts at a maximum, providing a total capacity of 1.5 megawatts at the hydroelectric plant of alternating current electrical power. This amount of power is about enough to power seven hundred to one thousand houses and businesses. A modern house in today’s world typically uses 1,500 watts.

The generator-water wheel sets feature a Pelton design, claiming to possess a rating of ninety percent efficiency. The water that is used to move the wheels originates in the Georgetown reservoir, which is just a little less than a mile up the canyon, in the direction of Guanella Pass. This give the water a vertical fall of seven hundred feet, which results in two hundred and seventy-five pounds per square inch of water pressure at the water wheels.

The electricity that the water generates at the Georgetown Hydroelectric Station is added to a substation that is located at the plant’s south end. A transmission line also feeds the same substation from the Colorado distribution grid. This substation at the hydroelectric plant, in turn, provides electricity to Georgetown and Silver Plume, as well as a transmission line that makes its way north the Henderson mining operation and Empire.

600 Griffith Street, Georgetown, Colorado, Phone: 303-569-3557

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