The venerable Elitch Gardens was founded in northwest Denver in 1890, then moved and opened at its current Central Platte Valley location in 1995, before downtown Denver enjoyed a residential boom. Now it's the only downtown amusement park in the country. A bit of the historic luster has been chipped away over the years, but the offerings have expanded with a water park, more thrill rides, and other facilities. Six Flags divested the park, so the licensed characters are gone, but there are still plenty of worthwhile thrills to be had here, including the Twister II, a super-sized replica of Mister Twister from the park's previous incarnation across town. New for 2014: the Brain Drain coaster, a 7-story continuous loop. Allow 3 hours.