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Peyton Manning: Here are the best 18 things you need to know about Denver

peyton manning in arizona.jpg
Manning.
Number 18, you're not in Indiana anymore. You may be Denver's most famous newcomer, but you're a newcomer, nonetheless -- and there are certain things that every newcomer needs to know. Over the last 28 years, the Best of Denver has celebrated what makes this city special -- and in advance of the Best of Denver 2012 hitting the streets today, here's a chance to catch up with this Denver playbook:

1) This city really is a Mile High. Remember to breathe -- and hydrate. Also be careful when you're out drinking -- but any NFL quarterback already knows that, right? And just in case, the Broncos appear to have defense attorney Harvey Steinberg on speed-dial.

2) Want proof that this city is really a Mile High? There's a plaque outside the State Capitol that marks the exact step that's 5,280 feet above sea level (more or less; like you, Peyton, it's settled some). A line around the top of the mayor's office in City Hall does the same; John Hickenlooper put it there when he ran the city (as governor, his desk is naturally higher). At City Park, you can work out along the Mile High Loop, which follows the city's contour lines and points out the spots where you're a mile high. And it's surprisingly easy to join the Mile High Club.

3) The mountains -- with 54 (by the Colorado Mountain Club count) peaks over 14,000 feet -- are to the west. Dove Valley is to the south. Indianapolis is to the east.

4) The City of Denver has not just one, but two bison herds. Buffalo Bill, who is buried on Lookout Mountain, was once the most famous man in the world -- but you could beat him if you bring Denver a Super Bowl.

5) Since you have year-old twins, you'll want to go to Casa Bonita at least once. And, yes, it's even weirder than it seems on South Park.

6) Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, are from here. If they can make a blockbuster hit out of The Book of Mormon (coming to Denver in August), you can survive the fallout from the virgin sacrifice of Tim Tebow.

7) The Denver Mint, a top tourist attraction, is right downtown. And, yes, it prints money -- though perhaps not enough to cover your contract.

8) Although the Barnes Dance -- the engineering marvel that allowed pedestrians to cross streets on the diagonal -- disappeared last year, Denver's other infamous traffic-control invention, the Denver Boot, is still going strong. Two unpaid parking tickets in town and you could get sacked.

9) That yellow thing in the sky is the sun. And although those much-touted 300 days of sunshine a year in Denver actually translate to 300 days with at least one hour of sunshine, according to the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University, that's still a big improvement over Indiana.

Story continues on Page 2.


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