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The USA's 19th largest city (pop. 693,000, metro area 3.1 million), and at 5,280 feet (1,609 meters) its highest-altitude, has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1859 as a gold-rush mining town. Sleepy at first, much of the "Mile-High City's" growth didn't pick up steam until the 1890s, with the real boom not kicking in till after World War II. Today, this dynamic, high-tech bastion is a major business, cultural, and sports power which trends young and cosmopolitan without letting go of its outdoors-oriented lifestyle.
Sitting on a rolling plain astride the South Platte River in north central Colorado just east of (not, as many assume, actually in) the Rocky Mountains, Denver has certainly not escaped many of the common urban ills of the early 21st century, but it does tend to be cleaner, more polite, and more progressive than many others in the United States.