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Colorado's capital, Denver -- known as the "Mile High" city due to its elevation -- is one of the nation's fastest growing large cities. People flock to Denver for its quality of living, outdoor recreation, great scenery, flourishing arts scene and enthusiastic support of sports.
Denver has a history as a frontier town, full of rough-and-tumble types including gold and silver miners, explorers and entrepreneurs. Once rail came to the city, it attracted an even wider group of people that created the cultural melting pot we know today. With a range of tech and traditional businesses, including United Airlines, Lockheed Martin, Xcel Energy and Molson Coors Brewing Company, modern Denver continues to those seeking their own personal fortunes.
The Community of Denver
Denver has 78 established neighborhoods within the city limits. Some of the best known include LoDo, a trendy and historic area in Lower Downtown; Uptown near North Capitol Hill; and Golden Triangle in the Civic Center. Typically, Denver residents simply refer to areas of the city by north, south, east and west quadrants.
What to Do in Denver
Renovated Union Station has a lot more than transportation. While trains, buses and light rail all converge on the station, you can also enjoy fine dining, shopping or a stay at the historic Crawford Hotel. Depending on when you wander through, you may encounter live jazz musicians, a Farmer's Market or a yoga class -- there's always something happening.
The 24 acres of the Denver Botanical Garden are an oasis in the middle of the city, giving visitors a chance to experience different types of plants, see new garden styles and find out what it's like to farm. The focus on conservation and stewardship teaches people of all ages about caring for our environment.
More than just science, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a stopping point for those of all ages interested in how things work. Spend an afternoon or all day at this premiere center complete with IMAX theater, exhibits that range from how the human body works to how dinosaurs once lived. Permanent displays focused on minerals and gemstones and on Egyptian mummies are especially popular.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Denver
Take Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Tour for a peek at how distilleries produce whiskey, then sample both Yellow Label and Diamond Peak varieties. Veterans of the distilling process will answer your questions and teach you about tasting notes for the different whiskeys. Even those who aren't big drinkers will enjoy the tour.
Dining in Denver
At any given time, Denver has a long list of top restaurants where you can enjoy a perfect steak or local dish. For something different, try Comal Heritage Food Incubator in the RiNo neighborhood. You'll find a mix of Ethiopian, Mexican and Syrian dishes prepared by women chefs who bring their heritage to you through food. Stop in for the special tea service on Thursday afternoons and support these up-and-comers.
Tables on Kearney Street is one of Denver's most trendy establishments -- but one that lives up to the hype and has for a decade. Eclectic decor and seasonal menus delight the senses and there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.