Happy Birthday Denver!
November 22, 2008 marks the 150th anniversary of Denver’s founding. As prospectors headed to the hills in search of gold William Larimer made a fortune in Denver City selling supplies to the miners. Larimer could never have imagined the city of Denver 150 years later.
Bob and I moved to Denver 45 years ago as newlyweds. We’ve seen much growth and change as we raised our family, reached retirement age and began new careers. The city works hard at denying its reputation as a Cow Town yet celebrates that history with great energy each January when the National Western Stock Show rolls into town.
Don’t Miss Denver Attractions
The Frederic C. Hamilton Building addition to the Denver Art Museum became an instant landmark when it opened in 2006. When you visit don’t overlook the North Building designed by Gio Ponti in 1971.
Denver’s most treasure hotel first opened in 1892. Historic only in age, renovations, additions and updates still makes this the downtown place to stay. Even if you’re not staying at the Brown make reservations for Afternoon Tea in the eight-story atrium (Chocolate Decadence anyone?), rejuvenating treatments at the Spa and Salon or free historic tours (by reservation) on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.
Prehistoric Journey, Space Odyssey, wildlife exhibits, North American Indian culture, gems & minerals, Discovery Zone, Egyptian Mummies, IMAX, planetarium, traveling exhibitions – they’re all part of the DMNS in City Park. Something for all ages and interests.
Features include Bird World, Predator ridge, Tropical Discovery, Northern Shores, Great Apes and Primate Panorama. Wear comfortable shoes to stroll the grounds and find you favorite animals – anteaters to zebras. Include a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel and the Pioneer Train during your visit.
Bear Mountain was the first naturalistic habitat of its kind in North America. You’ll find grizzly bears, asiatic black bears and coati populating the National Historic Landmark.
Watch as bins and bins of coins are made from huge sheets of metal alloy. Tours are by reservation only – plan ahead for you visit. Be sure to read the restrictions.
There’s plenty of shopping throughout the city and suburbs but serious shoppers shouldn’t miss the Cherry Creek area. Cherry Creek Shopping Center is anchored by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. More than 150 stores, restaurants and services fill the center. Cherry Creek North is 16 blocks of boutiques, specialty shops, cafes and galleries.
Blooms brighten the heart of the city at the York Street location. An ever evolving collection of native and exotic plants from around the world fill dozens of gardens. Step into a dense tropic environment including bananas, chocolate and coffee plants in the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory. Additional locations include DBG at Chatfield – a natural preserve along the banks of Deer Creek southwest of the city and Mount Goliath – alpine tundra, sub-alpine flora and bristlecone pines high on the slopes of 14,264-foot Mt. Evans.
The citizens of Denver thrive on the multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities yet they’re avid fans of their professional sport teams. There’s arena football, lacrosse, major league soccer, and a pro rugby club. The Denver Broncos and Colorado Avalanche have brought championships to the city. The Colorado Rockies and Denver Nuggets have yet to reach the pinnacle but loyal followers have the faith. Just wait until next year! Check for links to individual teams.
Denver Mountain Parks
Denver citizens bless their founding fathers who had the foresight to set aside numerous mountain properties before expanding development moved westward. Three-hundred-foot sandstone monoliths frame Red Rocks Amphitheatre, an unequaled outdoor entertainment venue. From atop Lookout Mountain visitors view sweeping vistas of city and plains. A museum recalls the legendary life of “Buffalo Bill” Cody who rests eternally in the park. (That’s a whole new story for another time.) Picnic areas, lakes, buffalo herds and even the popular Winter Park Ski Area are part of the Denver Mountain Park system.
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Denver Points to the Future
Photographs copyrighted by Robert Yackel