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Pueblo, Co. is where it's said that, the earliest permanent building in Colorado was erected by Lt. Zebulon Pike while he explored this part of the West. On his heels, Colorado's earliest pioneers established Fort Pueblo, a trading post on the banks of the Arkansas River, which flows out of the nearby Sangre de Cristo mountain range.

The arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in 1872, combined with the availability of nearby coal, came together to create what later was known as the Steel City, which became Pueblo's identity for a long time.

But Pueblo has changed over time, steel mills giving way to a Riverwalk and family cafes joined by upscale restaurants. Today, Colorado's third-largest city is a thriving town that values culture and arts as well as livestock shows and hot-rod expos.

One of the city's claims to fame is its Mexican food. Pueblo farmers grow their own variety of green chili, made into a savory stew to top just about anything edible. Local growers bring their produce to farmers' markets all over the region each summer. Each fall, a Chili & Frijole Festival celebrates the harvest and city's Hispanic heritage.

Lake Pueblo State Park south of town, known for it's fishing, boating and other water sports - a great place to spend the day. There's even a swimming beach — a rare sight in this state.

And if you're fortunate enough to visit Pueblo in late August or early September, you just might catch the annual Colorado State Fair, nearly two week of carnivals, livestock shows, rodeos and concerts. It's a great way to celebrate the state.

Map: Pueblo

Region: Southeast Regional Information

County: Pueblo

Proximity to other towns: Located 42.9 miles from Colorado Springs, 9.4 miles from Pueblo West, 26.9 miles from Colorado City, 33.6 miles from Florence, 55 miles from Rocky Ford

Population: 103,730

Elevation: 4662 feet

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