Discovering Denver

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Denver Skyline Spring 2010. Mid-morning light illuminating city.

Colorado’s most populated city offers its residents an abundance of beer, natural beauty, and job opportunities.  Denver is America’s number one beer city, with more hand-crafted brews made in Denver than any other city in the country. Colorado sees no shortage in natural beauty; the city’s backdrop features the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, which provide locals working and living downtown unparalleled views.  Forbes has continuously included Denver in the “Best-of” lists for business and career opportunities. And if you still need a little convincing, the city is super pet-friendly. You’ll discover not only off-leash dog parks, but pet-welcoming hotels, restaurants, and breweries.

Denver, the “Mile-High City,” is exactly one mile above sea level in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The city began as a mining town during the Pikes’ Peak Gold Rush in the summer of 1858. Land speculator General William Larimer wanted his town to become the county seat, so he attempted flattery to make it happen — he named his town Denver after the Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver. Unfortunately, Larimer didn’t realize that Governor Denver had resigned from office — but the name stuck. Denver was a rough-and-tumble frontier town, consisting of quickly-constructed log cabins, tents, and lean-tos along the South Platte River. Prospectors came from all over the country hoping to strike it rich, and some decided to set up their own cities along the river. Tension grew and the cities were close to an all-out battle — so they held a meeting on the bridge, struck a bargain, and all other city names were dropped in favor of keeping the name Denver.

Denver Downtown, Colorado, UsaIf you’d like to follow in the footsteps of those early pioneers and make your home in Denver, you’re not alone — Denver’s growth rate has outpaced the national rate since the 1930s and it is home to 2.7 million people. The population is expected to increase 50 percent by 2030 to nearly 3.9 million people. It is an economic powerhouse with one of the country’s strongest economies and an average income that is nearly 16 percent higher than the national median income. It is the largest city in Colorado and the state capital. And if that isn’t enough to have you looking for your next apartment in Denver, the city’s beauty may be. Denver has over 200 parks and maintains 14,000 acres of mountain parks. From the 330-acre City Park to the amazing Red Rocks Park, Denver is the perfect city for those who love the outdoors.

City Park is Denver’s largest park and contains the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The park was built in 1880 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the city’s most popular destination for residents and visitors, featuring a boathouse and boat rentals so park visitors can enjoy Ferril Lake. The City Park neighborhood surrounds the park and is home to Colfax, a popular district with shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

The Denver Skyline at SunriseRed Rocks Park, part of Denver’s Mountain Parks system, is famous for its red sandstone outcrops. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a world-famous venue for concerts. Performers who have played at the amphitheater include the Beatles, the Carpenters, John Denver, U2, the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Jimi Hendrix, Rush, and many others.

While Denver’s outdoor adventures range from whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, and mountain climbing to snow skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding, other types of adventures await in the city — museums, historic sites, top-rated restaurants, and amazing shopping. Downtown Denver is one of the most pedestrian-friendly downtowns in the nation and even offers a free shuttle bus to make getting around even easier. Downtown is home to the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum, the LoDo Historic District, and the 16th Street Mall — a mile-long pedestrian promenade with shops, attractions, and 28 outdoor cafes.

The Denver Broncos play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver. The team started playing in 1960, but didn’t have a winning season until 1973. Since then, they have become one of the NFL’s most successful teams. The Broncos have won seven AFC Championships and two Super Bowls — back-to-back wins in 1997 and 1998.

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