Located in central Colorado along the Interstate 25 corridor between Denver to the north and Colorado Springs to the south, Castle Rock is an affluent community that’s the seat of Douglas County.
At the time of the last census, the city’s population was about 56,000 residents, and it was named after the iconic geologic formation nearby that resembles a castle’s tower.
Visitors will have easy access to an abundance of lodging and dining options, as well as recreational, historical, and cultural attractions and events that should easily be able to fill their time.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Castle Rock, Colorado.
1. Rock Park
Comprised of more than 60 scenic acres, Rock Park is a public facility that’s steadily grown over the years as civic-minded citizens have donated land with the stipulation that it be set aside for public use and not development.
The town’s namesake, Castle Rock, is reachable by way of the park’s hiking trails. Though it’s a moderately challenging climb, those who make the trek will enjoy some of the most panoramic views of the majestic landscape.
The park’s entrance is on Front Street, and hikers should wear rugged footwear and bring plenty of water even during the cool months.
2. Briccy’s Coffee
Independent coffee shops are alive and well in the American Southwest, and Briccy’s Coffee on Wilcox Street in downtown Castle Rock is one of the local favorites.
Yes, they’ve got tons of coffee, both hot and cold, but their menu features frozen drinks, juices, and teas too. Those with empty stomachs will find lots of tasty treats like muffins and gelato.
Previous guests have commented on the attentive staff, chill atmosphere, and reasonable prices. It’s a favorite destination for those on the go as well as those in need of downtime and a strong dose of caffeine.
3. Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center
Located on Park Street, Theatre of Dreams Arts and Event Center offers those who choose to visit an impressive array of performing arts, and they’re especially known for their nationally acclaimed magic shows.
By big-city standards, it’s a small and intimate venue, and therein lies much of its charm. Guests typically feel like they’re part of the show, and not just some stiff relegated to the back row.
The center’s events include comedy routines, ventriloquists, and whacky, circus-style performers. They offer special camps for kids interested in learning some of the tricks of the trade as well.
4. BURLY Brewing Company
From north to south and side to side, Colorado is peppered with craft and microbreweries. They produce award-winning brews ranging from classic to contemporary and include countless flavor profiles.
BURLY Brewing Company is located on Atchison Way in Castle Rock. Though it has only been open for about a year, it has attracted a loyal following of suds lovers.
Their beer menu includes ales, stouts, blondes, and IPAs, so regardless of the tastes of you and your travel companions, you’ll all likely find something you like.
The brewery is open daily and serviced by food trucks from local restaurants.
5. Outlets at Castle Rock
Though malls get a bad rap these days, retail therapy is a vital component of many traveler’s itineraries.
The Outlets at Castle Rock are consistently ranked as one of the state’s most popular shopping options and are anchored by well-known national brands like Ralph Lauren, The North Face, and Coach.
Good deals are usually available for savvy shoppers, and if you’ve spent a few hours at the brewing company mentioned above before your shopping, you can always blame excessive expenditures on the alcohol.
The outlets feature lots of excellent dining options, too, including Italian, burgers, subs, and coffee from Starbucks.
6. Colorado Artfest at Castle Rock
For more than three decades, the Colorado Artfest at Castle Rock has been a much-anticipated annual event, and it’s held in Festival Park near the city’s downtown area.
There’s ample parking at the nearby fairgrounds, and free shuttles run regularly between the lot and event.
The festival features more than 100 artists from all over the country; there’s lots of live entertainment, tons of great food, and activities specifically designed with young guests in mind.
It’s a two-day event, and admission is free, so reserve a few hours on your itinerary if you’ll be around the weekend after Labor Day.
7. El Korita Restaurant
Mexican food has always been popular in the Southwest, and it takes a lot to impress visitors from states known for their Mexican food, like California and Arizona.
El Korita Restaurant is located on South Wilcox Street, and according to first-time guests who consider themselves aficionados, it sports some of the best cuisines from south of the border that they’ve ever tasted.
Their menu is chockfull of traditional favorites like tacos, burritos, Rellenos, and enchiladas. Chips and salsa are complimentary.
Reasonable prices, a relaxed atmosphere, and hefty portions make it a must-visit eatery for hungry travelers on a budget.
