Though Denver is near the mountains, it is not actually in them. However, Denver is known as “The Mile High City” because it is exactly 1 mile (5,280 feet / 1,609 meters) above sea level. To demarcate this, there are several “Mile High Markers” around the city’s unique neighborhoods. One of the best-known markers is on the 13th step of the west side of the Colorado State Capitol building, located in the heart of Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District, where visitors can also find some of the city’s top cultural institutions.

Another is located in the historic LoDo (Lower Downtown) neighborhood at Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. The “mile high” row is Rockies purple and sits well above the diamond, offering stunning views of the city and the Rocky Mountains. The Mile High Loop at City Park in the Uptown neighborhood has several markers that point to where the trail hits exactly a mile high, including one by the Denver Zoo. At the east end of the park, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s skyview terrace is also a mile high and boasts one of the best views of the city skyline and the Rocky Mountains in the distance.

Denver is known as “The Mile High City” because it sits exactly 1 mile above sea level. The city boasts this proudly on various “Mile High Markers” around town, including one in the historic LoDo neighborhood at Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. Photo courtesy of the Colorado Rockies

For more information on the Official Gateway City of Denver, visit VisitDenver.com.

Considering that the Cody Yellowstone region covers 6,967 square miles, you’d think it would be near impossible to know many of its 30,000 residents.

In this corner of Wyoming, however, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s unusual to walk into a restaurant, store, bar or cowboy music show and not at least recognize the locals. As anyone who grew up in a small town can tell you, the person ringing up your groceries can be your neighbor three doors down and his kids are on your kids’ soccer team. Oh, and their coach operates the horseback riding concession at a local campground.

“It’s a little like everyone’s favorite watering hole,” said Ryan Hauck, executive director of the Park County Travel Council’s Cody Yellowstone, comprised of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, Wyoming, and parts of Yellowstone National Park. “The faces become familiar, and pretty soon everybody knows your name.”

The open spaces contribute to this phenomenon. It’s easier to recognize a fellow angler when she is the only other person on the river. And on the road, it doesn’t take long before you recognize both a person and his vehicle.

The best way to deal with such familiarity … tap your glasses and say “Cheers.”

Despite the huge area covered by the Cody Yellowstone region, all of the 30,000 locals seem to know each other. Photo courtesy of Buffalo Bill’s Cody

For more information on Cody, visit CodyYellowstone.org.

While thousands of people flock to Wyoming for a taste of the freshest steak in ranchland, the locals in Cheyenne will tip you off to a much different and perhaps unexpected culinary experience: green chile. Very few foods spark such an intense debate as this unique sauce. Nearly every restaurant has their own version of the gravy – and people are fiercely loyal to their favorite!

Poured generously over everything from burritos to fries to omelets, the gravy varies widely in consistency, spiciness and ingredients. The roux base is flavored with one or more of the seven varieties of green chile peppers, which determine the “heat” (spiciness) of the sauce. Many incorporate ground sausage or shredded meat, some are spoon-worthily creamy and others absorb into the food quickly, but all of them are a unique taste of Cheyenne.

Many establishments lay claim to the best green chile in town, so a sampling of the variations should be on your Cheyenne vacation to-do list. If you want to eat like a local, incorporating a breakfast burrito with the good stuff is a must. Keep an eye out for burgers, traditional Mexican dishes and a variety of side dishes, too. You really can’t go wrong!

Green chile-smothered breakfast burrito at the Luxury Diner in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Visit Cheyenne / Whitney James

For more information on Cheyenne, visit Cheyenne.org.