Denver’s Downtown Neighborhoods & Lifestyle~
Everyone is flocking to live in the center of Denver. Denver’s downtown neighborhoods are seeing a resurgence reminiscent of the Colorado gold rush! While Denver’s downtown has long been a draw for its lofts, condo’s and luxury residences, that attraction is sprawling into lesser known central Denver area neighborhoods. Young professionals who do not want to commute, students attending area higher education centers, artists living over their studios, entrepreneurs, empty-nesters who crave the convenience of downtown living are just a few of the demographics seeking to live in the heart of the Mile High City.
While most of us know that urbanites enjoy easy access to restaurants, cultural events, entertainment and sporting venues, seldom do we recognize the unique character each downtown enclave encases. Exploring these hip as well as up and coming neighborhoods entails a personal visit and time to absorb the special character each has to offer. There is something for everyone downtown! Denver is becoming increasingly attractive in part due to its easy navigability. Thanks to enhanced light rail lines, bike-able areas complete with paths and designated lanes, buses, free shuttles, cars to go and bike sharing programs, Denver offers residents and visitors alike options to driving (and parking) their own car.
A Few of the Favorite Denver Downtown “boroughs” if you will:
Lower Downtown LoDo
LoDo is right in the heart of all the action and remains a favorite of many. The neighborhood has been completely restored and renovated to merge both historic lofts with modern new structures. LoDo is one of the most desirable urban neighborhoods in Denver thanks to abundant sidewalk cafes, galleries, retail shops and theater options, all within walking distance. Denver’s revitalized Union Station is the crown jewel of LoDo with its stately Great Hall showcasing 65-foot ceilings creating a remarkably elegant terminal gathering place as well as a dramatic entrance to the fabulous Crawford hotel. Dining options within Union Station are varied: Stoic & Genuine for seafood & raw bar, the Kitchen Next Door for farm-to-table fare, and Snooze, Denver’s breakfast joint known for its eggs benedict creations. Step outside and you can stroll through LoDo exploring the many wonderful shops and eateries.
Central Business District
If you encapsulate the downtown Denver area stemming from Broadway to Speer Boulevard between Larimer Street and 20th Street, you have Denver’s Central Business District. This is where some of Denver’s largest companies office but it is also the location for the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Pavilions Shopping Complex, the Paramount Theater, The Denver Art Museum, the Buell Theater and the entire Performing Arts Complex as well as the Brown Palace Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences, the Teatro Hotel and numerous fine dining establishments and upscale shopping destinations. In the midst of all this hustle and bustle there are a number of historic lofts that have been renovated and even designated by historic preservationists. There are also glamorous shiny new condominium towers that cater to those who want to live high in the Colorado sky. With the effort to blend historic renovation projects with contemporary urban buildings, the downtown central business district recognizes Denver’s past and its connection to the future. ” With a little research, each building tells a story of the early days of Denver’s bustling Downtown, from banking and railroads to fine shopping.” See, http://www.downtowndenver.com/neighborhoods/central-business-district-cbd.
Denver.org cites Sunset Magazine’s claim that Uptown is “one of Denver’s hippest ‘hoods, with lively new restaurants, chic shops and a cheery, progressive vibe.” One would have to agree as the neighborhood is vibrant and decidely hip. Adjacent to downtown, about 2.8 miles to the Southeast. Colfax Ave. forms Uptown’s southern boundary, while 20th St. creates its northern border. York St. and Broadway border Uptown to the east and west, respectively. See; www.Denver.org for details. Uptown boasts easy access to the Denver Botanical Gardens, historic mansions, City Park, Museums, bike paths and numerous great dining spots like the revered 17th Avenue Restaurant Row featuring cafes, bistros, taco bars, fine dining establishments, upscale restaurants and a number of popular bars and clubs – almost all with outdoor patios. Close to central downtown, this neighborhood offers residents an urban atmosphere that is tempered with numerous parks, retail areas, and historic mansions. Mix a dose of elegant architecture, lush parks with culture and some urban grit and you have Uptown.
Immediately west of Union Station, along the eastern bank of the South Platte, Riverfront is across the tracks from Lodo. The South Platte river flows through the neighborhood and offers residents immediate access to the 40-mile bike path that follows the river and attractions along the riverfront. Those include kayaking areas, Paris on the Platte, Elitch Gardens, the Children’s Museum, the Downtown Aquarium and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Confluence Park and the Cherry Creek pedestrian path are also attributes of the Riverfront area which make it feel more like the great outdoors meets urban lifestyle.
LoHi/ The Highlands
Spanning both sides of the Highland Bridge, LoHi and the Highlands crosses over top I-25 and situates itself to the West of downtown with views of the Denver city lights. It enjoys a reputation as one of the hippest urban areas in the downtown region. A merging of renovated Victorian homes together with sleek and contemporary new designs makes LoHi eclectic and historic. Its trendy restaurants, bars, and shops are a draw to people all over the city as Denverites seek innovative bites at Linger, a lovely bottle of wine from Mondo Vino, an award winning wine shop or fresh produce in the summer months at the famed 32nd Avenue Farmers Market.
RiNo Arts District
RiNo (River North) is located along the Platte River Bike Path just north of Coors Field, RiNo is bounded by I-70 to the North, I-25 to the West, Park Avenue West to the South, and Arapahoe Street to the East. The industrial look and feel of this neighborhood has attracted many artists, furniture designers, brewery houses, winemakers, dining establishments, yoga studios, night clubs and residents who simply enjoy an urban industrial chic neighborhood. The marvelous shop re-for your home is tucked in along Walnut Street where it features reclaimed and renewed furnishings and design elements as well as specialty high end paints and classes for the do it your-selfers. There is a decidedly cool warehouse vibe as you walk around RiNo trying craft beers whilst soaking up art in the galleries. Simply follow RiNo’s little Rhino signs (like a little rhinoceros) as you explore the area and all it has to offer.
Note: There are a number of other Denver area neighborhoods not mentioned here that are also fabulous and on the rise to become the next “best place to be” in Denver’s thriving urban center. Come down and explore all Denver has to offer.
Kristen C. Winkler
Realtor, CNE, Juris Doctorate, Broker Associate &
Member of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing
Brokers Guild~Cherry Creek, Ltd.
(office) 303-752-0007 ext. 2549