Although now considered a suburb of Denver, in the 1800s Arvada got its start as an agricultural community. Miners, fed up with low yields and cold hands, began farming the fertile soil near Clear Creek, and by 1870, six years before Colorado statehood, Arvada had a thriving crop exchange.
Today, a blend of historic and modern architecture make for a suburb mindful of its small-town roots. The Arvada Historical Society provides a tour of old downtown, including the 1926 Arvada Flour Mill, now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cussler Museum — started by best-selling author Clive Cussler — showcases 100-plus rare and vintage automobiles from around the world. Open only in summer, the museum will get your engines revving with the likes of Packard Speedsters, Locomobiles and so much more. Olde Town Arvada is emerging as a popular and walkable hangout that bustles with dozens of restaurants, bars, galleries, boutiques, summer concerts, festivals and more.
While in the area, visit the Arvada Center. Featuring a popular and high-quality annual theater series, a museum, two art galleries, classrooms for hundreds of art education programs, this complex is an exciting addition to the community. The center's outdoor Summer Stage, with concerts, dance performances and theater productions, is a big draw.