Where To Go
The country’s 10th-largest downtown is pedestrian-friendly with iconic sights like the Brown Palace Hotel and the modern Big Blue Bear sculpture. Major sights in adjacent neighborhoods, such as the Black American West Museum in Five Points, are also just steps away.
The bulk of the city’s hotels are located in the heart of downtown, and many visitors find that this is the perfect spot to stay since it is so close to many of the city’s historic and cultural sights, upscale restaurants, and lively bars in adjacent neighborhoods.
Golden Triangle and Lincoln Park
With the Denver Art Museum as an anchor, the Golden Triangle has in recent years become a cultural destination; with several new high-rise condominiums it’s also an up-and-coming residential urban neighborhood. Beyond the Golden Triangle, hip galleries, diverse restaurants, eclectic shops, and dynamic dance clubs and bars have brought vibrancy to the La Alma and Lincoln Park neighborhoods and the South Broadway corridor. The main attractions in the Lincoln Park neighborhood are along Santa Fe Drive.
LoDo and Platte River Valley
LoDo (short for Lower Downtown) is known for many rescued historic buildings, most notably Union Station and Larimer Square, as well as a concentration of excellent bars and nightclubs. Now that the old LoDo warehouses have been turned into lofts and green space has been added near the South Platte River, the entire Platte River Valley has exploded as a new urban neighborhood and destination. Major sights such as the Museum of Contemporary Art|Denver, Centennial Gardens, and Commons Park are all found in the Platte River Valley area.
Capitol Hill and City Park
Filled with historic homes and mansions alongside apartment buildings, Capitol Hill is densely packed and always lively. The neighborhood is known for being gay and lesbian friendly and is home to some of the city’s best music venues along Colfax Avenue such as the Bluebird Theater and Ogden Theatre.
Denver’s largest neighborhood has a unique blend of Latino culture and rejuvenated shopping and dining districts, such as Highlands Square and Tennyson Street. Historic homes are shoulder to shoulder with new modern condominium developments, particularly in Eastern Highlands, which is linked to downtown by a new pedestrian bridge that spans I-25 from Platte Street. Though there are not any major sights found in Highlands, it’s a fun place to get a sense of local Denver culture.
The park itself is the big draw in this neighborhood, where charming bungalows on tree-lined streets surround large Washington Park. Locally referred to as “Wash Park,” this family-friendly spot is popular for jogging, playing tennis, soccer, or a walk around the blooming flowerbeds. A few blocks away is the quaint shopping and dining block of South Gaylord Street, where locals stroll with their dogs. South Washington Park includes South Pearl Street, which draws people from beyond the neighborhood to its popular boutiques and restaurants and is now accessible by light rail train.
The Cherry Creek Bike Path meanders alongside the mellow waters below street level and ends near Cherry Creek’s up-and-coming shopping district, which has added hotels and restaurants in the last couple of years to become more of a destination for travelers.
The Greater Denver area extends at least 15 miles in any direction from downtown, with an abundance of distinct towns, including Golden and Arvada, which have a captivating history and some interesting attractions such as the Clear Creek Whitewater Park and the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum.
© Mindy Sink from Moon Denver, 1st Edition