Arvada is a city with the charm of a small town. It’s located just northwest of Denver and has the title of “Celery Capital of the World” because of its active agricultural community. However aside from farming, the city is filled with charming restaurants, locally owned breweries, and plenty of activities to keep you busy.
It currently stands as the eighth most populated Colorado city, with a population of 124,402 as of 2020. It lies at 5,453 feet of elevation within both Jefferson and Adams Counties and is a great place to stay if you want easy access to both the bustle of Denver and the natural beauty of the Front Range.
First discovered in 1850 by Prospector Lewis Ralston, Arvada claimed its spot as a Gold Rush destination early on. Ralston found about a 1/4 ounce of gold as he dipped his sluice pan in the stream. Back then, that gold was worth about five dollars.
As the Pikes Peak Gold Rush continued to spread, Ralston expanded his reach in Arvada. He brought more prospectors with him. The group tried to explore the town for more gold but ran out of luck as time went on. Although Ralston gave up, many members of his group stayed behind to keep searching.
They eventually found success in Gregory Glutch where they struck large amounts of gold. The prospectors were optimistic about their discovery and started digging up canals all over Arvada. Unfortunately, this ultimately damaged future plans for Arvada’s agricultural irrigation systems.
In 1870, the Colorado Railroad had reached town and the population began to expand. A U.S. Post Office was even established right after. Arvada was incorporated in 1904 and they used the middle name of one of the founders as the town’s name, Hiram Arvada Haskin.
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities – It shows just how much art is appreciated in this place. There are theater and concert performances year-round, including the popular Summer Concert Series.
Historic Olde Town – This is the heart of the city; a place where historic charm and modern attractions collide. Explore different boutique shops in this area. There are also cuisines from all over the world mastered in locally owned eateries, many with outdoor patios to enjoy on a warm day.
Cussler Museum – Over 100 vintage cars and other vehicles fill up this Arvada museum, located just off of I-70. Clive Cussler founded the museum to show off his extensive collection of antique cars, and it remains a favorite Arvada attraction today.
- A short drive west into the mountains will bring you to Sourdough Springs and Sawmill campgrounds. Both require online reservations, so be sure to plan ahead. These are great spots for a quick weekend getaway without too much driving.
- If you’re traveling with a bigger setup than just a tent, Applewood RV Resort in Wheat Ridge is a great option with 70 full-hookup sites.
- Blunn Reservoir is on the western side of town and has fishing from 7am-7pm each day.
- Standley Lake is north of town in Westminster but would be your best bet for great fishing. You can cast a line from the shore or from a boat to catch perch, walleye, crappie and more.
- Two Ponds Trail is an easy, gorgeous loop that is located within the wildlife refuge and is perfect for stretching your legs while you try to spot some wildlife.
- Van Bibber Creek trail totals 5.3 miles and loops around a peaceful open space with a babbling creek.
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Hilton Garden Inn Arvada Denver – Walking distance from downtown, this is a great spot to stay if you want a classic hotel experience with easy access to dining and shopping. Many of the rooms have beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains as an added bonus.
Savannah Suites – An option for long-term travelers, these extended stay suites each have a full kitchen and living area. There is a fitness center, laundry room, and business center on the property as well. Reviews are mixed.
Read about the best hotels in Arvada.
Homegrown Tap & Dough – The place in town for wood-fired pizzas, a great happy hour, and plenty of craft beer on tap.
Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations – Nestled in a schoolhouse that is over 100 years old, this kitchen serves up unique twists on classic dishes. They also have an extensive whiskey list for tasting.
Yak and Yeti Restaurant and Brewpub – An all-you-can-eat Nepalese buffet paired with countless microbrew options in a cozy space.
Feb – A Chocolate Affair – Each February the community gathers to fundraise for a local organization with all things chocolate. Activities include chocolate sampling and a scavenger hunt.
Feb – Arvada Winterfest – A recently launched town event where the community gathers to celebrate diversity, local talent, and craftsmanship at McIlvoy Park. There will be an ugly pet contest, cultural performances, a beer garden, and live ice sculpting.
May-Aug – Second Saturdays Concert Series and Street Fair – Each second Saturday throughout the summer you’ll find live music, food vendors, and a street fair in Olde Town.
Jun-Sep – Farmers Market – Head out to Olde Town Arvada and stock up on local produce and goods at this weekly market.
Jun-Aug – Yoga in the Square – Join this free weekly yoga class each Saturday morning during the summer months. Classes will be held in Olde Town Arvada Square.
Aug – Arvada Days – Celebrate the community with this family fun festival in Clear Creek Valley Park. You’ll find inflatables, a beer garden, train rides, live music, and food trucks at this one-day event.
Sep – Arvada Harvest Festival – One of the longest-running parades and festivals in the area, celebrate the start of autumn at this jam-packed weekend. Activities include a spelling bee, a petting zoo, live music, a car show, and more.
Activities near Arvada
Made in Colorado:
- Aurora (19mi)
- Boulder (21mi)
- Broomfield (9mi)
- Centennial (23mi)
- Commerce City (10mi)
- Denver (9mi)
- Edgewater (5mi)
- Englewood (16mi)
- Evergreen (25mi)
- Glendale (14mi)
- Golden (9mi)
- Greenwood Village (19mi)
- Highlands Ranch (28mi)
- Lakewood (7mi)
- Littleton (18mi)
- Lone Tree (27mi)
- Morrison (15mi)
- Northglenn (12mi)
- Parker (32mi)
- Thornton (11mi)
- Westminster (5mi)
- Wheat Ridge (6mi)
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