Upon arrival in Denver, collect your hire car at the airport and stay for 1 night in a convenient Downtown hotel. Alternatively take a taxi to your hotel and collect your car in the morning on Day 2.
For decades, Denver was the stuff of legends. In the wild, wild west, Bat Masterson, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, gunslingers, gamblers, gold miners, saloons, cattlemen and sheriffs all competed for a piece of the action. Today, Denver gets its name the “Mile High City”, from the brass cap positioned exactly one mile high on the Capitol steps. The city was so sure it would be a success that the Historical Society was founded in 1879 to record the details. Soon after, a cattle exchange, banking and energy began contributing to prosperity. An incredible amount of early architecture still exists, because nearly from the beginning, Denver was built for permanence.
You can introduce yourself to Denver on a walking tour of the 16th Street Mall and downtown Denver. You’ll pass the Colorado History Museum, Denver Art Museum (yes, it all stands up!), the US Mint, Larimer Square, the historic Brown Palace hotel and more. Great places like the Coyote Ugly Bar are comingled with the rest. Get back to nature at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Botanical Gardens with 32,000 plants. Go to LODO( Lower Downtown) for arts, entertainment and great restaurants.
You’re in store for your first taste of Rocky Mountain Splendour on the Lariat Loop Scenic and Historic Byway that provides access to foothills scenery surrounding Denver. The two roads of the byway, Bear Creek Canyon Scenic Mountain Drive and the Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive are both on the National Register of Historic Places. The 36-mile loop through Morrison, Evergreen and Golden has maintained its historic authenticity over time.