Introduction to Westminster, Colorado
Westminster is a Colorado city located in Adams and Jefferson Counties, about 13 miles northwest of Denver, the state capital, and 18 miles southeast of the city of Boulder. Westminster is bisected by U.S. Route 36 (also known as the Denver/Boulder Turnpike) and is adjacent to Interstates I-25, I-70 and I-76. Denver International Airport (DIA) is situated only 30 minutes away from the city, which is also adjacent to one of the state's largest corporate airports, Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.
Early settlement in the Westminster area coincided with the discovery of gold on Little Dry Creek in 1858 and was strengthened by the subsequent enactment of the Homestead Act of 1862, which attracted many settlers from the east. Westminster's first permanent settler was Pleasant DeSpain, who built his home in 1870 on 160 acres of farmland, and the area soon became known as DeSpain Junction. Other settlers soon followed, one of the more prominent being Edward Bruce Bowles, a horse breeder whose large red brick home stands today as a local museum. Another early settler was C.J. Harris, a real estate developer from Connecticut who inspired the community's name change to Harris. In 1911, Harris became incorporated as a city and underwent yet another name change, this time to Westminster, in honor of a local school (Westminster University) modeled after Princeton University.
Westminster Places of Interest
Westminster offers a wide assortment of recreational, historic, and artistic options to enjoy. Lovers of history can turn back the hands of time and explore Westminster as it was a century ago by visiting the Bowles House Museum, housed in a converted farmhouse originally constructed between 1871 and 1876. The city's Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center offers fascinating insight into invertebrates, science, and conservation; where visitors can explore an indoor tropical rainforest surrounded by nearly 1,200 live butterflies. Westminster's City Hall features a staircase whose 181 stairs climbs to a bell tower with a fabulous view of the Rocky Mountains. The Westminster Promenade is an outdoor pedestrian business and entertainment venue which includes children's play areas, outdoor restaurants and cafes, and numerous trails.
Activities in Denver or Boulder are only a 20 minute drive in either direction and there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding metropolitan areas. Among the more popular sights and sounds are:
- Hyland Hills Water World: One of the nation's largest water parks with over 60 acres of water slides, tubes, waves and beaches
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
- Denver Zoo
- Six-Flags Elitch Gardens
- Denver Aquarium
- Chautauqua Park and Theatre (Boulder)
The Denver metro area is also home to several top professional sports teams. Denver's Pepsi Center is the host site of the National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth, the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets, the Arena Football League's Colorado Crush, and the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League. Other major league teams in Denver include the Denver Broncos of the National Football League, Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies, and Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids.