Mile High History, Denver, CO – Episode 106
Colorado is sometimes said to be one of the nation’s most beautiful states. Denver is its metropolitan jewel. There’s so much to see and do in Denver, that we couldn’t get it all in the show. Here’s some of the historical attractions that you should not miss in the “Mile high city.”
Visit Denver, Colorado for its history
You can’t have bragging rights from a Denver vacation until you see these historic sights. Warning: it may take more than one visit! Here are two dozen of Denver’s Mile High Must-Sees, arranged by location.
The Brookings Institute ranks Denver as the fourth most walkable downtown in the nation. You can save on shoe-leather by riding the free shuttle bus on the 16th Street Mall – it makes everything downtown easy to reach.
Colorado State Capitol
Stand exactly 5,280 feet above sea level (one mile high!) on the 13th step on the west side of the building, then climb to the rotunda for a panorama of snowcapped peaks. It is against state law to block the view of the 200 named mountains visible from the dome. There are actually three steps with “mile high” markers (Denver hasn’t changed in elevation, but more accurate measuring equipment has moved the marker to its current location on the 13th step). More info.
History Colorado Center
Designed to ignite imaginations of all ages about Colorado history, this new museum and hub for civic engagement creates a rich experience for visitors through exhibits and programs that blend technology, media, environments and artifacts. More info.
Learn how to make money! The Mint produces 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little “D” for Denver. Free tours show every step in the process of turning a dull metal blank slug into shiny pocket change. More info.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Visitors Center
Carved from towering red rock monuments, this 9,000-seat arena is one of the world’s most renowned concert venues and has hosted everyone from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen. Listening to a concert here is on the “bucket list” of every true music fan. When there’s no concert, the Visitor Center has a museum and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks. More info.
Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
Welcome to the Wild West! Buffalo Bill Cody’s exciting story as Pony Express rider, army scout, buffalo hunter and showman comes to life at this fun museum, high atop Lookout Mountain. Enjoy views of the snowcapped Rockies in one direction, the Great Plains in the other. For those with strong nerves, drive to the museum on the hairpin Lariat Loop Drive … then continue to I-70, exit 250, to see a live herd of buffalo. More info.
Within An Hour From Denver
Hidee Gold Mine
The miners and supporters of the Hidee Gold Mining Company have been working for over a decade to bring to life the rich history of mining near Central City & Black Hawk Colorado. We concentrate on local geology, history, and explain mining methods both past and present. Tours include a stop at a real 5 foot vertical gold vein where you use a single jack hammer and chisel (provided) to chip a gold ore sample loose, yours to keep! More info.
Nestled in a steep mountain valley, the “Silver Queen” is one of Colorado’s most elegant mining towns with 200 Victorian buildings. Ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad over a 100-foot high trestle to neighboring Silver Plume, tour historic homes and shop on the quaint Main Street that has been used in films by Clint Eastwood and John Denver. Located 42 miles west of Denver on I-70. More info.
Echo Lake and Mount Evans
The highest paved road in North America climbs 9,000 feet from Denver, passing through five life zones en route to the 14,264-foot high summit. This is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that climb to 14,000 feet and above), and one of only two in the nation that you can drive up. Stop at Echo Lake along the way for hiking trails, fishing, picnic tables and an unusual eight-sided log cabin restaurant. At timberline, the Denver Botanic Gardens maintains a trail that winds through wildflowers. Due to snow, the Mount Evans Highway is generally open to the top only between Memorial Day and Labor Day. More info.
For more information on a trip exploring Denver and Colorado’s history visit www.denver.org
Photos courtesy of Dollar Photo Club & Wikimedia Commons