Upon bringing visitors to Westminster Colorado the first thing I show them is the view from College Hill Library, our castle of reading and workshops. From that hill they can see the sloping and dipping lush fields that stretch out to the mountains, as well as the quaint shops that make up our city. Westminster is about 15-20 minutes away from the mountains with their ski resorts, campsites, ziplines, hikes, and wildlife, as well as downtown with its bustling cultural life, theme parks, stadiums, theatres, and interactive museums.Westminsteris an idyllic central location, and there is plenty to do while you decide whether to visit the mountains or downtown.
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A bike can carry you most anywhere in Westminster, thanks to our crown jewel of trails, “The Big Dry Creek Trail” (far more aesthetically pleasing than it sounds). In my many biking ventures I have spotted cranes, bald eagles, beavers, golden finches, ducks and ducklings, baby bunnies, groundhogs, and foxes. Also spanning our trails is a massive Frisbee golf course, so you will also occasionally stumble across particularly attractive (and shirtless) Colorado men.
For those who prefer dazzling lights and a shopping experience, we have the Westminster Promenade. The promenade houses fountains– some that children can run wild and free in— sculptures, intricate architecture, the largest AMC 24 in Colorado, Panera Bread, an ice skating rink, Dave and Busters, MadCap Theatre (family friendly and hilarious every time!), Caribou Coffee (my favorite, with its warm fireplace and armchairs in the winter and outdoor seats overlooking fields for summer mornings), Nothing Bundt Cakes (always stop here for an interesting chat and free samples), and much more. Overlooking the Promenade sits the Westin with its queenly pond, and within walking distance sits a Drury Inn, and an upcoming Marriot.
Westminster loves free events (and I love free), and recent free workshops at College Hill Library have included discovering and compiling a scrapbook of your family history, and craft making. During the summer the Promenade lights up on Wednesday nights with free concerts (from classic Fire Fall to modern bands), and on Friday nights the City Park Lake turns into an under-the-stars movie screening, with food vendors and activities at 7:00 and movies at dusk. Some of us are far more taken with watching the stars than the movie, however.
If history is your thing, Westminster has it. It was gold in Little Dry Creek that initially led people to Westminster, in 1858. Shoenberg Farm was built by a man who wanted to donate dairy products and eggs to the National Jewish Hospital’s tuberculosis patients. Semper-Allison Farm is a favored educational visit, where folks learn about history, botany, and wildlife. The Williams house was occupied by a family who came to Westminster on covered wagon. But the Penguin Building’s cute story always sticks out in memory. During World War II, Raymond Nielson was a clerk, and sold cologne bottles in the shape of penguins. A girl named Mary would visit his shop and twist and turn all of the poor penguin’s heads as a joke. He finally caught the girl, yelled at her, and eventually dated her. They married and came to Westminster where they opened the drug store that we can still see today. Ray was the man who played a central role in bringing ambulance services to Westminster.
I identify with Westminster because I love the musical life I live here. It can be relaxing and orderly as notes on the page, or as thrilling and layered as a symphony. Come visit, but, like me, you may not want to leave.
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