Denver for Dummies: Cool Facts and Places to Visit, Flickr: upton

The Rocky Mountains Outside of Denver!


Denver is not only the capital of Colorado, but it is the largest city. This is an easy fact to remember, but there are other interesting facts about this fascinating city. Denver combines the best of both worlds- a cosmopolitan city with the scenery of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains right behind you. It may be the first time you’ve booked discount airfare and visited Denver, or perhaps you’ve been plenty of times, but take a look at these interesting facts that tell the story of how Denver came to be.

The Mile High City: Visit the Capitol

Brace yourself and take a deep breath; literally because Colorado will take your breath away. Denver is known as the Mile High City because of its official height above sea level. This city is high above in the skies at over 5,000 feet above sea level. If you do the math, that is exactly one mile, which is pretty high up. Enjoy this quirky fact and visit the Capitol building. Note that the Capitol building measures the official elevation of Denver. Outside the west entrance, the 15th step is engraved with the phrase: “One Mile above Sea Level.” Break out your camera at this step for a view of the sunset behind the Rockies.

Denver’s Name was Celebrated with Whiskey?

There is no reference to this fact, probably because it’s strange. Originally, the area where Denver stands today used to be three towns with three separate names. Rather than deciding to unite the names, Denver was chosen and the other names were dropped in 1859. How did they make this decision? They dropped the names in exchange for a barrel of whiskey to be shared. Sounds like a good deal to us!  If you thought Denver was just all about beer, you’re wrong; the trade proves that Whiskey is quite enjoyed in the Mile High City. Celebrate at Stranahan’s, home to Colorado Whiskey. Legend says that a volunteer firefighter and a liquor connoisseur (Stranahan) started the passion for whiskey after a fire at Stranahan’s barn. (The color of the whiskey does resemble a fiery flame after all)

Denver’s founding: History Colorado Center

The city of Denver was not built on a road, railroad, lake or body of water. We wonder how Denver was founded if it was not for these navigable paths? Most cities are founded because of its proximity to a path, or because it links to another place via transportation routes. Denver was founded in 1858 because of a few flakes of gold. It was founded as a mining town during this period when the rush for gold was peaking. Learn more about its founding at the History Colorado Center with many exhibits about its complex history.

The Longest Street in Denver is the Longest in America

New York City may have its famous street called Broadway, which actually extends into New York State. But, it is not the longest street. If you didn’t know that Colfax Avenue in Denver is the longest continuous street in America, you wouldn’t be alone. Stretching for 26 miles and running east-west through Denver-Aurora, this street has seen a lot in its time. West Colfax Avenue was known as the route to the gold fields in the mountains while the East was home to the wealthy and elite. Today, it is a great street the travel to take a stroll through history and to visit famous sites. Some include the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Denver Mint and the Civic Center Historic District.

Enjoy the Biggest Park System in Denver: City Park

Green cities are typically known as places that are energy friendly, but when we call Denver a green city, we mean this literally. Denver has the largest city park system in the nation with over 200 parks in City limits and 20,000 Acres of parks in the Rocky Mountains close by. With 300 days of sunshine year round in Denver, there is no excuse not to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in this super green city. Start in the city with what else, but City Park which is synonymous to Central Park in NYC or Hyde Park in London. This large space is perfect for picnics, sports and overall leisure. If you get bored (How can you?), enjoy the Denver Zoo and Museum of Nature and Science which are also located here.

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photo:  upton

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