Welcome to Denver, the Mile High City and the capital of Colorado! With a population of over 715,000 people, Denver is the 19th-most populous city in the United States and the fifth most populous state capital. Located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, a foodie, or a sports fan, Denver has it all.
Denver has a rich history that dates back to the 1850s when gold was discovered in the Rocky Mountains. The discovery of gold brought a flood of white emigration across Cheyenne and Arapaho lands, and Colorado territorial officials pressured federal authorities to redefine and reduce the extent of Indian treaty lands. In 1858, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas, established Montana City as a mining town on the banks of the South Platte River in what was then western Kansas Territory, on traditional lands of Cheyenne and Arapaho. This was the first historical settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of Auraria and St. Charles City. On November 22, 1858, General William Larimer and Captain Jonathan Cox, Esquire, both land speculators from eastern Kansas Territory, placed cottonwood logs to stake a claim on the bluff overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, across the creek from the existing mining settlement of Auraria, and on the site of the existing townsite of St. Charles. Larimer named the townsite Denver City to curry favor with Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver. Denver City served as the Arapahoe County Seat from 1861 until consolidation in 1902. In 1867, Denver City became the acting territorial capital, and in 1881 was chosen as the permanent state capital in a statewide ballot. With its newfound importance, Denver City shortened its name to Denver. On August 1, 1876, Colorado was admitted to the Union.
Things to Do:
Denver is a city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll want to check out the Denver Botanic Gardens, which features a wide variety of plants from around the world. The Denver Zoo is another popular attraction, with over 4,000 animals from 600 species. For history buffs, the Molly Brown House Museum is a must-see. The museum is located in the former home of Margaret Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic. The Colorado State Capitol is another popular attraction, with its stunning gold dome and beautiful architecture. Sports fans will want to catch a game at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies baseball team, or at Empower Field at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos football team.
Food and Drink:
Denver is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants and bars to choose from. If you’re looking for a taste of the local cuisine, be sure to try a Denver omelette, which is made with ham, onions, and green peppers. Another local favorite is the Rocky Mountain oysters, which are actually deep-fried bull testicles. For a taste of the local craft beer scene, check out the Great Divide Brewing Company or the Wynkoop Brewing Company, both of which offer a wide range of delicious beers.
Denver is a city that truly has it all. With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and wide range of activities and attractions, it’s no wonder that Denver was named the best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Denver is a destination that should be on your bucket list.