2020 rank: 2
Washington Park is where you take visitors when you’re trying to show Denver off, so it follows 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 walkability and 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 banked for a new home.) The neighborhood’s prime location, low crime rank, and high-scoring Steele Elementary School are big draws, as is its proximity to Historic South Gaylord Street.
Demographics—Get to know your neighbors
The median age in Wash Park is 44.45 years old; more than a quarter of residents are 65 or older. It’s a highly educated community, with 80 percent of the adult (25 and older) population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Sixty-seven percent of neighborhood commuters report the trip takes less than 30 minutes. When it comes to housing, 76 percent of units are owner-occupied. Families make up 61 percent of neighborhood households. The average household income is $141,767, the third-highest in Denver.
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
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, coastal Mexican fare at Perdida, or pub bites—with a side of whatever game is on—at locals’ 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 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 W Boutique (women’s clothing). For those seeking a more robust shopping experience, the stylish Cherry Creek North and Cherry Creek Shopping Center sit just a couple of miles away.