Elitch Gardens is an amusement park built
around gardens and it has been here since 1890. This is
where Benny Goodman's band first gained its fame and the
place retains the wonderful aura of the early part of the
century. There are myriad flower beds in the park, along
with rides including a fine roller coaster, The Twister.
There are still many concerts held at Elitch Gardens and
a visit here is a summer must during your stay in Denver.
It is located at 4620 West 38th Avenue. Lakeside
Amusement Park is another old amusement park without
the massed flowers but this one has a lake, the Cyclone
Coaster and other popular attractions. It's on Sheridan
Blvd., south of Interstate 70.
If beer is important to you, the Coors Brewery
is a significant cultural icon. The brewery offers a free
30 minute tour of their "unique" brewing process, with
beer tasting at the end. It is open Monday through
Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM, at Ford and 13th streets in
Golden, at the western edge of the metro area.
Colorado's State Capitol is a smaller version
of the U.S. Capitol, with a gold plated dome. It sits on
a hill with good mountain views. Weekday tours are
conducted on the half hour during summer months from 9 AM
to 3:30 PM. There are also free tours of the
Governor's Mansion which is located in a
magnificent garden. The house is basically as it was
designed by Walter Cheeseman around 1900 and features the
huge Palm Room which gives a fine view of the garden
displays. The free tours are conducted from June through
August, from 10 AM to 1 PM.
The museums of Denver reflect the makeup of the
community. The Colorado History Museum features
excellent displays of Colorado's Indian heritage, as well
as the rambunctious mining era. This is a fine way to
learn about the rich history of this area. There is a
book shop in the museum, which is located near the State
Capitol at 1300 Broadway. It is open daily: Mon. Sat.
from 10 AM to 4:30 PM and Sun. from noon to 4:30 PM.
The Black American West Museum reflects the
large black community in Denver, telling the history of
blacks in the west including the many black cowboys who
helped to settle it The museum is located in the Five
Points district and offers a fascinating experience. The
address is 607 28th Street.
There is also a Children's Museum, across the
street from Mile High Stadium, at 2121 Crescent Drive.
The museum is filled with interactive displays, a circus
tent and a padded ball room. There are often puppet shows
being staged and your children (and you) will have a
The Museum of Western Art, at 1727 Tremont
Place, holds probably the best collection of Western art
in the nation, in one of Denver's original downtown
buildings (across the street from the famous Brown Palace
Hotel). Frederick Remington is only one of the renowned
western artists whose works are featured. There's also a
good selection of works by Georgia O'Keeffe. And while
you're in the area, you must visit "Leadville Johnny"
Brown's hotel -- even if you're not staying there.
Another popular stop for visitors is the U.S.
Mint. This is where United States coins are made and
a guided tour takes you through the process. It is also a
large repository for gold. The mint is open daily from
8:30 AM to 3 PM, and is located at the corner of Cherokee
Denver nightclubs feature country and western music
and jazz and both are in good supply. The Denver
Center for the Performing Arts is a large complex
which offers opera, ballet, drama and music concerts. It
is home to the Denver Symphony and the Stagewest cabaret
Denver Zoo, in City Park on East 23rd Street,
features a children's zoo as well as the main displays
which include the "North Shores" exhibit with polar bears
and sea lions. There is a miniature zoo trail for
children, and it all is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.