What You Need To Know
Sitting aloft Downtown Denver, attractive and relaxing Highland includes West Highland and Lower Highland (LoHi) and captivates those who prefer an escape from metropolitan madness and march. Beautiful parks, broad and tree-lined streets, and preserved Victorians make you feel like you’ve entered a suburban Smalltown USA. However, modern apartments and lofts give this hood a complimentary pizzazz to spice things up. The mixture of ethnicities that originally settled here – Scottish, Italian, Irish, and Hispanic – creates a hometown, family-oriented closeness that shows in its mom-and-pop eateries and pubs, marvelous art galleries and eclectic boutiques and shops…
As great eats and locally-owner shops continue to pop up throughout the northwest portion of Downtown, more and more young professionals and families contribute to the diversity of Highlands from their Denver House. New developments and renovations of the old do their part to maintain the simple, aesthetic air and architecture. Groovy and popular hotspots, bustlin’ street fairs, niche merchants and cuisines give visitors and local yocals alike the joy to obtain relaxation by rambling around preserved promenades and pretty parks or get in on the rowdiness of that well-known, neighborly hangout where everybody knows your name. Cheers to living in Denver’s own trendy melting pot and reserving your seat in this barrio that has everyone swooning.
Get real, people. Not a problem, folks, for down-home doings are all around your Denver House in the Highlands. The friendly hood is home to funky art galleries, one-of-a-kind theaters, groovy music venues and even a small-time amusement park. Check out Denver’s “Original Bohemia”, the 37th and Navajo Arts District for face-crackin’ productions, hip-shakin’ music and evocative art, comprised within Pirate Contemporary Art, Edge Gallery, NEXT, Zip 37 and the historic Bug Theater. Up north in Berkeley Highlands, you’ll find the Tennyson Street Cultural District with its centerpiece, the historic Oriental Theater, a fantastic 1920′s movie theater exemplifying the Exotic Revival architectural style so popular in that period. Inside you’ll experience performances, live music, and independent movie showings. Step outside and you’ll find a baker’s dozen of art galleries and live music bellowing out of coffee shops and pubs…
On the westside, hit up Lakeside Amusement Park on Sheridan Boulevard, filled with the screams and laughter of adults and tots. Whether you’re into ridin’ wooden roller coasters and other joyrides or blowin’ money at the game booths, try out this little brother of Elitch Gardens. If you’re lookin’ to keep the kiddies preoccupied, while relivin’ your “wonder years”, head on over to The Rising Curtain Theatre Academy, recently named a Nickelodeon Parent’s Pick for the Best Theatre Group for Kids. Along with productions of classic fairy tales and Disney movies, the group also offers acting classes for students 5-18 years old. Try out Denver Puppet Theatre on West 38th Avenue, which holds puppet-making workshops and frighteningly life-like marionette acts. The Highlands Street Fair, held every June on Boulder Street, boasts live music, arts and crafts, a classic car show, and savory eats in the streets.
Clubs, Pubs and Love Hubs
Suit up and set out with your babe, cause Highlands’ got it goin’ on! Get the party started at one of Highlands’ dinner theaters, sake & martini bars, or friendly pubs. A little drama goes a long way, so enjoy dinner and a game of real-life Clue in some jaw-droppin’ mystery dining shows, courtesy of the Lumber Baron Inn, on 37th Avenue, or the Adams Mystery Playhouse, lurking over Federal. Lighten up with some decadent wine from Paris Wine Bar on Platte Street or a sensual martini from Highlands Square’s Sushi Hai. Nearby Mead Street Station brings back the Irish hospitality from the Highlands’ roots of the turn of the century inhabitants, serving up beloved brews and brotherly bands for your ear’s enjoyment. Ziggie’s is a popular hangout for showin’ off your vocals with the locals during their open-mic nights…
Itchin’ to get your groove on? Highlands Square also houses Highland Pacific Restaurant & Oyster Bar, where you’ll catch live music all weekend in an island scene. Zio Romolos Alley Bar, on West 32nd Avenue, is marked by a Coca-Cola trademark painted on the alley wall and riddled with original antiques in its authentic Art Deco atmosphere. Order up a slice of authentic Italian goodness from Pasquini’s Pizzeria next door before listenin’ to the beats of their Grateful Dead or Reggae & Ska Nights. Ground yourself under the stars with a metropolitan mountain flare from Forest Room 5 in LoHi, with its outdoor patio, movie screenings and chic music scene. Jam with the best jazz club in Highlands, Chapultepec Too on 38th, throwin’ down live in a classy lounge ambiance.
Such a motley crew of cultures, as that of the Highlands, provides many flavors, sure to appease any and all appetites to inspire and enliven the senses. Many of Denver’s critically acclaimed restaurants reside in the area, thrown in with regional secrets that you could only know about by chattin’ with the couple next door. Let us give you a hosting hand and lead you to some of the hearty and healthy hotspots near the Denver House you’re prospecting…
If that new dating prospect passed the first-date test and you’re lookin’ to meet again or you’ve got a baby-sitter for the evening, you’ll need a romantic setting. Charm your girl at Highlands Garden Cafe on 32nd, a pair of awesomely renovated Victorians surrounded by Shakespearean gardens. Or treat your suga daddy for a change at Three Sons, an Italian family-owned landmark that’s been around for decades, where you can dine the dude in a poetic wine cellar. Take out the fam to Venue near the Highlands Square, serving seasonal brunch, lunch and dinner favorites. Sneak in the backdoor of Bang!, an unassuming yet merry little wonder full of American and southern, stick-to-your-ribs creations. We’ll leave it to you to find!
When you’re not hootin’ & hollerin’ at Lakeside Amusement Park, take some time to yourself or let the kids wear themselves out at a playground or park right in the hood. While strollin’ the tree-shaded streets of Highlands may be a walkin’ the park itself, a number of parks dot the Highlands for the true experience. In the West Highlands, Pferdesteller Park beckons to the frolickers from Wolff and Moncrieff Streets. Highland Park is the main attraction recreation-wise, with baseball diamonds, basketball courts, gardens and picnic grounds. Grab a book from the Woodbury Library Branch and enjoy a read on a park bench or on the grass in the shade… Towards the east, in Lower Highlands, Viking and Ashland Parks await your feet and picnic blankets. Ashland even has an indoor rec center with a small gymnasium to hoop it up and weight room for some training sessions. Other outdoor options call from afar, like Sloan’s Lake, for water play and flower gardens or just a lakeside jaunt with the honey, while takin’ in spectacular sunsets over the Rockies or awesome views of downtown’s skyline. On the east side, cruise over Highlands Bridge to the trio of parks and bike trails that follow the South Platte.
Getting From Here To There
The Highlands Denver House where you dwell is surrounded by major thoroughfares for gettin’ to work, errands and out of the hood. West 38th Avenue and Speer Boulevard ease the easterly and westerly commutes to I-25 and beyond, while Sheridan and Federal Boulevards make north-south travel a piece of cake. Just northwest of downtown, Denver’s got a most convenient, user-friendly and safe bus system to connect you quickly to the light rail hub there, which shoots travelers across Denver’s outlying destinations. This close vicinity also assures quick taxi cab service, so you can easily avoid any strife road rage may cause.
Everything Your Heart Desires
Feelin’ the urge to break the bank on some new gear? Shop ’til you drop at Highlands Square, Tennyson Street and the new shopping districts of LoHi, among special finds and art galleries in between. The retail rodeo of Highlands Square, along 32nd and Lowell, is made up of furniture showcases, second-hand shops and cool clothing stores waitin’ to rope you in. Search around the surrounding hood for trendy art galleries and other specialty merchants. Drive a bit north and you’ll find Tennyson Street Cultural District, presenting bedazzlin’ jewelry, funky and far out rags and an amazing amount of radical and radiant art pieces. Coast down to the Lower Highlands, amid the quaint and queer boutiques of 15th and 16th Streets for the novel and noble nuances of selfish spending and glorious gifts…
Once again, LoDo’s a hop over I-25 and the mainstream marauders who prefer more up-to-the-minute fashion will go mad there. Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall, including Denver Pavilions, throw down those modern, not so down-to-earth out-of-the-box choices. Spend your days spendin’ duckets galore, for the possibilities are endless around you.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Want to do your part to continue the pristine preservation of the historic Highlands? Going green is becoming easier by the passing can and bottle. The City of Denver’s Climate Action Agenda, which has the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2012, is spreading green practices with more support than ever throughout the metro hoods. When checkin’ out the homes for sale in the Highlands, be sure to inquire with HOA’s and communities about the green practices and recyclers in the hood…
Greenprint Denver is an awesome resource and community newsletter for residents all over to help out and get their questions answered regarding recycling programs, sustainability, and reducing greenhouse emissions. The more we do today, the easier it becomes and the more Denverites will jump on the green band wagon to support these programs.
The A to Zs
Being a lot Highlands’ folk are young families, proper schoolin’ is sure to be a concern. The surrounding metro offers many educational choices from preschools/early childhood education up to universities & colleges. Denver Public Schools gives you the choice, because as long as there’s space, your offspring can attend ANY school and DPS employs a lottery system if too many applications are received for one in particular. Nearby, there are traditional, nontraditional and private choices like Edison Elementary, Bryant Webster K-8, North High School, Denver North Institute of World Living,Contemporary Learning Academy, Academia Ana Maria Sandoval and Escuela de Guadalupe. The latter schools teach pupils ranging from toddlers all the way to high school ages and offer highly-gifted and talented programs close to your Denver House…
Get your share of higher learning by attending one of the great colleges and universities in Downtown. University of Colorado Denver, Metro State College of Denver and Community College of Denver are here to learn ya! Visit the Tivoli Student Union, a division of the Auraria Higher Education Center, for programs, services and assistance with such improvement steps. If you’d like to get some wicked art or design skills then bus it over to the Art Institute of Colorado.
The Best Damn Sports…PERIOD
Gather up the kids or your homies for some small-time sportin’ at one of Highlands nearby facilities. Hit some home-runs on the fields or dish out some personal fouls on the b-ball courts at Highland Park. Ashland Recreational Center provides an indoor basketball court and swimming pool for the winter days. Join the spectators for runner and boating competitions held at Sloans Lake Park, where you can also get your fitness fix on the lake water-skiing or kickin’ the ball around the soccer fields…
On the other end of Highlands, the South Platte River Greenway gives you 30 miles of trail for rollerblading, biking and running. Rest at one of the parks along it, where volleyball players might test your might and frisbee-fliers can test their flight. Pro sports are abundant ten minutes away – Denver Nuggets and the Avalanche perform in the Pepsi Center, the Rockies are a sure hit at Coors Field and best of all, witness the crushing power of our very own Broncos inside Invesco Field.
Anything “Medicinal” You Need
No need to fear when the kid shoots an eye out or your trail traversing turns into a traumatic tumble, for immediate help isn’t a far cry away. Three major health care systems give medical aide here in Downtown Denver – HealthOne, Denver Health, and Exempla. HealthOne Systems have the LoDo Internal Medicine Clinic (doubles as the AfterOurs Urgent Care for late night help) on Wazee and the full-fledged Presbyterian/St Luke’s Medical Center on East 19th Avenue. Denver Health Medical Center awaits near 8th & Delaware, Centura Health St. Anthony’s Hospital is ready to mend near Sloan’s Lake and the University of Colorado provides advanced yet comprehensive care at their hospital on West 13th Avenue…
If alternative medicine is your thing, Healing Arts on 16th Street combines eastern and western medicine, while practicing in cooperation with the major hospitals above. Maintain the zen by frequenting the spas, fitness centers and yoga nooks near a Denver House midst the Highlands. This hood has its own 24 Hour Fitness, on 44th Avenue, plus other smaller, more personable gyms and training places. Indulgences Day Spa, near Highlands Square, can help take away the pain of daily grinds, but Lower Highlanders might opt for the soothing salvation of Symmetry Therapeutic Massage Spa and Midtowne Spa Inc. Mental and physical fortitude become one at Vital Yoga on Tennyson and Denver Pilates Elixir Infusion, also in the Highlands Square.