(credit: 5280 Angler)
Denver was once the biggest city west of St. Louis and the city still serves as an economic hub located between Chicago and the West Coast. As such, it has a rich and vibrant history that many locals gloss over. Sure, there is a lot to do in the mountains, and the parks system makes it difficult to make an itinerary, but there are also museums, historical sites, microbreweries and much more. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, take a day off and go do one of these guided tours.
Molly Brown House Museum
1340 Pennsylvania St.
Denver, CO 80203
One of Denver’s most notable residents of all time, many people know about Molly Brown. However, their knowledge is limited to a couple of movies that fail to capture the true impact of Brown’s legacy. At the Molly Brown House Museum, guests can tour her Denver home while learning about all of her historical accomplishments, many of which are not celebrated in popular media. This tour helps to paint a picture of what life in Denver was like at the turn of the 20th Century and gives guests an intimate look at a legendary lady. Tickets are $8 for adults, and tours run approximately every 30 minutes starting at 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sundays.
Denver Inside and Out
1701 Wynkoop St.
Denver, CO 80211
History buffs and criminologists alike will love this tour, which recreates one of Denver’s most notorious crimes. The tour is a walking tour/scavenger hunt that retraces the 1922 Denver Mint robbery when $200,000 was stolen. This tour is a fun way to learn about the history of Denver by making patrons actual accessories to the crime. The details are very secretive and guests must find and decipher clues to lead to the next stop on the tour. Tickets are $40 per person. When you book the reservation, you will receive a phone call a day before the tour that will tell you where to start.
Denver Microbrew Tour
River North Brewery
2401 Blake St.
Denver, CO 80205
In addition to the snow-capped peaks, Denver is known for its beer. The Denver Microbrew tour combines brewery tours and tastings with historical facts, so you can sample what the city has to offer and learn a little along the way. Tickets are $29 for general admission and $33 for the tour and a souvenir pint glass. The 1.5-mile walking tour allows patrons to sample over 10 different microbrews while learning about the history of beer. Serious beer drinkers will enjoy this tour but make sure you bring a designated driver or call a cab.
Related: Top Microbreweries in Denver
Arvada, CO 80003
For city people who want to learn more about fly fishing, a day with 5280 Angler will be fun for you. The company offers guided tours of several rivers in Colorado. Public water trips are $325 for a single angler, but the price per person goes down with each member in the group. The fee includes equipment and a full day of lessons and fishing. 5280 Angler employs guides that are passionate about fly fishing and eager to pass their knowledge on. The company is very customer service oriented, so your trip will be perfect for you, and you’ll probably come home with dinner.
Denver Savor the Flavor Tour
Littleton, CO 80127
Taste your way through different neighborhoods with this food-focused tour. Culinary Connectors offers many Denver Savor the Flavor tours, which explore different neighborhoods in the city. For $39, guests are treated to sample fare from four different restaurants, and each tour ends with happy hour at the last stop. For foodies who want to try new restaurants but don’t have the time to go out every night, this is a great way to sample tasty food in your neighborhood. For tourists, it’s a fun activity that is off the beaten path, since many of the tours take place in neighborhoods that aren’t necessarily “destinations.”
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.