07/05/2012 07:10 am ET | Updated Sep 04, 2012

Georgetown, Colorado Has Old-Fashioned American Charm

Georgetown, Colorado offers a number of attractions, from the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Hamill House, Hotel de Paris Museum and Guanella Pass, a Scenic and Historic Byway. I landed there recently on a whirlwind tour from Denver to Keystone and nearly had to be dragged away.

The town itself is caught between some of the most majestic peaks in the state and has managed to keep its Victorian charm. The antiquing is incredible and it is worth diving into is the Antique Emporium, Grantiques, Nora Bloome's Antiques, Powder Cache Antiques and Ophelia's.

While its not as expansive as other rock shops I've seen, the Georgetown Rock Shop features a healthy inventory of fossils, meteorites and crystals along with items like animal carvings made from cut and polished stones, spheres, coasters and bookends.

And, of course you can't have a small western town without a trading company, so be sure to check out the Buckskin Trading Company and High Country Trading Post, both located on 6th Street.

For sweet bites, check out the Georgetown Valley Candy Company, Yuma Bob's Tavern, Mountain Buzz Cafe and The Happy Cooker, known for its European Waffles, homemade breads, soups, chilies & desserts.

My favorite place was a quaint specialty place called CAKE,which offers cupcakes and other delicious desserts.

Seriously, does it get much quainter than this?

A close second favorite was this charming little shop which offers old fashioned milkshakes, as well as trinkets, books, postcards and clothing.

Georgetown also has an interesting mining history. The Georgetown Loop Railroad was one of Colorado's first visitor attractions. Completed in 1884, this stretch of three-foot narrow gauge railroad was considered an engineering marvel for its time. Georgetown and Silver Plume (both mining towns), lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon.

To connect them, the railroad's builders designed a "corkscrew" route that traveled twice the distance, slowly gaining more than 600 feet in elevation. It included horseshoe curves, 4% grades and four bridges across Clear Creek, including the massive Devil's Gate High Bridge.  Today, the train is used for tourism for the most part and you can take short scenic trips or upgrade to the dining car where they'll serve you cheese and fruit along with red and white wine selections.  Refer to my write-up on the Georgetown Loop Railroad tour. It's a great option if you are traveling with kids.

You can take the short loop and then return to the town for lunch or more browsing in the umpteen number of quaint shops, trading posts, cafes, bistros and art galleries. I'm a fan of showing off the art from local artisians wherever possible and this town, like so many in its category, is not short of talent. The Georgetown Gallery, based on 6th Street, offers fine art by Colorado artists.  Also in town is Dragonfly Glassworks, which features hand blown art glass by many local artists.  There's also Georgetown Gallery of Fine Arts, Grizzly Creek Gallery,  Mountain Magic Stained Glass, Railroad Art by Scott (mentioned above),  and Stonehenge Art Gallery.

So if you pass through this charming town, stop into some of these galleries and support the local artists, or at the very least, say hello.


For more blog posts on Colorado, click here. See my whiz bang tour post here.