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The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Denver
Moving to a new city is always challenging, and one of the biggest parts of that challenge is finding a place to live. Safety, school quality, convenience, and the style of available homes all factor into the decision, and it can easily be overwhelming for anyone looking to move. That’s why we’ve done the research to find the best suburbs in Denver. And by “we,” we mean Bellhop — movers in Denver and throughout the country (and beyond).
You’ve probably seen our guide on moving to Denver – which includes a short section on some of Denver’s most popular neighborhoods – but this list is a more in-depth guide, with information on what it’s like living in each of these areas.
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A Little About Living in Denver
People are moving to Denver in droves – in part because of the lifestyle its residents enjoy. Just ask any local – it’s a great place to live. It’s no surprise Denver has earned a reputation as an outdoorsy Mecca – it has 205 parks, it’s great for hiking, biking, skiing, and rock climbing, and with over 300 days of sunshine, you don’t have to worry about the weather ruining your plans.
We know what you’re thinking, if the lifestyle is so great, and the outdoor opportunities are so ample, then it’s probably not a great place to find a job, right? Wrong. Denver has seen an explosion of growth and job opportunities, especially in the clean energy industry. And since it’s the capital of the state, the government operations and associated jobs keep it hot when other job markets cool off.
But’s it’s not all work and outdoor play – Denver is known for its craft beer, craft cocktail, and restaurant scene, too. Throw in the FOUR major professional sports teams that call the city home, and you’ll never have an off-season or worry about boredom.
So now that you’ve no doubt decided to relocate to Denver, the only decision left to make is which neighborhood or suburb is right for you. Lucky for you, we’ve reviewed the best of them!
Just about 5 miles southeast of downtown Denver is one of our favorite neighborhoods – Washington Park. Despite being just 10 minutes from downtown (and 35 by public transit), Washington Park has trimmed lawns, fences, and tree-lined streets. Its centerpiece and namesake, Washington Park, boasts 165 acres of sprawling grass, lakes, waterways, and flower gardens. Originally developed in the 1890’s, the par remains a vital piece of Denver’s recreational offerings.
While Washington Park may be old, its scene is anything but stale. Families are moving in more and more, eager to live in such easy proximity to kayaking, walking paths, hiking trails, and the city. In fact, it has a walk score of 61 and a bike score of 80.
What’s Happening in Washington Park
After your morning run or kayak trip, make a beeline for Old South Gaylord Street. This area is packed with clothing boutiques, restaurants and bars, art studios, and cafes, giving it a true neighborhood vibe.
With all the natural beauty around, it’s no surprise Washington Park residents are environmentally conscious and patronize independently-owned businesses. Those businesses run the gamut from bicycle shops to clothing stores, gift shops to acoustic music stores. And, of course, no shortage of great restaurants. Quirky burger joints share the stage with elegant sushi bars. Naturally, Washington Park breweries on must-stops along the Denver Beer Trail.
Schools in Washington Park
Schools near Washington Park include Steele Elementary School (among the top 5% in all of Colorado according to Public School Review), Washington Park United Methodist School, and St. John’s Church & School among others. Nearby Byers High School is one of the top 5 charter schools in Colorado according to Niche.com.
Homes in Washington Park
With so much quality and quantity of offerings in Washington Park, it’s one of the most desirable places to live. Of course, that means it’s also one of the most expensive. From its many historic homes to new construction, there’s a $1.8 million median listing price in Washington Park according to Realtor.com
You might expect a town with “village” in its name to be a bit sleepy and slow, but Greenwood Village somehow has managed to become a vibrant community while preserving its historic and rural attributes. Greenwood Village is known as a safe and welcoming neighborhood – making it especially attractive for young families. And the area’s myriad outdoor activities and parks make it easy to meet the other families that have grown here. In fact, some of their parks are literally award-winning (Westlands Park and Silo Park), and the Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve has views of the majestic Rocky Mountains.
Considering it’s just a 25 minute drive from Downtown Denver (30 by transit), Greenwood Village has the best of both worlds.
What’s Happening in Greenwood Village
In stark contrast with other fast-growing areas, Greenwood Village actively creates a close-knit community of neighbors. Friendship-building activities are common, like art classes for both children and adults and dozens of educational activities and events for kids. Whenever there’s a holiday to celebrate, the whole town joins in.
Greenwood Village is also no slouch on the foodie front. Try YaYa’s Euro Bistro and Slattery’s Irish Pub for food, and Monk and Mongoose for anyone who is serious about coffee or tea.
Schools in Greenwood Village
Schools near Greenwood Village include Greenwood Elementary Schools, Campus Middle School, and Belleview Elementary School among others. Kent Denver School is the #1 in all of Colorado according to Niche.com and Public School Review says the Cherry Creek School district is in the top 1% for diversity and the top 10% for reading and language arts proficiency.
Homes in Greenwood Village
Since Greenwood Village is pretty much the perfect place for so many people, homes here are more likely to be expensive. Realtor.com reports the median listing price of houses to be a whopping $4.3 million.
For those who want to be a little further from Denver’s urban core, be sure to check out Centennial. Life’s a little slower here, and residents are even closer to the great outdoors. It’s still only a 25 minute drive to downtown, but boasts great mountain views.
Rather than being a neighborhood of Denver, Centennial is its own town, and one with a notable emphasis on open spaces, native wildlife, and nature surrounding it. Centennial has many of the region’s most impressive hiking trail networks AND two of the top school districts in the state (Littletown Public Schools and Cherry Creek School District). With so much to offer, it’s no surprise Centennial regularly makes headlines as one of the best places to live in America.
What’s Happening in Centennial
What would a Colorado mini-city be without a few micro-breweries? Centennial has its fair share and more! Throw in several new local stores, unique independent restaurants, and a full calendar of activities and you’ve got a hoppin’ spot.
The Streets at SouthGlenn fulfills are your shopping needs, with sidewalk cafes, restaurants, and local and national retailers.
When you’re not brewery-hopping, check out Centennial’s coffee shops, like the teeny tiny, vegan-friendly Coffee Mountain Cafe. If you’re looking for something more substantial and craving Mexican, Los Dos Potrillos is a must-try.
If you need to work off that burrito and queso dip, run or bike along the Cherry Creek trail, a 42-mile long (yes, forty-two!) paved path that winds alongside its namesake waterway.
Once you’ve been there a while and have somehow explored all 42 of those miles, branch out to the rest of Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park, with endless views of the Rockies and bountiful options for fishing and camping.
Schools in Centennial
Schools near Centennial include Highland Elementary School, Ambleside School of Colorado, and Children’s Music Academy of Centennial, CO among others. Cherry Creek HS is #2 in all CO according to Niche.com and they give the entire school district an A grade.
Homes in Centennial
We know what you’re thinking – with so much to love about Centennial, I’m sure it’s prohibitively expensive to buy a home there. Believe it or not, Realtor.com reports the median listing price for houses here to be $610,000.
Littleton is a little off the beaten path, which helps it maintain a friendly, neighborly vibe with historic character and local businesses. However, it’s just a 20 minute drive to downtown Denver, and 40 minutes by light rail, making it an easy commute.
As if that wasn’t enough, Littleton Public Schools are among the best in the state.
What’s Happening in Littleton
Littleton’s downtown may be historic, but it’s by no means dead. The local restaurants and shops (over 220, actually) are buzzing with activity, but if you ever do want to step back into the past, the Littleton Historical Museum will take you there. Plus, Hudson Garden keeps a packed calendar of cultural and science events and concerts.
As with any great Colorado town, Littleton keeps residents immersed in the great outdoors. With 1,400 acres of green space and 200 miles of trails, even the most fit of new residents will take a while to get through them all. Chatfield Reservoir provides swimming, paddle boarding, boating, and a beach for anyone who needs to cool off after all that exercise and Roxborough State Park serves up awe-inspiring views of red rock formations for those who prefer the scenic route. While we would always recommend the Mary Carter Greenway Trail for biking or jogging on a paved surface, you don’t have to take our word for it – more that a million people a year visit!
If just reading about all that exercise gets you hungry, NoNo’s Café serves up hearty Cajun fare and the famous Breckenridge Brewery will quench your thirst.
Schools in Littleton
Littleton has the 6th best district in all of Colorado according to Niche.com! Schools near Littleton include Highland Elementary School, Littleton Academy, and Mackintosh Academy among others.
Homes in Littleton
You’ll spot a few Craftsman-style houses in Littleton amidst its beautiful newer builds. However, the median home price here is a very reasonable $625,000.
There you have it: the best neighborhoods for families in Denver!
We hope this guide to the best neighborhoods for families in Denver was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge soon, don’t forget that we offer last minute moving services in Denver! So don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. Need to move quickly? We also provide last minute moving services!
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