Fun facts and interesting details about Denver & Colorado

  • Denver has 300 days of annual sunshine, more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami. The sun also feels warmer because you're closer to it.
  • Colorado is the third fastest growing state in the last decade.
  • Denver International Airport is the fifth busiest airport in the United States and the 10th busiest in the world.
  • Denver is the second most educated city in the United States.
  • Denver has spent more than $8 billion in the last decade on new attractions including building three new sports stadiums; a new downtown amusement park; a new world-class aquarium; three new art museums; a new opera house; a new 1,100-room Hyatt hotel; and doubling the size of the Colorado Convention Center.
  • Denver boasts the largest city park system in the country, 90 golf courses and more than 85 miles of paved trails.
  • Denver is home to the second largest performing arts complex in the nation with 10 theatres seating more than 10,000 people for theatre, symphony, opera and ballet.
  • Denver brews more beer than any other city with 80 different beers brewed here daily.
  • With less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Colorado.
  • In winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 45 degrees in February.
  • In Denver's rarified air, golf balls go 10 percent farther. So do cocktails. Alcoholic drinks pack more of a punch than at sea level.
  • There are 200 named peaks visible from Denver, including 32 that soar to 13,000 feet and above. The mountain panorama visible from Denver is 140 miles long. 
  • Metro Denver collects more for the arts on a per capita basis than any other city. The seven county Denver metro area (an area the size of Connecticut) has a self-imposed 10th of a cent sales tax for the arts that raises more than $38 million a year, which is distributed to 300 arts organizations and facilities.
  • The dome of the Colorado State Capitol is covered with 200 ounces of 24K gold, but the really priceless building material was used inside as wainscoting. It is Colorado onyx, a rare stone found near Beulah, Colo. The entire world's supply was used in this building and no more has ever been found. State law prohibits building any structure that would block the view of the mountains from the State Capitol.
  • The 13th step on the west side of the State Capitol building is 5,280 feet - exactly one mile above sea level.
  • Denver hosts one of the world's largest rodeos - the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo.
  • Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous street in the United States (26 miles).
  • In 1944, Louis Ballast grilled a slice of cheese onto a hamburger at his Denver drive-in restaurant and patented the invention as "The Cheeseburger." The ice-cream soda, shredded wheat and of course, the Denver Omelet were also invented in Denver.
  • Denverhosts sevenprofessional sports teams: NFL Denver Broncos; NBA Denver Nuggets; NHL Colorado Avalanche; MLB Colorado Rockies; MLS Colorado Rapids; MLL Colorado Outlaws; and NLL Colorado Mammoth.
  • The Colorado Rockies opened on April 9, 1993, before 80,277 fans, the most to witness an opening game in baseball history. The team went on to break 11 Major League Baseball records including most single season fans - 4,483,350 - the most to ever attend any American sports game in a single season.
  • It was on top of nearby Pikes Peak in 1893 that Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write the words to "America the Beautiful".
  • The mountainous area of Colorado is six times the size of Switzerland and contains 9,600 miles of fishing streams, 2,850 lakes and more than 1,000 peaks two miles high.
  • Famous architect I.M. Pei designed Denver's 16th Street Mall in 1982. Pei also designed the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris (featured in the Da Vinci Code), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the National Atmospheric Research Center in Boulder, Colo.
  • In hopes of gaining political favors, local boosters in 1859 named the frontier mining camp on the South Platte River "Denver" after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver. They never received any favors - by the time they named the town, Denver had already resigned. It was years before James Denver saw the mining camp named after him. He was reportedly not impressed.
  • There were originally three separate towns on the current site of Denver, with three different names. In 1859, in return for a barrel of whiskey to be shared by all, the other names were dropped and the tent and log cabin city officially became "Denver".
  • Denver is one of the few cities in history that was not on a road, railroad, lake, navigable river or body of water when it was founded. Denver just happened to be where the first few flakes of gold were found in 1858 and it was here that the first camp was made. The first permanent structure was a saloon.
  • The Native Americans warned early settlers not to build there, but no one listened. In its first few years, Denver was destroyed twice, by fire and flood.
  • In its Old West days, Denver had a performance of Macbeth before it had a school or a hospital. That performance took place in a saloon.
  • Some of Denver's famous high school alumni include Golda Meir, a future Israeli prime minister who attended North High School and Douglas Fairbanks, who was expelled from East High School before becoming one of the most famous silent movie stars of all time. Hattie McDaniel, the first African American to win an Academy Award for her performance in Gone With The Wind, also attended East High School, as did folk singer Judy Collins and Academy Award nominee Don Cheadle.
  • Denver Parks Department grows 240,000 flowers a year in their own greenhouse, planting them in 506 flower beds throughout the city. If laid end to end, these plants would stretch for 56 miles.
  • Central City (located 34 miles west of Denver) is known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth" because of the half billion dollars of gold mined there.