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Holiday Guides for North America - United States

Denver Holiday

The US city of Denver, Colorado, is a blend of western charm, old world style and cosmopolitan vigour, nestling between the plains and the Rocky Mountains.

The city is a bustling hub in the centre of Colorado’s wilderness and is home to around half a million people. Boosted by oil, technology and energy money, Denver has a sophisticated side, despite its western, frontier roots. The heart of the state’s commerce and culture, the city is attracting an increasing number of visitors and residents

Originally the hunting grounds of the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians, Denver was settled by prospectors in 1859 as a miners' camp. Named after Kansas Territorial Governor James W Denver, it grew rapidly during the gold rush and silver rush.

Following the Great Depression and WWII, Denver became an important manufacturing base and tall buildings started to leap up in the centre of the city, creating its impressive skyline. During the 1980s and 1990s the technology and IT firms moved in and skyline burgeoned.

Denver is positioned between the flat plains of the central United States and the towering Rocky Mountains and the area around the city offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits and activities, including skiing, camping, cycling, hiking and fishing.

The LoDo, or lower downtown area Denver, is one of the city’s oldest, with scores of excellent restaurants, jazz clubs, hotels and galleries housed in its picturesque old buildings. The Cultural Connection Trolley is a great way to see the city and completes a loop of Denver’s main attractions.

The Colorado History Museum in the downtown district is an interesting walk through the state’s rich past and the Denver Art Museum is home to one of the largest collection of Native American art in the world. Families will enjoy the Six Flags Elitch Gardens amusement park, the delightful Children’s Museum of Denver and the City Park.

For shoppers, the 16th Street Mall is a must see, with hoards of shops and eateries in the sprawling complex. Sports fans can take in a baseball game at the Rockies’ Coors Field stadium or a Broncos football game, while nature lovers will delight in Denver Zoo, the Downtown Aquarium, the botanic gardens and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

In the evening, Denver has plenty of excellent restaurants, serving everything from world cuisine to hearty American fayre, lively bars, clubs and music venues. The Civic Center, built in 1919, has a huge amphitheatre and offers an impressive programme of events, as does the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Served by Denver International Airport since 1995, many airlines have added routes from the UK in recent years and it is easy to fly to the city for a reasonable price. Hotels in Denver range from the basic to the ornate, with rooms available in modern skyscrapers and old townhouses.

Colorado is beautiful in both winter and summer, with plenty both in around the city to see and do. Summers are bright and warm, while winters are chilly and the spring and autumn are colourful and changeable.