The Mile High City looks over the Great Plains at an elevation of 5,280 feet from its high plateau just east of the majestic Rocky Mountains.
The city of Denver, Colorado was founded in 1858 after gold was discovered at the junction of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. This western town flourished with the construction of the railroads and an influx of fortune seekers over the next several years. By 1870, Denver had become the second largest city in the Western United States after San Francisco, California.
Denver, the capital city of Colorado, is a sprawling metropolis, with heavily populated suburbs. Many Denver residents are employed in the aviation and electronics industries, as well as in federal government jobs and the massive Coors beer brewery.
With its prime mountain location, skiing and tourism have become two of the top industries for Denver and other towns in Colorado. The climate is cool, dry, and sunny, with 300 sun-filled days per years, more than San Diego or Miami Beach
- According to Denver tradition, the first permanent structure in the city was a saloon. Its most famous brothel at 2009 Market Street is preserved as a historic Denver landmark!
- Because of long distances and mountainous terrain, Coloradans have become extremely auto-dependent. Denver ranks among the very highest in per capita automobile ownership with almost one vehicle for every man, woman and child.
- In 2005, city voters passed legislation making Denver the first large American city to legalize marijuana for private use by adults. City officials continue to enforce Colorado state laws that make possession a petty offense, still more lenient than in much of the U.S.
Large printable Denver Map
The City of Denver, Colorado has become a western vacation Mecca, hosting visitors from around the world. Rocky Mountain National Park is just an hour away and Colorado ski resorts are all within easy reach. Denver features lots of fun things to do for families, couples and singles including art galleries, museums, historic tours and loads of outdoor activities. Read below and check out the Denver attractions map for some great vacation ideas.
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science was founded in 1900. Edwin Carter, a pioneer and naturalist, arrived in Breckinridge, Colorado in 1868. He devoted his time to the birds and mammals of the Rocky Mountains, and over time, assembled an impressive collection of Colorado fauna, which he displayed is his log cabin home.
Today, the Museum offers a variety of permanent exhibtions, programs and other activities about the natural history of Colorado, the earth and universe. There are over a million objects in its collections. The permanent exhibits include the Discovery Zoo, Egyptian Mummies, Wildlife Exhibits, Space Odyssey, Gems & Minerals, Indian Cultures and Prehistoric Journey.
Temporary exhibits are offered throughout the year.
- Denver Zoo
The Denver Zoo is a model of modern natural habitat creation and conservation programs. Visitors from around the nation voted the Denver Zoo as one of the finest in the United States. Families can spend hours exploring the wildlife of Africa, North America, Asia and every other continent on Earth.
The Bear Mountain exhibit, home to Grizzlies, Black Bears, and playful Koatis, was formed using giant plastering casts of the rock formations near Morrison, Colorado. The new Tropical Discovery is an indoor rainforest featuring temple ruins, waterfalls, mangrove swamps, bright tropical birds and aquariums full of fish from South America and other rain forest locations. The Zoo is home to a successful hippo breeding program and hippo babies are a popular part of the visit.
- Elitch Gardens Amusement Park
Elitch Gardens is a huge Six Flags amusement park in the center of Denver. Guests of all ages will enjoy the pulse-pounding roller coasters and thrill rides, such as the Tower of Doom that gives riders a free fall drop of 22 stories, or the one-of-a-kind ride where adrenaline freaks get strapped onto a giant snowboard to twist and shoot backward and forward through a simulated Half Pipe. Kids will love the Elitch Gardens water park and every attraction you'd expect at a world class theme park.