This 250-acre section northwest of downtown has transformed itself over the last decade into a neighborhood bustling with energy in the form of trendy bars, hip restaurants, classy boutiques, eclectic galleries, and of course—an amazing view of the city. Its friendly, casual vibe permeates the small-scale urban neighborhood, which blends families and singles in a cultural hodgepodge that’s equal parts modern and quirky. Renovated bungalows, modern homes and older classics line pedestrian-friendly streets that seem as though they were designed with cruiser bikes in mind. Those bikes are the perfect way to peruse the myriad art galleries and new restaurant openings spread across this diverse, culturally rich section of Downtown Denver.
32nd and Lowell
New shops and boutiques have been popping up throughout the Highlands over the last few years. But the original shopping street, and one of the city’s best mini-downtowns, still flourishes at 32nd and Lowell. Home to some of the Denver’s most unique shopping and a few of its most interesting restaurants, Sunday afternoons are well spent traipsing through the neighborhood, shopping bags in hand.
The Highlands is home to various festivals throughout the year. Check out a few of these highlights: the annual Highlands Street Fair, featuring live bands, over 150 vendors, a kids’ fun zone and classic car show. Sunnyside Music Festival is held in Chaffe park the Saturday after Labor Day each year, featuring the top local bands and the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, which celebrates Denver’s rich and diverse Asian communities, is a big hit at Sloan’s Lake.
Didn’t find what you’re looking for at 32nd and Lowell? There’s another strip of restaurants, shops, art galleries and more for your perusing. Located on Tennyson between 38th and 44th streets, this area offers window-shopping at its best. Spend a day looking for the perfect gift, or that old book you can’t seem to track down. While you’re at it stop into Parisi’s for a modern twist on authentic Italian. Order arepas to go from the Empanada Grill, located on the corner of 44th and Tennyson. Endless options, wedged onto one charming strip on Tennyson.
A mix of new and old
Denver is home to an incredibly diverse collection of residential architecture. But no neighborhood is more forward diverse than the Highlands. In the past five years, an unspoken competition has emerged between builders to create homes that push the envelope of creativity and sustainable housing and yet still respect the neighborhood. Spend your day perusing the neighborhood, taking note of the future of residential architecture.