History Colorado Center (credit: CBS)
Whether you’re new to Colorado or you’re one of the rare Colorado natives, there is a lot of fascinating history that helped to create this wonderful state. If you’ve never taken the time to check out some of Denver’s most iconic historical spots, this is the perfect time to visit. There are many fascinating museums dedicated to telling the stories of the people who founded Colorado, making Denver the city it is today. If you’re not sure where to start, here are five spots to check out as you begin your own historic tour of the Mile High City.
History Colorado Center
Denver, CO 80203
Price: $12 for adults/$10 for students and seniors/$8 for children
The History Colorado Center is one of the best places in town to visit for a little educational lesson on Colorado, its founders and all the wonderful people that make up this beautiful state. Exhibits include fun interactive things like “Denver A to Z” which features throw-down matches between such Denver icons as Mary Elitch, John Elway, Tom Shane and Molly Brown. There’s a sculpture of Denver’s own “Barrel Man” and a reproduction of the famous blue bear from outside the Colorado Convention Center. It’s a chance to learn all about Denver from A to Z. You can also check out other exhibits like “Destination Colorado” and “Colorado Stories.” There are so many different ways to learn a bit more about Colorado History at this wonderful museum.
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Denver Story Trek
1628 16th St.
Denver, CO 80203
If you like to stay active while you learn about history, check out Denver Story Trek, where you can get interactive stories on your cellphone to take you through your own walking tour of the most iconic and historic sites in Denver. There are dozens of different stories available to download, with themes like “Women of the West,” “Settling the Frontier,” “Stage Stops, Railroads and Streetcars” and “Mile High Art and Culture.” You simply visit the website, download your preferred trek and then walk, bike or drive to the featured Story Site. There is even a text messaging service now, which allows you to receive and answer clues about featured historic sites in Denver. You just text TREK GO to 56512, and you’ll receive a text asking you which site you’ve visited so clues can be customized to your location. The best part is it’s all totally free, so it’s the perfect way to learn a little, get some exercise and enjoy the historic sites of Denver.
Denver Public Library
10 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
The Denver Public Library is a wealth of free information for anyone looking to learn more about the history of Colorado. Be sure to visit the Central Branch for a massive Western History section, a genealogy collection and an impressive collection of Western Americana. The collection here includes more than 200,000 books, atlases, maps, pamphlets and other educational materials, plus more than 600,000 photos and 3,700 manuscript archives. You could easily get lost in the huge collections of historical data and research here, so plan accordingly, and prepare for more than one visit.
Related: Top Historical Sites In Denver
Molly Brown House Museum
1340 Pennsylvania St.
Denver, CO 80203
Price: $8 for adults/$7 for seniors, students and military/$5 for children
Denver is lucky to have the home of one of the most iconic and celebrated women in history. “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown lived in Denver and was one of its most celebrated and philanthropic residents. Her original mansion is impeccably maintained to this day, with all the amazing turn-of-the-century furnishings, china, artwork, silver and plenty of original photographs and textiles from the famous woman. There are all sorts of different tours offered, depending on when you visit, as well as many other educational programs to check out. In fact, there are so many different things going on at this historic landmark that you’ll want to plan to visit a few times, so you can take advantage of everything available.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.