More than 62,000 people live within a one-mile radius of downtown Denver, and historic regions and cultural flavor are around every corner. And it’s not surprising why.
After all, an urban lifestyle means you’re part of what makes life exciting. More people are choosing to live in urban areas or outlying areas that have preserved an urban vitality – and Denver is no exception. Enjoying urban living is a great way to co-exist with the history, culture, richness and constant motion of city life.
Whether you live right downtown, or in one of the revitalized and up-and-coming areas in the greater metro area, everything is easily accessible: from concerts to museums, sporting events to theatre, wonderful cafés and restaurants to fun nightclubs and jazz bars. There is something fun to do and exciting to take in around every corner.
Accessible lifestyle and lots of greenspace
One of the many virtues of urban living is accessibility – and Denver’s got that covered! The transportation systems in Denver’s urban areas include bike, light rail, highway systems and mass transit systems, all of which have experienced extensive upgrades in recent years. No matter which you choose, getting around is convenient, fast and safe.
More than 80 acres of parks and open space fill downtown Denver and the urban areas, and nine theatres in the Denver Performing Arts Complex make it the second-largest performing arts center in the world. With all these amenities and clear appeal, it’s easy to see that urban living in metro Denver can make life even more exciting and enjoyable than you’ve ever imagined!
A Sampling of Denver’s Urban Neighborhoods
Denver’s urban neighborhoods range from revitalized urban corridors between the skyscrapers to homes on quaint tree-lined streets that are just minutes from downtown. Here’s an overview of some key areas, as well as mentioned of areas experiencing new activity and increased interest in the urban lifestyle.
The Highlands stands on the west side of I-25 and boasts a collection of row houses, post-WWII era homes and Victorian mansions, as well as a culturally diverse community. The Highlands also features a family-friendly community, with the largest population of youth under five years old in the city and county of Denver. Highland’s streets are tree-lined and beautiful, sweeping over gentle hills. Located very close to downtown, the Highland’s still manages to stay apart from the hustle and bustle, both in feel and sensibility. Unique commercial options include the many retailers and restaurants around 32nd and 33rd streets.
Riverfront is experiencing exciting development as it quickly becomes a favorite urban living destination. Millions of square feet of development are emerging from what used to be industrial space—including railyards and warehouses. Prominent landmarks in the Riverfront area include Six Flags Elitch Gardens, Downtown Aquarium, Pepsi Center arena, the Children’s Museum of Denver and Commons Park, the largest of dozens of acres of parklands in this highly sought-after new urban area just minutes from downtown Denver.
Downtown (LoDo – Lower Downtown)
LoDo, or Lower Downtown, is located where General William Larimer founded the city of Denver, back in 1858. LoDo is particularly famous for its art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, jazz parlors and specialty retail stores—all located on the ground floors of some of the most beautiful historic buildings in Denver. LoDo’s transformed structures have preserved the brick and stone that give this region its unforgettable flavor, and turned them into luxurious high-end—as well as affordable—housing for its residents. LoDo amenities and attractions include Commons Park in the Central Platte Valley, the Cherry Creek bike path, 16th Street Mall, Coors Field (home of the Colorado Rockies) and the country’s largest brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Company.
Strolling down Larimer Street, one can find an array of shops, bars, fine art galleries, antique shops and more. The Ballpark Historic District lies to the north of LoDo, and was founded to preserve the historic structures and architecture of this up and-coming urban location. It’s becoming particularly known for its open-air markets, including the Ballpark Market and Larimer Street Market, both of which attract residents and visitors from other parts of the city, and feature arts and crafts, fresh produce and special foods, live entertainment, fun for the family and more.
Central Business District
Talk about lofts! The Downtown Denver Central Business District includes some of the heaviest redevelopment of recent years, including properties such as the Buerger Boston and Bank Lofts, Denver Dry Lofts and the Chamber Apartments. The Central Business District also has many apartment complexes, including Denver Place Apartments, Larimer Place and Barclay Tower. With proximity to downtown amenities, such as the 16th Street Mall and all of its many shops, restaurants, movie theatres, galleries, nightclub venues and boutiques—not to mention steady pedestrian traffic and “urban neighborhood” feel—the Central Business District is a great urban living choice.
The charming Uptown neighborhood offers a slower pace and is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for living in Denver—complete with neighborhood public space, the confluence of many of Denver’s best hospitals, fabulous shopping and eating choices, and a combination of historic mansions and new condo and loft projects. Uptown is located just east of downtown—close, but far enough to maintains a separate feel that attracts those who want the urban experience while living in a neighborhood. Public space abounds. 17th Street is called “Restaurant Row” for its many diverse culinary options.
Golden Triangle is an artistically inspired region south of downtown, where attractions include the Denver Art Museum, the Central Denver Public Library and more—giving this region a unique flavor. Residents enjoy its proximity to downtown, while also having the amenities of a Neighborhood Association, free “Art Bus” to various art gallery openings and more. The growth of this neighborhood has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to heavy development initiatives that include the beautification of streets, greenery additions, and overall ambience. The Golden Triangle will likely become even more sought-after as the art museum continues its expansion, bringing more residents into the lofts, condos, and apartments located here.
Capitol Hill is, perhaps, most famous for its many mansions, constructed during the turn of the 20th century by wealthy families, including famous Titanic survivor Molly Brown—whose house is on Pennsylvania Street and is open for tours. The neighborhood has an array of housing styles and price ranges, from classic mansions to modern high-rises and lofts, as well as smaller homes and apartments. The Colorado State Capitol building stands over this district, and the area is also home to the Fillmore Auditorium, as well as the beautiful Cheesman Park. Residents will also discover coffee shops, restaurants with an array of cuisines, and many wonderful shops throughout this densely populated segment of downtown Denver.
Cherry Creek North is an upscale residential neighborhood with galleries, shops, boutiques, restaurants and more around Fillmore Plaza—where residents can participate in such community events such as Films on Fillmore and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Cherry Creek South offers luxury condominium and townhome housing, as well as a bevy of parks and greenways. The Cherry Creek Shopping Center is considered to be one of the best malls in the world, and Cherry Creek is fast becoming a favorite Denver visitor destination.
Highlands Ranch Town Center
The Highlands Ranch Town Center area includes the Tattered Cover Bookstore, the Highlands Ranch Library, Civic Green Park and Amphitheater and the Shakespeare Festival in the summer. Highlands Ranch also offers great neighborhood community features, including four recreation centers with lots of amenities, as well as many restaurants and gathering spaces.
Stapleton is known for its “New Urbanism” feel – a form of urban design that brings distinctive home options together with a neighborhood feel in an overall vision of sustainability. Stapleton has become a model for the New Urbanism worldwide because it’s an environment in which homes and all amenities—including many parks and plenty of open space—combine to create a classic and sustainable neighborhood. Community integrity is key here – Stapleton is a small-town community in the heart of an urban center.
Denver Tech Center
The Denver Tech Center (DTC) “urban village” is located in the corporate complex off of I-25, south of Denver. Its many big businesses don’t detract from its own unique, community environment and atmosphere—if nothing else, it adds a special flavor to the area. Living in DTC offers access to beautiful buildings, multiple housing options, and a variety of nearby restaurants, entertainment venues and shops.
You can’t mention downtown Boulder without talking about the beautiful Flatiron Mountains, which offer residents a clear view from just about every street, and the Rocky Mountains that are just behind them. Boulder is a favorite tourist destination, but its downtown living offers a quaint and self-contained community atmosphere, complete with charming stores, shops, boutiques, healthy restaurants, many entertainment options, and much more.