Why do people travel? Everyone has their reasons, but one of the most common reasons any typical traveler would give to explain their wanderlust is the desire to see new sights, explore different ideas, and learn things they never knew before. One of the best ways to learn and make the most of a vacation is by engaging and exchanging ideas with other travelers, and the best way to go about this is to stay in a hostel. Unlike hotels, which are often impersonal and bland, hostels are lively, friendly places with communal spaces to encourage each and every guest to come out of their shell and share with the others. Hostels will often even arrange organized activities and social events to help everyone have the best time. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
4.11th Avenue Hostel
3 Best Denver Hostels
- Overview, Photo: aphotostory/stock.adobe.com
- Hostel Fish, Photo: F8studio/stock.adobe.com
- Ember Hostel, Photo: Kalim/stock.adobe.com
- 11th Avenue Hostel, Photo: pressmaster/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jsnewtonian - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Forney Museum of Transportation
The Forney Museum of Transportation is a unique, one-of-a-kind museum that is dedicated to the history of transportation. The 70,000 square foot museum features a fascinating collection of over 600 items and artifacts relating to historical transportation, ranging from automobiles, bicycles, and buggies to steam locomotives, carriages, aircraft and more.
Established by Mr. J. D. Forney in 1960, the museum started with just a single 1921 Kissel from his private collection and slowly grew over the years into the renowned institution it is today. Located in Denver, Colorado, the Forney Museum of Transportation’s mission is to collect, exhibit and preserve artifacts and items of historical, cultural and technological interest relating to transportation for both the education and pleasure of the community.
The Forney Museum of Transportation currently houses a collection of more than 600 items, ranging from motor cars and bicycles to steam trains and fire engines, staying true to its motto of “Anything on Wheels.”
Highlights of the collection include Amelia Earhart's 1923 Kissel 'Gold Bug', an 1888 Denver Cable Car, Union Pacific 'Big Boy' Steam Locomotive #4005, a 1923 Case Steam Tractor, and a Stutz Fire Engine. Other unusual items in the collection include a 500 Piece Matchbox Collection, an array of motorcycles from India made between 1913 and 1953, and a Denver & Rio Grande Dining Car.
Unique pieces in the collection include the ‘1916 Detroit Electric Opera Coupe’ – a car produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in 1907 which was famous for its 'chainless' direct shaft drive, which appealed to mainly women drivers. Another beautiful automobile in the collection is the 1923 Hispano-Suiza Victoria Town Car, a six-cylinder, a six-wheel car built in Barcelona by Leon Rubay that featured in the 1933 film My Lips Betray and other war movies. A 1934 12-cylinder Pierce-Arrow Limousine is also on display, as well as a 1927 Rolls Royce, a 1912 Renault, and a Big Boy Locomotive.
The Forney Museum of Transportation offers an array of tours, including guided group and educational tours. Guided tours are conducted by knowledgeable staff and explore the history of the museum, the interesting artifacts in the museum’s collection, and the history and evolution of transportation. Guided tours need to be booked at least two weeks in advance.
Self-guided tours allow visitors to enjoy the museum and its collection of fabulous items at their own pace. The Museum also offer educational tours, which focus on specific topics and coincide with the educational goals of the Colorado State Educational Standards. Such topics include technological developments and industrial advancements in transportation, including Henry Ford’s assembly line, Westward expansion and industrial development, early technologies and the tools used to make them work, early aviation pioneers, such as Amelia Earhart and Frank Vandersarl, and technology, consumerism, the rise of suburban living and how the motor car is the core of the American lifestyle.
The Forney Museum of Transportation is located at 4303 Brighton Boulevard in Denver is open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4 pm. Museum parking is available on site and is free.
The Forney Museum offers its facilities to rent for public and private functions from conferences, social gatherings, meetings, parties and more. The main Exhibit Hall can cater for up to 500 standing guests and 350 seated guests in a banquet style, and the Meeting Room has a capacity for 100 standing guests and 60 seated. Amenities in both the Exhibit Hall and the Meeting Room include a special service area and staging area for caterers, a lectern, chairs and tables available for presentations, wheelchair accessibility, and separate space for check-in, gift tables, or silent auction tables.
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4303 Brighton Boulevard, Denver, Colorado 80216, Phone: 303-297-1113
Attraction Spotlight: Denver Zoo
Established in 1896, Denver Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the United States. Located in Denver inside the beautiful City Park, the zoo started when a black bear cub was presented to the mayor. Since then, its collection has continued to expand and it is currently home to more than 4,000 animals representing over 600 species.
In 1918, it became the first zoo in the United States to adopt naturalistic zoo enclosures. The Bear Mountain exhibit featured artificial rock formations made out of plaster casts that were modeled after natural cliffs near Morrison, Colorado. Animals could live in surroundings made to resemble their natural environment rather than behind bars or fences, so visitors could see them at eye level.
Today, the zoo attracts more than 2 million visitors a year and it strives to be a leader in conservation efforts in protecting different species and their natural ecosystems. They have focused their efforts not only at the compound with their conservation education center, but they are also sponsoring projects around the world. Since 1996, it has taken part in more than 600 projects in 62 countries, committing more than $1.5 million annually to field conservation. Currently, its main efforts are focused in: Botswana, Mongolia, Vietnam, Rocky Mountains/Great Plains and The Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia area.
