An escape oasis in the city limits that once you get there, you won’t want to leave. Washington Park, or as you may have guessed, Wash Park for short, is indeed named after George Washington and many of the features in the park were made to resemble the landscaping at his residence in Mt. Vernon (sans cherry tree).
Wash Park is known as one of the greatest places to jog, walk your dog, run, rollerblade and/or bike (we don’t suggest doing all at once) in Denver. This is the park of parks in Denver and the surrounding neighborhood is nothing short of spectacular.
Located Southeast of Downtown Denver, this neighborhood is a popular destination for locals and a tourist attraction just in itself with its housing, architecture, and general ambiance. The neighborhood borders I-25, and has several trails for walking or biking leading to it from the surrounding communities. Given its expansive size, there are several light rail stations on either side of the park that make it easily accessible. Just a few short minutes from downtown and the DTC, and easy access to the main highway system, you can conveniently access anything you need from this neighborhood.
In terms of housing, if you’re one of the lucky ones to own a house or somehow find a rental near Washington Park, we suggest you go gambling and bet everything you have (which won’t be much after you see the prices in Washington Park) because with that luck, you’re guaranteed to win big. The houses are a mix of classic old-fashioned architecture but also elegant and very new contemporary modern luxury homes. It’s hard to find a rough or rundown one in the whole bunch of this neighborhood.
What’s the downside? If you want a hip, trendy, fun night life with $2 beer specials and packed streets on weekends, this isn’t going to fit the bill. Compared with other neighborhoods in Denver, Wash Park neighborhood is lacking in the department of restaurants and bars, and skews more residential and outdoor park focused.
With that said, the Wash Park Grille is a great spot to stop in for a pint or food, as is Wash Park Tavern, which has a great brunch with an unlimited supply of your daily vitamin C intake and champagne (read: mimosas). The Gaylord Shopping in district in this neighborhood is the hot spot located on a small street with plenty to explore.
The final downside to this park we have Mother Nature to blame fully. As with any park, there’s a fair amount of goose poo around, so watch your step.
As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Denver, Wash Park is tipping the charts with charm and classic appeal. Don’t let the word “old” scare you away. This is the “old” in the sense of gracefully aged, majestically mature, Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” refined and basically exactly who you want to be when you’re 128 (yes, actual age of the park). Because of the of age of the neighborhood, many homeowners have been living there for quite some time, so the residents tend to skew a little older than the typical Denver neighborhood. Not a huge place for block parties but the park has many BBQ events that are always a great community gathering. There is an obvious and blatantly apparent respect for not only the park itself but the entire neighborhood, so upkeep and preservation are very important. The sense of pride is high for Wash Park residents (and those just visiting).
Fun Fact: Wash Park is influenced by the former Denver resident famously known from the Titanic as The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown.
In the heart of the neighborhood is Wash Park itself, which is over 150 acres total and seems nearly endless once you’re in it. It has two lakes (one has a boathouse that can be rented out for special occasions), tons of open space devoted to outdoor field games, outdoor workout equipment, multiple playgrounds for kids and many, many, many large mature trees to give it its placid park feel.
Wash Park also has 10 tennis courts, a lawn bowling/croquet green, 2 of the city's largest flower gardens, a rec center with an indoor pool, free weights, and other athletic equipment. We glossed over the flower gardens in that last bit but they really deserve their own introduction and no amount of words can do them justice. One is even an exact replica of one of Mr. Washington’s gardens.
This really is the park to end all parks and the surrounding neighborhood couldn’t be any more desirable. Whether it’s a feasible place for you to live or just visit, it is not to be missed.