2021 rank: 6
Wash Park, as locals call it, is where you take visitors when you’re trying to show Denver off, so it tracks that the surrounding neighborhood is a mainstay in our top 10. In a city full of green space—more than 270 at last count—Wash Park stands out as one of the largest and most beloved. It calls to both retirees who value quiet, safety, and walkability as well as active, young families who want to meet up with friends to play Spikeball while their kids explore the expansive central playground and then stroll back to their remodeled early 20th century Victorian homes, brick bungalows, or more opulent new builds. (That is, if they have $1 million-plus banked for a new home.) The neighborhood’s prime location and high-scoring Steele Elementary School are main draws, as is its proximity to the charming Historic South Gaylord and South Pearl streets.
Demographics—Get to Know Your Neighbors
The median age in Wash Park is 45.5 years old. It’s a highly educated community, with 80 percent of the adult (25 and older) population holding bachelor’s degrees or higher. When it comes to housing, 85 percent of filled units are owner-occupied. Families comprise 63 percent of neighborhood households. The average household income is $162,606, the second highest in Denver.
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
Washington Park’s food-and-drink offerings are concentrated along the aforementioned South Gaylord Street, where park-goers can replenish calories with scratch-baked pastries at Devil’s Food Bakery or coastal Mexican fare at Perdida. Beyond that cluster, it’s worth checking out the fresh pasta at Restaurant Olivia. Campus Lounge is one of the neighborhood’s watering holes.
Break a Sweat
If you’re spending time in Wash Park, you’re probably hanging out at the namesake green space. There, you can run around the 2.6-mile gravel path or battle it out on the tennis or basketball courts. We suggest renting a pedal boat or stand-up paddleboard to ride around Smith Lake, one of two bodies of water in the park. (Tip: Stay out of the way of the moody Canada geese.) Rainy day? Try a Pilates or yoga class at Center Strength Studio or Whole Body Studios.
Even though it’s only one-block long, Historic South Gaylord Street is home to its share of worthwhile shops. Among them: Silk Road (gifts), Sports Plus (new and used outdoor gear), Bottle Shop 33 (liquor), and W Boutique (women’s clothing). For those seeking a more robust shopping experience, the stylish Cherry Creek North and Cherry Creek Shopping Center are just a couple of miles away..