2019 rank: not on list
Surprised CBD—a fancy name for what most people call downtown—hasn’t made an appearance on this list before? In prior years, it didn’t have enough home sales to qualify, but that changed in a big way in 2019. CBD saw the second-highest growth in home prices, vaulting an area defined by new high-rises into the $700,000 range. Alternatively, it also has the second-highest crime rate (not surprising for an urban area), and its schools score doesn’t make the grade (we couldn’t help the pun). Of course, what really draws people here is the fact that there’s so much to do. From some of Denver’s biggest cultural venues to an improving dining scene to shopping at Denver Pavilions to easily accessible public transportation and bike lanes, CBD is where you live when you want to be in the center of the action.
How we got these numbers: We utilized the city’s official list of 78 neighborhoods (only 73 had enough data to be included), and ranked them using four variables: home prices, crime dataschool rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things like access to open space, proximity to public transportation, and restaurant and shopping options. For more on our methodology, return to the main page.
Eat & Drink
What used to be the less desirable side of downtown—more focused on businesses and chain eateries—is starting to develop its own flavor. Highlights include Guard and Grace, Sam’s No. 3, Otra Vez, Zocalito Latin Bistro, and Corner Office.
After work or before a game at one of the nearby stadiums, raise a glass at the Greedy Hamster, or, for a drink with a view, check out Peaks Lounge atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel or 54thirty Rooftop at Le Méridien. From June through September, the Skyline Beer Garden provides an open-air venue with plenty of park games.
The city’s theatrical offerings are centered here at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which encompasses the DCPA Theatre Company, Off-Center, Opera Colorado, Broadway productions, and a regular rotation of events. One block away, the Colorado Convention Center hosts many of the city’s major affairs, including the Great American Beer Festival, which is still slated for September 2020.
If You Do One Thing…
Go full tourist and snap a pic with Denver’s unofficial mascot, the Blue Bear (formal name: “I See What You Mean”). Standing 40 feet tall, it’s hard to miss late artist Lawrence Argent’s playful, iconic sculpture, who can be found peeking inside the Convention Center.