Bucking Bronco Statue in downtown Denver
Photo by: Billy Hathorn, Creative Commons
Located exactly one mile above sea level on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the city of Denver perfectly fits its moniker as the “Mile-High City”.
Now why would anyone found a city one mile high up in the mountains? The answer is simple: Gold. The city of Denver was founded as a mining town during a gold rush in the area in the 1800s, making it one of the few cities in the history of the world that was not built on a road or near a navigable body of water. Nevertheless, the city has become a key trade point and distribution center for the United States, owing to its location in the center of the country. Geography has played a major role in making Denver an important government, trade, and communications center for the country.
The capital and most populous city of the US State of Colorado plays host to a lot of different attractions for visitors of all ages. Over 200 parks dot the city today, a far cry from the dusty roads of the old mining town. The sprawling Denver Zoo, considered the fourth most popular zoo in the United States, has 3,500 animals in its collection. 685 species are represented, including 157 that are endangered.
The 23-acre Denver Botanical Garden contains a collection of more than 2,000 species of plants in 45 different gardens. Both the Zoo and the Botanical Garden make the city a great place to visit for nature lovers. Children will enjoy looking at the mounted dinosaur fossils, dioramas, exhibits, and experiments at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The Denver Art Museum contains more than enough examples of art from Native Americans and Europeans to keep art aficionados busy for a very long time. Finally, visitors will be able to stand exactly one mile high above sea level on the western steps of the Colorado State Capitol.