5 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know about Denver


Have you ever given thought to the things you didn’t know about Denver? Well, now you can – and you’re about to learn a whole lot, too!

Denver is not just a gateway to the Rockies but a bustling metropolis brimming with hidden gems, untold stories, and vibrant streets lined with restaurants, places worth visiting, and an engaging zoo. From its clandestine culinary scene with hidden restaurants that rivals coastal cities to its rich, yet often overlooked, historical landmarks and weather-affected streets, Denver offers surprises at every elevation.

Whether it’s innovative art installations tucked away in urban nooks, pioneering sustainability efforts leading the green charge, or restaurants oozing with local love on every street, this city defies expectations. Dive into our curated list of revelations and see why Denver continues to enchant residents and visitors alike with its year-round love. Scroll down as we unveil our top picks that might just redefine your Mile High City experience.

1. Denver won the bid for the Olympic Games in 1976 but rejected it.

Denver made history as the only city to ever say “no” to hosting the Olympics after being selected. This decision came down to a mix of financial worries and environmental concerns that resonated with local citizens.

In a groundbreaking move, residents voted against welcoming the prestigious event. They worried about costs spiraling out of control and damaging Colorado’s natural landscapes. The vote reflected their priorities: protect nature and avoid debt.

As a result, Innsbruck, Austria stepped in to host the 1976 Winter Games. It was an unexpected twist in Olympic history, showcasing Denver’s commitment to its values over potential global prestige.

The choice had lasting impacts on how future Olympic bids would be considered by cities around the world. It sparked conversations about sustainability and fiscal responsibility that are still relevant today when planning large-scale events.

2. Denver has a big blue bear, an iconic 40-foot sculpture peering into the Colorado Convention Center.

Artist Lawrence Argent crafted something special for Denver in 2005. His creation, “I See What You Mean,” is a massive blue bear that has captured hearts across the nation. This playful giant stands at forty feet tall and looks like it’s curiously peeking into the Colorado Convention Center.

Why a bear? It symbolizes how people in Denver feel about nature and wildlife. They love their outdoor spaces and the animals they share them with. The big blue bear is no different—it connects city life to wild life.

Over the years, this friendly-looking sculpture has become more than just art; it’s part of home for locals and a must-see spot for visitors. People from all places come to see it every year, snapping photos to remember their time in Denver.

The big blue bear isn’t just another statue; it’s an experience—a chance to see what others mean when they talk about Denver’s charm. It represents a city where urban vibes meet natural beauty, making everyone feel welcome whether they’re here for business or pleasure.

3. The Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins in the world.

Here’s another one of the things you didn’t know about Denver.

The Denver Mint began its operation in 1906. Since then, it has grown to become a coin-producing giant. Each year, billions of coins are stamped out by this facility. These aren’t just any coins—they’re legal tender that people use every day across America.

What’s more fascinating is how these coins are made. The mint offers tours for those curious about the journey from raw metal to shiny pocket change. Visitors get an up-close look at each step of the process.

This isn’t just a local point of interest; it plays a significant role nationally:

  • The Denver Mint contributes massively to America’s economy and heritage.
  • It ensures there is enough change in circulation for commerce and trade.
  • By producing such high volumes, it meets both domestic and international demands.

For anyone visiting Denver or interested in how money is made, this mint isn’t just educational—it’s also a testament to American industry and innovation.

4. Denver International Airport is home to a demon horse, also known as Blucifer, a notable piece of public art.

Denver’s airport greets visitors with an unexpected sight: a giant blue mustang with fiery red eyes. Known as Blucifer, this sculpture stands 32 feet tall and has become an iconic figure since its unveiling in 2008. The intense glare from its glowing red eyes can unsettle even the most seasoned travelers.

The artist behind this striking piece was Luis Jiménez. Tragically, during the creation process, part of the sculpture fell on him leading to fatal injuries. This accident occurred before he could see his completed work installed at the airport.

Blucifer is more than just an art installation; it serves as a gateway landmark welcoming people to Denver. However, it’s also shrouded in urban legends and spooky stories that add to its mystique. Some travelers whisper about curses while others jokingly blame flight delays on the demonic-looking steed.

Despite or perhaps because of these tales, Blucifer has captured both local and international attention:

  • It has sparked conversations about public art.
  • Its image circulates widely on social media.
  • It contributes to Denver’s unique cultural landscape.

Whether viewed as a masterpiece or something out of a nightmare, there’s no denying that Blucifer leaves an unforgettable impression on all who pass by it.

5. The Denver Art Museum houses one of the largest collections of Native American art.

The Denver Art Museum is a place where creativity meets history in a dazzling display. It’s not just any museum; it’s home to an incredible collection of Native American art that spans various tribes and time periods.

The museum’s galleries are filled with artifacts, jewelry, textiles, and pottery that each tell a story of the rich cultural heritage of Native American people. But the museum doesn’t stop there. It’s like a global art adventure under one roof, because it also features amazing works from all over the world. You’ll find European masterpieces with intricate details that look almost real enough to touch.

There are also Asian exhibits that include delicate porcelain and ancient sculptures, which give us a glimpse into the artistry of the East. For those who love modern and contemporary art, the museum has plenty to offer as well. You can see bold and colorful paintings and sculptures that challenge the mind and spark conversation.

Each piece is a conversation starter, asking viewers to think about the world in new ways. Art isn’t just for grown-ups at the Denver Art Museum. Kids will find lots of interactive exhibits designed just for them. They can get hands-on with activities that let them create their own masterpieces or go on scavenger hunts to discover hidden secrets within the art.

Things You Didn’t Know About Denver

There are so many things you didn’t know about Denver, right!?

Denver’s uniqueness extends beyond its mountainous backdrop, with a history peppered by Olympic rejections and culinary firsts. This tapestry of facts reveals a Denver less known, inviting explorers to delve deeper into its high-altitude heart.

Curiosity piqued?

Venture to Denver and experience the blend of urban charm and natural wonder firsthand. Engage with the city’s stories as you stroll through downtown or pause under the gaze of iconic sculptures. Denver awaits to share its secrets and surprises—discover them for yourself.

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