A Visitor’s Guide to Denver Neighborhoods

Central Business District – Denver’s CBD contains the requisite skyscrapers devoted to commerce, but it also an active area with the Denver Art Museum, great restaurants and the most luxurious hotels in town. With a location tucked between LoDo and Capitol Hill, it’s centrally located for walking.

LoDo – LoDo is the local name for the Lower Downtown district of Denver, which is actually NW of the CBD and runs to the South Platte River. It’s the oldest part of the city and was formerly the city’s red light district. After a revitalization in recent years, it’s historic Victorian buildings are now a hip destination for eating, entertainment, bars, and nightlife. Larimer Square and Coors Field are both major draws to the area. Across the railroad tracks near the river is a 40-mile bike path, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, and the Children’s Museum of Denver.

Capitol Hill – starting at the Colorado State Capitol and heading southeast is the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The area is largely residential with a mix of historic mansions and newer condominium buildings and boasts a young, artistic, hipster and heavily gay population. A vibrant and bohemiam vibe lends itself to some of the city’s finest restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as the Molly Brown House Museum. On the eastern edge of Capitol Hill is Cheesman Park and the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Uptown – Denver’s oldest residential neighborhood lies just north of Capitol Hill. Newer lofts and apartment buildings mingle with historic Victorian and Queen Anne homes along tree-lined streets. For visitors, there’s trendy boutiques, bed and breakfasts, and a Restaurant Row along 17th Avenue with a wide range of dining options – many with patio seating. City Park is Denver’s largest greenspace and is home to the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. City Park is a great place to watch the sunset over the Rocky Mountains.

Golden Triangle – located just south of the CBD, this was historically one of Denver’s oldest neighborhood and was full of many single family Victorian homes and bungalows. It has transformed in recent years into a more multi-use neighborhood. Of note to tourists is it’s Museum District, which includes the Denver Art Museum, the Byers-Evans House Museum, the History Colorado Center, and the Clyfford Still Museum.

Cherry Creek – affluent area tree-lined residential streets, stylish boutiques, art galleries, upscale restaurants and trendy bars, as well as the open-air Cherry Creek Shopping Center For walkers and bikers, the Cherry Creek Bike Path starts behind the mall and heads north to Downtown along Cherry Creek.

Five Points – the area just north of Coors Field was historically an African-American neighborhood and has been called the “Harlem of the West” for its jazz history, with many of the greats playing in the clubs here. Jack Kerouac frequented the neighborhood in On the Road. Today the area is revitalized with new lofts and apartments, but still retains a good deal of its historical character. There are excellent coffeehouses, bars – both dive and trendy, restaurants, and music venues here.

Highland – Separated from the city by the South Platte River and neighboring railyards, Highland is the Brooklyn of Denver. Originally a suburb of Denver, new bridges in recent years has made the area more accessible, leading to rapid growth and making Highland a sought-after destination for living and playing. There’s three distinct commercial districts – Lower Highlands (LoHi) near the river, Highlands Square and Tennyson Street. LoHi is also know as East Highland and was named was of the “Best Neighborhoods in America” by Men’s Journal in 2009. Highlands Square is centered around 32nd and Lowell and offers boutiques, pubs and an eclectic mix of dining options. Tennyson Street’s Cultural District contains a number of art galleries.

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