It is a mountain-town tradition nearly half a century old: At noon on the first two weekends each December, the old Alpine Hose firehouse bell rings to mark St. Nicholas' entrance to the Georgetown Christmas Market, and the hamlet of just more than 1,000 residents erupts with old-fashioned merriment. Bundled children tumble down Sixth Street following the robed St. Nick in a classic Santa Lucia procession that winds past Victorian homes, warm stalls of roasting chestnuts, and carriage horses waiting for Christmas revelers to hop aboard. The booths on Sixth and Rose streets are bright and fragrant with the handcrafted goods of artisans, bakers, and knitters, making for a festive way to check off items on your gift list. A leisurely stroll through the market will let you take it all in—just don't forget about the tucked-away storefronts, museums, and eateries that give Georgetown its year-round charm.
49th Annual Georgetown Christmas Market, Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sixth Street in Georgetown, 303-569-2840
The Hotel de Paris Museum, replicating the 1875 original, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Railroad mogul Jason "Jay" Gould once stayed here. 409 Sixth St., 303-569-2311
The Georgetown Valley Candy Company still makes its caramel corn and rich fudge the old-school way—in copper kettles and on marble tables. 500 Sixth St., 303-569-2778
Western artists stock the upscale Stonehenge gallery. Next door, the Grizzly Creek Gallery displays Coloradan Gary Haines' nature photography. Stonehenge: 514 Sixth St., 303-569-2153. Grizzly Creek: 512 Sixth St., 303-569-0433
An authentic tribute to Czech cooking, New Prague Restaurant serves up a spicy goulash stew and tender, breaded Wiener Schnitzel that evoke the spirit of Vánoce (Czech for Christmas). 511 Rose St., 303-569-2861
Georgetown's most famous silver baron, William Arthur Hamill, built his home in 1879. With plenty of original features still intact, the Hamill House Museum today showcases a Victorian-era lifestyle. Visit at night (Dec. 13, 19, 20, 6 p.m., $75) for a traditional Victorian Christmas reception. 305 Argentine St., 303-569-2840
Built in 1870, Georgetown's oldest church, Grace Episcopal, holds a high tea (1-4 p.m., $20) during the Christmas Market. 408 Taos St., 303-569-2790
I-70 West to Exit 228 (about 45 minutes from Denver); left at 15th; right at Argentine; continue on Brownell until you reach Sixth.