Colorado has a fascinating history and heritage, thanks to the inclusion of American Indian culture and a vast ancient past. The state is built on the backs of ranchers, gold miners, and frontiersmen, which is evident in the strength and resilience shown by the locals.
While gold mines and early explorers may be a thing of the past. There is still a sense of wild adventure in Colorado. With so much to explore, we have put together some of the most unique places to visit to discover Colorado’s rich history and culture.
Whether you’re visiting Colorado via Orlando airport transportation or you’re a resident, Colorado has so much to explore.
1. History Colorado Center
The History Colorado Center tells the story of the American West and Colorado through tales, art, and artifacts. There are more than 15 exhibits that are spread across four floors to capture the spirit of Colorado.
Opened in 2012, the museum is in Denver’s Golden Triangle Museum District. While there are past exhibitions, recent exhibitions have shaped human history and now inform the future on everything from the history of food, to race and more.
2. Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is home to the world’s adobe structures and beautiful sandstone that Colorado is famous for. Archeologists once referred to this park as the dwellings of the ancient enemy.
The phrase Mesa Verde refers to green tablelands and features circular and rectangular homes also referred to as kivas, built under an overhanging cliff. There’s also a defensible port that has natural curves used as a guide.
It appears that the dwellings were only inhabited for a century before a disaster struck. Theories suggest that there was a huge drought that forced people to move into New Mexico and Arizona.
Mesa Verde has a narrow road that allows you to drive a loop track or take a hike to explore the cliff dwellings.
3. Boulder Teahouse
Another must-visit site is the hand-crafted Boulder Teahouse. The teahouse was a project created by citizens of Tajikistan and was sent to the United States to be assembled. Unfortunately, it sat in storage for eight years before it could be put together and displayed. It was finally opened to the public in 1998 and features intricate decor details and colorful displays.
Located along Boulder Creek in Boulder, Colorado, the teahouse is now a semblance of rich culture and global friendship. The teahouse serves premium tea selections once a month, but it’s also open for afternoon tea daily. There is also an internationally influenced menu available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Boulder’s farmers market also takes place in front of the teahouse, which you can visit on Saturday mornings. You can also host private events like birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, or weddings at the teahouse for an event in a truly unique setting.
4. The Lyric
The Lyric is a dynamic and versatile entertainment spot that you can visit while in Colorado. Curated by an in-house art Czar, this space is a part live performance venue, part movie theater, and part art gallery. Featuring eclectic film screenings, unique art, and impressive performances The venue has evolved over the years to attract visitors from around the world.
Kids can play on the lawn that has the best outdoor views of the mountains. The venue also hosts stand-up comedy events, live music, circus performers, costume dance parties, dinners, and more.
The Lyric was first established in 2007 and has moved in different spaces before finally settling in Colorado.
5. Canyons of the Ancients
Canyons of the Ancient is home to more than 6,000 archeological sites with impressive historical treasures. The outdoor museum has plenty of information on Native American cultures.
Both the young and old can visit the museum and learn about the ancient people’s culture in terms of their homes, farms, and how they lived. Theories suggest that the Puebloans left the place in the 1100s and migrated to New Mexico and present-day Arizona.
With a history dating back to thousands of years, Canyons of the Ancient is also home to vast ruins and isolated canyons. Apart from learning more about history, the monument also has other activities like hiking, camping, and biking.
6. Tabor Opera House
Located in Leadville, Colorado, the Tabor Opera House was built in 1879 and features hand-painted stage curtains and solid brick walls. It’s estimated that the venue took 100 days to build and it cost close to $1 million when converted to today’s currency.
The Opera House hosted some notable names like Buffalo Bill and Oscar Wilde. Over the years, the monumental opera house went through different owners and was finally operated under the City of Leadville in 2016. A major renovation took place in 2020. Visitors are now welcome to experience the stage scenery and learn more about the historic building and its artifacts.
Each summer, Tabor Opera House hosts tours and it is expected that world-class performances will resume in the summer of 2022. The Opera House hopes to be a creative center for diverse arts and culture in Leadville.
Colorado has rich history and culture evident in its endless list of museums, art centers, parks, and restaurants. Our list has some of the best places with a distinctive history that you can visit to learn more about Colorado.