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Central City: Colorado’s Richest History

Did you know Central City has been dubbed “The Richest Square Mile on Earth”? This title came not because of the opportunities to strike it rich in our casinos but because of the gold discovered here during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush of 1859.

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Central City’s history certainly is rich, and we invite you to spend a few days learning about our history and culture with tours, museum visits, and events. We’ve made it easy by listing all the “can’t miss” attractions below!

Mine for Gold

Start your own Central City gold rush with a tour of a working mine and try your hand at panning for gold at the Hidee Gold Mine. The tour guides will take you through the old mines, share fun trivia about mining, and let you experience mining for yourself! This is an excellent activity for children or adults who love a unique experience and geeking out over Colorado history. Reservations are suggested.

The gorgeous Central City is nestled in the Rocky Mountains and was founded by gold miners in 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush.

Sip the Local Brews

Coloradans are no strangers to beer, but beer found in Central City is a different experience entirely! Central City is home to Dostal Alley, a brewery and pizzeria that makes beer from hops that have been growing in the area for over 100 years! Just like the city, this beer has a story to tell. It’s worth stopping in, chatting with the friendly owners and bartenders, and sampling a flight of their local brews. Then, grab a quick bite from the Retro Deli & Tavern or linger over lunch at one of our casino restaurants.

Colorado History Comes to Life

After striking it rich at the gold mine, stop by the Gilpin Historical Society to schedule a tour of some of Central City’s most fascinating historical buildings, such as the Teller House, the Opera House, and the Thomas House. Don’t miss the oldest operating Protestant church in Colorado, St. James Methodist Church, with its stunning stained glass, frescoes and a pipe organ dating back to 1898. During the summertime, the Gilpin History Museum is open. It welcomes you to check out an authentic submarine, incredibly detailed old schoolhouse exhibits, a mining room, and a miniature town to learn more about how Central City’s first residents lived in the 1800s.

For printing and publishing buffs, the historic home of Colorado’s oldest continuously printed newspaper, the Weekly Register-Call, is a must-see. You can visit the Weekly Register-Call print shop in the Masonic Building and check out the antique printing equipment. You’ll be amazed at how dramatically the publishing business has changed!

The Magic of the Stage

If you happen to visit Central City during the opera season, lucky you! Central City Opera runs for several weeks in July and is the fifth-oldest professional opera company in the nation. Performers often stay in Central City for the summertime leading up to the show nights, living in the beautiful and historic Victorian-era homes that the opera owns and operates. The whole city comes alive with the streets teeming with visitors and performers. After the show, try Millie’s Restaurant in the Easy Street Casino for dinner.

Founded in 1932, the Central City Opera is the fifth-oldest professional opera company in the country.

Remarkable Visual Arts and Gifts

Take in the incredible local art in the Gilpin Art Museum at the historic Washington Hall. The rooms are open, filled with sculptures and natural sunlight, and make for the perfect place to browse unique Colorado art, handmade jewelry, collages, paintings, and more. Art makes an ideal gift or keepsake to commemorate your trip. You’ll find many paintings created during the annual Plein Air Festival that is held every summer, where artists line the streets painting masterpieces outside in the open air.

Try Your Luck!

What’s a trip to Central City without a game of blackjack or Central City’s newest table game, Baccarat? There are many restaurants and six casinos to choose from, so we’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one feels the luckiest! But there’s a little something for everyone. Check with each casino to find penny slots, dollar slots, video poker, table games, and special event nights with live music and raffles. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how friendly and welcoming the dealers are. They love chatting with gamblers and make it easy for beginners to feel comfortable at the table.

Although Central City is only 40 minutes from Denver and would make an enjoyable day trip, you’ll need more than a day to experience it all. Luckily, our casino hotels (Century Casino or Grand Z Casino and Hotel) are comfortable and within walking distance of most attractions. Then, enjoy an easy drive back to the city along the scenic Central City Parkway. Plan your trip and learn more about Colorado’s most historic city at

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