Denver gets its name, the "Mile High City", from the brass cap positioned exactly one mile high on the State Capitol steps. A truly Western town, Denver got its start as the first gold rush camp in the region. The Wild West era of Bat Masterson and the Unsinkable Molly Brown, with gunslingers, gamblers, gold miners, saloons, cattlemen and a sheriff has never completely ended. The city was so sure it would be a success, that the Historical Society was founded in 1879. After winning the title of capitol, a cattle exchange, banking and energy industry contributed to making Denver the thriving contemporary city it is today. An incredible amount of early architecture still exists, because almost from the beginning, Denver was built for permanence.
Introduce yourself to Denver on a walking tour of the 16th Street Mall and downtown Denver. Starting and ending in Civic Center Park, you'll be passing the Colorado History Museum, the US Mint, Larimer Square, the historic Brown Palace hotel and the Denver Art Museum—you'll have to see its architectural design with your own eyes to believe that it actually stands on its own!
You can experience the natural side of Denver's high desert region on a tour of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science which features thousands of objects on local geology. The Denver Botanical Gardens presents 32,000 plants that thrive in the dry mountain climate.
On your second day in Denver, you may want to get out and explore its great neighborhoods. Go to LODO (Lower Downtown) for arts, entertainment and great restaurants. The Santa Fe Arts District has Denver's largest collection of art galleries. Cherry Creek has the best shopping and dining in Denver. Quaint Old South Pearl Street has a Farmer's Market every Sunday and the Highlands neighborhood was recently featured in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure Magazine. Today's blend of western, southwestern, Hispanic, African American and Native American cultures make Denver's neighborhoods most interesting.