At just seven by 11 blocks, you can walk the entire Cheesman Park neighborhood in short order, but don’t mistake its small size for lack of action. Packed into those streets is the park itself and its striking, neoclassical-style pavilion, the 24-acre Denver Botanic Gardens, and some diverse dining options. Even though it’s right next to Capitol Hill, the mostly residential ’hood feels serene—a perk in a city that seems to be getting busier by the day. While the homes surrounding the park could best be described as mansions with character, most of the area is defined by apartments and condos, some located in converted single-family homes.
How we got these numbers: We utilized the city’s official list of 78 neighborhoods (only 74 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
Thump Coffee may be an Oregon import, but we love the community vibe and laptop- and phone-free couch area in the back so much we’ll overlook that it’s not homegrown.
Another Portland transplant, Voodoo Doughnut, is known for delicious fried balls of dough in unexpected flavors (you can get a doughnut topped with bacon or Froot Loops). Speaking of your sweet tooth, there are two venues to get your ice cream fix: family-owned Liks Ice Cream, which has been serving Cheesman Park residents for more than 40 years, and Ice Cream Riot (Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich FTW).
Don’t get spooked, but Cheesman Park (and the Denver Botanic Gardens) was once a cemetery. Mount Prospect Cemetery, later renamed Denver City Cemetery, was founded in 1858. It was repurposed into park land in 1890, and the process of moving the 5,000 graves began. The bodies may no longer be there, but haunting rumors live on.
If You Do One Thing…
Put an alert on your calendar so you can be sure to nab tickets to one of the summer concert series shows at Denver Botanic Gardens, which go on sale in early April and get scooped up quickly. The music is fantastic, plus you can pack your own picnic dinner (don’t forget the wine) for a well-rounded night out.