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72 hours in Denver

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They call Denver the “Mile High City,” as evidenced by its 13th step on the west side of the Colorado State Capitol Building which is, can you believe it, exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. But this Rocky Mountain city has much more to offer than just “height,” if you will, with a wide array of exciting attractions, historical sites, epicurean adventures, family fun, and more.

There are so many things to see, do and experience it would be hard to name them all, but if you only had 72 hours, following are a few hot spots to whet your appetite.

With over 15,000 plant species from such far-away places as Australia, South Africa and the Himalayas, the Denver Botanic Gardens is recognized as one of the top urban gardens in the country. The 20-plus acres of fragrance and foliage include a large conservatory, an alpine garden, Japanese tea garden, and a water garden, just to name a few. They also present a variety of special exhibits and events throughout the year.

Rated as one of the top zoos in America, The Denver Zoo is home to more than 3,500 fish, birds, mammals, invertebrates, reptiles and more in distinctive exhibit areas including Bear Mountain, Predator Ridge, Northern Shores, the Toyota Elephant Passage, and the Primate Panorama, just to name a few.

The Black American West Museum and Heritage Center tells the story of the African American cowboys who made Up as many as one third of all the cowboys in the early West. Housed in the home of Dr. Justina Ford, Denver’s first African American doctor, the museum has exhibits, historic photos and artifacts focusing on the many contributions made by Blacks in settling the West from the early fur trade until today, with a special emphasis on Colorado and early Denver.

The Museo de las Américas is the first museum in the region dedicated to educating the public about the artistic and cultural achievements of Latinos in the Americas. The extensive art collection here is the second largest collection of Mesoamerican objects in Colorado, and it’s over 4,000 items range from Pre-Columbian to Colonial and Contemporary, works of art.

Denver’s centerpiece structure, the Colorado State Capitol, was constructed with Colorado rose onyx, a rare stone found near Beulah, Colorado. From the rotunda near the dome you get a spectacular of the entire Front Range from Pikes Peak all the way north to the Wyoming border, a distance of over 150 miles, and on the western side of the building you’ll find a plaque on the 13th step marking the spot that is 5,280 feet (one mile) high.

The U.S. Mint is the second largest storehouse of gold bullion in the U.S. after Fort Knox. More than just about “making money,” The Mint educates visitors about the history of the U.S. Mint and the craftsmanship that goes into the minting process. 

The Denver Art Museum has what is considered to be one of the finest collections of American Indian art works in the world covering all tribes, as well as an extensive permanent collection other art objects highlighting Asian, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, African, European, Western American, Oceanic, photographic and other works.

This is just the beginning of what you’ll experience in Denver.

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