Sitting at the foot of the American Rockies at an elevation as high as 5,690 feet above sea level in places, Denver lives up to its billing as the Mile High City. While the fact that many of its 2.6 million residents have enviable views of some of the world’s most picturesque peaks is undeniable, there is more to this place than views that are out of this world.
The region’s best resource for cutting edge American and international art can be found here, while one of the most atmospheric performing arts venues in America sits right on its outskirts. Most of the jingle that exists in your pockets comes from this metropolitan area, and if you always dreamed about catching a home run at a baseball game, be sure to take in a match featuring the Colorado Rockies, Denver’s Major League Baseball franchise, as the thin air makes the long ball more common in this part of the country.
While you might be here to see what lies beyond in the mountainous terrain to the west, take some time to explore one of America’s loftiest metropolitan areas, and you’ll find they are as high on life in this place as they are in topographical elevation.
If your travels through the American Mountain West have left you a little underwhelmed at the resources dedicated to the creative expression, then the Denver Art Museum should prove to be a breath of fresh air for your lungs. With 68,000 works from across the globe, this gallery specializes in works from Nepal, from indigenous communities around the world (including those from America, but also the Aborigines of Australia, and other locales around the world), and from the pre-Columbian civilizations that once ruled over much of Central and South America.
Next, tour the former residence of Denver’s most fascinating woman at the Molly Brown House Museum. A former socialite, political activist and philanthropist, she was well known around the city and worked hard to effect change in the time in which she lived.
However, it was her survival of the sinking of the Titanic that became one of the most memorable moments in her life, leading to her becoming known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. The Victorian style mansion contains a variety of exhibits relaying the details of her life, so be sure to check out the story of this remarkable woman.
If live music is a passion of yours and you find yourself in the Denver area during the summer months, be sure to check the schedule of concerts set to play at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Located ten miles west of downtown, this outdoor concert venue is an intimate setting that musical acts of all sorts frequent during the warm months of the year, as it has been carved from the rusty sandstone to only accept no more than 9,450 attendees per show. With the surrounding rock providing superior acoustics, attending a performance here will likely be an experience that you won’t soon forget.
Are you a fan of the Almighty Dollar? Those that count themselves as disciples of the American version of fiat currency, or those simply curious of where the coins in their jean pockets comes from will find a tour of the Denver Mint to be a supremely interesting outing. While bills aren’t printed here, coins with valuations from the mundane to the truly valuable can be found here, making for an interesting couple of hours.
While the high elevation and latitude of Colorado‘s capital means that the soil in these parts can only grow a limited range of plants, the Denver Botanic Gardens takes advantage of this to showcase the best cold temperate and alpine plants from around the world. Also being a rather dry place like much of the American West, a garden in the complex also showcases arid and drought-resistant plant life, giving this attraction a distinctive flavor that ones in similar cities may lack.
Finally, plant and space nuts will enjoy exploring the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. In this hangar on what was formerly Lowry Air Force Base, visitors can view countless decommissioned war planes and civilian aircraft, to mock ups of Space Station Freedom and even an X-Wing fighter from the Star Wars franchise (on loan from Lucasfilm).