Denver Museums continued...
The Molly Brown House Museum, has become a major tourist attraction in the state. Each year approximately 40,000 people visit the house to learn about the lifestyle enjoyed by Victorian Denver's upper-middle class and gain a glimpse into the life of Denver's unsinkable lady.
The museum is minutes from I-25 and downtown Denver - three blocks east of the State Capitol and 1.5 blocks south of Colfax at 1340 Pennsylvania Street.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown's
South of Denver is the Denver University Anthropology Museum. It is small but has the redeeming benefit of being free and very interesting to those with some interest in Anthropology.
West of Denver, in Golden, you will find the Colorado Railroad Museum. It is located at 17155 W. 44th Avenue and can be reached by driving west from Denver on Interstate 70 and following the signs. If you would rather not drive, you can take RTD bus #44 West from the downtown terminal (at 16th and Larimer) and transfer to route 17 at Applewood.
Another popular museum in Denver is the "Wings over the Rockies" air museum. It is located on the former air force base at 7711 East Academy Parkway. Featuring a number of military aircraft from the 1930's to the 1990's.
Four miles west of downtown is the Four Mile Historic Park. A former stage stop, it has Denver's oldest standing building, a "soddy".
Also in Denver, you might want to visit the Mizel Museum of Judaica. It is located at 560 South Monaco Parkway, not far east of Downtown. (South Monaco Parkway is not too far from the Denver Zoo, and The Natural History Museum)
There are a number of other museums in the Denver metropolitan area. Most of them are devoted to local history or certain specialty crafts such as quilting (the
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, 1111 Washington Ave, Golden, northwest of the city of Denver.
Also northwest of Denver are the mining and city history museums of Golden, Lafayette and Louisville. The last two cities can be reached off the Boulder-Denver turnpike, U.S. 36. If you exit from 36 at Broomfield and go North on U.S. 287 you will reach Lafayette. The museum is just East of the old U.S. 287 (now superceded by a bypass just West of town) at 106 East Simpson Street.
The Louisville History Museum is located on Main Street just north of downtown Louisville. With restricted hours so you should call before driving up. Louisville is easily reached by local bus from Boulder (route #227.)
The best view of Denver is the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave located on Lookout Mountain just off I-70; only 30 minutes from downtown Denver. The view of Denver is fantastic with viewers available for getting a better look. The air is fresh, brisk and smells of pines!
South of Denver, in the old town of Littleton, now a thriving city, is The Littleton Historical Museum. The Littleton Historical Museum is a 14 acre site encompassing an 1860's farm and 1890's farm with costumed interpreters portraying the lives of residents from Littleton's past.
Another museum worth a good look, especially for children, is the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center in Westminister. To get there from downtown, take Interstate 25 North and get off on US 36 - The Boulder-Denver Turnpike. Go West on 36 until you pass Sheridan Boulevard and take the next exit on 104th Avenue. The Pavilion is just a short distance off the exit to the east.
This museum was the first nonprofit invertebrate museum in the country. About half is dedicated to butterflies and moths - live ones who fly around and light on your head or shoulder for a rest if you smell or look appetizing. But don't be afraid, they don't bite. They are beautiful and were collected from all over the world.
The Butterfly Pavilion
and Insect Center
On the other side of the building is an insect museum with live and dead specimens of some of the world's most interesting species. There is a working beehive as well as a thriving ant colony on site. Occasionally one of the curators will help you to hold one of the creatures, if you are interested. A favorite is one of the tarantulas who, contrary to most people's belief are relatively tame and friendly. As long as you don't squeeze or startle them, they won't bite.
The museum is starting a section on sea invertebrates with two small aquariums, one holding life from the Atlantic ocean and one the Pacific. These are almost as colorful as the butterflies. The museum fee for admission is $6.50 to get in unless you are a child or over 62. Children get in for $2.50 and senior citizens for $4.
There are other museums in most towns and cities in Colorado. Many of these are easily reachable by car on a day trip from Denver. These include The El Pueblo Museum in Pueblo, The Fort Vasquez Museum in Platteville, Colorado and the Georgetown Loop Historic Railroad. Somewhat farther but reachable on a three day weekend or less are the Healy House/Dexter Cabin Museum in Leadville, the Fort Garland Museum in Fort Garland, Pike's Stockade in La Jara Pike's Stockadelocated east of Sanford, is a replica of a log stockade built by Zebulon Pike in 1807. The Trinidad History Museum in Trinidad, Colorado and the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose. These are all run by the Colorado Historical Society.
As you can see the possibilities are almost endless. So have a great time exploring the museums of Denver! Museum Links