For details on Georgetown’s facilities and activities, call the Visitor Information Center at 1-800-472-8230, or Historic Georgetown, Inc., at 303-569-2840.
Within its limited confines Georgetown boasts a number of shops and restaurants that express its history. Prominent among them is the Silver Queen Restaurant & Bar, a handsome 1868 edifice that has operated as a restaurant since the 1950s. What the place may lack in haute cuisine is more than made up for by its comfortable atmosphere and spacious nineteenth-century interior, with a gorgeously carved bar that stretches the length of one wall. Another worthwhile stop is Polly Chandler’s Book Shop around the corner on Taos Street. The store’s proprietress is a lovely septuagenarian who has written several books on the area’s history and is referred to as the first lady of Georgetown.
While Georgetown boasted fourteen hotels and boardinghouses during its zenith, that number has now dwindled to eight, with three economy motels and five bed-and-breakfasts located right in town. Since I was interested in winter sports as well as wandering the Victorian streets, I found it more convenient to stay in a ski condominium several miles west of town. Georgetown is less than an hour’s drive from a number of major ski areas, including Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Breckenridge —a trio known as The Summit. Loveland Basin is just fifteen minutes to the west.
Georgetown’s own winter festivities tend to center on Christmas. The town’s annual tree-lighting ceremony is held in Strousse Park, across from the library, on the last Saturday in November. And on the first two weekends in December, Georgetown stages a grand Christmas market, with homemade crafts and baked goods, hayrides, caroling, and a “Santa Lucia Processional” that sends the town’s children parading down the street with white gowns, garlands, and candles. “You just about want to cry, it’s so cute and quaint and all,” Kirby reports.
During the warmer months, of course, Georgetown’s main attraction is the famous 4.5-mile Loop railroad. The train runs from late May through early October, with two Shay steam locomotives pulling the passenger cars; call 303-569-2403 for schedules and reservations. The Loop is up and running thanks to a twelve-year restoration effort completed in 1985. The entire saga is recorded in The Georgetown Loop Railroad , a thirty-minute video that features an astounding piece of 1904 footage, following tourist-filled cars as they travel along the original Loop. It’s available from the Georgetown Loop gift shop.