Best neighborhoods in Denver

Denver street artowrk

Curious about the best neighborhoods in Denver? Check out these 10 areas before deciding where to plant your roots in the Mile High City.

By Vivian Tejada

In 2021, Denver, which covers more than 155 square miles of land, reached its highest population size of nearly 750,000 inhabitants. Its population has grown almost 25% since the 2010 census and is expected to continue growing. By population, it’s currently the largest city in Colorado and the nineteenth largest in the country. 

Newcomers from all walks of life see value in relocating to Colorado’s capital. For people who love the outdoors, Denver’s appeal might be in its 300 days of annual sunlight and easy access to the mountains. Young professionals can tap into Denver’s strong economy and work for one of its top companies, such as Macy’s, Re/Max, or JBS USA. There are also plenty of pet-friendly and kid-friendly neighborhoods to raise a family in. 

In this article, you’ll find out what 10 areas are the best Denver neighborhoods to live in, depending on your lifestyle preferences and budget. 

What you’ll learn

  • The best neighborhoods in Denver for families. If you’re planning to move to Denver with your family, you probably want to know which neighborhoods offer the most green space, best schools, and highest overall safety. Discover which neighborhoods will make a good home for you and your loved ones.
  • What are the most affordable neighborhoods in Denver for young professionals? With a budding economy and a surplus of new residents, finding an inexpensive place to live can be tricky for younger adults. Find out which areas in Denver will work with your budget.
  • Benefits and disadvantages of living in these 10 Denver neighborhoods. If you prefer to live in a quiet neighborhood, but still want to live close to the city center, keep reading to find out which Denver neighborhoods are best suited for you.

The Highlands

Highlands Denver, Colorado
A mural in the Highlands. Photo by @toellnma on Twenty20. 

Offering a residential area with an urban feel, the Highlands is one of the best places to live in Denver. It’s also one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Denver, given its convenient location and easy access to city amenities. 

The neighborhood is located on a hill, off to the northwest side of the city. It encompasses Highland, Highland Park, Lower Highland, and Potter Highlands Historic District. Its vibrant streets are packed with unique restaurant concepts, bohemian rooftops, and independent shops. 

The majority of its nightlife is concentrated in Lower Highland, or LoHi. Some of the most frequented areas are Highland Square and Tennyson Street, where locals enjoy a wide variety of drinks, dining, boutiques, coffee shops, and art galleries. 

Pros: LoHi has some of the city’s best urban street food and boutique stores. You can enjoy a night out in the city without having to go into a crowded downtown. 

Cons: With a population of 15,265, the hip neighborhood can be a bit noisy and feel crowded on the weekends. 

Cherry Creek

Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library Denver, Colorado
The Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library. Photo by @faina.gur on Twenty20. 

Only a five minute drive from Downtown Denver, this upscale dining and shopping district offers its residents luxurious living at every corner. Its tree-lined streets provide plenty of shade from the sun in the warmer months and are safe to walk at night. The affluent neighborhood is also popular among cyclists, who bike along the Cherry Creek Trail. It’s laid-back nature and aesthetic appeal make it one of the most peaceful neighborhoods in Denver for retirees.

Pros: As Cherry Creek is an affluent residential district, you can expect to pay top dollar for housing and other living costs. 

Cons: With a small population of just 6,850 and a growing number of retirees, Cherry Creek may not be the home young professionals desire.

Park Hill

One of Denver’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods, Park Hill is located just 10 minutes east of Downtown. Homes in Park Hill are still decorated with 19th century Victorian-era designs that add personality to the neighborhood. The liberal town emanates a communal vibe where block parties and coffee chop meetups are common. Its international restaurant scene attracts people of all ages. Some local favorites are the Blazing Chicken Shack, Spicy Thai II, and Spinelli’s Market.  

Pros: Park Hill is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the Denver metro area. 

Cons: The neighborhood is densely populated with 14,539 inhabitants. If you prefer an open- space neighborhood for your kids to play in, Park Hill may not be ideal. 

Five Points

Five Points Denver, Colorado
A street in Five Points. Photo by @OPeels on Twenty20. 

Another oldie but goodie, Five Points is as historic as it is diverse. In the 20th century, the northern Denver neighborhood regularly hosted shows by some of the greatest names in jazz, such as Miles Davis and Billie Holiday. Famous musicians frequented places like the Rossonian Hotel, previously one of most famous jazz clubs in the West. 

Its lively jazz scene throughout the 1920s and 30s earned Five Points the nickname “Harlem of the West.” Still a culturally rich town, Five Points is home to the Black American West Museum, founded in the 70’s and housed in a classic Victorian home. Five Points Jazz Festival takes place every May and is designated a must-visit by locals. The eclectic neighborhood also has some of the best Caribbean cuisine in Colorado. 

Pros: Foodies will find a wide range of soul food and barbecue options in this historic town.

Cons: Depending on where in Five Points you live, you may be a bit far removed from the city center. 

RiNo

A mural in RiNo, Denver, Colorado
A mural in RiNo. Photo by @OPeels on Twenty20. 

Coming in at the top of the list for the best neighborhoods in Denver for nightlife is River North Art District, aka RiNo. Its residents have unofficially named it the art capital of Denver, and it’s not hard to see why. Independent studios, creative galleries, and street art line Larimer and 7th Streets, captivating residents and visitors alike. 

There’s no shortage of coffee shops or art galleries to explore in this hip Denver neighborhood. You’ll find a large selection of restaurants and bars as well, along with factory buildings-turned-music venues and rustic breweries. On the first Friday of the month, you can catch an art opening or a live gig at one of its artistic spots. 

Pros: RiNo will make an excellent home for artists or entrepreneurs looking for daily inspiration and frequent outings. 

Cons: Given its heavy foot traffic not only on the weekends but also during the week, this may not be the best neighborhood to raise a family. 

Washington Park

Washington Park Denver, Colorado
Washington Park. Photo by @meghan_ashley on Twenty20. 

Washington Park is another highly regarded place to settle down. Bordered on the north by East Alameda and on the south by I-25, its boundaries are well designated and grid-like in shape. Along the west side of the neighborhood you’ll find green space at its park. 

The spacious park houses two lakes, a recreation center, a sports field, a playground, and a large picnic area. Washington Park is one of the best parks to visit in Denver. 

With a neighborhood population just over 7,000, families will enjoy plenty of open space to themselves in the neighborhood of Washington Park. 

Pros: Tree-lined streets and a beautiful, spacious park provides dog-friendly and kid-friendly environments for young families. 

Cons: Getting the best of the sunny suburbs in the heart of a city comes with a high price tag. Homes in Washington Park are some of the most expensive in Denver. 

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill Denver, Colorado
The Capitol building. Photo by @jay8905 on Twenty20. 

Home to the Capitol building, Capitol Hill is considered one of the best neighborhoods in Denver for young professionals. The ample neighborhood stretches north to south from East Colfax to 6th Avenue, and east to west from the Capitol Building to Cheesman Park east to west. 

The neighborhood has a lot to offer in regards to food, shopping, and other forms of entertainment. Outside of the popular Cheesman Park, you’ll also find Congress and Governer’s Park, providing city workers plenty of open space to go for a walk during lunch. With a population of over 16,000, you can be sure there’s never a dull moment on Capitol Hill. 

Pros: It’s home to Benny’s Restaurant and Cantina, two Denver staple restaurants known for Colorado’s signature green chili. 

Cons: Given its location, it’s one of Colorado’s most densely populated areas and comes with all of the downsides to living in a crowded city. 

Uptown

Formerly known as North Capitol Hill, Uptown sits just above Capitol Hill. It continues north right where Capitol Hill leaves off on East Colfax. Given its proximity to the city center, you’ll find a lot of the same attractions in Uptown as you would in Capitol Hill. However, its population is much smaller, housing only 7,000 people. You’ll still get that dense urban feel but to a lesser degree in this Denver neighborhood. 

Pros: Residents can enjoy good restaurants and bars, without the hustle and bustle in Denver’s more populated neighborhoods. 

Cons: The majority of the population are renters, so if you’re looking to settle down long term you’re better off in a neighborhood further south. 

