Denver, officially named the City and County of Denver, is the capital and largest city of Colorado in the United States. Sitting at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, this young and vibrant city is marked by remarkable architecture against a breathtaking backdrop of nature. Many might be familiar with its nickname, the Mile High City. This originated from the Colorado State Capitol Building, whose 13th step is exactly one mile above sea level. A city breathing the cool mountain airs atop high rolling plains, Denver prides itself on its lively arts and nature scene.
What to see and do
Despite its metropolitan inclinations, Denver has retained much of its Old West legacy, being the home of the veritable Buffalo Bill. This symbol of the beloved American cowboy is exhibited in the Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum, which traces the life and adventures of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. His grave sits atop Lookout Mountain, a short drive from the city, overlooking one of the most spectacular views in Colorado.
As it happens, Denver is also a proud curator of the history and the arts, offering a generous collection of museums for connoisseurs and curious parties to appreciate the great endeavours of mankind. The Denver Art Museum showcases all manners of artistic enlightenment, from Western American and American Indian artefacts to contemporary African and Oceanic art, with seasonal exhibitions by up and coming artists.
Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art offers a whole new dimension of artistic endeavour – this museum draws crowds of visitors eager to seek inspiration for quirky interior design.
This region is enveloped by some of America’s greatest sweeping mountainscapes, and it is almost essential for every visitor to take a day trip out to the high peaks. Possibly the most famous adventure destination in this area is the Rocky Mountain National Park, known affectionately as the Rockies. A sprawl of sheer unspoiled wilderness surrounding more than 60 looming mountains and lined with more than 560 kilometres of hiking trails, the Rockies is a great site to be awed by the beauty of nature, and maybe to catch sight of elks, bighorn sheep, and moose.
Denver is well-served by an efficient and inexpensive public transport network, and these alternatives to taxi-flagging can be considered. The trendy light rail has lines taking passengers around the city and out to the suburbs; a regular bus service plies the routes of metro Denver; and the Regional Transportation District buses offer special rides for people with limited mobility, concession passes, and others.
A big saver is the 16th Street Shuttle, or the MallRide, which brings passengers along the retail belt of downtown Denver. Zipping around by bicycle is also one of the main options that locals go for, and a great cost cutter for travellers too. Or, if you’re up for a more unique experience, horse-and-carriage rides can be rented at the 16th Street Mall for a wonderful fairy-tale ride. Pedi-cabs – something like rickshaws – can also take you on an interesting tour on passenger trailer pulled along by a mountain bike-style tricycle.
Getting to Denver
Denver International Airport is an airline hub for Colorado, and receives international and domestic flights coming into the city. Major airlines travelling here include Air Canada, British Airways, and United Airlines. A cab or shuttle ride from here to the city would take you about 25 minutes. The public bus network offers SkyRide service to the city, but cabs can be flagged down at the terminal too.