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Downtown Denver is considered by many to be the very heart of the city – even those who aren’t from here are familiar with the unique architecture of the skyline set against the epic Rocky Mountains. But many Denverites end up living on the outskirts of the city and thinking of downtown as just a place to go to for shopping, dining or work. However, there are some great residential areas around here as well, and it’s one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in all of Denver.
This part of the city is certainly great when it comes to location. If you live downtown, you’ll be minutes from shopping on the 16th Street Mall, the nightlife scene of LODO (Lower Denver), tons of fast-casual dining, South Broadway, and all the office buildings on 17th and 18th streets. Plus, even if your friends live in one the bordering ‘hoods, like Capitol Hill, Five Points, the Lower Highlands, or Baker, you’ll be right in the center of them all. If your main consideration when choosing a place to live is being close to the action, then this is definitely a great option.
Finding somewhere to grab a bite to eat is super easy in the downtown area. The 16th Street Mall and the strip of 17th running parallel to the Mall are optimal for finding fast casual places to eat. Denver is the birthplace of fast-casual, as the proud home of Chipotle, Smashburger, and Noodles & Co., all of which can be found off of the Mall. These places make it easy to grab a bite quickly and for a good price, without sacrificing your health. There are also countless classic sit-down establishments, like the Wazzee Supper Club and the Wynkoop Brewing Company that are perfect for dinner with family and friends.
As for nightlife, you’ll be steps away from the famed LODO nightlife district, which is chock-full of clubs of all sorts. This is the absolute best area in Denver to go for some serious dancing and clubbing. If you’re more into just sitting and relaxing in a bar or catching some live music, venture just a little way down Broadway from the heart of downtown to get to the South Broadway district. There are small shows happening all the time in this area, and plenty of cozy and hip bars to frequent.
Grocery shopping is a breeze if you live downtown. There’s a King Sooper’s on Speer bordering the South Broadway/Baker neighborhoods, and another on 9th and Corona in Capitol Hill, so no matter what side of town you live on, you’ll be covered. There’s also a Safeway in Capitol Hill right by the King Soopers, one in Uptown off of 23rd, and one on Federal, so the downtown area is literally surrounded by grocery stores. If you’re looking to get something more local and specific, there are also natural grocery stores and multiple Whole Foods in the area, and there’s a gem of an Asian food market called Pacific Mercantile Company right downtown next to the Tabor Center.
When you live downtown, there’s no shortage of things to do at any given time. In addition to the aforementioned nightlife and wide range of restaurants and breweries, there are always events and outdoor festivals going on in Civic Center Park in front of the Capitol building, from food cart days and petting zoos to rallies and concerts. The beautiful Denver Art Museum is also located right downtown, as well as the educational History Colorado Center.
Although Downtown is normally thought of as a place to work and shop, there’s also plenty of housing. Most of the housing in the direct downtown area consists of spacious, beautiful high-rise apartments that are studios or one- and two-bedrooms, but there are a few bigger apartments, and even a few houses available, as well. A bit of searching will uncover all kinds of gems in the area.
Parking can be a bit tricky downtown, since most of the parking is two hours or less and spots fill up quickly. There are plenty of parking garages and lots in the area, but most charge a decent fee. Luckily, many apartment buildings downtown are aware of this, and offer a free parking spot or two in a lot or garage for each apartment. And as for public transportation, this is the best ‘hood in Denver to try and catch a lightrail or bus. There are stops every few blocks for all the bus lines, and between the lightrail stops on 16th Street Mall, Union Station, 18th and California, and the Convention Center, you’ll always be able to quickly get where you need to go.
Downtown is a great place to live if you want to be in the heart of the action. If you live and work downtown, you can easily get along on foot and by public transportation, without ever having to use your car. Getting groceries and running errands will be a breeze, and there is plenty to do at any given time of the day or night. So, if fun and convenience are your top priorities, this would be a great place to settle down.