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The Gateway Cities: Denver, CO

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Denver at a Glance

An overview of Denver, The Mile High City. What to do, where to go, what to see, where to eat and more.

Denver is an energetic young city with 300 days of annual sunshine, brilliant blue skies and stunning mountain scenery. Founded in 1858 as a gold mining camp, Denver is located at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains, 5,280 feet above sea level – exactly one mile high.

Much of the city’s rich Western history has been preserved in the architecture and in museums such as the Colorado History Museum, which vividly describes the stories of entrepreneurs, heroes and heroines of the past and at Buffalo Bill’s Grave & Museum, which brings to life the story of the West’s most famous scout and showman. When gold was discovered, Denver became a boomtown filled with fortune seekers, wagon trains and cowboys.

Today, Denver is one of the country’s fastest growing cities – and one of the most exciting. Getting out and exploring it all is easy, with an extremely walkable downtown centered around the 16th Street Mall – a mile-long pedestrian promenade lined with outdoor cafes, entertainment centers and shops. Free shuttles leave either end of the mall as often as every 90 seconds, allowing visitors to catch a free shuttle ride to various downtown attractions.

The light rail system connects downtown to a series of nearby attractions including the Downtown Aquarium, a world class interactive aquarium featuring more than 15,000 fish and even Sumatran tigers. Close by is Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, one of the only downtown amusement park in the country and three downtown stadiums are the venues for seven professional sports teams.

If you would rather be shopping, Denver is the largest shopping destination in a 600-mile radius. Just three miles from downtown, the Cherry Creek Shopping District tempts locals and visitors alike with hundreds of boutiques, galleries, stores and restaurants.

Denver’s arts and cultural scene is thriving, from neighborhood arts districts and innovative public art displays throughout downtown, to the Denver Performing Arts Complex – the second largest in the country – offering 10 performance venues seating 10,000 people for symphony, opera, ballet and Tony® Award-winning theatre. The new Ellie Caulkins Opera House is recognized as one of the finest acoustical venues in the world.

Within the Golden Triangle Arts District, located just South of Denver’s gold domed capital building, the Denver Art Museum features the world’s premier collection of American Indian art, while its astonishing Hamilton Building, designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, has changed the architectural landscape of Denver with its striking modern design.  The 28,500 square foot Clyfford Still museum, currently in construction, will hold 2,000+ of the American artists’ abstract impressionist artworks, many of which have never been seen in a gallery.    

Like culture, you are also never far from nature. Grab your walking shoes, or rent a bike and explore some of Denver’s 200 parks or 850 miles of bike and pedestrian trails that connect the city’s neighborhoods. Or, tee off at one of the 90 metro area golf courses, including one designed around ancient red rock boulders in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Within a 1-2 hour drive, you can also take a day trip to the mountains and experience crisp mountain air and invigorating scenery while skiing at world class resorts, hiking, horseback riding, fly fishing, whitewater rafting and mountain climbing and still be back in time to hit the town’s nightlife scene.

Because when the sun goes down, Denver’s nightlife heats up. The city is filled with live music and dance clubs and has more than 2,000 restaurants. Visitors can savor innovative cuisine prepared by nationally recognized chefs or delve into authentic Southwestern and Mexican recipes passed down through generations. Buffalo and beef are traditional Western fare and pair well with a pint of handcrafted beer – which Denver just happens to brew more of than any city in the world, with more than 100 different beers brewed here daily.  To round out your Colorado experience, enjoy a farm-to-table meal with homegrown spirits and wine, distilled or bottled here in Denver and made with ingredients from the beautiful Western Slope.  

For more information on Denver, please visit our website at


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