North America > United States > Colorado
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Denver is magnificent, though
geographically isolated, sitting on a plateau exactly one mile above sea level
and over 600 miles from the next closest major city. Concealed from the west by
bold foothills and towering 14,000-foot Rocky Mountain peaks, and protected to
the east by an expansive and high desert terrain, it is known for world-class
skiing and biking, serene hiking and intense rock climbing.
Visitors converge from far and
wide to sample the famous microbrews, stand in the presence of spectacular
peaks, or to work in the booming computer and telecommunications economy. The
result is a blend of culturally diverse neighborhoods, each lending an air of
character and charm to the others.
Founded in 1859 as a gold
mining camp, Denver is one of America's youngest cities, and one of the most
exciting. This forward-looking metropolis has a population of 2.4 million. It
is also the entertainment, shopping, cultural, sports and recreation capital of
the Rocky Mountain West.
Denver is noted for its
dozens of tree-lined boulevards, 200 city parks that cover more than 20,000
acres, and outstanding architecture ranging from Victorian to contemporary.
Downtown Denver presents a
refreshing change from most large cities, in part because it doesn't feel big.
Though it has many high-rise office towers, it also has century-old churches,
grand hotels and stylishly modern museums. A good place to start is at the
gold-domed state capitol, the most prominent structure downtown. From the
capitol, which anchors Civic Center Park between the arts district to the south
and the shopping and historic areas to the northwest, most of the downtown
sights are within walking distance.
The view from Denver's State
Capitol building showcases the Rocky Mountains that rise to the city's west.
Informal free tours allow visitors to climb to the top of the capitol and take
in the view, both of the bustling Denver downtown and the incredible landscape
surrounding the city.
Some of the city's loveliest
and most noteworthy old buildings can be found in the 16th Street area. The
Brown Palace Hotel is a Gilded Age landmark and a point of special pride for
Denverites. To the northwest is LoDo, (Denver's Lower Downtown District, where
early 1900s brick warehouses have been renovated into classy jazz clubs,
bookstores, restaurants and art galleries), The historic district ends at Union
Station, Denver's Beaux Arts train station.
The focal points of the arts
district are as modern as LoDo is old: the Denver Public Library (designed by
architect Michael Graves with multicolored stone turrets and geometric shapes)
and the Denver Art Museum (a striking contemporary fortress with an exceptional
collection of Native American art).
Beyond downtown, there is an
oasis of parks and recreation areas. City Park is home to the Denver Zoo and the
acclaimed Museum of Nature and Science, with a planetarium and an IMAX theater.
Colorado's Ocean Journey aquarium is an important part of a collection of
attractions that is anchored by the popular Six Flags Elitch Gardens Amusement
With three large roller coasters, a bungee-jumping simulation, an extensive
water park and a cartoon-themed kiddie arena, Elitch remains popular with locals
as well as visitors. Live entertainment and dozens of other popular rides round
out the experience.
Skiing enthusiasts rejoice in Denver's proximity to
mountain ski resorts. Within an hour of the city are half a dozen ski areas,
including Winter Park, Breckenridge, Keystone and Loveland. For those interested
in warm-weather activities, day trips can be arranged for fly-fishing, horseback
riding, ballooning, mountain biking, river rafting or even bungee jumping.
Denver's local music scene is lively, with bands
playing almost every night of the week. Lower Downtown, between Wynkoop and
Larimer streets and from 14th to 20th streets, is filled with bars, taverns and
pubs ranging from retro martini lounges to hip dance clubs and smoky blues bars.
Expect to see and hear up-and-coming rock, jazz, blues, country, folk and
Sports fans will need no
Rockies, The Denver Broncos, The Colorado Avalanche, and the Denver Nuggets. The Colorado Rapids and The Colorado Crush round
out the fabulous teams competing year round on the Denver sports scene.
the Avalanche and the Crush play at the Pepsi Center, the Rockies at Coors
Field, and the Broncos and the Rapids at Invesco Field at Mile High.
Denver: a fabulous city to visit and to experience in its many facets. Whether
you are looking for total relaxation, intense sporting challenges, or something
in between, Denver is a place to find fulfillment and renewed energy for a visit
or for a lifetime.