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. Philip S. Miller Park was recently renovated to include an outdoor amphitheater and a plaza with picnic pavilions, a splash pad for kiddos and an outdoor fireplace. New Castle Rock Zip Line Tours also offers a 10-line course stretched throughout the park's ridelines and a 7.4-mile trail network boasts a calf-burning 200-step Challenge Staircase for fitness buffs.
Meanwhile, the more than 100 name-brand stores offering deep discounts at The Outlets at Castle Rock are a different, but equally popular draw. The Promenade at Castle Rock, a new shopping center and town center, will soon bring a wealth of new shops and restaurants to the area.
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.
In November, visitors and residents gather for Castle Rock Starlighting, when a giant star is lit atop the community's iconic castle-tower-shaped butte — a 80-year tradition.