The Old Prospector sculpture in Denver, Colorado, has quite a back story. Not only was it modeled after John Straughn, a larger-than-life character, it was sculpted by a German metalworker. It used to stand atop the now-gone Colorado Gold Mining Exchange building - itself a historical treasure.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad that departs from either Devil's Gate Station or Silver Plume Depot is a fun tourist attraction for the whole family. It traces a restored mining route, can include a mine tour and panning for gold or silver, and uses historic, restored steam locomotives. At a moderate price, it's a good daytrip from Denver, Colorado, into the Rockies.