Just 20 minutes south of Denver, Castle Rock attracts savvy shoppers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Named for a huge rock outcropping resembling a European fortress, this natural signpost has served as a landmark for American Indians, early settlers and Western movie buffs. With an extensive trail system and excellent, easily accessible recreation areas like Castlewood Canyon State Park and Pike National Forest, Castle Rock challenges hikers and climbers of all skill levels. Meanwhile, the more than 100 name-brand stores offering deep discounts at The Outlets at Castle Rock are a different, but equally popular draw. Castle Rock is also a golf mecca. With eight scenic and challenging golf courses in the area, designed by such notable golf architects as Jack Nicholas, Pete Dye, Tom Weiskopf and Jim Engh, it's easy to get a tee time.
The city's largest event, the Colorado Artfest at Castle Rock, held the weekend after Labor Day, is a juried international fine arts show with more than 180 artists, live main stage entertainment, cultural exhibits and an Imagination Zone for children in downtown Castle Rock. Summer fun also abounds at the Castle Rock WineFest, a July outdoor gathering featuring a week of wine-paired dinners and ending with a grand tasting. Live jazz music creates a celebratory atmosphere while attendees stroll through meadowlands sampling fine Colorado wines from more than 25 wineries, snacking or enjoying lunch by local restaurants, attending short culinary demos by celebrity chefs and relaxing at covered tables amid water features.