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The Best Places to Live in Denver
Moving to a new state can be difficult, even if you think you know what to anticipate. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with everything you’ll need to know, if Denver is your next home.
We’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Denver City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Denver’s most popular neighborhoods.
This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Denver movers and movers throughout the country).
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A Little About Living in Denver
People are moving to Denver because of the incredible lifestyle this city offers. And locals can attest, it’s just a wonderful place to live. With over 300 days of sunshine, you don’t have to check the weather before going for a hike or bike ride, walking the dog, or taking an exercise class in one of Denver’s 205 parks. It ranks a 72 bike score because of its flat landscapes perfect for biking.
The lifestyle brings people to Denver. And the many job opportunities keep them here. Denver has had a rush of entrepreneurs who are creating many unique job opportunities. With a light rail and commuter rail, the city iand its neighborhoods are easy to travel by puvlixa transit.. And the city governor, Jared Polis, has promoted and created numerous clean energy jobs across the city. With an unemployment rate that runs significantly below the rest of the country, most new residents find a job as easily as they find a fried pair of Denver’s classic Rocky Mountain oysters.
The city, as you know, is Colorado’s proud capital, known for its incredible food, settled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and home to four major professional sports teams. If you’re willing to drive an hour out, the wider region around Denver has some world-class ski areas and prime dirt bike, rafting, and rock-climbing destinations.
With all these perks, Denver is one of the fastest-growing major cities in the country with a population of nearly 700,000. It has grown year over year between 2010 and 2021 and is expected to continue to grow in 2023 and beyond..
Located about five miles southeast of downtown Denver sits one of our favorite neighborhoods. Washington Park displays trimmed lawns, front-yard fences, tree-lined streets, and close proximity to all the city’s action. Its centerpiece and namesake, Washington Park, offers 165 acres of sprawling grass, lakes, flower gardens, kayaking, walking paths, and hiking trails.
What’s Happening in Washington Park
Old South Gaylord Street is a local favorite, full of boutiques, restaurants and bars, art studios, and cafes. Throughout the neighborhood, locals enjoy the many cafes, bicycle shops, clothing stores, gift shops, and great restaurants from quirky burger joints to thoughtful sushi shops.
Visit Washington Park’s microbreweries and check out the vast Denver Beer Trail. For more shopping and eating, visit the charming and historic South Pearl Street. We recommend you refresh yourself amidst your shopping at Bird Restaurant.
Schools in Washington Park
Schools near Washington Park are some of the top rated public and private schools in the Denver, including Steele Elementary School, which ranks high in academics and teachers, and Polaris at Ebert Elementary School, a highly-rated school in the area with over 90% of students prd oficient in math and reading.
Homes in Washington Park
Homes in this area are a mix of new construction and older houses. The media home value in Washington Park is $862,000 with new home prices going into the millions. The average rent for an apartment in the area is $2,300 a month.
This newly trending neighborhood is a diverse gem in the midst of the city, just two miles from downtown Denver. With Italian and Hispanic families still living in the area from several generations past, Highland offers a unique cultural richness. Highland has the perks of being close to downtown without the big price tag. But that’s been catching people’s attention. The recent construction of new condos and apartments amidst Highland’s historic homes might mean prices won’t stay low for much longer.
What’s Happening in Highland
Highland is speckled with unique independent stores, art galleries, coffee shops, clubs, bars, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The area is very walkable, and during summer months, the neighborhood opens up for farmers markets and community events.
To get a feel for local living, join in on First Friday’s artist displays in the Tennyson Street Cultural District. Schedule in the annual Street Fair that brings live music, tasty food, and arts and crafts to the neighborhoods. And join the yearly Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, which celebrates Asian culture and moves across Sloan’s Lake.
Highland has easy access to the beautiful Sloan’s Lake Park, which features paddleboarding and walking trails. For the best of Highland’s food and drinks, check out Avanti Food & Beverage and Denver Beer Company. Top it off with locally made treats from Little Man Ice Cream.
Schools in Highland
Schools near Highland include Byers High School, a charter school ranked the fourth best in the Colorado and Valdez Elementary School, which has an average ranking in academics and teachers, but has excellent reviews for diversity and enrichment activities.
Homes in Highland
Because of its urban feel, many residents rent their homes. Apartments average $2,400 a month. There are plenty of homes available to purchase, with prices coming in around $540,000.
Littleton is the quintessential small town slightly off the beaten Denver path. The area features familiar friendly neighbors, wonderful local shops and restaurants, historic richness, and great recreational opportunities.
Located about 12 miles south of downtown, Littleton makes it easy for people commuting to and from Denver for work. And with the RTD Light Rail Station right at Mineral Street, it’s a straight shot to the city. Finally, Littleton Public Schools have won Colorado’s highest academic accreditation rating seven years in a row.
