If you’re gearing up for a trip to Denver, brace yourself for a city that delivers it all—vibrant nightlife, enthralling history, diverse culture, and some of the nation’s finest craft breweries. However, with an array of neighborhoods vying for attention, making the right stay choice can be daunting. I’ve crafted a guide to Denver’s six best neighborhoods tailored to your travel preferences.
Best places to stay in Denver
Let’s delve into the intricacies of the six best neighborhoods in Denver. Each possesses its unique charm, ensuring you find the ideal spot based on your preferences.
1. Central Business District – Denver’s Nightlife Hub
Situated north of Capitol Hill in the Central Business District, this downtown neighborhood, contrary to its name, is one of Denver’s most vibrant and lively areas.
The CBD is a multifaceted district packed with entertainment, shopping, museums, and sports, making it an ideal spot for a diverse range of interests. More notably, it boasts the most energetic and electric nightlife in Denver, offering a mix of cool jazz clubs, fun pubs, wild bars, and bustling clubs.
Some things to do in Central Business District
- Sip specialty cocktails at Union Lodge No. 1.
- Explore Denver’s largest green space, First Creek.
- Attend a concert at the legendary Fillmore Music Hall Auditorium.
- Experience the Denver Beer Train.
- Shop along the mile-long pedestrian street promenade, 16th Street Mall.
- Explore Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.
- Enjoy a play or concert at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
- Revel in the affordable cocktails at The Shag Lounge.
- Sample a variety of drinks at Front Porch.
- Discover sea creatures at the Downtown Aquarium.
- Savor a savory burger at 5280 Burger Bar.
2. River North Art District – Denver’s Coolest Hub
Situated just north of downtown, the River North Art District (RiNo) beckons those intrigued by Denver’s flourishing arts scene. Boasting numerous galleries, studios, and street art murals, RiNo stands as a vibrant and creative cornerstone of the city. Beyond its artistic charm, RiNo is a culinary and craft beer haven, hosting award-winning restaurants, trendy cocktail bars, and a burgeoning craft beer scene.
Some things to do in the River North Art District
- Explore the vibrant street art and murals on a leisurely stroll.
- Indulge in craft beer at local breweries like Great Divide Brewing Company and Ratio Beerworks.
- Dine at trendy establishments such as Acorn, Work & Class, and The Populist.
- Shop at unique boutiques offering handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, and local art.
- Catch a show or concert at the popular Bluebird Theater.
- Visit the Denver Central Market for a diverse range of locally-sourced culinary delights.
- Take a guided street art tour for an in-depth look at RiNo’s vibrant art scene.
3. Capitol Hill – Denver’s Gateway for First-Timers
For first-time Denver visitors, Capitol Hill is the go-to neighborhood. Centrally located and teeming with attractions, it boasts a rich history and is home to significant landmarks such as the Colorado State Capitol building, the United States Mint, and the Molly Brown House Museum. Architecture enthusiasts will revel in the turn-of-the-century mansions that define the area. Beyond its historical allure, Capitol Hill is a dining and nightlife hub with an array of restaurants, cafes, bars, and clubs.
Some things to do in Capitol Hill
- Explore over 70,000 works of art at the Denver Art Museum.
- Immerse yourself in Denver’s history and government at the Colorado State Capitol building.
- Stroll through the lush Civic Center Park.
- Admire the detail of Saint John’s Cathedral.
- Tour the United States Mint and discover the art of money-making.
- Visit the Denver Botanical Gardens.
- Join a Capitol Hill Ghost Tour for a spooky journey into Denver’s past.
- Savor exceptional cocktails at Hudson Hill bar.
- Enjoy a pint at the renowned The Fainting Goat.
4. Cherry Creek – Denver’s Budget-Friendly Oasis
Beyond its central location and proximity to Capitol Hill’s rich history, Cherry Creek emerges as the ultimate haven for budget backpackers and cost-conscious travelers in Denver.
This downtown district offers a plethora of affordable accommodation options, from lively and social hostels to chic boutique hotels that won’t dent your wallet.
Food enthusiasts will find Cherry Creek a gastronomic delight, featuring a diverse range of culinary options from around the world, catering to every palate, whether you crave salty or sweet, spicy or savory.
Some things to do in Cherry Creek
- Explore the Golden Triangle Creative District, a hub of art galleries, museums, landmarks, and more.
- Revel in an afternoon picnic at Cheesman Park or the Denver Botanic Gardens.
- Visit the home of the unsinkable Molly Brown, an American philanthropist who survived the Titanic.
- Experience a light show and meditation at the International Church of Cannabis in Denver.
- Delight in one of Denver’s best breakfasts at Jelly.
- Savor Southern-style American fare at Sassafras American Eatery.
- Indulge in Mexican fare with a Denver twist at Benny’s Mexican Restaurant.
5. Uptown – Denver’s Family-Friendly Retreat
As one of the oldest residential districts and a prime area to stay in Denver, Uptown is celebrated for its historic architecture, charming shops, and laid-back ambiance.
Located north of the Capitol Hill area, Uptown is an ideal neighborhood for families, boasting a variety of all-ages activities. Home to the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, and the expansive City Park, Uptown provides a perfect blend of attractions. Its main thoroughfare, 17th Avenue, is lined with delightful shops, charming cafes, diners, and buzzing bars.
Some things to do in Uptown
- Indulge in burgers and fries at Park & Co burgers.
- Explore the Denver Zoo and encounter animals, birds, and reptiles.
- Visit the Colorado Convention Center for art installations or expos.
- Dive into the exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
- Discover the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys with over 20,000 objects.
- Relax in verdant City Park, covering over 330 acres of land.
- Treat yourself to artisanal delights at Voodoo Doughnuts.
- Dine on flavorful foods at Steuben’s.
- Start your day with a cup of coffee at Fluid Coffee Bar.
6. Lower Downtown – Denver’s Coolest Hub
For those who revel in staying at the heart of the action, Lower Downtown, or LoDo, stands out as one of the best areas to stay in Denver.
This hip neighborhood, nestled between the South Platte River and the Central Business District, offers a plethora of cafes, restaurants, art galleries, museums, bars, and clubs. LoDo is characterized by historic architecture and Victorian charm, providing an immersive experience of Denver’s sights, sounds, and smells. Sports enthusiasts will particularly appreciate its proximity to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team.
Some things to do in Lower Downtown
- Enjoy breathtaking vistas from The Viewhouse.
- Stroll through Larimer Square, the city’s oldest and most historic block.
- Immerse yourself in the buzz of Denver at Union Station, hosting various restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Use Union Station as a starting point for exploring the best places in Colorado.
- Learn about the City’s African American Community at the Black American West Museum.
- Take a leisurely walk through Commons Park.
- Explore the revamped industrial buildings in the River North Art District.
- Admire sculptures, drawings, and installations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
- Step back in time at The Cruise Room, Denver’s first post-prohibition bar.
- Savor local craft beers on a brewery walking tour.
Final Thoughts on accommodation in Denver
Denver, a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and contemporary allure, awaits with a myriad of offerings for travelers. From esteemed art galleries and museums to sporting adventures and bustling brewery tours, Denver caters to every age, style, and budget. In the heart of this lively and vibrant city, there’s something for everyone. Stay tuned for more insights into Denver’s neighborhoods tailored to your travel interests.