Castle Rock

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. The renovated Philip S. Miller Park includes an outdoor amphitheater and a plaza with picnic pavilions, a splash pad for kiddos and an outdoor fireplace. If flying through the air is more your thing, The EDGE Ziplines & Adventures offers a 10-line course stretched throughout the park's ridelines and a four-story Sky Trek aerial trekking course that's fun — and challenging! — for both youths and adults.

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, another well-liked shopping spot, boasts a wealth of handy stores and eateries.

Castle Rock is also a golf haven. With seven 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 90 artists, live main-stage entertainment, cultural exhibits and an Imagination Zone for children in downtown Castle Rock.

Summer fun abounds at the Castle Rock WineFest, too. This beloved July gathering features delicious wine-paired dinners and a fabulous grand tasting to boot. Live jazz music creates a celebratory atmosphere while attendees stroll through meadowlands sampling fine Colorado wines from more than two-dozen 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 tradition since 1936. 

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