Forbes rated Denver
one of the fastest growing cities in 2014, and lower downtown, locally known as LoDo,
is the most urban place to live in Colorado.
This neighborhood provides an ideal spot for someone looking to get the city experience while enjoying the friendly feel of a smaller city. LoDo is the central hub of the downtown Denver
community. When Coors Field opened in 1995, LoDo became an increasingly popular area for sports fans. Bars, restaurants, galleries, coffee shops and businesses moved into the area.
Between the Denver Broncos, the Colorado Rockies, the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, the residents of the LoDo neighborhood have a wide variety of sports games to attend, all within walking distance. Along with the impressive sports options, LoDo also include Auraria
Campus, which houses the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University and the Community College of Denver.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Due to the boom of residents in Denver, LoDo offers various food options to serve every palate. Illegal Pete's has gained a reputation as one of the classic hangout spots in the LoDo area for a quick bite or somewhere to stop after seeing a concert at the Pepsi Center. Along with a full bar, Illegal Pete's has bountiful options when you crave some fast Mexican food. Locals recommend the chicken nachos topped with their famous queso.
Snooze Eatery earns renown as the best breakfast restaurant in the LoDo area. On the weekends, the waiting time can last a few hours, so make sure you get there early. Most people rave about the pancakes here, with options such as the pineapple upside-down pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, spiced pear pancakes, blueberry Danish pancakes, and quite a few others.
Broaden your palette at Rioja on Larimer Street. Fans describe the fresh bacon appetizer as out of this world, especially when followed with the Colorado lamb.
Spice up your night after sports games at any of the spirited bars around Coors Field. MTV's "The Real World Denver" filmed at Brothers Bar. More than 70 bars breweries and nightclubs appear within walking distance. Beer fans should stop by the Falling Rock Tap House to taste its selection of over 75 high-quality craft beers.
Music lovers rejoice in LoDo, with options ranging from the Pepsi Center, the Denver Center of Performing Arts, Boettcher Concert Hall, the Paramount Theater, Summit Music Hall, Beta Nightclub, El Chapultepec, Meadowlark Bar, Comedy Works and quite a few others. Stand-up comedy, big-name concerts, classical music, rock music, country dance bars, electronic music and almost any other kind of live entertainment you can think of happens in LoDo.
History & Culture
LoDo is the oldest neighborhood in Denver. When the first railroad came in from Cheyenne, Wyo. to Denver, Union Station in LoDo was the first place those travelers saw. This brought the first growth spur into the Denver area. As driving and flying became more popular travel options, Union Station suffered and LoDo became a skid row.
LoDo received a complete makeover during the 1960s and 1970s when new policies restricted building height and aided in a mixture of development. During this time, roughly 20 percent of the buildings in LoDo were demolished.
The living situation in this neighborhood took a turn for the better when the Wynkoop Brewing Company arrived into the scene in 1988. From there, Coors Field was built in 1995, bringing a whole new wave of young professionals to the area.
Art and history enthusiasts find limitless options in LoDo. Notable museums in the area include the Children's Museum of Denver, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Denver Federal Reserve and the Denver Art Museum, right near the Colorado State Capitol.
Denver has an impressive amount of public transportation. The RTD bus, light rail, skyride, Park-n-Ride, free mallride, various taxi companies and Uber give you plenty of ways to get around Denver.
Due to its location within downtown Denver, hailing a cab on the street is very easy and Uber service is readily available at the touch of a button.
The local bus provides more than 140 bus routes with 10,000 bus stops. The light rail stretches for 35 miles of service, and there are more than 70 Park-n-Rides (where you park your car and catch the bus or light rail) throughout the metro area. There are 850+ miles of paved and off-road trails all throughout Denver.
All throughout LoDo there are also Denver B-Cycle rental options, where you pay a few dollars to rent a bike and park it again at any of the various stops throughout the city. LoDo is incredibly bike-friendly for a city, and there are many biking lanes all throughout the streets.
The free mall shuttle up and down the 16th Street Mall provide one of the most popular options for transportation in the LoDo neighborhood. The bus stops every block along 16th Street, so people can get where they need to go.
Due to the rising popularity of the LoDo neighborhood, apartment costs are also on the rise. A standard one-bedroom apartment in LoDo costs around $1,400.
Many high-end adorable boutiques and stores appear in the LoDo neighborhood. Some of the most notable boutiques pop up along Larimer Square between 14th and 15th. Hailee Grace includes fashionable, vibrant items that are a bit outside of the norm, so finding a perfect accent or evening-out style is easy here. Blue Ruby Design Boutique has clothing and fashionable inventory from both local designers and the top brands in the fashion industry.
For more name-brand stores, the 16th Street Mall provides you with plenty of options. You can shop at Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, Ross, and Forever 21.
Outdoor enthusiasts love the REI on the northern side of LoDo. Throughout the year, you see kayaks in Platte River just on the backside of the store.
For groceries in and around LoDo, find a Safeway on the east side, a King Soopers a few blocks south of Colfax and a Natural Grocers right near Commons Park West. For a smaller market, the Pacific Mercantile Company stocks ethnic ingredients and grocery essentials for a quick shopping trip.
Although LoDo is a thriving downtown area, you can still find places to enjoy some fresh air and warm grass. The most beautiful park in the LoDo neighborhood, Commons Park West, has a fantastic view of the mountains from the hill and a spectacular view of the downtown Denver skyline.
The South Platte
River follows this park. Walking along it toward the west takes you to Confluence Park, where you see families playing in the water, people playing with their dogs and enthusiastic kayakers testing their skills in the small rapids.