Denver’s Best Sights
Best Public Art: At 40 feet tall, the whimsical Big Blue Bear outside Denver’s Colorado Convention Center is the city’s most recognizable piece of public art. It’s also the only piece of public art you can take with you — much smaller models are available for sale at gift shops in the Denver Art Museum and Colorado History Museum.
Best History Lesson: The Black American West Museum tells the rarely heard stories of pioneering African Americans throughout the West, with a special emphasis on those who lived in Denver and throughout Colorado, as well as the history of black cowboys.
Best Time Spent with Money: The only mint in the country that offers guided tours is the United States Mint at Denver. Free tours provide a chance to see coins being made and a peek at the elaborate interior of the original historic building.
Best Park: Commons Park offers incredible views of downtown and Denver’s surrounding mountain range. Enjoy the sounds of the South Platte River while strolling the park’s paths, where signs describe the intriguing history of the land.
Best Rooftop: On Friday nights the Museum of Contemporary Art|Denver is open late and their rooftop open-air bar is the best place to sit outside in warm weather and enjoy a locally brewed beer or sip a glass of organic wine. You can browse the museum’s collections and end the night gazing at the stars.
Best Use of Local Resources: The gold-domed Colorado State Capitol Building not only features gold mined from Colorado, but much of the building was created from marble, onyx, and granite quarried here as well. Rare rose onyx from Beulah, Colorado, was used extensively for interior panels.
Best City Vista: For that postcard picture of the city’s skyline framed by the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, head to the Leprino Family Atrium of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. While the view is the same just outside the museum on the grounds of City Park, comfortable chairs and benches in the atrium make for more leisurely viewing.
Best Wildlife Viewing: Only 10 miles from downtown you’ll find bison, eagles, deer, and many other animals at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Spend the day hiking the trails that traverse this oasis with a chance to see more than 300 species along the way.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition