Denver City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do
The Mile-High City has the clearest, bluest sky in the country due to its high elevation and desert climate. The city boasts at least 300 days of sunshine each year, and though hot, the climate is comfortable because of the low humidity. It’s well-known for its breweries but it’s also becoming a popular destination for foodies. Denver is still in the process of becoming a major U.S. city, which means the cost of living is still relatively affordable. U.S. News & World Report recently named the city as one of the top two cities to live in within the country.
Denver city highlights
Denver is one of the most incredible cities in the U.S. When you move here, you’ll have regular access to some of the best hiking and winter sports activities the country has to offer. Here are just a few other events, sites and attractions that draw tourists and new residents every year.
- Denver Museum of Nature and Science: Located in East Central Denver is this wonderful museum that’s perfect for young and young-at-heart. You’ll learn about Stonehenge, dinosaurs and so much more. There’s even an IMAX Theater on-site that puts you in the middle of the action with a three-story high screen.
- The Clyfford Still Museum: Clyfford Still was a renowned abstractionist. This museum holds over 3000 of his pieces. On display are some of his earliest sketches, dating back to the 1920s, as well as his masterpieces on canvas (c. 1950s). The museum feels more intimate than other art museums, which is perfect when you want some quiet time to reflect.
- Mount Evans Scenic Byway: Occasionally, it’s nice to get out and take a scenic drive. After visiting Mount Evans Scenic Byway, we’re sure you’ll want to do this regularly. You pay an entrance fee and then drive from Echo Lake to Summit Lake Road. It’s the tallest paved road in the country and you’ll be awestruck as you look out from a vantage point of over 14,000 feet above sea level.
- Red Rocks Amphitheatre: Looking for a nice place to spend an evening listening to music or watching a live performance? Look no further than the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, one of the most famous in the country thanks to the natural design and the red sandstone rocks surrounding the theater.
- Coors Field: If you’re a baseball fan, you need to see the Colorado Rockies play at Coors Field. The stadium can seat 50,000 spectators and covers over 75 acres. When you book your tickets, try to find seats by first base or right field. The views of the Rocky Mountains are spectacular.
Denver city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters
Are you ready to settle down in Denver? If so, you need to find an apartment in a neighborhood that suits your needs best. Not every neighborhood fits every personality. Some are more urban, while others have a more suburban feel to them. Look at the options below – some of the most popular neighborhoods in Denver – and see if one speaks to you.
Denver’s Downtown neighborhood consists of fewer than 4500 residents. The neighborhood is dense and urban with some of the best bars, cafés and restaurants in the area. Plus, there are several great shopping and entertainment opportunities, like Antique Row or Larimer Square which boasts over 200 high-fashion lines from fashion hot spots around the globe. The city also hosts a few cultural, music and art festivals throughout the year. And don’t forget to regularly experience the exhibits at the Denver Art Museum.
Cherry Creek is an affluent residential area with lots of shopping, including elite fashion boutiques. Cocktail lounges, cafés and chain restaurants can be found all around, as can finer dining experiences. The Cherry Creek Trail is a great place to go if you love biking trails.
The Highland neighborhood earns high ratings from residents for its elegant, historic homes, riverside trails, jogging paths and trendsetting eateries. The majority of the 10,500 people who live in the area are young families and professionals who rent their homes. The cost of living is higher than the national average. A fun perk of living in this neighborhood is that you’re near the Elitch Gardens amusement park which features fun shows, great restaurants and of course, adrenaline-pumping rides.
You might think a neighborhood lined with stately historic mansions might be rather stuffy and uptight. Actually, Capitol Hill has a more bohemian vibe with offbeat shops, hipster bars, coffee houses that are open all night and shops with a decidedly punk rock aesthetic. The funky neighborhood is in the top five best neighborhoods in Denver. Over 16,000 people call Capitol Hill home, many of them young professionals. Nearly 80% of residents rent, the cost of which is just slightly above the national average.
Washington Park is a residential neighborhood that is centered around the actual green space of Washington Park, an area with flower gardens, areas to engage in sports and trails for bikers and joggers. Smith Lake is a popular spot for fishing and kayaking. On the east side of two is a shopping district with several clothing boutiques, sports bars, restaurants and bistros, as well as art galleries. About 7500 people live in the neighborhood, made up mostly of young professionals and families.
LoDo is a thriving neighborhood in Downtown Denver with a variety of trendy shops and posh eateries. Larimer Square is lit up each night with string lights to illuminate the beautiful Victorian structures that have been converted into restaurants and boutique shops. There’s a weekly farmer’s market in the neighborhood, as well as concerts during the summer months.
The Stapleton neighborhood – also commonly referred to as Central Park – is located east of Downtown Denver. It was built on the former site of the Stapleton International Airport, which was decommissioned and closed in the mid-90s. It’s Denver’s largest residential neighborhood with nearly 27,000 residents. The population is made up mostly of young families and professionals. The schools are well above average. Residents here love the nightlife, diversity and amenities, as well as the numerous green spaces and parks.
LoHi, or Lower Highland, is a hip and stylish neighborhood with a thriving nightlife. You’ll find plenty of cocktail lounges and restaurants with rooftop views of the Denver skyline. The area has a lot of historical landmarks that have been restored, including the 1912 Bug Theater where you can watch concerts and live plays, as well as indie films. Another iconic landmark is the oversized milk can, home to the Little Man Ice Cream Shop, which is next to Hirshorn Park. This neighborhood is growing like crazy right now, with new apartment complexes rising all the time.
Broadway, the main thoroughfare of the Baker neighborhood, is home to hip brewpubs, bars with live music and dancing, eclectic restaurants and vintage fashion shops. One of the most popular bars in the neighborhood is the Mayan Theater. Built in the 1930s, this Art Deco theater is still open for business, often showing indie movies. In addition to the trendy urban amenities, Baker has beautiful green spaces with riverside trails for bikers and joggers alike.
Cheesman Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise. The Park that the neighborhood is named after has a neoclassical pavilion, as well as expansive lawns and numerous jogging trails. The neighborhood is popular because it keeps things casual with coffeehouses and restaurants taking on a very relaxed vibe. During the summer months, you’ll be able to catch some live concerts at the amphitheater at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
City Park is a trendy neighborhood. It was built around a park which means there are plenty of picnic areas, trails along the water for jogging or biking and playgrounds for the kids. On the south side of the park, you’ll find retro bars, cafés and a concert venue (the Bluebird Theater) that puts on an amazing show!
Located in North Denver, Five Points is a cultural melting pot. It is a vibrant neighborhood of over 22,500 residents, most of whom are young professionals who rent (76%). You’ll find fun dining and nightlife experiences, including the indie and hip-hop acts that perform at the Roxy Theatre and Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom. At nearby Mestizo-Curtis Park, there’s an outdoor pool to help cool you and your family down during the warmer summer months.
Though Gateway is a bit more expensive than the national average, it’s well worth the extra expense for those who have room in their budget. It’s a safe neighborhood that is home to nearly 40,000 people. Thanks to its sprawling nature, the area doesn’t feel densely packed. Instead, it feels like a relaxing residential neighborhood with beautiful streets and well-kept yards.