See also: Best Things to Do in Denver
Ultramodern city complexes, dated Victorian mansions and an unmistakably cosmopolitan vibe are all the things that come together to make Denver an ever appealing vacation destination. Sitting at a stone's throw from the Rocky mountains, the capital city of Colorado has a lot of history and character to show for. And do not be fooled by the introduction, because the city's real character transcends it's architecture and really comes alive in its experiences: the city's fabled gastronomy, transit stopovers and walking tours are reason enough to visit.
But scratch the surface even more and you'll probably find yourself at a loss of time to cover all the prospects that Denver has to offer you. It's for that very reason that you will need to plan your trip well. And to give you a headstart, we have come up with a comprehensive guide to help you base yourself in. Here, we have listed some of the best neighbourhoods of Denver and what they might have in store for you traveller!
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The downtown part of Denver, better known as the CBD (Central Business District) is the go-to choice for first time travellers. It is home to some of the most recognisable landmarks of the city; you can start your sightseeing tours from the Colorado Convention Center and its many art exhibits (cue the giant blue bear), before moving on to CBD's range of intriguing art venues and many local history museums.
Centered around the iconic pedestrian mall of 16tb Street Mall, this neighborhood is also a shopper's paradise. A casual stroll down the street will have you go past a seemingly never-ending list of retail stores and designer brand options. While atbtye 16tg Street, you can divide your time between window shopping and having coffee at the many cafes that also line the major thoroughfare. Catch a musical or theatre performance at the Denver Performing Arts Complex in the evening to cap off your busy days in the neighborhood!
The neighborhood, by virtue of being the central business district is one of the most easily accessible parts in all of Denver. Hotel and accommodation options are also in plenty; you will be treated to a range of varied options starting from budget choices to the beat of luxury stays.
Adjacent to CBD is the hip neighborhood of Lower Downtown, often shortened as 'LoDo'. The cityscape in this part of the city is unique and can vary from block to block. At the heart of it is Larimer Square, the historic founding place of Denver. Victorian buildings and brick houses dot the vicinity's streets - which come off as a dream locale under the warm night lighting. But move a little northward and you'll find yourself in the company of skyscrapers and ultra-modern architecture right around the Union Station.
The one thing that does bind it all together is tye neighborhood's vibrant gastronomy. Whether you're peeking out of the 20ty floor of a central tower, or are mid transit at the Union Station, or sitting by the wayside of a Larimer Square street, you will find that the love of food reigns supreme everywhere. There is bound to be a top-notch diner, a busy taco restaurant, or a laid-back trattorias at a walking distance from you at all times and that's really the kind of thing that you should be looking for whole around LoDo.
LoDo, as home to the Union Station, is again a top choice for first time travellers. Visitors taking a train in and out of Denver also prefer to stay in the neighborhood, making for surprisingly eclectic crowds. You should not have too much trouble finding your ideal hotel or homestay option in this part of the town.
Talking of hip and alternative appeal, the vast residential district of Capitol Hill warrants a special mention. A stay in this seemingly sleepy part of Denver will leave you pleasantly surprised by how much one can pack behind the facade of old-world streets and Victorian mansions. But before diving into that, here's a reminder that none of what has been said should steer you away from touring the phenomenal Molly Brown House Museum and the neighborhood's other stately capital - they have been and will probably remain Capitol Hill's major draw for long.
Now onto the hidden gems then! The 13th Avenue, a stone's throw from the Molly Brown House, has a niche appeal for music lovers as several live music bars/clubs and record stores dominate. The Queen City Store has both latest trends and vintage fashion on sale, while Capitol Market also offers convenient shopping. Keep heading south and you'll come across unmissable takeout and dine-in coffee shops at the 9th and 10th Avenues - especially around the Broadway Market.
Access to Capitol Hill is fairly straightforward as most public transport systems work around the neighborhood. It's only about a 10 minute ride form CBD and a similarly short distance from Union Station. The neighborhood can be a little pricey when it comes to hotels, so it should be a good pick if you're looking for a luxury stay of sorts.
