Denver is the most populated city and the capital of the state of Colorado. It overs an area of one hundred and fifty-four square miles and has a population of almost six hundred thousand residents. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley, east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Since the elevation of the city is exactly five thousand two hundred and eighty feet above sea level, its often referred to as the ‘Mile High City’. Due to it being the largest city in a six hundred mile radius, and because it is halfway between the Midwest and the West Coast, the city is a natural distribution point for goods traveling through the mountain states.
Denver was founded as a mining settlement in 1858 during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Prospetors from Kansas arrived in the area and started Montana City on the South Platte River. This settlement had a short lifespan however, and today is known as Grant-Frontier Park in the southeast portion of the city. In November of 1858, Geneal William Larimer staked a claim at the confluence of Cherry Creek and South Platte River and this would evolve to become Denver City. In February of 1861, the Colorado Territory was created and Denver was incorporated almost nine months later. In 1865, it became the Territorial Capital and when the state of Colorado was created in 1876, Denver became the capital of the state.
Today, the city of Denver is a popular tourist destination in the United States. Not only does it have a bustling urban center but it also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. A popular attraction in the city is the Denver Zoo. This zoo is situated in City Park and sits on eighty acres. It was founded in 1896 by Alexander J. Graham. The first animal to be featured in this zoo was an American black bear. Later on, prairie dogs, antelope and red squirrels were added to its collection. Exhibits at the Denver Zoo include Duck Lake, Bear Mountain, Primate Panorama, Jewels of the Emarald Forest, Monkey Island, Predator Ridge, Mountain Sheep Habitat, Feline House, Bird World, Lorikeet Adventures, Northern Shores, Wolf Pack Woods, Asian Tropics and Tropical Discovery. Other features of the zoo include the Endangered Species Carousel, Pioneer Train, Gates Wildlife Conservation Education Center and Wild Encounters. The Denver Zoo attracts over one and a half million visitors each year and contains a full complement of animals which include Malayan tapirs, Warthogs, hippos, jaguars, cheetahs, zebras, wolves, camels, monkeys, tigers, leopards. African wild dogs and California Sea Lions.
Another popular attraction in the city is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This museum provides a scientific resource for visitors to learn about the state, the planet and the universe. The museum has six areas which include exhibitions, IMAX films and lectures in the fields of anthropology, geology, health sciences, paleontology, space science and zoology. Other features of the museum include wildlife exhibits, Egyptian mummies, Gems & Minerals, Prehistoric Journey, Expedition Health, Discovery Zone and the Space Odyssey Exhibition. It was founded in 1900 by Edwin Carter. Lakeside Amusement Park is another popular attraction in Denver. It was opened in 1908 by Adolph Zang. Its the oldest amusement park in Colorado and one of the oldest in the United States. Rides at this park include Auto Skooters, Crystal Palace, Cyclone Coaster, Flying Dutchman, Ferris wheel, Merry-Go-Round, Matterhorn, Sports Cars, Wild Chipmunk, Tilt-A-Whirl, Loop-O-Plane, Scrambler, Spider, Satellite, Whip and a train. Children rides include Kiddie Whip, Sky Fighters, Flying Tigers, Kiddie Coaster, Kiddie Canoes, Horse & Buggy Ride, Dry Boats and the Frog Hopper.
Downtown Aquarium is an aquarium and restaurant that is located on 23rd Avenue. It has a one hundred thousand square foot building that sits on seventeen acres by the South Platte River. It has a freshwater tanks that hold over one and a quarter million gallons of water and has a large variety of fish and oceanic animals. This aquarium chronicles the relationship between freshwater ecosystems and oceanic ecosystems. The restaurant located here is aptly called Aquarium Restaurant. Other popular attractions in the city of Denver include The Spa at The Brown Palace, Mount Evans, Denver Microbrew Tour, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Coors Field, Denver Art Museum, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Denver Botanic Gardens, El Chapultepec, Larimer Square, Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, Mount Evans Scenic Byway, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Four Mile House Historic Park, 16th Street Mall, Museo de las Americas, Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver Union Station, Forney Transportation Museum, Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, Denver Firefighters Museum, Rock Bottom Brewery, Washington Park, Breckenridge Brewery, Denver Mint, Molly Brown House Museum, Cheesman Park, Colorado History Museum, Ruby Hill Park, Flying Dog Brewery, Wynkoop Brewing Company, Landmark’s Mayan Theatre and Denver Pavilions.
Denver is also home to first class restaurants and hotels. Restaurants in the city include Strings Restaurant, Lime Restaurant, Panzano Restaurant, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, Vesta Dipping Grill, Zengo Restaurant and 1515 Restaurant. Hotels in Denver include the Warwick Denver Hotel, Hotel Teatro, The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Curtis Hotel, Hotel Monaco Denver and the Oxford Hotel. Another thing that Denver is known the world over for is its fantastic skiing and its many skiing resorts. Resorts in and around the city include Loveland Ski Areas, Rocky Mountain Div-Us Ski, Colorado Mountain Transportation, Winter Park Resort, PowderFone and Ski & Snow.