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As is the case with many American cities, the more historic, interesting neighborhoods in Denver tend to be those closer to downtown, while neighborhoods (and towns) become, generally, newer and more suburban in character further away from the city center.
For Denver, “historic” neighborhoods are those built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in the city are the historic neighborhoods close to downtown that offer homes with character that suburban neighborhoods lack and that have associated restaurant/shopping districts composed of small locally owned businesses. Residents enjoy living in quaint neighborhoods and walking to shops, restaurants, bars and many other neighborhood services. Neighborhoods such as Washington Park, Platt Park, Highlands, West Highlands, Congress Park, and City Park West are examples of this type of near-downtown neighborhood dominated by brick bungalows, Denver Squares and Victorians. Of these, Washington Park may be especially popular due to its namesake park, a wonderful, large, expanse of green in the middle of the urban setting.
The neighborhoods above are dominated by single family homes, while the Capitol Hill neighborhood near downtown is dominated by multi-family buildings. This neighborhood is a kind of bizarre mix of stately, grand old mansions and apartment buildings--some of the apartment buildings are converted old mansions--but many are more modern. The neighborhood is densely populated and is the most truly urban feeling neighborhood in Denver. As such, it gains some notoriety for problems with drug dealing and other typical urban problems, though it really is not worse than anything found in any large city. On the plus side, Capitol Hill offers residents the opportunity to live an entirely car-free existence if they choose. It’s possible to walk to virtually all the interesting parts of Denver from Capitol Hill, and if walking is too much, there’s always the bus or light rail. Capitol Hill is also known as Denver's gay neighborhood.
Uptown is another great neighborhood just outside downtown, though its character has been entirely altered in recent years. Much of the area was torn down and rebuilt as condominiums, so there aren’t so many single family (or historic) homes anymore. Like Capitol Hill, it offers residents the ultimate in car-free existence if desired. Near Uptown is the beautiful City Park area where there are many gorgeous single family homes.
Adjacent to Capitol Hill are the neighborhoods where the affluent live: Cheesman Park near the wonderful Denver Botanic Gardens, Country Club and Cherry Creek neighborhoods. These neighborhoods consist primarily of gorgeous historic mansions and modern townhomes built on the former sites of humble bungalows (Cherry Creek). The not so affluent might be able to find a spot in one of the large apartment/condo buildings ringing the Botanic Gardens. Cherry Creek is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Denver in great part due to the proximity of the Cherry Creek Mall and Cherry Creek North shopping areas, which provide the best shopping in Denver.
Finally, in the last 10 years the riverfront area along the South Platte River adjacent to Lower Downtown (LoDo) has been entirely revitalized. A new park (Commons Park) and oodles of new condominiums have been built near the super popular LoDo, making this a super desirable and expensive area to live. In between Commons Park and LoDo, Denver's historic Union Station has been transformed into a multi-modal transit center surrounded by new apartments, office buildings, and hotels.
South Broadway and Baker neighborhoods have some up and coming places that are drawing a lot of attention. Even East Colfax, historically the “bad” part of town is looking at some great new changes that should really improve the area. Take your pick. There are lots of great neighborhoods in Denver. Check out the VisitDenver page (link below) that provides overviews to 18 of the city's most popular neighborhoods: