What first started as a mining city in 1858 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush is now one of the fastest growing cities in the country. With its strong economy, growing job base and the nation’s largest city park system, Denver has become a popular place to settle down. From the city’s university crowd to families looking to take advantage of the fastest-growing urban school district in the U.S., this city is full of diversity. It has seen massive development in the past five years to accommodate the expanding population. As the largest city in the Rocky Mountain region, Denver has nearly 80 defined neighborhoods, each with their own unique history and attractions. Let’s take a look at five of the most popular.
According to The Know, Cherry Creek is one of the fanciest neighborhoods in Denver. The neighborhood takes its name from the 11.2-mile trail that runs along it – perfect for exploring the city on foot or bike. It features some of the city’s most luxurious residences, specifically townhomes and duplexes, and shopping attractions.
Shop til you drop at Cherry Creek Shopping Center, full of big department stores and high-end brands. Situated adjacent is Cherry Creek North, a hub for local boutiques, eateries, salons, and more. Catch happy hour at Machete Tequila + Tacos or enjoy a premier dining experience at Matsuhisa, a Japanese and sushi restaurant created by Nobu Matsuhisa.
Apartment Guide describes The Highlands as a hip and trendy neighborhood with Victorian-era buildings nestled among modern structures. It’s hillside location provides panoramic views of the city. As one of the early settlements of the area, it was once its own town and has a rich history of ethnic enclaves of Italians and Latinos. Nowadays, younger crowds are attracted to the new apartment buildings, bars, restaurants and small businesses.
Enjoy a burger and beer at the oldest bar in Denver, My Brother’s Bar, then grab dessert at a local favorite, Little Man Ice Cream. Wander around Highlands Square, featuring everything from Barre classes to boutique wine and cheese shops.
Uncovered Colorado likens Washington Park to a sunny suburb-like neighborhood in the heart of the city. The actual park has been dubbed one of the best in the city with its two lakes, rec center, boat house, 2.4-mile loop, flower gardens, tennis and basketball courts, and lush landscaping. In this neighborhood, you can find a mix of historic brick bungalows and multimillion dollar contemporary mansions – some of the most expensive homes in the city.
After spending a morning outdoors at the Park, check out the shops, restaurants, galleries and events along Old South Gaylord, once the site of the city’s first trolley car route. Mark your calendars for Sunday’s farmers market between June and October in the South Pearl Street district. This area is also known for annual festivals, like the Summer Music Festivals in June and August.
River North (RiNo)
The River North neighborhood is the de facto epicenter of Denver’s street art scene. Although it has seen great expansion in the last few years, it still maintains its gritty warehouse district roots. According to an article by 5280, there is an energetic vibe throughout the neighborhood with building graffiti and mural covered alleyways.
You can’t live in or visit RiNo without roaming one of the dozen art galleries, like the RedLine Contemporary Art Center. If you’re looking to spruce up your home or art skills, check out River North Workshop for U.S.-made homeware and workshop events. When hunger hits, make your way to Denver Central Market, a one-stop shop for baked goods, fresh fish, meat, and more.
Lower Downtown (LoDo)
Denver’s oldest and most vibrant neighborhood meshes business with nightlife and family friendly-attractions. This diverse area is representative of its past, which at different times since the 1800s, has been a wild saloon and brothel hub, a Chinatown, a thriving business area, and a skid row. Now, LoDo is a mixed-use neighborhood with homes and establishments set inside a mix of renovated warehouses and state-of-the-art modern buildings.
Grab tickets to a sports game at one of the two major sporting venues in Denver, Coors Field and Pepsi Center. There are plenty of outdoor shopping and dining pavilions, like Denver Milk Market and the 16th Street Mall. At night, bar hop in Larimer Square and make sure you stop by Green Russell, a Prohibition-era style speakeasy.
Article by Megan Kong, REX Homes
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