Brighton, Colorado, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Rockies,” is a charming city nestled in Adams County, just a short drive from Denver. This vibrant community offers a diverse range of activities and attractions, making it a hidden gem in the Centennial State. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor passing through, here’s a guide to the best things to do in Brighton, Colorado.
1. Barr Lake State Park
Start your Brighton adventure at Barr Lake State Park, a natural oasis for outdoor enthusiasts. With nearly 2,000 acres of open space, it’s an ideal spot for hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. The park is renowned for its wildlife, including bald eagles, so be sure to bring your binoculars.
2. Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park
Cool off on a hot summer day at the Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park. This water wonderland features water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. It’s a perfect spot for families and offers plenty of fun for kids and adults alike.
3. Brighton Armory Performing Arts Center
For a cultural experience, visit the Brighton Armory Performing Arts Center. This historic building hosts a variety of performances, from live theater productions to musical concerts. Check their event calendar for upcoming shows and exhibitions.
4. Barr Lake Golf Course
Golf enthusiasts will find joy in the Barr Lake Golf Course, a picturesque 18-hole golf course located within Barr Lake State Park. The stunning views of the surrounding landscape make it a must-visit for both seasoned golfers and beginners.
5. Brighton History Museum
To delve into Brighton’s rich history, explore the Brighton History Museum. The museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that tell the story of the city’s development and growth. It’s a fascinating journey through time.
6. Berry Patch Farms
Experience the joy of picking your own fresh produce at Berry Patch Farms. Depending on the season, you can handpick strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, and more. It’s an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors and bring home some locally grown, organic goodies.
7. Brighton Farmers’ Market
If you’re interested in local products and handmade crafts, don’t miss the Brighton Farmers’ Market. Open from May to September, this market is a great place to support local vendors, try delicious foods, and find unique gifts.
8. Lulu’s Farm
Lulu’s Farm is a family-friendly destination featuring a petting zoo, corn maze, and seasonal events. It’s perfect for families with kids and offers an authentic farm experience right in the heart of the city.
9. Dine at Local Eateries
Brighton offers a diverse culinary scene with a variety of restaurants and cafes. From hearty American classics to international cuisines, you can satisfy your taste buds at places like Big Choice Brewing, Tequilas Mexican Restaurant, or Main Street Café.
10. Prairie Center Shopping District
For a shopping spree, head to the Prairie Center Shopping District. This retail hub features a range of stores, from big-name retailers to charming boutiques. It’s a great place to find unique gifts and items.
11. Platte Valley Medical Center Sculpture Garden
If you’re an art enthusiast, visit the Platte Valley Medical Center Sculpture Garden. This outdoor art collection showcases sculptures by local artists and provides a tranquil space for reflection.
12. Parks and Trails
Brighton boasts a network of parks and trails, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Take a stroll or bike ride along the South Platte River Trail, explore Donelson Park, or have a relaxing day at the Brighton Recreation Center.
13. Brighton Equestrian Park:
If you love horses and riding, the Brighton Equestrian Park is the place to be. This facility offers riding lessons, horse shows, and even equestrian events. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, you’ll find something to enjoy here.
14. Brighton Recreation Center:
Stay active and fit at the Brighton Recreation Center. This state-of-the-art facility offers a wide range of amenities, including a fitness center, swimming pool, basketball courts, and fitness classes. It’s a great place to work on your physical well-being.
15. Platte Valley Community Center:
This community center is a hub for activities and events in Brighton. You’ll find programs for all ages, from youth sports to adult fitness classes. Check their schedule for events, workshops, and gatherings.
16. Brighton BMX:
For some adrenaline-pumping action, head over to Brighton BMX. Whether you’re a BMX enthusiast or just looking for some thrilling entertainment, this BMX track offers exciting races and events.
17. Fishing at Dobbins Lake:
Grab your fishing gear and cast your line at Dobbins Lake. This peaceful spot is perfect for anglers, and you can often catch various species of fish, including bass and catfish.
18. Art in the Park:
Art lovers will appreciate the Art in the Park program, which showcases outdoor art installations and sculptures in various parks throughout Brighton. It’s a unique way to combine a love for nature and creativity.
19. Dog Parks:
Brighton is a pet-friendly community, and there are several dog parks where you can take your furry friend for some off-leash fun. Check out the Ken Mitchell Park Off-Leash Dog Area and the Bark Park at Fairgrounds Park.
20. Special Events:
Brighton hosts a variety of special events and festivals throughout the year. From summer concerts in the park to the Fourth of July celebration and holiday festivities, there’s always something exciting happening in the city. Keep an eye on the event calendar for dates and details.
21. Brighton Cultural Arts Commission:
Explore the local arts scene through the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission. They organize art exhibitions, musical performances, and cultural events, adding a touch of creativity to the community.
22. Kayaking and Paddleboarding:
If you enjoy water sports, try kayaking or paddleboarding on Barr Lake. You can bring your own equipment or rent it from nearby outfitters. It’s a relaxing way to explore the lake and get some exercise.
23. Colorado State University Extension Office:
For those interested in gardening, horticulture, or agriculture, the Colorado State University Extension Office in Brighton offers resources and educational programs to help you cultivate your green thumb.
24. Brighton Sporting Events:
Check out local sporting events, including high school football games and other athletic competitions. Supporting the local teams can be a fun and exciting way to get involved in the community.
Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, history buff, foodie, or art lover, Brighton, Colorado, has something to offer everyone. With its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, it’s no wonder that this city is becoming an increasingly popular destination in Colorado. So, the next time you’re planning a day trip or a weekend getaway, consider experiencing the best of Brighton.