8. Castle Rock Adventure Park
For those who are tired of more mundane attractions like history museums and public parks, the Castle Rock Adventure Park may just be the perfect place to spend a few exhilarating hours.
Featuring ten zip lines that tower over the ground below, it’s common for daring zippers to reach highway-like speeds on their descents.
The park’s four-story climbing wall is a big hit for the fit and fearless, and there’s a ninja-style obstacle course like the one seen on the popular television show as well.
There are activities that are appropriate for most ages, and the cost of admission is reasonable considering all it includes.
9. Castle Rock WineFest
Castle Rock is a particularly affluent locale that’s known as a wine hub that attracts trendy imbibers from all over the state, especially for the Castle Rock WineFest, which takes place in July when the weather is usually perfect.
Featuring more than 100 brands and varieties of wine made in the state, it’s an outdoor event that’s a big hit with seasoned wine veterans and green newbies just looking for a good time.
There’s a popular beer garden featuring local brews too, and lots of good food and live entertainment to top it all off – but kids are a no-no, so you’ll need to find a sitter.
10. Philip S. Miller Park
Featuring nearly ten miles of interconnected trails that wind their way through almost 200 feet of elevation change, the Philip S. Miller Park is probably best left to relatively fit outdoorsy types.
For those traveling with little ones who aren’t up to the hike, there’s a massive playground spread over more than two acres. There are also lots of flat, natural areas nearby that are great for picnics and taking leisurely strolls.
Park amenities include restrooms, a seasonal splash pad, and outdoor fireplaces that are perfect for relaxing by a toasty fire as the sun sets over the western horizon.
11. Hidden Mesa Open Space Trail
Like many of the country’s western states, Colorado is mostly undeveloped, and for outdoor-minded visitors, it’s a natural wonderland that’s full of a wide variety of recreation choices.
Located in nearby Franktown, Hidden Mesa Open Space Trail is comprised of more than 1,200 acres, much of which lies adjacent to Castle Rock.
The land surrounding the trail is home to protected habitats with lots of native animals, including deer, elk, fox, and prairie dogs. Many of them are relatively easy to see from the space’s trails, especially in the morning and afternoon.
Trails range from moderate to difficult, so there’s at least one appropriate option for most visitors.
12. Denver Museum of Art
For nearly a century, the Denver Museum of Art has been providing the area’s residents with a world-class artistic attraction that’s permanent collection has grown to include nearly 70,000 items.
Much of what’s on display is Native American art, both new and old, but there are unique pieces from many distant corners of the globe as well.
The museum is divided into distinct sections that reflect international influences, historical eras, and diverse mediums. Throughout the year, a variety of workshops and programs are offered, as are social events that allow visitors to meet and mingle with many of the artists.
13. Red Rocks Amphitheater
Located not far from central Denver in the town of Morrison, the Red Rocks Amphitheater is an impressive entertainment venue that features a unique mix of the natural and humanmade worlds. It’s most well-known for the large red rock disc that protrudes from just behind the stage.
The amphitheater seats nearly 10,000 and offers guests an eclectic variety of performances, almost all of which take place during the spring and summer months.
The facility’s origins date back to the first decade of the 20th century when the man who owned the land produced a number of concerts.
The site includes more than 700 acres of amazing rock formations that complement the performances nicely.
14. Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is an attraction that’s open year-round. It’s dedicated to educating visitors on the area’s natural splendor, as well as a variety of science-related topics like space, animals, and Native American cultures.
Many of the museum’s exhibits are interactive, which means guests – especially children – are encouraged to get active and engaged. Many families end up spending much more time on-site than they’d planned.
It’s the perfect cold day attraction, and previous visitors have noted that while it’s not the cheapest attraction in town, they felt that the cost of admission was good value.
15. Denver Botanic Gardens
Botanical gardens are often-idyllic oasis tucked away amid bustling metropolitan areas, and the Denver Botanic Gardens are no exception.
Featuring several unique cultivated areas that include both native and exotic plants, trees and flowers, the gardens are a great place for a quiet stroll. During the summer, the on-site, open-air theater offers lots of live entertainment.
The garden’s areas are connected by well-marked trails that include plenty of covered seating areas along the way. There’s also a popular children’s garden where kids can run and play.