Let's be honest, Denver, CO is a pretty dang cool place - so cool that it attracts thousands of visitors and tourists every day! Believe it or not, beyond the typical tourist attractions, the Mile High City has some of the most unique destinations in the nation that you wouldn't even believe existed. But don't just take my word for it, check out this list of surreal places and be convinced that Denver just gained some extra awesome-points.
International Church of Cannabis
Where: 400 S Logan St
This psychedelic church will definitely get you closer to God. Colorado is a dope state. Imagine the attendance at this church. Ok, I will stop with the puns, but seriously, this place is pretty freakin' sweet even if you aren't that into Mary J. There are still few places in the nation where cannabis is openly talked about. The church is home to members who refer to themselves as "Elevationists." Anyone else feeling spiritual?
Denver Cat Company
Where: 3929 Tennyson St
Arts, cats, cafe. It doesn't get much better than this. Hang out with adoptable cats, grab a drink or snack, attend a cat-painting event, and perhaps purchase a souvenir or two. No matter what you do, you can expect to have some friendly furry company.
National Ice Core Lab
Where: Denver Federal Center Building 810
This place is cool AF, literally. Scientists store around 10 miles worth of ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland here, keeping it from melting for no other reason than to study it of course! The ice cores are studied to provide clues and information about the Earth's changing climates. I can't help but wonder how many backup generators they have at any given time.
Where: 2030 West 30th Avenue
The taste of death is nothing new for Linger Eatuary. This exotic eating establishment was once the Olinger Mortuary, one of Colorado's largest funeral organizations who was responsible for organizing half of the city's funerals - most famed for housing the body of late star Buffalo Bill Cody in 1917 for 6 months until he was finally buried in Colorado.
Indian Hot Springs
Where: 302 Soda Creek Road, Idaho Springs
The Colorado lifestyle is all about natural relaxation. A short drive west of the city will take you to a spectacular 125-degree natural mineral hot spring known as Indian Hot Springs that you can spend all day letting your fingers get pruney in. I can't be the only one wishing they had one of these in their backyard.
Where:16831 W Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
Not quite Jurassic Park, but close. On the outskirts of the city lies the top dinosaur track site in the United States! You can clearly see the outline of fossilized Dinosaur tracks in the surrounding rock, and you can get up close and personal.
Where: 1874 South Broadway
This blast-from-the-past shop is full of nostalgic 80's and 90's memorabilia, featuring everything from toys to clothing - and, well, just about everything your childhood was made up of.
'Unsinkable' Molly Brown House
Where: 1340 Pennsylvania Street
The former home of one of the Titanic's most heroic survivors, Margaret Brown, now stands as a museum commemorating not only the 'unsinkable' boat but mainly Ms. Brown's early life and courageous efforts during the tragedy.
Where: 1000 Osage St. at 10th St
How about a side of a dead stuffed animal with your meal at no extra cost? The Buckhorn Exchange is a taxidermy lovers dream, filled from wall to wall with the skins of many once living animals. If that doesn't do it for you, maybe the exotic menu choices will: rattlesnake, alligator tail, buffalo sausage, elk, quail, game hen, pheasant, venison, and of course the menu wouldn't be complete without Rocky Mountain Oysters aka. bull testicles.
Where: Cheesman Park
If you like walking on the wild side, Cheeseman Park may be just the place for you. This seemingly inconspicuous park sits atop a mass gravesite, once one of Colorado's largest cemeteries during its prime. While some of the bodies were exhumed and relocated before the park's construction, thousands of others are estimated to still remain buried in the park - unmarked and forgotten. As I'm sure you have already assumed, this area is suspect to hauntings and is often considered one of America's most haunted destinations.
Denver Zine Library
Where: 2400 Curtis Street
Calling all magazine lovers! The Denver Zine Library is an artistic library space stocked with over 15,000 small self-published magazines. The visionaries behind the interesting spot are writers Jamez Terry and Kelly Shortandqueer, who have been collecting and sharing zines since the early 2000's.