The facility is also exploring ways of providing an interactive experience to engage and educate the public about its conservation efforts. One such idea is the creation of a two-story tree to educate about the different ecosystems that exist inside a rainforest. For its commitment to conservation and sustainability, the zoo has been awarded with numerous accolades, including the title of the “Greenest Zoo in the Country.” In 2011, it was the first recipient of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Green Award that recognizes its environmentally friendly programs. It was also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2012, affirming its delivery of high standards in animal care and welfare.
The exhibits span over 80 acres of the facility comprising species from all around the world from hoofed mammals to birds. It is also home to many endangered and rare species, including the okapi, Amur leopard, red-bellied lemur, Siberian tiger and black rhinoceros. These animals are divided into various exhibits, including Bear Mountain, Primate Panorama, Elephant Passage and Benson Ridge.
Built in 1918, this was the zoo’s first naturalistic habitat in North America to house an orphaned black bear cub that was presented to the mayor of Denver. Back then, this was a revolutionary design because people were able to view animals at eye level without visible bars or fences. At the same time, its enclosures were landscaped such that the animals could roam about in man-made surroundings that were modeled after their natural habitats, rather than in tiny confined spaces. The historic exhibit is now officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Currently, the exhibit contains grizzly bears, Asiatic black bears and coati. Other features in the section are Monkey Island and Sheep Mountain, two all-time favorites among children. The former features an island housing spider monkeys, langurs and capuchin monkeys, while aquatic birds live in the moat surrounding it. Kids will enjoy the train ride, carousel and woodland garden that are found in the area.
The award-winning Predator Ridge houses the zoo’s African animals, including two prides of lions, hyenas and African wild dogs. In 2006, it won the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums ‘Exhibit of the Year’ award that recognizes the zoo’s excellence in conserving and constructing exhibit space that preserves the animal’s health and well-being.
Staying true to its theme, the exhibit was designed to recreate part of the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya with rock outcroppings, native brush and termite mounds. Apart from its naturalistic design, it is also unique because of its rotational exhibit approach that targets social African carnivores.
The animals are alternated among three different habitats to encourage their instinctive development because the odor left behind by previous inhabitants are supposed to stimulate their sense of smell and encourage them to mark their territories. The aim of this flexible arrangement is to regularly arouse their natural behavior and expand their experiences. This also provides them with exercise opportunities to keep fit physically. Furthermore, repeat visitors are treated to a potentially different animal viewing experience here.
The zoo describes the Elephant Passage as the facility’s ‘crown jewel’ with more than 10 acres of land dedicated to showcasing animals from Asia. Some of the animals featured are greater one-horned rhinos, Malayan tapirs and clouded leopards. Most notably, the exhibit has one of the largest elephant habitats in North America, which also has a significant population of bull elephants. An interesting fun fact is that the zoo pumps in more than one million gallons of water to ensure that the animals have enough water for swimming and bathing.
Like the Predator Ridge, animals in this compound are also routinely rotated among five yards, with the sixth exclusively reserved for the tapirs. Three animal crossings stretching more than 2 miles are built to accommodate these movements. The design of habitats in this section encompasses features such as mud wallows, scratching trees and shade structures. Guests can also expect to see gibbons swinging over their heads.
The exhibition also shows how humans interact and coexist with wildlife and the environment in Asia, such as the destructive powers that elephants can cause to rural villages and how Asian religions relate to animals. Along the way, they highlight the rich cultural connection people have with animals and emphasize on the importance of protecting places for wildlife. Additionally, there is a daily giraffe feeding session where visitors can hand-feed the world’s tallest land creature.
In line with the zoo’s belief in constructing naturalistic enclosures, Primate Panorama features open-air mesh tents that rise up to four-story’s high and stretch across 7 acres for monkeys to swing around. Meet tree-dwelling monkeys including colobus monkeys and red-capped mangabeys that are likely to be climbing on the twisted vines. Meanwhile, gorillas and orangutans are housed in separate spaces covered with abundant foliage, rocks, climbing ropes and hammocks to ensure they have plenty of room to move around and rest.
Tropical Discovery is home to some 140 species of plants, 123 species of fish and more than 1,200 animals from mammals to invertebrates. They are housed inside a conservatory to maintain temperatures that support a complex rainforest environment, comprising coral reef, tropical marsh, cypress and mangrove swamps. It is in these controlled conditions that visitors have the opportunity to experience a unique ecosystem that supports immense diversity in the tropics. One of the highlights of this exhibit is the endangered Komodo dragon, which is the largest lizard on earth that has killed and eaten humans.
The Feline House was the zoo’s second big hit after Bear Mountain when it opened in 1963. Today it is home to a wide variety of cats, including the Siberian tiger and Amur leopard that used to roam Russia and the Far East. The World Wildlife Foundation classifies them as endangered and critically endangered respectively, and they are both found at the Denver Zoo.
Guests are welcomed by a waterfall, tropical plants and a cacophony of bird squawks at the indoor aviary. From colorful parrots to pink flamingos, more than 200 species of birds are allowed to fly freely among trees and above humans uncaged. There is also a nearby feeding area for zoo visitors to feed lories and lorikeets, as well as other outdoor exhibits, including an exhibit on African and Humboldt penguins.
The Northern Shores is a family favorite, particularly the highly popular daily sea lion show that has delighted children and adults alike. The aquatic-themed exhibit showcases polar bears, seals, sea lions and river otters among other marine animals.
Located in its vicinity is a kids play area that features a sand digging area, climbing web and rock structures for them to explore and have fun. During the warm summer months, the zoo will open the tidal pool that has a running shallow stream for children to splash in and cool off from the heat.
2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205
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