Things to do to avoid downtown on Inauguration Day

Politics and the pandemic got you down? Join us on four very Denverite-y adventures.

Sunset over Denver. Oct. 16, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Sunset over Denver. Oct. 16, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Kevin J. Beaty
KEVIN-lighter

Looking for something to do to avoid politics or any possible conflicts? Consider taking a tour with us to learn a little something about the city.

Click the direct links to open these maps on your phone. Tap the destinations to learn more about each spot.

Option 1: The Santa Fe Drive history tour

Click here for a direct link to this map.

Visit the epicenter of Denver’s Chicano movement. Don’t forget to eyeball the many art galleries you’ll pass along the way.

Here are the pins on this map:

Chicano progress today owes much to the Denver West High blowouts of 50 years ago

After decades of entertainment on Sante Fe Drive, the Aztlan Theatre faces its future

Santa Fe Drive was once a hub for the Chicano movement, paving the way for arts and development

El Taco De Mexico has hardly changed since 1986, and no one is complaining

Samsonite popularized the durable suitcase. The Denver home of its founder is now officially durable, too

Option 2: The Five Points history tour

Click here for a direct link to this map.

Walk Welton Street and absorb the history of “the Harlem of the West,” once a major hotspot for jazz musicians and Denver’s historic Black neighborhood. Redlining and other racist housing policies forced people of color to live here in the 19th century. Gentrification has eroded its legacy; knowing your history is one way to combat erasure.

Here are the pins on this map:

The lives Justina Ford touched

Meet the secret society that infiltrated Denver’s Ku Klux Klan during the height of its power

Welton Street Cafe celebrates a milestone; Five Points celebrates culture and community

Meet Charlie Burrell, the “Jackie Robinson of music”

Norman Harris Sr., one of Five Points’ mainstays, never stopped walking the neighborhood.

How the Catholic Worker house’s legacy helping people experiencing homelessness spread across Denver, across years

 

Option 3: The Five Points/RiNo mural tour

 

Click here for a direct link to this map.

In 2020, Denverite culture reporter Maggie Donahue asked a slew of local artists to name their favorite murals in town. The project resulted in a series of maps with art across the city. In the link above, give you the picks in and around Five Points’ RiNo Art District.

Option 5: Go see some wildlife at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

Click here for a direct link to this map.

This one’s not a walking tour. If you have a car, it’s a pretty great way to burn some hours.

According to a flyer at the visitor center, which is closed due to COVID-19, you’re liable to see: pelicans, herons, cormorants, bald eagles, mule and white-tail deer, songbirds, coyotes, bison, prairie dogs, red-tail and Swainson’s hawks, burrowing owls and lots of insects. Gold stars to anyone who collects five or more.

The Arsenal has a dark history. During World War II, it was the site of a U.S. Army chemical weapons factory. Napalm, mustard gas and sarin poison were all manufactured there. After the war, private companies moved in to manufacture pesticides there. The land was contaminated for decades, until a massive cleanup effort began in the 1980s. Some of the land there is still cordoned off with hazardous waste warnings posted to the fencing, but plenty has been remediated. Officials from Commerce City, which encompasses the Arsenal, have said beneficial reuse has overtaken its weaponized past.

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Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.