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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, Sloan's Lake, 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 directly southeast of 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 directly east of 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. Next to Uptown is the historic Curtis Park/Five Points district, the city's oldest residential neighborhood, featuring Victorian homes, apartments, and local shops. The Five Points area along Welton Street is the historic center of Denver's African-American community and is experiencing noticable revitalization. Just to the northwest of Curtis Park--directly north of Coors Field--is the River North (RiNo) district, a formerly gritty industrial zone that has exploded onto the scene in the past dozen years as the new epicenter of Denver's creative-class community, featuring dozens of art galleries, more craft breweries/pubs/coffee shops than one can count, co-working office spaces and tech start-up firms, and new development springing up everywhere. With the 2016 opening of the 38th & Blake transit station on RTD's A Line, getting to RiNo is now easy--just one stop from Union Station.
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 the delightfully-walkable Cherry Creek North district, which provide the best shopping in Denver.
In the last decade or so, 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 and apartments have been built, making this a very 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. Across the South Platte River from the Union Station area is the vibrant Lower Highland district (locally known as LoHi) that offers an eclectic mix of housing, offices, and dozens of upscale restaurants and shops located in several walkable neighborhood commercial clusters. A trio of pedestrian bridges extend 16th Street from Union Station into Lower Highland.
The Baker and West Washington Park neighborhoods south of downtown are popular historic areas that offer a good mix of single-family homes and apartments. Running between them is South Broadway, a major transportation/bus corridor that includes a walkable stretch of urban-quirky shops, used bookstores, and pubs between 4th Avenue and Alameda. Farther south along Broadway is Denver's Antique Row. Across Speer Boulevard from downtown's Golden Triange/Museum district is the historically Latino La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood that's home to the Art District on Santa Fe, known for its hugely popular First Friday Art Walk.
Even East Colfax, historically the “bad” part of town is looking at some great new changes that is really improving 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: