Downtown Denver Colorado

City Guide / Denver

Our Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado

By Bri Hand | Jul 19, 2021

If you’re thinking about moving to Denver, you’re in good company. Thousands are relocating to this city for its close mountain access, the booming tech industry, and its easygoing yet active city life.

The Denver area’s distinct personality can be identified as a blend between a laid-back, adventurous eco-friendly hipster and a high-paying tech guru at a major company. In other words, it’s versatile. 

That’s why each neighborhood within the city has its own unique character and offers numerous different things to do in Denver. To truly weigh the pros and cons of living in Denver, you’ll want to take a closer look at the best neighborhoods in Denver to determine which one is right for you. This guide will provide you with a deep dive into 14 of the most sought-after Denver neighborhoods, including:

  • Capitol Hill
  • Central Business District
  • Cherry Creek
  • Congress Park
  • Five Points
  • Glendale
  • Greenwood Village
  • Highland
  • Northeast Denver
  • Platt Park
  • Ruby Hill
  • Sloan’s Lake
  • Southeast Denver
  • Washington Park

Let’s get started! 

1. Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill in Denver is a centrally located neighborhood that’s full of history, architectural charm, and hip bars, clubs, and restaurants. You can likely find a rental property within walking distance of some of Cap Hill’s best attractions, helping you enjoy the nightlife among a younger crowd. Thanks to its proximity to family-friendly parks and good public schools, the area appeals to young working families as well.

Things to do and places to go in Capitol Hill

Known affectionately by locals as “Cap Hill,” this area is extremely walkable and is a vibrant area with soul and grit, offering many opportunities for fun, including: 

  • Molly Brown House Museum: Activist Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic, is a large part of Denver’s history, and Capitol Hill has memorialized her legacy at the now-restored “House of Lions.” This three-floor museum-house gives an inside glimpse into the Brown family home, with additional exhibits and collections featuring local history and art.

What makes Capitol Hill unique

Capitol Hill is the most densely populated area of Denver. In terms of real estate, it contains many more apartment complexes than single-family homes, seeing as 79% of the neighborhood consists of rental properties. With such consistent bustling energy, there’s always something to do and someone new to meet.

Plus, Capitol Hill is exceptionally cheap compared to the rest of this Colorado city, attracting many young professionals and families to the area (the median rent is $1,202).

2. Central Business District

The Central Business District sits at the heart of the city in downtown Denver. It was recently renamed “Upper Downtown,” which locals have shortened even further to “UpDo,” to match the nicknamed neighborhoods around it, like LoDo, RiNo, and LoHi. It’s a bit of a Denver thing! 

Things to do and places to go in the Central Business District

As the original name suggests, UpDo is a bustling commercial neighborhood, complete with high-rises and attractions, including: 

  • 16th Street Mall: This mile-long promenade is a pedestrian-friendly shopping center with dining and entertainment. The MallRide shuttle takes shoppers up and down the length of the walkway for easy access to all your favorite stores.
  • Museums: No matter your niche interests, there’s an exhibit for you, whether you’re looking to learn about U.S. currency at the Denver Mint or immerse yourself in the land of Native Americans and settlers at the American Museum of Western Art.

What makes the Central Business District unique

Access is everything in the Central Business District. Not only are there myriad things to do right around the corner, but it’s also a regional transportation hub. In the Central Business District, it’s easy to get to other parts of the Denver metro area and beyond. Union Station sits at the end of 16th Street Mall and provides transportation to hubs within the state and around the country.

To live comfortably in UpDo, know that the median rent is $1,695.

3. Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek is a fantastic option for both families and individuals looking for city amenities and breathtaking views. Just west of Glendale, Cherry Creek mirrors the insatiable shopping and dining amenities. 

Things to do and places to go in Cherry Creek

Cherry Creek is a wonderful neighborhood with tons of outdoor retail and dining options, including:

  • Shopping: Need to get some shopping done? If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the over 160 stores in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, there’s a chance it may not exist. In between racks, stop by the plant-based eatery Flower Child or Elway’s steakhouse.
  • Outdoors: Cherry Creek State Park is the ideal respite from normal city life with all that you would expect from a state park as well as activities like horseback riding and even a family shooting range.

What makes Cherry Creek unique

While it’s only three miles from downtown, Cherry Creek has an upscale vibe that separates it from other areas. With amenities like the nearby Denver Country Club (the oldest club west of the Mississippi River), it’s no wonder Cherry Creek can feel like an opulent locale.

To that end, you can expect the median rent to land at $3,222.

4. Congress Park

Congress Park in Denver is more than meets the eye. Close to the Denver Botanic Gardens, a charming historic district, and reliable dining options, this neighborhood is a wonderful place to call home.

Things to do and places to go in Congress Park

When it comes to the small-town area of Congress Park, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, whether you’re looking to soak up one of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine or nosh on one of the neighborhood’s many delicacies. This neighborhood boasts: 

  • Outdoor fun: Just a five-minute walk from the beautiful Congress Park sits the Denver Botanical Gardens, a treasure trove of botanical wonders. Take a stroll under the wooden moon gate of the Japanese garden or flock to the garden’s expansive lawn for a sunrise yoga practice. Just outside of the gardens is Cheesman Park, a former cemetery that the more supernaturally inclined Denverites now flock to in hope of encountering one of the many spirits that haunt the land.
  • Dining: Enjoy a traditional bolognese, carbonara, or lasagna at Shells and Sauce. If you’re looking for lighter fare while socializing, share a cheese plate and enjoy one of over 20 seasonal wines by the glass available at Sienna Wine Bar.

What makes Congress Park unique

Congress Park is close enough to downtown to satisfy those looking for an urban vibe while also preserving a sense of history through its architecture and residential feel. In other words, it’s a perfect blend of both worlds. Additionally, it’s exceptionally affordable, with a median rent of $1,435.

5. Five Points

This neighborhood, located right on the edge of downtown, was once the center of Denver’s Jazz scene in the 1920s. Nowadays, it is a diverse, vibrant area that is often the talk of the town among the younger population. 

Things to do and places to go in Five Points

A lot goes on in Five Points, including the annual Five Point Jazz Fest, which celebrates and honors the city’s jazz heritage. In addition to that, you can find plenty of outdoor restaurants, parks to take a picnic, and tons of hipster coffee shops right in the center of the action, including: 

  • Beer and food: Microbrew enthusiasts will find their new favorite spot at Spangalang Brewery. Then, try some of the unique Chinese dishes like Cumin Lamb Buns and Bone Marrow Fried Rice at Hop Alley.
  • Coors Field: Do you like baseball? Go catch a Rockies’ home game, where you’ll likely see a few dingers thanks to the high altitude of Coors Field

What makes Five Points unique

It may have been the prevalence of jazz that earned Five Points the nickname “Harlem of the West,” but it also shares cultural diversity and lively energy with its New York brethren. This place is a hub for people who want to be in the center of what’s happening. As such, the median rent is $1,855.

6. Glendale

This unique enclave is a small Denver suburb (technically part of Arapahoe County) that happens to be smack dab in the middle of the city. The area is full of young professionals who enjoy Glendale’s trendy coffee shops, bustling nightlife, and overall urban feel—Glendale is, after all, literally surrounded by the Denver cityscape. 

Around 91% of residents are upwardly mobile renters. As the area grows, new development projects are on the horizon, including office spaces, increased residential projects, and an impressive entertainment district to bring back the bustling arts and music scene Glendale once had. 

Things to do and places to go in Glendale

Glendale is a shopper’s paradise, whether you’re looking for commercial staples or one-of-a-kind eateries. But there’s also lots to do outside the racks, too, including the Four Mile Historic Park. When you enter this quaint area of the Mile High City, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Get a glimpse of the city’s historic past with a walking tour of Denver’s oldest homes and structures, or enjoy a family picnic and special events programming at this 12-acre park. 

What makes Glendale unique

Considering its size, you’d think Glendale would be nothing more than a few streets of single-family homes and basic retailers. For a city that would fit on the University of Colorado campus, there is a lot to keep yourself occupied—and soon there will be even more!

If you’re looking to move to this bustling metropolis, know that the median rent is $1,130.

7. Greenwood Village

Located just south of downtown Denver, Greenwood Village is another nature lover’s paradise. There are plenty of open fields and trails with amazing views of nature to take in over a picnic with your friends and family. 

Things to do and places to go in Greenwood Village

With the wide-open spaces of Greenwood Village, you’ll find a lot of playgrounds, as well as a diverse selection of properties like rental homes, executive homes, and vacation rentals. There’s something for everyone here, including: 

  • Music: Catch the biggest musical acts when they come to town at the 17,000 seat Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. The outdoor amphitheater also has an extensive lawn where concertgoers can relax while they listen to tunes.
  • Dining: Japan and Hawaii come together at Hapa Sushi Grill, which features late night and early happy hours and inventive dishes like the Tootsie Roll (which has eel and cream cheese). For traditional Greek fare, try the mousaka at Yanni’s or Sazza for an incredible pizza and salad pairing.

What makes Greenwood Village unique

While the commute to downtown Denver is quick, Greenwood Village is about 10 miles south. This makes it a great spot for people who want their home to be an escape from the city while still having access to the city’s hotspots. It’s great for anyone who appreciates a more suburban vibe, with a median rent of $1,802.

8. Highland

Highland isn’t your average residential neighborhood in Denver. Busting with trendy restaurants, shopping spots, and outdoor activities, Highland offers plenty to explore.

Highland has recently rebranded itself as a cultural hub, making it an in-demand area for relocation housing for many millennials moving to Denver, and it’s arguably one of Denver’s hottest neighborhoods. 

Things to do and places to go in Highland

The hillsides of the Highland neighborhood aren’t lacking when it comes to community activities. The Highlands Street Fair, an annual festival, is a staple of Highland life and the surrounding Denver community. 

The fair features the works of over 100 vendors, who sell food and drinks, clothing, and artisan goods. You can also enjoy free outdoor concerts, get your face painted, learn about how you can get involved in local non-profits, and a whole lot more. 

What makes Highland unique

Highland makes the old feel new, and the new feel timeless. The beautiful architecture is complemented effortlessly by the trendy vintage-style shops and innovative restaurants, including an old auto shop that was transformed into a hip brewery. The residents turned a somewhat decaying part of this Colorado city into a revitalized destination spot with their grit and determination—not to mention some of the best beer in town.

If you’re looking to find a home in this Denver hotspot, the median rent is $1,695.

9. Northeast Denver

Northeast Denver is a quieter area of the city, with tree-lined streets, friendly neighbors, and more diversity, as the community is a mix of historic and more up-and-coming neighborhoods. 

Things to do and places to go in Northeast Denver

There are plenty of attractions to fill your time in Northeast Denver, including:

  • Wildlife: If you love nature you’ll find a lot to love in the 15,000 acres of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy the 20 miles worth of hiking trails or, if you want to squeeze in as much as possible in one visit, opt for the 11-mile Wildlife Drive.
  • Dining: For elevated fare, try the pork schnitzel at 2020 James Beard nominee Caroline Glover’s Annette. If you prefer things low and slow, swing by nearby Aurora’s Plates by the Pound Barbecue any day—just make sure you get there before they sell out!

What makes Northeast Denver unique

Northeast Denver isn’t just one neighborhood, but many. The varied feel of areas like Park Hill, Stapleton, and Green Valley Ranch ensures you’ll be able to find somewhere that aligns with your energy. 

The median rent for these neighborhoods is $1,095.

10. Platt Park

This burgeoning neighborhood is currently undergoing remodels and construction projects to convert some of the old buildings into trendy new apartments and homes. The previously small-town community is becoming an eclectic hub of activity and excitement as more young people flock to the area.

Things to do and places to go in Platt Park

Its main thoroughfare of Old South Pearl Street has kept the area’s quaint charm intact, featuring unique shops and restaurants, and a glimpse of the trolley line that used to be. There’s plenty to fill your time with, including:

  • James H. Platt Park: The neighborhood’s namesake park is a beautiful green space to enjoy a family picnic, playtime at the sprawling playground, or a soccer or frisbee game. Pop into the Decker Library or Fleming Mansion, which are right next door.
  • South Pearl Street Farmers’ Market: South Pearl Street is home to a bustling farmers’ market every Sunday from spring through fall. They host additional special events, including a Halloween parade and flea markets on the last Sunday of the month. Check out locally sourced market items like fresh produce and unique decor and gifts.

What makes Platt Park unique

Platt Park has become Denver’s destination foodie heaven, with some of the best cuisines from around the world within the neighborhood’s borders, such as authentic Malaysian food, Japanese tapas, wood-fired Naples pizza, and more.

For those who want to move into Platt Park’s eclectic periphery, the median rent is $1,713.

11. Ruby Hill

Less than five miles south of downtown Denver is the Ruby Hill neighborhood, which offers Denverites the perfect mix of urban and suburban vibes, as well as plenty of bars, restaurants, and parks to enjoy. 

Things to do and places to go in Ruby Hill

The garnet-filled hills of this neighborhood offer many fun attractions, such as:

  • Federal Boulevard: On the west end of Ruby Hill, you’ll find a stretch of Federal Boulevard, which extends north and south and is filled with shops and restaurants to explore.
  • Sledding: Reawaken your inner child (or take a child) and enjoy the renowned sledding options available in the area during the winter and spring months.

What makes Ruby Hill unique

Ruby Hill’s reasonable rents (the median rent is $965) and convenient location (it’s five miles from downtown) make it a desirable area for anyone looking to enjoy Denver while also getting the feel of a more residential area.

12. Sloan’s Lake

Of all of Denver’s neighborhoods, this one is known for its walkability, abundant green space, and to-die-for food and drink options. You can sample a wide variety of cuisines, including authentic Mexican eats at Chili Verde and Thai fusion at US Thai Café.

Enjoy a day outdoors by the lake or at one of the neighborhood’s 270 public parks, then grab a bite and brew at a restaurant before hitting the town or heading home for a quiet night in. 

Things to do and places to go in Sloan’s Lake

Sloan’s Lake residents always have plenty to do without the hustle and bustle of Denver’s more commercial areas, including the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. The only thing better than celebrating Asian heritage with live music, cultural performances, and authentic cuisine? A competitive race between stunningly crafted dragon boats—for free. This is the kind of unique event you can expect from Sloan’s Lake.

What makes Sloan’s Lake unique

As the name suggests, Sloan’s Lake inherited its identity from—you guessed it—Sloan’s Lake. While the neighborhood has expanded into more than just a lakeside retreat, fishing, kayaking, and swimming are still a big part of its charm. 

If you’re looking to set up shop among Sloan’s Lake’s periphery, know that the median rent is $1,025.

13. Southeast Denver

Southeast Denver is a perfect mix of old and new, with historic architecture and charming neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. 

Things to do and places to go in Southeast Denver

If you’re venturing to Southeast Denver, the area offers many sights to fill your day:

  • University of Denver: Students and non-students alike can enjoy the University of Denver’s campus, which brims in brick and gold. You can also take in one of the university’s many sports teams or take advantage of the Coors Fitness Center (which is open to the public).
  • Flagship eats: Hitting up a national chain may not seem all that special, but Chipotle’s flagship location is located in Southeast Denver and worth a visit to see where it all began.

What makes Southeast Denver unique

Southeast Denver is more than just a college area. Since it’s a collection of many neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for that college vibe or ready to put your university days behind you in a residential neighborhood. The median rent is $1,500.

14. Washington Park 

Washington Park is a more residential neighborhood with sports facilities, playgrounds, and golf courses that Denverites love. This area is filled with environmentally conscious and community-minded residents who enjoy the neighborhood’s peaceful vibe and many small, independently owned businesses.

Things to do and places to go in Washington Park

Washington Park is a hip and trendy neighborhood that houses many eateries and attractions within its eclectic neighborhood, such as:

  • Washington Park: You can’t talk about Washington Park the neighborhood without talking about Washington Park the park. This 155-acre oasis is full of amenities such as tennis courts and world-class flower gardens. It’s also bookended by two lakes: Smith Lake on the north end and Grasmere Lake to the south.
  • Bonnie Brae Ice Cream: As a Denver staple, this top-rated ice cream shop regularly has lines out the door. Stop by for unique flavors like pineapple pistachio, honey almond, and amaretto peach. 

What makes Washington Park unique

Known as “Wash Park” to the locals, this area combines the ethos of a small town with the amenities that you expect from a big city, such as dining and shopping. There’s a reason so many consider it one of the best Denver Colorado neighborhoods. 

Since Wash Park is such a desirable area, the median rent is $1,848.

Land in a great Denver neighborhood with Landing

With all these up-and-coming neighborhoods in Denver, it’s no wonder that the Denver real estate market is so tricky to navigate—there’s a lot of competition to find housing in the best neighborhoods. 

Luckily, Landing takes the stress and hassle out of securing a lease, leaving you with all the best parts of relocating to a new city. With fully furnished apartments in Denver, 24/7 concierge service, and no long-term leases or deposits, you can use the valuable time you save to choose the perfect Denver neighborhood for you. Browse our apartments in Denver today!

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.