2019 rank: 3
Washington Park is where you take visitors when you’re trying to show Denver off, so it’s not surprising that the surrounding neighborhood keeps finding itself near the top of the ranks. In a city full of green spaces—more than 270 at last count—Wash Park stands out as one of the largest and most beloved. It calls to active, young families who want to meet up with friends to play spike ball 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. (The average sale price topped $1 million this year.) The neighborhood’s prime location, low crime rank (third on our list), and high-scoring Steele Elementary School are big draws, as is its proximity to Historic South Gaylord Street’s quaint commercial strip.
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 data, school 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 F&B offerings are concentrated along the aforementioned South Gaylord Street, where park-goers can replenish lost calories with scrumptious pastries at Devil’s Food Bakery, wood-fired pizza at Homegrown Tap and Dough, or pub fare—with a side of whatever game is on—at neighborhood favorite Reivers Bar and Grill. Beyond that cluster, it’s worth checking out the fresh pasta at Restaurant Olivia and two dozen house-made flavors at three-decade-strong Bonnie Brae Ice Cream.
Break A Sweat
If you’re spending time in Wash Park, you’re, well, at the park. There, you can run around the 2.6-mile gravel path or battle it out on the tennis or basketball courts. We suggest changing up your routine and 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 who rule the roost in these parts.) Rainy day? Try a Pilates class at Center Strength Studio.
Considering its small size—just a single block—Historic South Gaylord Street has an impressive number of worthwhile boutiques. Among them: Two Sole Sisters (shoes), The Paper Lady (stationery and gifts), Bottle Shop 33 (liquor), Silk Road (gifts), and Barbara & Company (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.