Commerce City

From its beginning as a junction for railroads and highways, Commerce City has always meant business. Today, it's one of the state's fastest-growing cities thanks to its proximity to Denver International Airport, the Shops at Northfield Stapleton, Dick's Sporting Goods Park (home of the Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer Club) and a revitalizing historic downtown.

Several Colorado towns have benefited from the federal government handing over land to local authorities, and Commerce City is no exception. The city's 15,000-acre Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is one of the largest urban nature preserves in the country, with wildlife ranging from bison, owls, mule deer and bald eagles. It's also one of the few remaining short-grass prairies in existence.

Buffalo Run Golf Course is a picturesque, 18-hole championship course with mountain and prairie views. There's also easy access to the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, a 14-mile trail and natural area offering "wilderness in the city" that runs from Commerce City through Denver and Aurora.