If they made a movie about early mining towns, Georgetown could be the star. The active Historic Georgetown, Inc. sees that it stays that way, and the Georgetown-Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District recalls the days of the silver boom in this area, located just 45 minutes west of Denver.
Once the third-largest town in Colorado, Georgetown is now home to slightly more than 1,000 residents. But on weekends, its capacity overflows with visitors who want to shop, sightsee, have lunch or spend the night at a Victorian bed-and-breakfast inn.
You'll find artifacts from the era preserved at the Hotel de Paris, now a museum, and see how the well-to-do lived at the historic Hamill House Museum. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a major attraction here, and takes visitors on a round-trip narrow-gauge steam train ride from Georgetown to nearby Silver Plume and back, with an optional stop for a tour of the Lebanon Silver Mine.
Hungry travelers have several one-of-a-kind Georgetown restaurants to choose from, including Lucha Cantina, which serves comforting Mexican and American fare in a historic (and famously haunted) building, and Dusty Rose Tea Room, which offers traditional afternoon tea and a small lunch menu. Save room for a cinnamon roll or brownie from Georgetown Cake Shoppe and a tasty latte from cozy coffee house Kaffehuset.
Near town is the breathtaking Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, which at its 11,600-foot summit might leave you breathless. If wildlife watching is your passion, stop at the Georgetown Wildlife Viewing Area for a glimpse of one of the hundreds of bighorn sheep living in the area.