Colorado’s “Mile High City” Denver might be best known as a gateway to the Rockies, but there’s good reason to linger here. Its formerly rough-edged downtown has turned itself around completely in recent decades, its renovated warehouses, galleries and microbreweries making it a poster child for urban renewal.
Colorado’s state capital also has some good museums, notably the Denver Art Museum, with its collection of 16,000 Native American artworks and eye-catching, beak-shaped new wing designed by Daniel Libeskind. This former gold mining centre’s core is still surrounded by some unremarkable sprawl. But with the bars and independent shops of LoDo (lower downtown) and the Victorian mansions and live music venues of the hip Capitol Hill neighbourhood attracting a young, creative crowd to the city, there’s still plenty to enjoy in the city before you explore its mountain backyard.