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Once seen as the domain of cowboys and oilmen, today the mile-high metropolis is a cosmopolitan mix of natural beauty and world-class hotels, entertainment and attractions. The Denver Art Museum houses one of the finest collections of American Indian art in the world and hosts blockbuster traveling exhibits. The city is also the official home of several national teams: the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies, Rapids and Avalanche, meaning every season is sports season. Downtown Denver is the heart of the region and is home to the city's major sports venues, many of its cultural facilities, and a vibrant night-life and dining scene.
Even with all the big town glitz, Denver has managed to maintain its earthiness and small-town feel. Outdoor recreation is still a major draw. With 221 parks in city limits and 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby mountains, there is ample opportunity for hiking, biking, mountain climbing and more. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a legendary concert venue, with live music every summer amidst giant sandstone rock formations. Families visiting Denver won't know where to begin. The Denver Zoo, the Children's Museum, Downtown Aquarium, Museum of Nature and Science, Elitch Gardens Amusement Park and the Denver Botanic Gardens offer hours of entertainment. Or, pop by the United States Mint for a free tour. To prove that Denver really is "The Mile High City," head to the State Capitol. There's a spot on the west steps of the building that is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.