Lower Downtown

LoDo Denver, Colorado
Photo by @Grizz_McCuddles on Twenty20

Just north of the Central Business District, which is a part of Downtown Denver, you’ll find Lower Downtown. Many CBD workers live in LoDo and commute to the Central Business District on foot or through Union Station. As the most popular spot for nightlife in Denver, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Denver for single people. 

During the day you’ll see a lot of young professionals walking around in business casual attire, while at night you’ll encounter what feels like a college scene. LoDo is known for attracting a party crowd, and has plenty of places to eat and shop. 

Pros: Out of all Denver neighborhoods, LoDo is probably where you’ll meet the most new people. 

Cons: If you’re looking for laid-back city living, this neighborhood isn’t it. 

Golden Triangle

Denver, Colorado Civic Center
Photo by @chazlove on Twenty20. 

The boundaries of this neighborhood are still debated by locals. However, the Golden Triangle generally encompasses Colorado State Capitol, Civic Center Park, and the Denver Art Museum. It also goes by the name of Civic Center and is popular for picnic lunches on its lawns. Several government buildings are housed here, as are new apartment buildings. You’ll find plenty of entertainment and places to eat along one of its main streets, Broadway.

Pros: As an area housing multiple government buildings, you can expect safety while living here. 

Cons: There may not be as much to do on the weekends when compared to other eclectic neighborhoods such as LoDo or RiNo. 

Wrapping up

The city of Denver has multiple neighborhoods with distinct characteristics. There’s a home for everyone here! Recent grads and young professionals will appreciate the nightlife and entertainment in LoHi, LoDo and RiNo. People looking for more of a DC vibe will find a home in Capitol Hill, Uptown ,or the Golden Triangle. Cherry Creek and Washington Park are great places to raise a family in a suburban setting without sacrificing proximity to downtown. 

FAQ about Denver neighborhoods 

Where is the best place to live in the Denver area?

Hilltop has been one of the best places to live in Denver since the 1940s. Its low crime rates, top-rated schools and proximity to one of Denver’s most affluent areas—Cherry Creek—has attracted hundreds of families over the years. It currently has a population just over 11,000 and hosts plenty of retail and restaurant options. 

What is the nicest suburb of Denver?

Cherry Hills Village is one of the nicest neighborhoods in the Denver suburbs. Founded in 1945 with the intention of maintaining a peaceful countryside ambiance for its property owners, the home rule municipality continues to do just that for its residents.

Homes in Cherry Hills are built on sizable lots that can be up to ten acres large. The wealthy neighborhood sports several upper-end developments, including Cherry Hills Country Club, Glenmoor Country Club, and Buell Mansion.

What is the richest part of Denver?

Cherry Creek, not to be confused with Cherry Hills Village, is the most affluent residential area in Denver. It’s located southeast of Capitol Hill and is just a 12-minute drive from the city center. The typical single-family home is listed at $663,000. When compared to single-family homes throughout the rest of Denver, that’s a hefty price. 

Cherry Creek is also considered one of the most expensive zip codes to live in for renters. However, the majority of the neighborhood’s residents are in a financial position to pay the higher price. The median income in Cherry Creek is $124,277.

Is Denver expensive to live in? 

A single person can expect to pay $1,014 in monthly expenses without housing. A family of four can expect to pay closer to $3,682 without housing. Property taxes are relatively low and groceries cost about 4% less than the national average. When compared to cities such as Los Angeles or New York, Denver is much more affordable. 

Real estate prices in Denver are steadily increasing. An influx of 100,000 new residents over the past seven years has spurred new infrastructure development and driven up the cost of housing. The median home in Denver costs $568,178. The average rent in Denver is $1824.

Is 100k a good salary in Denver? 

Making $100,000 a year will allow you to live comfortably in several neighborhoods throughout Denver. However, there are also neighborhoods where you’ll need to make more to buy a home. A 100k salary will go far in Hilltop, for example, but not in Washington Park where most homes start at $1 million. 


About the author: Vivian Tejada is a freelance writer and small business strategist based out of Providence, RI. She specializes in writing SEO blogs, property descriptions and website content for real estate companies. She’s also an avid traveler, location-independent and enjoys trying out new restaurants. 

Cover photo by Pieter van de Sande on Unsplash

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