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Known as the Mile-High City, Denver started out as a frontier gold mining and gambling town in the western sector of the old Kansas Territory during the 1858 Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Denver took over as territorial capital in 1867 and then state capital, replacing the renowned city of Golden, which is just minutes away by modern highway. Denver International Airport is a gateway to Colorado’s famed Rocky Mountain ski slopes, bicycle trails, hiking, fishing, and golf courses. But Denver is more than just a gateway or conference destination. A money-saving vacation rental and visits to the Colorado History Museum and a LoDo walking tour are the best way to experience Denver’s pioneer past.
Your money-saving vacation rental condo, apartment, or house is the perfect base for exploring downtown’s plethora of microbreweries and experiencing events like the annual Great American Beer Festival. Take the whole family to the Children's Museum of Denver, Elitch Gardens water-theme amusement park, the Downtown Aquarium, the Denver Zoo, the Denver Botanic Gardens, or the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Money buffs can once again tour the United States Mint at Denver to learn how bullion is turned into coinage. Tour the golden-domed State Capitol to see how state government works. Experience the Denver Art Museum. Marvel at the architecture and mountain views from the nearby Central Library. Shop ‘til you drop at downtown’s Larimer Square and the nearby Cherry Creek shopping district.
LoDo is local shorthand for Lower Downtown Historic District, where the city started in Gold Rush days. Guided walking tours will point out the saloon and brothel buildings where miners parted with their gold, and provide updates on industrialization, skid row, and urban revitalization. LoDo is also home to the Pepsi Center for concerts, Denver Nuggets basketball, and Colorado Avalanche hockey. Nearby Coors Field is home to Colorado Rockies baseball. From LoDo walk or bicycle over the Highland Bridge to the Central Platte Valley and LoHi, the trendy Lower Highland neighborhood northwest of I-25.
Golden, a "Bicycle Friendly Community" with money-saving vacation rentals in the Rocky Mountain foothills, is perhaps best known for the Colorado School of Mines and tours of the brewery complex that gave birth to Coors. Kid-friendly too, with a summertime Splash aquatic park and a mountain bike skills park at Fossil Trace. Tee off at Fossil Trace Golf Club, a highly-rated public course incorporating Triceratops footprints, dinosaur fossils, and old clay mining machines into the design. Look down on Denver from Lookout Mountain on your way to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. Trek to the American Mountaineering Museum and Colorado Railroad Museum, if you can find time.