Sat just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a town that has its roots in gold rush mania. Whilst visitors still enjoy panning the area’s rivers and streams for precious metal, Denver is now more known for being one of the largest cities in the Southwest – home to nearly 700,000 people spread across 80 unique neighbourhoods.
The Denver of today is hugely popular as a destination for both families and people who enjoy the outdoor life. With such close proximity to the Rockies, the wider city is home to the world famous Denver Mountain Parks.
Covering over 14,000 acres across 22 developed sites, the mountain park system offers unspoilt access to the Rockies scenery and natural forests. Genesee Park off Interstate 70 is the largest park, and an excellent place observe American Bison.
With a history of both gold and cattle trading, Denver is home to a very multicultural population. Mexican-Americans are particularly prevalent in the city, helping Denver cement its reputation as the home of New Mexican cuisine – indeed, as the hometown of the famous Chipotle restaurant, it would almost be rude not to sample a bowl of the city’s famous chile or a Colorado burrito when visiting! The city’s Mexican connections also celebrate four important occasions each year with festivals, the best known of which being Cinco de Mayo in early May – a riot of food, music and colour that routinely attracts half a million visitors to the city.
As you might expect of a regional population centre, Denver is home to many extremely well regarded museums, galleries and cultural institutions. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is, by far, the most famous and the second largest performing arts centre in the world. With over 10,000 seats and a Tony Award-winning theatre company of its own, the complex is a great place to catch a touring Broadway musical or the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
Continuing the city’s love affair with arts and culture, the Denver Arts Museum and Denver Museum of Nature and Science (with its Colorado themed exhibits) both attract visitors from far and wide, whilst the Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum at the former Lowry Air Base provides a fascinating insight into both military and civilian air technology. If animals are more your thing, the city is also home to Denver Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium – each offering the opportunity to get up close and personal to local and more exotic creatures alike.