In 1858 Denver was settled by a few guys from Kansas looking for gold on the edge of the South Platte River. Since that time Denver has distanced itself from its Kansas roots and rarely mentions the fact that it was named after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver.
Denver has a fascinating history and the tours can help you deepen your understanding...but be careful when looking up Denver Tours….because the chances are fairly good that you will get a Colorado tour…which is fine if you want a daytrip.
If you want a tour though you need to make a decision....do you want a walking tour or do you want a tour by car or bus?
Denver has a couple of great walking tours and these guys know their stuff.
First is Kevin Rucker…a local college professor who teaches history and on the tour he focuses on LoDo..which us locals say…but others know LoDo as Lower Downtown.
His tours are entertaining and he does them biweekly…he takes on a persona as an old time carnival barker type…or at least that’s what he reminds me of.
The tour begins at 1445 Larimer Street and you have your choice of the kid friendly tour on Wednesdays from 3pm to 5pm or you can go to the 21 years and older which is 3pm to 6pm on Saturdays…the adult tour will discuss some of the more adult themed topics from Denver’s past...like brothels and prohibition era events.
They have a sort of partnership with another outfit that conducts a tour of the Molly Brown House who was famous as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” a name she earned by being on the Titanic..and legend has it she was rescued on a lifeboat and helped to look for former passengers.
Another tour that I like is put on by local author Phil Goodstein...I think the name of his company is Leonard and Leonard...Phil focuses on the hidden Denver...like the haunted houses or where infamous crimes happened. His books are essential reading but they are not like a textbook they are more like somebody confiding a secret…interesting stuff and I have to recommend him for several reasons..I think the main one is that he has a good sense of humor with his lectures but he is able to come up with these unsavory parts of Denver’s past and actually show you where they happened.
He gives tours in many different neighborhoods.
Denver Tours are pretty varied…and from what I understand there are several others that are good but I only write about what I know..not about what I hear..sorry.
Denver tours are focused on downtown and they seem to be late afternoon..but for kids I think the Platte River Trolley and Denver Children’s Museum are worth taking a look at…please keep your eyes on this site for frequent updates and entries that will focus more on daytrips and Colorado tours convenient to Denver…but not in Denver.
Denver Tours can be scheduled or you can hop in the car and go where the spirit moves you…these tours are just a starting point for you to discover some history.