Denver may no longer be a cow town, but there are still plenty of cowboy related activities to fill your days and nights. Whether you're simply looking for a flavor of the Old West or want to immerse yourself fully into the cowboy culture, Denver has what you're looking for.
BUFFALO BILL MUSEUM & GRAVE
One of the most famous cowboys ever to put on a pair of stirrups, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody epitomized the Old West. After leaving his boyhood home in Leavenworth, Kansas at age 11, he went on to become a cattle herder, worked on a wagon train, mined for gold, rode in the Pony Express, scouted for the Army, and traveled the world with the Buffalo Bill's Wild West shows. Upon his request he was buried atop Lookout Mountain in 1917. The Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave opened in 1921 and offers a look into life in the Old West, with exhibits on Buffalo Bill's life, the Wild West shows, Indian artifacts including Sitting Bull's bows and arrows, Western art and firearms.
ROCKMOUNT RANCH WEAR
A Denver original, fashion pioneer Papa Jack Weil invented the western snap-button shirt and opened shop back in 1946. He sold his shirts to presidents and rock stars alike including Eric Clapton and Bruce Springsteen. Stop by the Rockmount Ranch Wear flagship store and museum to browse the incredible selection of Western-style shirts, hats and accessories. Papa Jack passed away at the grand old age of 107 in 2008, but his Mile High City Spirit lives on at this great Denver store.
THE BUCKHORN EXCHANGE
The Buckhorn Exchange, Denver's oldest restaurant, is rich in Colorado history and serves up a unique menu of wild game and steak in a rustic, elegant atmosphere. The menu features steak, buffalo and elk. This historic steakhouse is a must see for everyone.
BLACK AMERICAN WEST MUSEUM
For decades Hollywood westerns depicted a Wild West that was populated almost entirely by white people. The Black American West Museum puts this myth to rest permanently by highlighting the prominent role Blacks played in the settlement of Colorado as miners, soldiers, homesteaders, schoolteachers, ranchers, blacksmiths, cowboys and lawmen. This fascinating museum, located in the former home of Colorado's first Black woman doctor, hosts countless photographs, artifacts and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the Wild West through a different lens.
FOUR MILE HISTORIC PARK
On the banks of Cherry Creek, just four miles from Downtown Denver, Four Mile Historic Park's pastoral 12 acres feature Denver's oldest standing structure, pioneer exhibits, special events for all ages, and guided tours that transport visitors to Colorado's frontier past. Once a wayside inn and stage stop, the Four Mile House and grounds offer a unique Old West experience. In addition to museum and grounds tours, family activities include annual special events, such as an Old-Fashioned July 4th Celebration; the Great Pumpkin Harvest Festival in October, and traditional holiday festivities at A Colorado Christmas.
WESTERN ART COLLECTION AT THE DENVER ART MUSEUM
The Denver Art Museum's extensive collection includes work by Western masters such as George Catlin, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, John Mix Stanley, Alfred Jacob Miller, and others. The crown jewel in the institute's collection is Charles Deas's Long Jakes, The Rocky Mountain Man, the single most influential image in Rocky Mountain iconography.
NATIONAL WESTERN STOCK SHOW
Called the "Super Bowl of Cattle Shows," the National Western Stock Show is a Denver tradition, honoring the country's rich Old West heritage. Held every January at the National Western Complex, it is the world's largest stock show -- and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, rodeo performances, Mexican rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to Native American jewelry. Don't miss out on this only-in-Denver event
DENVER MARCH POWWOW
Since 1984, the heritage of American Indians has been celebrated in Denver every year at the Denver March Powwow, one of the largest events of its kind in the country. The Powwow, taking place every March, features more than 1,600 dancers from close to 100 tribes from 38 states and three Canadian provinces. The three-day event in the Denver Coliseum is packed with singing, dancing, storytelling, food, art and more, ensuring a wonderful experience for everyone.
A full-size replica of an adobe fur-trade fort with scenic view of downtown Denver, The Fort is an award-winning restaurant that has been featured in the New York Times, Sunset, and Bon Appetit as one of the nation's most recognized establishments. Fare features fine beef, buffalo, game and seafood.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART
A brand-new addition to Denver's art scene, this astounding, 26,000-square-foot American Museum of Western Art features masterpieces from the Anschutz Collection, including frontier-inspired works by Frederic Remington, George Catlin and Charles Marion Russell.