Denver, the capital city of the state of Colorado, lies in the South Platte River Valley, close to the dramatic range of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded in 1858 as part of the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Today, the city remains vibrant, with an emphasis on outdoor life and sport, but you’ll also discover many cultural attractions at the heart of this capital.
South of downtown Denver, you’ll find the Golden Triangle, a museum district established to promote artistic and cultural activity. There are eight museums here, including the Denver Art Museum and the History Colorado Center. Apart from the museums, there are over 50 galleries and artists’ studios to visit, as well as many bars and restaurants.
The rest of the city boasts a wide variety of attractions, many especially suited to families. The Children’s Museum of Denver is packed with interactive exhibits aimed at children of all ages. Head to City Park, one of over 200 open spaces in Denver, to explore the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which is full of displays explaining fascinating facts about life on earth. Also located in the park is Denver Zoo, where you can meet animals face to face.
If you visit during the hot summer months, don’t miss Water World, one of the largest water theme parks in America. Choose from the huge variety of rides that cater for all ages. The Lakeside Amusement Park is another popular attraction, offering all of the traditional fairground rides.
Make sure you schedule time to visit the wonderful natural features in the area surrounding the city. Head west to visit Dinosaur Ridge, where you can discover ancient fossils. Alternatively, the Butterfly Pavilion is only 15 minutes from downtown Denver. Here, you can walk amongst 1,600 flying butterflies housed in the Tropical Conservatory. For music lovers, the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located 24 kilometres to the west of the city, hosts fantastic open-air concerts in dramatic surroundings.
It will only take you an hour and a half by car to reach the Rocky Mountains, where you will be treated to magnificent mountain views. The Rocky Mountain National Park offers miles of hiking trails, where you can relive Denver’s pioneering origins.