"Urbane Mecca of the Rocky Mountains" Top 5 Page for this destination Denver by atufft

Denver Travel Guide: 1,034 reviews and 1,795 photos

Denver has come of age...

For a long time Denver was a city of has been gold miners, ski bums and cowboys, having rail yards, and little more. It lay on the western high prairie, a dead-end before the climb over the Rockies. A place where cheap beer was made. During the 19th century, Cheyenne to the north was actually a bigger city than Denver, being a more important rail stop between the east and California. Denver's small cluster of two and three story brick buildings weren't architecturally significant, and for those looking for urban pleasures had to either head 600 miles east over dull prairie to dusty Kansas City, or nearly 1300 miles west, over at least two mountain ranges, and the Great Basin desert to San Francisco. Now, Denver's reputation as the "mile high city" and the gateway to some of America's greatest ski resorts, has evolved into a hip place where high tech and healthy living is king. And, since this newer industry brings in bigger revenue, Denver has wasted no time in building itself up to a point where it now rivals Seattle, Portland, San Diego, and Phoenix for great western living. In my humble view, it still falls short of San Francisco and Los Angeles, being a bit provincial in some elements of urban life.

!6th Avenue Mall is just the beginning..

The 16th Avenue Mall is the starting point for visitors, providing a wonderful pedestrian walk along what was once a major boulevard crammed with cars. A free shuttle transit along this 1.25 mile route eases the burden of walking and shopping. At one end is the Civic Center, Capitol Mall area, while the other end is the Union Train Station, now restored for RTD transit. So, besides the Mall Ride bus, there is also easy access to the RTD Light Rail system of 5 lines that service some 37 stations within the Denver metropolitan area. Moreover, since Denver is a sports oriented city, its network of bicycle trails and lanes is among the best in the nation. Downtown Denver has some 50 stations providing 500 bicycles for hourly rent, a service provided through the B-cycle vending system. This appears to be a unique success for Denver, although Portland and Sacramento are also western urban leaders in this green technology movement.

South Pearl Street

During my most recent adventure in Denver, I managed to get into the neighborhoods of Denver. The most important that I found is the South Pearl Street neighborhood, a mixed commercial and single family residential neighborhood where bicycle, coffee, and boutique shops provide a human scale atmosphere.

  • Last visit to Denver: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (16)

Comments (4)

  • Jun 15, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Alan, I am really enjoying your pictures and every time I see a restaurant shot I can almost taste the food again!

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    I really like that B-Cycle idea. The community bike program they had going here in Portland was OK, but in the end didn't really work that well. This sounds like it works much better.

  • BeatChick's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Latte, fresh apple pie, charcoal fired warmer - what better place to relax with your iPad?!? Denver sounds wonderful! I always associate it with the Beats & "On the Road". Bistro Vendome sounds like my kind of place! Smashing photos!!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    Excellent tips of Denver. Cheers, SL :)

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