This vintage town (just west of Denver) and its nearby neighbor Black Hawk are two of the state's centers for casino gambling. Central City is a former mining town that retained Victorian architecture until the behemoth casinos took over. Games are limited to slots, blackjack and poker, and the gambling is low stakes (maximum bet is US$5).
Central City seems to be doing a better job of preserving the atmosphere of the 1800s, but both towns are worth a look. The Central City Opera presents top soloists performing English-language operas in the town's restored opera house from the 1800s. Shows take place late June to mid-August.
The best way to get to Central City from Denver is to take one of the economical buses that depart from Denver and the front range. Avoid driving if possible: Even though a highway from Interstate 70 makes an easier drive, parking spaces are in short supply, parking tickets are very expensive, and if you'll be drinking, you won't want to get back behind the wheel on those winding canyon roads.
If you want to drive to Central City, the scenic byway is recommended. Take I-70 West and take Exit 243 to Central City. This byway is safe, quick and beautiful. Shuttles also run the 1-mi/1.6-km route between Black Hawk and Central City. 30 mi/50 km west of Denver.
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