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Denver started life as a gold-rush boomtown, but unlike many of its lost-to-history peers, the Mile High City has spent the past century and a half on a steady rise. Sunny, progressive and ever-evolving, the metropolitan area sits at the doorstep of abundant natural resources—from bison-filled prairies to red-rock canyons to snow-capped mountains—while its cultural offerings have always punched above their weight class. (For proof, just check out the stellar Denver Art Museum.) And in recent years, a new class of young creatives has worked to revitalize the city’s lesser-explored corners into some of the nation’s biggest urban-renewal success stories.