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10 Colorado Destinations Steeped in History

Dinosaurs, cowboys, miners, and more Colorado’s past is filled to the brim with amazing history which has helped it to become the vacation destination that so many have fallen in love with. Colorado boasts 24 National Historic Landmarks and more than 1,400 properties and historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These historic landmarks and places hold the stories of the many men, women, and creatures who came before us. Whether it’s experiencing the ancient Pueblos, traveling through a silver mine, or viewing fossils from eons ago, you’ll find history at every turn.

Here are 10 Colorado destinations steeped in history.

1. Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District

Originally designated a National Historic Landmark on November 13, 1966, the Georgetown-Silver Plume Historic District is consists of Georgetown, Silver Plume and the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park. This is a site containing an immense amount of history about the Colorado Silver Boom which took place from 1864 to 1893.

2. Granada Relocation Center

A Japanese American internment camp that was put in place by Franklin D Roosevelt in 1942 after the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. At one point this camp contained 7,318 Japanese Americans. The camp is located just south of Granada and was designated a National Historic Landmark on February 10, 2006.

10 Colorado Destinations Steeped in History

3. Telluride Historic District

With 80 acres of inspiring history, the Telluride Historic District used to be home to hundreds of miners during the gold mining boom. Today it has become a beautiful place to visit and see Late Victorian and Gothic Revival architecture as well experience a local ski town culture.

4. Pikes Peak

The original inspiration for “America the Beautiful” Pikes Peak became a National Historic Landmark on July 4, 1961. Well known as one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners, Pikes Peak is the only fourteener that has a drivable road up to the summit.

5. Lowry Ruin

The archeological site was first built around 1060 AD by the ancient Pueblo people. It was inhabited by between 40 to 100 people for over 165 years before being abandoned. It became a National Historic Landmark on July 19th 1964.

6. Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel No. 6

The Philadelphia Toboggan Company built this carousal for Elitch Gardens in 1905. The carousal is the only one left in the US that still has its original paint.

7. Rocky Mountain National Park Administration Building

Designated on January 3rd 2001 as a National Historic Landmark, the building was designed by Taliesin Associated Architects, and is also known as the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.

8. Mesa Verde National Park

Located in Montezuma County, Mesa Verde National Park is home to many ruins left by the ancient Pueblo people. This site is listed as both a National Historic Landmark as well as a National Historic Site and a National Park.

9. Dinosaur National Monument

Located in the Uinta Mountains, this monument is shared between Colorado and Utah. Fossils found in this area date back to the Jurassic period and can be as old as 150 million years.

10. Central City Opera House

The building of the Opera House was financed through fundraising efforts of the citizens of Central City in 1877. Performances by Buffalo Bill and the P.T. Barnum’s circus are just a few of the opera houses defining moments.

As you plan your next Colorado vacation, be sure to include at least one historical stop.

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