What’s Happening in Littleton
Littleton is buzzing. And this vibrant community offers a wonderful historic downtown packed with local restaurants and shops (over 220, actually). The Littleton Historical Museum will walk you through the story of the area’s past. And Hudson Garden hosts cultural and science entertainment events and concert series.
The area boasts over 1,400 acres of green space and 200 miles of trails. Chatfield Reservoir is a recreational paradise with swimming, paddle boarding, boating, and a beachfront. Roxborough State Park features exceptional views of red rock formations. And the Mary Carter Greenway Trail (accommodating more than a million people a year!) lets locals and visitors ride their bikes, jog, or walk along the miles of well-kept, paved trail-way.
Littleton’s new addition, the well-known Breckenridge Brewery, offers delicious brews, a screened-in porch, and a beer garden. Also, check out NoNo’s Cafe for some of the area’s best locally-made meals.
Schools in Littleton
Schools near Littleton include Front Range Christian School, ranked the second best private high school in the county for its academics, clubs and activities and college prep, Littleton Academy, a K-8 charter school with highly-rated teachers and a 13 to 1 student-teacher ratio, and Mackintosh Academy, a private school for grades K-8.
Homes in Littleton
Homes in Littleton range from older split levels and ranches to newer construction. The average cost to purchase a home is $635,000 and the market is competitive. Renters can find an apartment for around $2,000 a month.
Cherry Creek is known for its shopping and dining destinations – mainly due to the upscale Cherry Creek Shopping Center, which is visited by nearly 18 million people a year. Just four miles from downtown Denver, the area also offers a plethora of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes outside this shopping center. Cherry Creek gives off a luxurious elite vibe, with unique and high-end shopping destinations and dining experiences from chefs who have gained national recognition. It is a bike-friendly area and one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Denver.
What’s Happening in Cherry Creek
There’s so much to do and many lovely places to visit in Cherry Creek. But we have a few must-visits to get you started:
First, grab a delicious cappuccino from the clean, upscale, and trendy Aviano Coffee. Now peruse the beautiful plants in the midst of the metro, and take a morning stroll through the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Next, pick up your local produce and an artisan lunch on Wednesdays and Sundays at the Cherry Creek Fresh Market. Hop on your bike and pick a section of the 40-paved miles of the scenic Cherry Creek Regional Trail. Then, shop along the 16 blocks of Cherry Street North.
Finally, stop at Barolo Grill. Order yourself the black truffle risotto and braised duck. And sip down a glass of fine wine.
Also, don’t miss the popular local events like Cherry Creek Arts Festival, with 35,000 people coming through town over this three-day-long event. And join the crowds at the Cherry Creek Food and Wine Festival for delicious drink samplings.
Schools in Cherry Creek
The Cherry Creek School District serves students in the area. The district is ranked the second best district in the Denver area. Schools include Cherry Creek Charter Academy, one of the top ten elementary schools in Colorado and Cherry Creek High School, which is ranked the second best public high school in the state.
Homes in Cherry Creek
Most people living in Cherry Creek own their own homes, but they come with a price. The average cost of a home is $1.3 million. . Apartments rent for a little less than the other neigborhoods we’ve mentioned, with the average cost per month just over $1,700.
Downtown Denver displays how extremely active and lively this city is. With tons of shops, restaurants, bars, craft breweries, and nightclubs, the options are endless. LoDo is extremely walkable and bike-friendly, with over 20 miles of bike lanes and one of the first electronic bike share systems. It also proudly displays its support of local art, and almost every building, plaza, and corner has a mural or some sort of art installation. LoDo is busting with attractions and is home to many happy locals.
What’s Happening in Downtown
We don’t have to really say it, but there is so much to do in Downtown Denver. Historic sites, museums, shops, eateries, and cultural events happen every month. But let’s get you started on a few top spots.
The Tattered Cover Book Store is a local hot spot with a cafe and shelves upon shelves of books, magazines, and newspapers. Larimar Square offers blocks of historic buildings filled with unique shops, restaurants, and boutiques. And the massive Denver Performing Arts Complex covers four blocks and is where you can catch the symphony, the opera, and the ballet.
Potentially our favorite place to eat and drink in LoDo is Briar Common Brewery + Eatery. Check it out and see how you like it.
Schools in Downtown
The Denver Public School district serves downtown and surrounding areas andis ranked one of the top ten districts in the Denver area. Schools near downtown include Byers Middle & High School, which are both ranked highly for academics, and the Denver School of the Arts, which is ranked the number one high school for the arts in Colorado.
Homes in Downtown
Most residents of downtown Denver rent their homes. The average price to rent an apartment is nearly $2,400 a month. There are very few single family homes in downtown, but people looking to buy can choose from a large selection of condos and townhouses that sell for an average of $650,000.
Other Denver Guides
Looking for more? Check out our other guides to living in Denver:
- Moving to Denver, CO
- The Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Denver
- The Best Suburbs in Denver
- The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Denver
- The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Denver
There you have it: the best places to live in Denver!
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long distance movess in Denver, and we would love to help.
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