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Neighborhood Guide: Washington Park, Denver

By: Angelina Bader
June 4, 2019

Jeffrey Beall [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Developed during the 1890s and 1900s, Washington Park, Denver stretches across 160 acres southeast of downtown Denver. The neighborhood is known for its relaxed vibe and upscale amenities. The locals embrace the most of their leafy park by jogging, biking, and walking to the wealth of eateries, galleries, and shopping options. But before you pick up and move to Washington Park, Denver, here’s what to know about this desirable neighborhood.

Know the History

The upscale neighborhood of Washington Park, Denver was once a city irrigation project dating back to 1865. An irrigation ditch was created and ran from South Platte River to present-day Capitol Hill. Smith Lake was created during the process and served as a reservoir and source of ice during winter months. In 1899, the area took shape as a recreational area when it was named Washington Park in honor of the centennial of George Washington's death. Although Washington Park went through various periods of development and neglect, the National Register of Historic Places added the park to its list in 1986. Soon, the historic boat house and other historic structures were restored.

Look to the Future

Today, Washington Park features two lakes, green space, and flower gardens, one being a replica of George Washington's gardens at Mount Vernon. The Washington Park neighborhood has also grown into a hotspot for families, young professionals, and fitness enthusiasts spending their time in the gorgeous park. Like much of Denver, Washington Park is seeing an influx of development and new projects with current trends pointing to the rise of new apartment buildings and old bungalows being torn down. In their places are larger single-family homes, or McMansions, dotting the landscape. Depending on which locals you ask, the development is either highly anticipated or met with hesitation.

Find a Washington Park Apartment

Choosing an apartment in Washington Park, Denver all depends on your lifestyle and interests. The neighborhood is divided into the sections East Wash Park, with lovely single-family homes and a laid-back atmosphere, and West Wash Park. The latter attracts a younger crowd with pubs, restaurants, boutiques, and coffee shops. Although Washington Park is full of expensive single-family homes and old bungalows, there are also new apartment complexes welcoming new locals to the neighborhood. You can check our listings to find a Washington Park apartment.

Consider the Kids

Washington Park, Denver is incredibly family-friendly with plenty of options for kids. The park itself is a major draw with families feeding the ducks, enjoying paddle boating, or flying a kite on a breezy day. A stop at Bonnie Brae Ice Cream is also a must where inventive flavors dazzle locals in a shop modeled around an old-fashioned, vintage feel. Parents living in Washington Park, Denver tend to be more affluent and send their kids to the neighborhood's above average schools. Polaris at Ebert Elementary, Cory Elementary DSST: Byers Middle School, and East High School all serve the Washington Park neighborhood.

Join a Festival

The tranquility and beauty of Washington Park, Denver is ideal for annual festivals. Summer Music Festivals, BrewGrass, Blues and Brews, and Oktoberfest are just some of the festivals and live events in the South Pearl area. Meanwhile, the South Gaylord Street Days Block Party welcomes musicians, artists, and families over Memorial Day Weekend. Come out to meet the locals and enjoy craft beer, live music, art vendors, food trucks, and more for an afternoon of fun.

Find Everything You Need

Washington Park is a foodie haven with spots like Lucile's Creole Cafe, the artisanal restaurant Bittersweet, the Saucy Noodle, and Fooducopia to put on your "must-eat" list. There are a few areas to stroll to peruse menus and pubs like nearby South Pearl Street that is also home to boutiques and specialty shops. This street was also home to the first trolley car in the city. Locals also head to one of the oldest shopping and dining areas of Denver at Old South Gaylord. Situated just four blocks west of Washington Park, a variety of restaurants, shops, and pubs housed in late 19th century homes turned businesses. For groceries, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Sprouts offer a variety of staples and organic food for discerning locals.

Get Around Washington Park

Washington Park was once a major transportation hub of the city, with Denver's first trolley car route running through South Pearl Street. Today, walking, jogging, and biking are popular options to get around Washington Park, Denver and enjoy its natural beauty. Public bus, light rail, Uber and Lyft are also options to connect from Washington Park to other Denver neighborhoods.

Washington Park attracts young professional building careers, parents looking for a family-friendly neighborhood, and outdoor enthusiasts looking for more proximity to the park. Thinking of a move to this idyllic Denver neighborhood? Check the Apartment List directory for Washington Park, Denver apartments and housing options. Then get ready to eat, play, and explore in this upscale urban neighborhood.

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