Jefferson Park – Denver, CO

A growing neighborhood in northwest Denver, Jefferson Park sits just west of downtown, between major thoroughfare Federal Boulevard and the South Platte River. Bordered on the north by Speer Boulevard and on the south by Colfax, Jefferson Park offers quick access to the rest of the city. Families love this neighborhood for its community feel and good schools, but Jefferson Park is in a major transitional phase. Restaurants and boutiques are snapping up vacant spots, and developers continue to fill gaps with high-capacity condos and apartment buildings. Jefferson Park is becoming a hot destination for young professionals and even more young families.

Schools in Jefferson Park

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Explore the blocks surrounding 26th Avenue and Federal Boulevard to find pizza and an array of authentic Mexican spots. Jefferson Park also features seafood and handcrafted comfort dishes. While you can take your pick of about a dozen different Mexican joints, locals love the family-owned Araujo's. Walk in as early as 6 a.m. for their made-to-order $1.50 breakfast burritos. Be sure to specify hot, mild or half-and-half. For lunch, try the buffet. Perhaps Jefferson Park's most popular breakfast spot, Sassafras American Eatery resides in an old Victorian home with a patio featuring a stunning view of downtown. The Denver Post's starred review recommends the fried green tomato Benedict and the chicken-and-andouille gumbo, and if you're coming to Denver from the South, you'll appreciate how dark the New Orleans-trained chef gets the roux. Locals also love the PB&J shake, while the other 17 flavors aren't bad either. Jefferson Park residents enjoy living within walking distance of several neighborhood pubs. The Jefferson Park Pub features hand-carved furniture, including the bar itself, which lends the place its signature woodsy scent. The patio is dog-friendly, so bring Fido along for your next round of local brews. While the food menu doesn't feature much to write home about, customers like to order from Sexy Pizza across the street and have dinner delivered to the bar. For live music, locals venture a few blocks north to the Highland neighborhood or across the river to Lodo and Five Points. Zio Romolo's Alley Bar hosts bands several nights a week. Also worth noting is that the bar is attached to a great pizzeria. Howl at the Moon's house band knows enough songs to act as a live jukebox, and after an 86-ounce "fish bowl" drink, you'll definitely be singing along. Also check out Larimer Lounge, a loud venue where you can get up close and personal with the bands.

History & Culture

The Town of Highlands, Denver's first suburb, incorporated in 1875 included Jefferson Park. In fact, early residents built Highlands' city hall at Jefferson Park's now-major intersection, 26th and Federal. After some staunch political tension between haughty Highlands and its big-city neighbor across the river, Denver annexed the town and Jefferson Park grew steadily for about half a century. In the 1950s, some Denver residents sought suburbian solitude, leaving the neighborhood forgotten until the end of the 20th century. 303 Magazine named Jefferson Park as Denver's next trendy hot spot. While the area is still pretty mellow, locals enjoy a special culture of community. The neighborhood association hosts events that bring people together, such as a holiday festival at Jefferson Square, which features arts and food. Take the kids to the Denver Children's Museum, which features a real fire truck. Let the little ones play in the bubble room or dip their fingers in paint in the art studio. Stop by for story time and holiday parties. Low-sensory mornings allow local children with disabilities to explore the museum at their own pace, without many distractions. Make a Saturday of visiting the Downtown Aquarium. Tour the nine exhibits featuring marine creatures from all over the world, and don't be surprised if you encounter a family of tigers along the way. If you have time to stay for dinner at the aquarium restaurant, watch for mermaids in the Under the Sea exhibit, visible from the dining area.


Hit Jefferson Park's main north-south drag, Federal Boulevard, for easy freeway access. Interstate 70 lies less than 10 minutes from the neighborhood. 23rd Avenue provides quick access to Interstate 23. To the south, Denver's Colfax Avenue spans all the way across the city. Within the neighborhood, drivers don't have to fight for parking. Most businesses have private lots, and if you're visiting one that doesn't, street parking is free and usually easy to find. Don't count on being able to hail a cab in Jefferson Park. Until 2007, it was illegal, and the city seems to still be adjusting. The few cab drivers that do drive around looking for fares usually stay downtown. You can call Yellow Cab or Metro Taxi or try a rideshare like Uber or Lyft. Residents enjoy a good mass transit system. RTD bus lines 28, 31, 32 and 44 serve the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Take the bus to a light rail station for transit access to suburbs and popular city destinations, including the Theatre District, two malls and the Colorado Convention Center. RTD's SkyRide transports travelers to Denver International Airport. Jefferson Park's walkability score of 78 means that residents can reach most destinations on foot. The neighborhood is one of Denver's most pedestrian- and bike-friendly locations. Cyclists are mostly free from hills and traffic. The bike corridor along the river allows safe commutes and leisurely rides.


Rental prices for one-bedroom apartments average about $1,200. Jefferson Park is no more expensive in terms of other amenities, such as food and entertainment, than the rest of Denver. Cost of living rivals the national average.


Jefferson Park consists mainly of residential buildings, but development brings more business to the neighborhood all the time. Locals frequent the shops scattered around the neighborhood, but they also walk over to the Highland neighborhood for a variety of boutiques and bookstores, in addition to the REI flagship store. Sully & Co., located on Eliot Street, specializes in smart menswear made in the United States. This cozy space emits a rustic charm, with an exposed red brick wall and clothing stacked on an industrial-sized spool-turned-table. Peruse the neckties while you sip a bourbon, as the guys here stock fine liquor as well as refined wardrobe options. Cyclists frequent Guerrilla Gravity, a small mountain bike manufacturer that also offers full bike repair service. These folks build custom bikes at their facility attached to the retail shop. If you're just looking to walk in and leave with wheels today, they sell trade-in bikes as well. The only grocery store in Jefferson Park is a Safeway. Shoppers who want to stock their pantries with more locally sourced items head to the Highland neighborhood, a 15-minute walk or five-minute drive away, for Natural Grocers, Highland Farmers Market and Savory Spice Shop. For more shopping in Highland, check out Jewelius, Common Era and Sol Shine for women's clothes and accessories. Tattered Cover Book Store offers new and used reading material and freshly brewed fair trade coffee. Try the signature Tattered Cover blend.


The neighborhood features two parks and a pet-friendly riverside trail. Parks are free to the public and offer various amenities that meet the needs of everyone in the family. Jefferson Park spans two neighborhood blocks between Eliot and Clay Streets. Its picnic area and pavilion make it a great spot for gatherings. Children enjoy the playground and basketball court. Crescent Park, by the river, features a playground and picnic area, as well as trails and natural areas to explore. Stop by on a summer Tuesday evening for the park's annual Concerts at the Crescent series. Finally, take the dog for a walk or ride a bike along the South Platte River Trail, a 28.5-mile trail, that is popular among fitness buffs and runs along the river.
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