North Hilltop boasts roomy lots, nearly double the size of those found in other urban neighborhoods, and well-maintained vintage homes, many of them English Tudors. But, while Washington Park has enjoyed an extended period of prosperity, North Hilltop represents an overlooked gem on the verge of a boom of its own.

“It’s quieter than other neighborhoods and parking issues are non-existent.” says one resident. “The neighbors are friendly and their beautiful homes well maintained. There’s a nice mix of newcomers and long-time residents. I pop out the front door and go jogging on the Parkway (6th Avenue). We can drive downtown in five minutes.”

The transformation of the University Hospital complex into an upscale mix of townhomes, condos, specialty retail, and sidewalk cafes also bodes well for area property values and quality of life.

At East Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, a cluster of shops features a Boston Chicken, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Einstein Bagels, Annie’s Cafe (a must for breakfast), Starbucks, and a couple of Oriental eateries. Many homes enjoy lush frontage along historic East 6th Avenue gateway to Denver’s extensive network of parks and parkways. Sixth helps make the short walk to upscale Cherry Creek Mall and Shopping District, “Denver’s Rodeo Drive,” that much more pleasant.

A steady influx of trendy cafes, bistros, and boutiques associated with the ongoing renaissance of nearby Colfax continues to imbue the area with a strong European flavor. The new Tattered Cover Bookstore in the historic Lowenstein Theater promises to become a hip literary center and community gathering spot linking North Hilltop to Capitol Hill, Uptown, and City Park. Joining Tattered Cover are a cozy multiplex theater, Twist & Shout Records, and a Euro cafe.

Bolstered by other premier neighborhoods, Park Hill on the north, Hilltop on the south, and the exiting New Urbanist communities of Stapleton and Lowery on the east, the prosperous future of North Hilltop seems assured. For suburbanites seeking the cultural enrichment that only “city close” communities can provide, North Hilltop represents an extraordinary opportunity.

Cranmer Park offers a spectacular panorama of the Front Range Mountains from a flagstone promenade engraved with the names and altitudes of prominent peaks. The park name honors George Cranmer, who oversaw Denver’s parks between 1935 and 1947 and helped establish both Red Rocks Park and Winter Park Ski Area.

Cranmer frequently appeared on horseback to enjoy the often blazing sunsets as many locals still do today (though not in the company of horses). There’s seldom want of a breeze, so kite flying is a popular pastime along with the usual picnicking and sunbathing.

Adjoining the park at its apogee, the Mediterranean-Renaissance Cranmer Mansion (a designated Historic Landmark) designed by the renowned Jules Jacques Benedict is typical of the magnificent homes, both old and new, that grace much of Hilltop.