Denver played a pivotal role in the Old West and we like to celebrate that fact. If you’re into the Old West, or just interested in history, our city has plenty to offer. As well as hundreds of museums and galleries to indulge a love of culture, we have a few venues dedicated to the pioneers and the first settlers.
Here are our top picks for Old West heritage in Denver.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART
The American Museum of Western Art is a collection of works with the American West as the theme. The museum is also home to the Anschutz Collection, a series of paintings on the theme. A city center building, the museum is a great way to spend a few hours getting lost in the Old West.
BLACK AMERICAN WEST MUSEUM
The Black American West Museum is an eye-opener to say the least. This museum preserves the culture and history of the thousands of African Americans who helped build this great country. The museum seeks to provide the platform and awareness that African Americans deserve for their efforts.
BUFFALO BILL MUSEUM AND GRAVE
This venue honors one of the most famous names in the Wild West, Buffalo Bill. The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is set on Lookout Mountain and features the grave, museum and a number of regular Wild West shows and artifacts. There is also a children’s play area and snack bar.
WESTERN MUSEUM OF MINING AND INDUSTRY
The Western Museum of Mining and Industry allows visitors to step back in time to the Gold Rush and after. A living museum with steam engines, live actors, gold panning and nature trails makes this a great day out for all the family.
HISTORY COLORADO CENTER
The History Colorado Center is a new building that provides high tech, hands-on museum exhibits from all areas of the city’s and Colorado’s history, including the Old West. This is a great day out that celebrates 10,000 years of the area’s history.
West SouthWest is more a store than museum, but offers the opportunity to view art, sculpture, crafts and Native American objects from the West. It’s also a nice place to hang out and browse for a couple of hours.
Each of these venues is in Denver, or within easy reach of it. Each offers a different perspective on the Old West and has the capability to teach something different about every aspect of life in the 19th century.
They are all worthy of a visit and will open your eyes to life as it was back then. We each owe our way of life to those first settlers and miners and these places show you just how they helped build our country.