Denver is one of the nation's youngest major cities, and with a population of several million and rising, is rapidly becoming one of its largest. From its inauspicious beginnings as a gold miner's town, Denver has grown to become the capitol of Colorado and the crossroads of the west, with interstates leaving for various parts of the country in five directions.
Buffered by the Rockies and protected from the extremes of the Plains, residents and visitors to Denver enjoy a mild climate that is surprisingly pleasant. The Mile High City is popular with skiers, who can visit the large number of ski resorts with a few hours' drive (including Keystone, Loveland, and Arapahoe Basin), and with outdoors enthusiasts who love the recreation opportunities in the Front Range and nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
Denver is also known as a cultural center of the mountain west area. The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the world's largest performing arts center under one roof, with dozens of annual performances by traveling groups or the city's own ballet, dance, and opera companies. The Red Rocks Amphitheater plays host to some of the nation's top bands among the sandstone foothills, and the Denver Art Museum has the largest collection of artwork between Kansas and the West Coast.
Denver is located in north central Colorado at the crossroads of I-70 and I-25.