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Parker, CO

Originally established as Pine Grove Way Station, Parker was built at the junction of stagecoach routes as a place for travelers heading toward Denver to get supplies and rest. The name was changed in the 1880s to honor the town's first postmaster, James Parker, and his brother, George, who owned most of the surrounding land. Currently, Parker is best known as a residential community within comfortable commuting distance of Denver.

The Community of Parker

Highway 470 running east to west and Highway 83 running north and south meet in northern Parker. Inside the city limits, Highway 83 is South Parker Road and serves as the main thoroughfare. The Creekside neighborhood, in the center of the city around and to the west of South Parker Road, contains much of the city's commercial areas. Most of the other neighborhoods in Parker are residential, including Canterberry Crossing to the east, Pine Bluffs in the center south and Auburn Hills to the west.

What to Do in Parker

Arts and culture are emphasized in Parker, and you'll see proof in the PACE Center. The Center hosts regular concerts -- notably for the Parker Symphony Orchestra -- musicals and plays as well as adult discovery lecture series, family activities and a rotation of art exhibits.

Denver-area walkers and bikers are familiar with the Cherry Creek Trail, a 12+-mile paved trail that connects Cherry Creek State Park to Denver. Parker has its own spur off that trail, the Sulphur Gulch Trail, that winds through downtown and beyond to let you see area flora and fauna like squirrels, rabbits and deer.

Get in your exercise at the Parker Recreation Center, a 30,000-square-foot facility with indoor pools -- including an activity pool with a lazy river and a therapy pool. You'll also find fitness and cycling studios, daily classes and weights. Childcare is available. There's also an outdoor inline hockey rink and sports fields right next door.

One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Parker

The Vehicle Vault doesn't sound like the name of a museum, but this facility dedicated to all types of automobiles from 1909 to present day is worth a visit. Primarily designed to allow car collectors a safe place to keep their vehicles, Vehicle Vault also features rotating exhibits about the past, present and future of the car in America and hosts several car shows each year. Car enthusiasts will appreciate the detailed information about restorations on many of the vehicles.

Dining in Parker

The Parker Garage on Main Street offers classy, classic meals in a pleasant setting. If you're seeking the perfectly done Grilled NY Strip or marinated salmon, you'll be delighted to dine here. Wine, beer, whiskey and cocktails all have their own extensive lists.

For top-notch Asian Fusion meals, Indochine Cuisine is the place to go. The menu focuses on excellent curries, Pad Thai and stir-fries, but the Ginger Sea Bass or Flamed Beef won't disappoint. With gluten-free, soy-free and vegan options, the restaurant caters to nearly everyone. The restaurant's owners also started a sauce-bottling company to sell the 14 sauces they created; pick up your favorite on the way out.

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