The Miller Building
Where: 1401 Larimer Street
Don't let the new name fool you, this was once the spot of Denver's most storied speakeasies, Gahan's Saloon. This old building has an interesting story; the saloon was originally opened by Irishman, William Gahan, and was passed down to his son after his death in 1913. After prohibition took effect in 1917 William Gahan Jr. renamed the spot "Gahan’s Soft Drink Parlor." It soon became a locally famous speakeasy, boasting some great games of poker, booze, and people who could keep a secret. After it's closure, it laid dormant for decades until it was reopened as a social center in the 1960's.
Denver Mountain Park
Where: Denver Mountain Park, Evergreen
These are the views that new car commercials are made of. The mountainous pathways and roads of the Denver Mountain Park offer some of the most beautiful views of the nation's western hemisphere. Oh, and don't forget to check out Denver's only treeless park here, Summit Lake Park, pictured below.
Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast
Where: 1572 Race St
Feel like royalty at this enchanting Denver bed and breakfast. Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast is a beautifully designed mansion, built in 1889 using rusticated lava stone, a vision of architect William Lang. Believe it or not, Lang was also the architect of the Molly Brown House, and over 300 others in the area, although less than 100 still stand today.
Twist & Shout Records
Where: 2508 E Colfax Ave
Just take those old records off the shelf - Twist & Shout is the largest record store around, even considered one of the top music destinations in the country! You know, today's music ain't got the same soul, I like that old time rock 'n' roll.
Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys
Where: 1880 N Gaylord St
Useful lifesize items are totally overrated, miniature replicas are where it's at. From rare mini tea sets to unique dollhouse furniture, you can bet this Denver Museum full of over 10,000 miniature items features it. Prepare to be overwhelmed by all the cuteness.
Where: 1634 18th St
This brewery appears normal, well, at least until you look at the drink menu... Have you ever craved the taste of bull testicle beer? If you answered yes, you are definitely a minority, but at Wynkoop Brewery you can order up a brew made with 25 lbs worth of the bulls' family jewels. Sounds gross but curiosity killed the cat, and I hear it doesn't taste half bad - so, will you be daring enough to try it?
Denver Money Museum
Where: 1020 16th St Mall
If you love the green stuff - calm down, I'm talking about money - you will definitely enjoy seeing $30 million in cold hard cash at the Denver Money Museum. For a place that is all about money, it is a nice surprise that admission is totally free.
Four Mile Historic Park
Where: 715 S Forest St
The Four Mile Historic Park is home to Denver's oldest standing building, built in 1859 which served as a stagecoach stop on the Cherokee Trail. That's pretty freakin' old.
Potager Resturant and Wine Bar
Where: 1109 Ogden Street
If you prefer an organic dinner choice, it doesn't get any more so than at Potager. This restaurant makes dishes with only farm-fresh produce from the farms that they partner closely with, and for fish - well, it comes straight from the sea of course.
City of Denver Buffalo Herd
Where: I-70 Exit 254, Golden
Buffalo have inhabited the lands of Colorado long before the Europeans arrived, and according to the denver.org website, the City of Denver’s Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve, only a short drive west of the city, features 40 buffalo, direct descendants of the last wild buffalo herd left in America, in a natural setting – the only city-maintained herd in the entire country.
The Wizard's Chest
Where: 451 Broadway
This is a cosplayer's dream come true. The Wizard's Chest is a unique costume and toy store full of otherworldly displays and art. Seriously, no need to make costumes when you have a store like this to do all the hard work for you.
Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
Where: 987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Rd, Golden
It's not every day that you get to learn about the life and death of an Old West legend. The legendary wild west star, Buffalo Bill, has a whole museum right here in Denver dedicated to showing off his eccentric and memorable mid-1800's lifestyle. The museum includes artifacts once owned by Bill, firearms, Native American objects, and obviously his grave.