We love writing about Denver, Colorado because there’s not very many cities like it. At an elevation of 5,280 feet, the mile high city sees more sunshine on an annual basis than San Diego or Miami Beach –– a jaw-dropping, sun-screen lathering, shade-wearing 300 days of beautiful sunshine.
And, being that Denver is home to four major professional sports teams (Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and Outlaws), the best skiing in the United States, a booming tech industry, blazing marijuana culture and an unprecedented outdoor lifestyle… it’s no wonder Denver is expected to reach 3.3 million in population by 2020.
But, we both know we don’t have to sell you on the mile high city being one of the best places to live in the United States. You are already sold and now you’re just trying to figure out where to live in Denver. Well, you’ve come to the right place –– here is the Bellhop’s list of the best Denver neighborhoods.
5 Best Neighborhoods in Denver
- The lush beautiful green space in Washington Park
Wash Park short for Washington Park is located in South Central Denver, and is widely considered to be one of the best places to live in Denver. What it is most known for is its 165 acre green space –– the largest in all of the Mile High City. Wash Park is guarded by massive 100-year old trees that provide shaded coverage for its many renovated bungalows.
Now, if you are interested in taking up residence in Washington Park, keep in mind that it is split into two very different sections –– East Wash Park and West Wash Park. If you are a young family looking for a quite and safe atmosphere to raise your kids in, East Wash Park will certainly be your neighborhood of choice. Afterall, it is widely considered one of the best Denver Neighborhoods to raise a family in. Now, if you are a coffee lovin’, bar hoppin’, tattoo rockin’ hipster, you’re going to want to take up residence in West Wash Park –– home to a much younger and hipper crowd. It’s a tiny neighborhood with a reasonable cost of living and plenty to do for young professionals
Where should you go in Washington Park if you just have a day? If you are just in Washington Park for a day, catch a film at The Mayan Theatre –– built in the 30’s, it is one of the countriest last remaining theatres designed in the Art Deco Mayan Revival Style. You might find yourself watching the beautiful decor more so than the actual movie.
- Get down in Uptown
For a while, Uptown Denver was considered an up and comer, but not anymore. It is here. It is bold. It is brilliant. Uptown is on our list of best places to live in Denver for it’s lovely architecture, endless list of things to do, large green space and close proximity to downtown Denver (without actually being in Downtown Denver).
Ten years ago, there was next to nothing to do in one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods, but as the population has continued to skyrocket, it has seeped into what once were unpopular neighborhoods –– sparking massive revitalization. If you decide to live in Uptown, you will be surrounded by plenty of coffee shops, bars and one of a kind restaurants… along with a fair share of hipsters and 20-somethings.
Where should you go in Uptown if you just have a day? If you are in Uptown for just a day and happen to love animals, definitely make time in your schedule to pay the Denver Zoo a visit… it is home to 650 species (including an asian elephant).
- Live with the old and the young in the Highlands
Back in the day, the Highlands were a popular neighborhood for Italian Americans and Hispanic families to settle down and call home. However, as more and more people are moving to Denver, the neighborhood has become a popular spot for young professionals. Take a stroll through the streets of the Highlands and you will see elderly hispanic and Italians hanging out on their front porches or working in their gardens, along with young professionals walking dogs, jogging and enjoying a cup of coffee.
Besides the beautiful meshing of generations and cultures in the Highlands, it is fairly removed from the bustling downtown Denver area –– another aspect that makes the neighborhood special and one of our favorites on our list of best Denver neighborhoods. And, while prices are beginning to rise in this area, you can still find some affordable housing –– a great rarity in Denver.
Where should you go in the Highlands if you just have a day? If you happen to just have a day to explore the Highlands, definitely make the day sometime in July when the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is underway in Sloan’s Lake Park (a body water in close proximity to the Highlands). The festival is an incredible experience meshing asian art, music, food and culture. With that said, if you simply can’t make time to go in July, Sloan’s Lake Park is still a spectacle festival or no festival.
- Join not just a neighborhood but a community in Stapleton.
A good while back, the city of Denver decided to move the airport (a decision that brought about quite a bit of scrutiny along with more than a few conspiracy theories). We guess you can’t just move a 4,700 acre space without raising a few questions. What was left was Stapleton, the biggest urban redevelopment project in the United States.
After the city decided to move the airport, voters elected to turn the now empty 4,700 acres space into a neighborhood –– which is now home to 30,000 residents and widely considered one of the best Denver Neighborhoods. Many say that the neighborhood is more like a community though, home to its very own public schools and an endless number of public parks. With that said, the oldest home in Stapleton is about 7 years, which means prices are rather high.
Where should you go in Stapleton if you just have a day? Stapleton is still very new and growing, so it is more commercialized than other Denver neighborhoods… with that said it still offers some fun stuff to do. If you find yourself in Stapleton for a day, check out the Improv Comedy Club in Denver if you are looking for a nice laugh or no laugh… depending on the Comedian(s).
- Be close but not too close in Cherry Creek
Cherry Creek offers some of the best living in Denver –– home to incredible nationally renowned shopping, delicious fine-dining restaurants and a famous annual festival called the Cherry Creek Art’s Festival. But, out of these three things, the massive draw to Cherry Creek continues to be the shopping –– it is widely considered to be the best shopping between San Francisco in Chicago (which is saying something). And, besides the stellar shopping, international cuisine and art scene, Cherry Creek is also a great place to raise a family, filled with tons of public parks and sporting a low crime rate –– easily making it a top contender on our list of best Denver neighborhoods.
In addition, Cherry Creek is also in close proximity to Downtown Denver, but not too close. Families and young professionals can easily catch a show or a game in the downtown Denver area without being forced to battle the traffic and parking a daily basis.
Finally, with all that said, average home prices and cost of living is quickly rising with the neighborhood’s growing popularity. So, if you are thinking about making a jump, move fast.
Where should you go in Stapleton if you just have a day? This is definitely the toughest question on our list today, simply because there is just so much to do in Cherry Creek. But, if you just had a day to spend in the neighborhood… we recommend you head to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center which is home to over 160 stores (40 of which are exclusive strictly to Denver). And, besides the stores, the shopping center has tons of fine dining options and an 8 screen movie theatre to keep the kiddos entertained.
Living in Denver
We try to always be extremely transparent in these posts, so we want to mention that Denver is expensive. But, not so expensive that it should cause you to rethink your decision. If anything, it should serve as proof that everyone and their brother… and their sister… and their uncle are wanting to move to the Mile High City and call it home. And, while the city is turning into one of the larger cities in the United States, the amazing neighborhoods we mentioned on this list should bring it down to a reasonable enough size.