Another great neighborhood for an exquisite wine and dine experience in Denver is North Capitol Hill. Separated from its more expansive predecessor by the majestic Colorado State Complex, it borrows from its neighbour a lot of the alternative vibe. If anything, North Capitol Hill takes it to a whole different level of boho chic with inspired interior and exterior designs for major eateries, a illustrious collection of quirky cafes and bustling cocktail bars.
And that's not to say that the neighborhood has nothing more to offer. In fact, a tour of the Capitol complex is a good place to start uncovering North Capitol Hill's unique character. The stunning gold dome is just the beginning, as you will find yourself mesmerised by the twin tower facade of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, its gigantic concert hall, as well as other such performance venues as the Avenue Theatre and the Filmmore Auditorium - all of which pack their own separate punch.
A compact neighborhood, North Capitol Hill is a great choice for people looking to stay just outside of the downtown parts of the city. Commuting is easy within, while the neighborhood might also spring up a few great homestay options during your search for an accomodation.
The western neighborhood of City Park is the preferred choice for families visiting Denver. An overall laid-back vibe and plenty of family friendly entertainment options awaits travellers, but none can quite match up to the serene setting of the namesake City park. The vast green space has several open air picnic spots, shaded walking trails (some even running along meandering creeks) and even a Spanish style pavilion overlooking a lake. Need I say more?
The Northern part of City Park is also home to the lush Denver Zoo - the go-to place for groups travelling with children. The nearby Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Tropical Discovery Park only widen the appeal, with their planetarium shows, 3D film screenings and varied exhibits. Southern avenues in the neighborhood are dotted with relaxed eateries and bars that make for perfect stop-overs after a long day of outdoor vacationing.
A little further out than most other neighborhoods on the list, City Park is about a 20 minute ride from the Union Station. But given the easy availability of transportation options, it is still a good option to go for - especially if you're looking for a way to get away from the bustling city crowds without having to travel too far out of the centre.
A truly eclectic neighborhood often blends all the elements of the it's parent city's daily living as well as past lives into one seamless experience, waiting to be had. The northern neighborhood of Five Points does exactly that for Denver. One of the oldest parts of the city, the neighborhood became the hub of the Great Migration and African American culture within Denver during the first half of the 20th century. Names including Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong were among frequent performers of jazz in a neighborhood that saw unparalleled growth as a cosmopolitan centre.
Today, the Black American West Museum and Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom honors the African-American history and performing culture of the city respectively, while the sub-districts of Curtis Park and RiNo Arts Districts keep the vibrant vibe alive. The latter is especially popular with travellers as it is home to several indie art galleries with contemporary work, mixed use entertainment spaces and indoor food courts serving world cuisine. Food trucks and take out vendors come out after sun-down lending RiNo District a lively nightlife vibe as well.
Five Points is adjacent to Downtown Denver, which makes it a part of the core neighbourhoods so to say. You might have to travel a little extra to reach the RiNo District, which lies north of the South Platte River. That said, given the sheer number of prospects in the offing, you will not mind the drive at all!
And for the last neighborhood on the list, we bring to you the artsy center of Lincoln Park. Tucked away into the southeastern corner of the city, it has become a hub for artists and entrepreneurs who have come up with the most innovative ideas both in the fields of fine arts and gastronomy. At the beating heart of it all is the Santa Fe Drive, a vibrant stretch lined with art galleries and exhibition halls showcasing local talent and trendy restaurants and microbreweries that are frequented by Gen Z crowds.
While gallery and/or restaurant hopping may never get any more exciting than during your time in and around Santa Fe Drive, you can do a lot of different things without even having to step into a building as this is also the part of Denver where you will find street art and mural-painted walls that have inspired awe from travellers for years now. Even so, you might still want to visit the absolute big names in Museo de la Americas, Art Walk and Space Gallery.
Access to Lincoln Park is easy as the neighborhood is directly serviceable through the road network, which connects it to most downtown parts of Denver. While in the neighborhood, you might want to spend a little extra time to explore your accommodation options until you arrive at one that encapsulates its free-spirited vibe.
And that's our complete list from Denver. Take a look and have a great time planning your next vacation; the Mile High City awaits!