Newcomers and old-timers alike boost Downtown with an enthusiasm bordering on religious fervor and it’s no wonder: for anyone who dreams of a true urban lifestyle, the allure of this pedestrian-friendly district grows ever more compelling as new hotels, lofts, entertainment venues, restaurants, and shops continue to spring up between Lincoln and Larimer Streets.
Conversions of historic office buildings into condos, lofts, and exclusive penthouses plus a rash of new residential construction have transformed Downtown into a vibrant community with a significant population. That might come as a surprise to some, but current statistics show the number of residents in LoDo and Downtown to be roughly equivalent.
Prosperity seems assured as more and more suburbanites trade tedious commutes for urban convenience. What better way to start your day than to leave the car at home and stroll to work?
The futuristic Hamilton Wing of the Denver Art Museum, a redesigned Skyline Park, expanded Colorado Convention Center, and stunning Hyatt Convention Center Hotel have recently joined the already impressive array of downtown attractions.
Still to come are a Four Seasons Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, and upscale residences in the former Security Life Building. Meanwhile, epicurean delights abound at dozens of area restaurants.
World-class theatrical productions and symphonies play year-round at the renowned Denver Center for the Performing Arts, home of the sparkling new Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Buell Theater, Boettcher Concert Hall, and Denver Center Theater Company. Nearby, the historic Art Deco Paramount Theater with its pearly facade of glazed terra cotta hosts a diverse assortment of national acts.
Another pleasant surprise is the area’s wealth of parks, trails, tree-shaded plazas, and other quiet enclaves. The lively 16th Street Mall – Downtown’s “Main Street” – provides free shuttle service from Civic Center Park to Skyline Park, Commons Park, the Platte River Greenway, and Union Station, home of the Intermodal regional-transportation hub.
Three stunning pedestrian bridges, including the landmark cable-stayed Millennium Bridge, allow downtowners to stroll across the Central Platte Valley to “Denver’s Left Bank” – home to Paris on the Platte (one of Denver’s oldest coffeehouses), My Brother’s Bar, Corks (a wine boutique), REI, and other quaint shops and bistros – and up to Highland, west of I-25.
Shopping and upscale restaurants abound along the Mall anchored by the newly renovated Tabor Center shops and restaurants (including an ESPN Zone), located next to the historic D&F Tower.
Denver Pavilions hosts a plethora of trendy shops and eateries, Barnes and Noble, and a fifteen-screen United Artists Multiplex featuring stadium seating. In addition to a Virgin Megastore, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Corner Bakery, Hard Rock Cafe, and Nike Superstore, look for outdoor concerts and festivals throughout the year.
Mini-districts such as Larimer Square, Writer’s Square, and Sakura Square, offer distinctly different takes on the urban experience. At Sakura Square, heart of Denver’s Japanese community and site of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, you’ll find the Denver Buddhist Temple; Pacific Mercantile, purveyors of authentic Japanese foods, china, and sundries; authentic Japanese restaurants; and a Japanese-language bookstore.
The brilliant kaleidoscope of diversions transforms daily life Downtown into an unending celebration.