2021 rank: 35
Central Park (which was once home to the city’s international airport and underwent a name change in 2020) is celebrating its inaugural 25 Best appearance. As interested homeowners are priced out of the urban core, more and more are looking to its suburban-esque-but-still-full-of-perks neighbor to the northeast. Though the neighborhood saw a 17-percent jump in prices for its energy-efficient new construction and more traditional homes, it remains accessible for many buyers—and recorded the most new listings last year—plus its 13 schools score mostly As. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, lies just beyond the ’hood’s northern border. Even more enticing: The mixed-use community’s myriad green spaces and trails and proximity to plenty of shops and restaurants.
Demographics—Get to Know Your Neighbors
The median age of Central Park residents is 34.8 years old; around one-third are younger than 18. It’s an educated community, with 72 percent of the adult (25 and older) population holding bachelor’s degrees or higher. When it comes to housing, owners reign, occupying 75 percent of all filled units. Families are also commonplace, comprising 71 percent of neighborhood households. The average household income is $135,166.
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
Well-known Denver chefs are making the trek east, too. Case in point: the second location of Lon Symensma’s ChoLon, Elise Wiggins’ Cattivella, and Troy Guard’s Hashtag. Central Park is also home to breakfast and lunch spot Four Friends Kitchen, ND Street Bar (street food and strong drinks), Bonchon (Korean fried chicken), and the Constellation Ice Cream.
Head just beyond the neighborhood’s boundaries to taste whatever Caroline Glover, a James Beard semi-finalist, is cooking at Annette.
Change up your typical coffee shop order by swinging by Kung Fu Tea for bubble tea, a Taiwanese specialty. Or, have your single-origin java delivered straight to your door courtesy of Ground Crew Coffee.
Central Park is anchored by two open-air malls: The Shops at Northfield and Eastbridge Town Center. (Both also encompass some reliable boutique fitness studios.) The latter is more restaurant-centric, but you will find Datura Home and its fantastic selection of houseplants, succulents, and gifts.
Near the edge of the neighborhood’s southern border lies Stanley Marketplace, a “community-focused marketplace” filled with restaurants, bars, and a fantastic mix of boutiques. Among our go-tos: Billy Goat & the Gosling for kids’ clothes; June Ruby for women’s fashions; Zero Market for clean home supplies; and decor at Industrial Luxury Home.
Kids live the good life in Central Park. They can expend plenty of energy at the ’hood’s seven outdoor pools, TOCA Soccer and Fitness Center, or Bounce Gymnastics at the Stanley. And expand their brains at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Bluff Lake Nature Center, and Tattered Cover’s just-for-kids bookstore (also inside the Stanley). Plus, the neighborhood hosts an Outdoor Movie Series between June and August that’s ideal for family outings.