The history of African Americans on the Western frontier is far richer than the average gradeDENblackcowboy-school textbook lets on. It comes to life at the Black American West Museum, one of Denver’s most undersung treasures. Set in a handsome Five Points two-story building that was once home to the state’s first female black doctor, the exhibits cover surprising ground: from the open range where black cowboys roamed to the battlefields of the Buffalo Soldiers to Dearfield, an early-twentieth-century all-black settlement that’s now a genuine Colorado ghost town.

Bonus: the museum’s just about a lasso’s toss away from Tom’s Home Cookin,’ a long-standing lunchtime favorite for soul food.