Photo by UCFFool, on Flickr
Everyone knows this place as the “Mile High City”. A sprawling metropolis that has emerged out of a cow town, backed by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Denver is as well known for its beer as it is for its boulevards and bustling city scene. This is everyone’s perception of dynamic Denver; but this is not all. There’s more to Denver than meets the eye. Read on to find out.
So you’ve seen the Denver Zoo, the Elitch Gardens, the Water World and Botanic Gardens and visited Mount Evans; now you think you’ve seen everything the city has to offer. But no! These are just the best known places that every tourist has to see. But as in other places, there are hidden gems in Denver that are delightful to visit and often overlooked in the tourist beat.
Inside & Out Denver Tour
You will be taken to the US mint. Before you say “how boring!”, let me assure you; this is not just a regular tour that will show you the mint and spew out details. The Inside & Out is a walking tour, nay, a scavenger hunt that will involve you in the Great Denver Mint Robbery that happened in 1922. Be a part of the mystery and get an insider perspective of the places involved in the robbery starting from the LoDo district. If you’re with family, all the more reason to take this tour.
No, this is not a prison cell; rather, this is a place that makes you feel happy there are prison cells. The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab may not be a typical tourist hangout. But the informative exhibits and they way in which visitors are educated about the threat of terrorism in the world without being intimidating makes this place not just interesting, but also important. When you visit the Denver Art Museum, make sure you stop at the CELL too; it’s just right across the museum.
Rockmount Ranch Wear
Think you look best in West? Then do your shopping for frilled, rhinestoned shirts, buckles, belts and boots at the Rockmount Ranch Wear. If the shop was good enough for real cowboys and Hollywood biggies, it’s good enough for you too.
Colorado Renaissance Festival
Meet King, jousters, jugglers and blacksmiths at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, held in Larkspur, about a half-an hour drive from Denver. The festival brings back to life the people of the Sixteenth Century; but to most visitors, the main attraction lies in the Turkey drumsticks, steak on a stake and roasted corn.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary
Yes, the Denver Zoo is a lovely place to visit; but if you want to see animals in their natural habitat, visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary, just a short drive from Denver. Watch large carnivores as well as other wild animals left in vast open spaces, happy in their own environment.
The Buckhorn Exchange
Warning: This place is not for vegans
Not exactly non-touristy, but distinctly Denver, the Buckhorn Exchange is where you can get the best game meat. What’s more, you’ll be eating this meat with all the game staring at you from the walls in the form of animal mounts. Take in the interiors with a Big Steak and you’re one with the wild. This is also the first place to get a beer license in Colorado. So if you want old and original, head to the Buckhorn Exchange and see the heads.