This stylish neighborhood may be the only spot in Denver equally appealing to ladies (and gentlemen) who lunch and those who want to tackle a 20-mile bike ride before breakfast. The area has been called the best shopping district between San Francisco and Chicago thanks to its host of restaurants, spas, art galleries and 500-plus stores (including indie boutiques such as Revampt). Nearby, hop on the paved Cherry Creek Trail, which rambles along the banks of the namesake waterway for 11.2 miles. Just be sure your bike has a big enough basket to carry home your shopping haul.
Lower Downtown (LoDo)
Denver’s first designated historic district, Larimer Square is widely considered the birthplace of the Mile High City, and its Victorian commercial buildings now house buzzy restaurants like chef Jennifer Jasinski’s Rioja. The block makes up one corner of this rapidly changing neighborhood, which was widely abandoned and neglected just a few decades ago. Since then, a slew of high-profile openings—from Wynkoop Brewing Company to Union Station to the new Dairy Block shopping district—have placed this Gold Rush-era neighborhood firmly on visitors’ radars.
Lower Highlands (LoHi)
Accessed by three pedestrian bridges over Interstate 25 and the Platte River, this creative-minded residential neighborhood has the comfortably lived-in vibe you’d find in a place like Portland, Oregon, or sleepier stretches of Brooklyn. Victorian houses butt up against ultramodern condo developments and, in the case of the wildly popular Little Man Ice Cream, a 28-foot-tall cream can. Entirely walkable, this compact district is packed with award-winning restaurants, bars and breweries—many of which, like the Williams & Graham speakeasy, are hidden in plain sight in unassuming storefronts.