Denver, Colorado is ranked as a beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network it has an estimated population of 682,265 and it ranks as the 23rd most populous American city.
The history of Denver City starts in 1858 as a mining town during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in western Kansas Territory. That summer, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas, had arrived and established Montana City on the banks of the South Platte River. This was the first settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of Auraria (named after the gold mining town of Auraria, Georgia), and St. Charles City.
Denver also strikes the perfect balance between its rich western heritage and growing modern economy. The urban landscape is characterized by eclectic neighborhoods, inventive eateries, and craft breweries with an emphasis on the local and sustainable. Also an outdoor mecca, the city offers hiking, biking and more throughout its sprawling footprint at the base of the Rocky Mountains.
An active town with a sunny disposition, the Mile High City boasts a lively downtown, over seven pro sport teams, outdoor adventures of all kinds and breathtaking views of the Front Range.
Denver is located in the center of the Front Range Urban Corridor, between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east. Denver’s topography consists of plains in the city center with hilly areas to the north, west and south.
According to the United States Census Bureau the city has an area of 154.9 square miles (401.2 km2), of which 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), or 1.03%, is water. The City and County of Denver is surrounded by only three other counties: Adams County to the north and east, Arapahoe County to the south and east, and Jefferson County to the west.
Although Denver’s nickname is the “Mile-High City” because its official elevation is one mile above sea level, defined by the elevation of the spot of a benchmark on the steps of the State Capitol building, the elevation of the entire city ranges from 5,130 to 5,690 feet (1,560 to 1,730 m). According to Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and the National Elevation Dataset, the city’s elevation is 5,278 feet (1,609 m), which is reflected on various websites such as that of the National Weather Service.
Denver is a sporting town. No matter what the season, there is always a game sure to satisfy every sports fan. Catch a fly ball at Coors Field, watch the Broncos score a touchdown at Mile High, or cheer on the Avalanche and Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Don’t forget Colorado’s Major League Lacrosse team, the Denver Outlaws, and Major League Soccer team, the Colorado Rapids.
Denver’s live music scene is also hopping. The Fillmore Auditorium, one of Denver’s premier music venues, brings in big names such as Rise Against and Joss Stone, with capacity of over 3000. For a more intimate show, try the Ogden Theater just down Colfax Ave., or the historic Bluebird Theater for a great rock show.
For a more refined experience, visit the glamorous Paramount Theater, which has maintained its original Art Deco design and hosts everything from rock concerts to Wurlitzer organ performances. Surprisingly, Denver has also become a recreational marijuana tourist destination because of its new liberal laws. This has been a welcome for lawmakers who have benefitted from the extra tax revenue.
Denver is also home to many nationally recognized museums, including a new wing for the Denver Art Museum by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, the second largest Performing Arts Center in the nation after Lincoln Center in New York City and bustling neighborhoods such as LoDo, filled with art galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs.