With over 700,000 in its city limits, Denver represents a diverse array of old Coloradans and new imports. If you’re deciding to visit the mile high city, you’re no doubt considering where to stay in Denver.
Where to Stay in Denver
Denver has been a favorite destination for years in the United States, its popularity extending well beyond the gold rush that put the city on the map.
In the wintertime, winter sports fans flock to the unbeatable slopes, while in the Summer, those in the lowlands seeking some reprieve from the heat seek the moderate summertime climate of Colorado’s largest city.
With great sports teams, a thriving art community, and a generally progressive and open population of residents, Denver’s central neighborhoods have seen a major rise in living costs in the past two decades.
Still, they have also blossomed with activity and things to do.
From Capitol Hill to Downtown, the Highlands to SoBo, it’s not obvious where to stay in Denver at first glance.
Parts of Town
Denver has plenty of neighborhoods, especially when considering the Metropolitan area. The central spots for tourists are these:
- Capitol Hill: Best for political architecture and nightlife
- LoDo: Best for museum lovers and sports fans
- Uptown: Best for families
- Highlands: Best for architecture fans
- South Broadway and Baker: Best for quiet vacations
- Cherry Creek: Best for shopping and luxury boutiques
- Five Points: Best for live music and soul food
Denver’s Best Areas and Hotels
Ready to start planning your mile-high trip? The first thing to consider is your “home base” in Denver. Let’s look at Denver’s most popular neighborhoods and see which is best for you.
1. Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill is Denver’s most populous neighborhood and a wonderful place to introduce yourself to city-living in Denver.
Bordered on the west by Broadway and seated near the heart of the mile-high city, Capitol Hill gets its name from the Colorado State Capitol building that looms on the neighborhood’s western edge.
Capitol Hill was once home to the wealthy elite who earned their fortune during the Colorado silver boom, and the echoes of this storied history are still observable today in the many old mansions that still stand in the neighborhood.
Many of these mansions, abandoned by their original families, have been converted to office buildings and museums.
In post-war America, Capitol Hill became a haven for bohemian poets like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, who primarily sought out this neighborhood for its low cost of living.
Following a period of gentrification, however, prices raised, and now Capitol Hill is a very expensive, if still very artsy, neighborhood. This neighborhood is great for young people, with an active nightlife and very progressive residents.
Families may be interested in the architecture, but if you’re an early bird or on a budget, Capitol Hill may not be the place for you to stay.
Things to do:
- Check out the Colorado State Capitol
- Explore the home of Titanic survivor Molly Brown, now a museum
- On 13th and Washington, browse records at Wax Trax! Records, a retro record store that spawned a major punk label
- Take a Denver Free Walking Tour to learn more about Capitol Hill (and the rest of Denver) ‘s history
Where to eat:
- DiFranco’s. Classic popular Italian.
- City O’City. Hip Vegetarian Eats
- Benny Blanco’s. NY-style pizzeria
Capitol Hill Budget Hotels
- Hampton Inn & Suites. Affordable rooms, with an indoor pool & hot tub. A favorite stay for those going to conventions at the Colorado Convention Center.
- Sonder – The Essex. Stylish budget hotel close to the Colorado History Museum. Free WiFi and parking.
Capitol Hill Mid-Range Hotels
- Warwick Denver. An outdoor swimming pool looks out on the Denver skyline from Warwick Denver. Excellent restaurant and bar downstairs, with a gym and free bicycles for guests.
- The Curtis. A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Although the Curtis is not technically in Capitol Hill, it’s located ideally to give you access to the best of Capitol Hill and downtown. Friendly atmosphere with all the amenities you’d like and a great location.
Capitol Hill Luxury Hotels
- The Ritz-Carlton, Denver. If you want luxury rooms, the Ritz-Carlton has some of the best in Denver. Large flat-screen TVs in every room are perfect for a night in, while the steakhouse downstairs is a perfect place to start a night out.
- Four Seasons Hotel Denver. A beautiful rooftop pool is the distinguishing feature of the Four Seasons. Great rooms and a five-minute walk from the Convention Center.
Denver’s famous historic district, LoDo (lower downtown), is a must-see for anyone visiting Denver.
In addition to having great restaurants, must-visit attractions, and excellent lodging, LoDo is also Denver’s oldest district, its buildings betraying the compelling history at the heart of Denver.
However, artists and art-lovers also have something to appreciate in LoDo because the Museum of Contemporary Art has incredible permanent exhibitions (that the whole family can enjoy).
If you want the best of what Denver has to offer in terms of entertainment: sports, arts, food, LoDo is the spot for you. That said, it’s somewhat pricey and, as many Denverites will tell you, touristy.
LoDo is a lot of things, but it’s definitely not calm and relaxed.
Things to do:
- Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Take the light rail out of Union Station with its fabulous turn-of-the-century architecture.
- If you’re a family, take the kids to the Children’s Museum of Denver, a safe place to learn and play.
Where to eat:
- Visit the Colorado-beloved John Hickenlooper’s Wynkoop Brewing Company, a local favorite with a state-famous “Beerdrinker of the Year” competition.
- Snooze is the place to eat breakfast in Denver. Snooze has a great breakfast and a great environment, but be forewarned: the waits are always very long.
- For a nice dinner with wood-fired American classics, check out Citizen Rail. Be sure to make a reservation!
LoDo Budget Hotels
- Hilton Denver City Center. Has a heated indoor swimming pool and a restaurant downstairs. Nice views of the Rockies outside of the window.
- Tru by Hilton. Located about a mile from Ball Arena and less than half a mile from the convention center, Tru is a popular place to stay for Denver weekenders.
LoDo Mid-Range Hotels
- Le Meridien Denver Downtown. A French name and a fancy hotel, Le Meridien has an excellent location and great amenities for the price. Great bar and a shared lounge with a great view of downtown Denver.
- Embassy Suites. All rooms are suites at the Embassy Suites, and this hotel right next to the convention center has some lovely ones. An eco-friendly hotel with an excellent pool.
LoDo Luxury Hotels
- Renu Denver. Relax, revive, renew at the Renu. Great luxury rooms and large TVs. Prime location.
- The Oxford Hotel. was built in 1891 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The attached bar was originally opened as an illegal speakeasy.
Just north of Capitol Hill is Denver’s capitol of hip — Uptown (also known as North Capitol Hill) is a great place for the young, with LGBTQ-friendly bars, plenty of craft breweries, and nice restaurants.
In addition to all the places to eat, Uptown is also home to City Park. City Park is Denver’s largest green area and is the perfect place to walk the dog or hang out on a warm day.
During the Summer, City Park Jazz offers free concerts every Sunday. Also, in the Summer, you can check out the Denver Zoo.
If you’re in Colorado to ski during the wintertime, however, and want to check out something fun in Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has interesting and informative exhibitions all year round.
Things to do:
- Hang out at City Park.
- Bring the family to the Denver Zoo and support global wild-life conservation efforts.
- Take a tour of the historic Trinity United Methodist Church, whose 19th-century design can be appreciated by people of all creeds.
Where to eat:
- Tap Fourteen has a selection of 70 Colorado Draft beers and familiar American eats.
- Jack’s Uptown Grille has American gourmet food at reasonable prices: join them for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
- Want to catch the game? Stoney’s Uptown Joint has the self-proclaimed “best TVs in town.”
Uptown Budget Hotels
- Days Inn. Across the street from the Ogden Theater, the Days Inn has a great location for an affordable price.
- Ember Hostel. A great atmosphere, great location, and guest-rented ping pong tables are available at the Ember Hostel.
Uptown Mid-Range Hotels
- Sheraton Denver Downtown. With four restaurants and an outdoor pool, you may find yourself not wanting to leave the Sheraton once you’ve set your things down in your room. If you do decide to hit the town, the mall is right next door.
- Grand Hyatt Denver. The Grand Hyatt has a bar, a restaurant, and an indoor pool. A great jumping-off point for your Denver trip.
Uptown Luxury Hotels
- The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa. Check out the spa or the high-quality restaurant before taking the short drive to Denver City Zoo.
- The Comma by Kasa. Luxury hotel with unique rooms and a great location. Free parking on-premises.
The Highlands district is a large neighborhood with Victorian-era homes and independently-owned hip shops. Included in the Highlands is the ever-popular young person destination, Lo-Hi (Lower Highlands).
With book shops, antique shops, plenty of bars and restaurants, and a hodgepodge architectural style that encompasses both the oldest Denver has to offer and the most modern, the Highlands has enough interesting sights and shops to occupy a full weekend of shopping and sightseeing.
Beautiful views of the highland bridge and Denver’s unique downtown are possible from the appropriately-named Highlands.
The Tennyson Street Cultural District is a must-visit for fans of local arts and crafts. If you’re more into museums or events, however, the Highlands may not be for you.
Things to do:
- Buy a painting from a local artist at the Tennyson Street Cultural District.
- Head to Sloan’s Lake Park for stunning mountain views and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing).
- Visit BookBar, the place where fine wine and fine literature meet in Denver.
Where to eat:
- Denver Beer Company has great eats and great beer, with tons of local drafts.
- Avanti F and B, in a modified shipping container, is a modern chef-driven hub for a diverse array of unique and eclectic flavors.
- For locally sourced ingredients and high-quality flavors, check out Root Down.
Highlands Budget Hotels
- Residence Inn. An outdoor pool and fully-equipped kitchens characterize the studios at the Residence Inn. Good for longer stays.
- Fairfield by Mariott. Standard budget hotel with standard amenities. Half a mile from Ball Arena.
Highlands Mid-Range Hotels
- Lumber Baron Inn & Gardens. A Bed & Breakfast in the old style, with real breakfast for guests. Antique furniture and a homey feel, in a great location. Highly recommended.
- Sonder — Zuni Studios. The unique architecture of Sonder — Zuni Studios is the first thing you’ll notice about this hotel right in the heart of Lo-Hi.
Highlands Luxury Hotels
- Modern Living. (Short-Term Rental Apartment). Experience luxury like a local from this short-term rental apartment with panoramic views of Denver.
- Life House. A relatively new Denver hotel, having only begun taking guests in 2019. A fabulous luxury place with beautiful rooms and well-designed interiors.
5. South Broadway and Baker
The neighborhoods of South Broadway (known lovingly as SoBo) and Baker mark a central point of Denver living. Not incredibly touristic, SoBo and Baker are a great place to live and work, with more affordable living and plenty of great shops and eateries.
South of Alameda street, be on the lookout for “Antique Row” on Broadway, where over 100 antique stores are crammed into just eighteen city blocks.
Find bargains on anything that strikes your fancy before taking a break at Corvus Coffee Roasters, a hipster coffee shop in the style most beloved by millennial coffee drinkers, industrial chic.
In short, the SoBo and Baker neighborhoods are a great place to raise a family or start a life in Denver, located as they are in the center of Denver, but still with easy access to the mountains outside of the city.
If you’re in town for just a weekend, SoBo and Baker might be a quiet choice, and many tourists prefer Capitol Hill or Downtown for short stays.
Things to do:
- Request an antique book and pick it up from Gallagher Books
- Check out any of the many art galleries located throughout the neighborhood and get inspired by local Denver artists.
- Favorite of the youth Punch Bowl Social is located in SoBo and is frequented even by out-of-towners. A hip and youthful bowling alley, enjoy a PBR and a shot of Jack as you bowl or play ping pong or darts with friends.
Where to eat:
- For an island vibe and delectable island fair, leave the world for a moment at Adrift.
- Enjoy one of Colorado’s world-famous aspen pine forests, all in a climate-regulated, indoor environment. At Beatrice & Woodsley, you can experience the great outdoors without even stepping outside!
- Crazy Mountain Brewery has awesome beers on tap and a wonderful vibe. Though they don’t serve food, patrons are welcome to bring in their own.
South Broadway Budget Hotels
- InTown Suites. Great budget option for an extended stay. All rooms are suites with free WiFi.
- Extended Stay America Suites. Another good option for long stays. All kitchens are fully equipped.
South Broadway Mid-Range Hotels
- TownePlace Suites. This Mariott hotel features comfortable suites in a great location. A 10-minute walk from the Denver Art Museum.
- 11th Avenue Hostel. This hostel is a great starting point to begin your Denver adventure. Walking distance from the State Capitol.
South Broadway Luxury Hotels
- Art Hotel Denver. One-of-a-kind hyper-modern architecture characterizes the exterior of the Art Hotel, while the interior bespeaks luxury. Fantastic restaurant downstairs, with pet-friendly accommodations available. Highly Recommended.
- Patterson Inn is a hotel that looks like a mansion. Great accessibility to downtown and Capitol Hill.
6. Cherry Creek
With its 750+ hotels and great mass of outdoor retail, Cherry Creek is probably the most popular place people consider when they’re considering where to stay in Denver.
Hundreds of independently-owned boutiques line the streets of Cherry Creek, representing a beautiful selection of handmade jewelry, home goods, art, and more.
Fine dining doesn’t get better in Denver than in Cherry Creek. After a long day hitting the city, you and your family can come back to Cherry Creek and dine in style.
If shopping isn’t your thing, Cherry Creek might not be the neighborhood for you. That being said, the Denver Botanic Gardens offer a quiet haven in this bustling retail hub.
Things to do:
- Go shopping at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, a favorite stop for upscale retail. With over 160 stores (over 40 of them being independent and locally-owned), the CCSC has something for everyone.
- Enjoy the farmers’ market in the summertime: Saturdays and Wednesdays offer fresh produce and a fun environment.
- The Denver Botanic Gardens aren’t just a favorite of plant lovers: these gardens hold massive concerts with big names.
- Check out a rugby game at Infinity Park played by none other than the Glendale Raptors.
Where to eat:
- Featured on “Man v. Food” and listed among MSN’s “best burgers in every state” is The Cherry Cricket, a much-beloved sandwich haven.
- Take the dog and a bunch of friends to the Cherry Creek Beer Garden, a lovely outdoor patio with games and shareable plates.
- HALCYON – a hotel in Cherry Creek is more than just a place to stay: take barre classes or do yoga, or go up to the rooftop bar and overlook the mile-high city.
Cherry Creek Budget Hotels
- HomeTowne Studios. A very good budget choice for those seeking an extended stay. All rooms are equipped with free WiFi.
- DoubleTree by Hilton. Restaurant, outdoor pool, free WiFi, and a fun vibe at the bar.
Cherry Creek Mid-Range Hotels
- JW Marriott. An award-winning restaurant and a great fitness center are just the beginning of what makes the JW Mariot special. Excellent customer care, an affordable price, and a great location make this a top pick.
- The Jacquard, Autograph Collection. The Jacquard has a lovely outdoor swimming pool from which you can overlook Denver. Restaurant and fitness center included.
Cherry Creek Luxury Hotels
- Clayton Members Club & Hotel. Feel like an exclusive member at the Clayton. Great rooms, a great restaurant, and a great view of the city.
- HALCYON is a modern hotel of true luxury. Take yoga or barre classes, relax on the incredible rooftop bar, and look out upon the city in luxury rooms. Highly Recommended.
7. Five Points
Five Points is an incredibly diverse neighborhood and one of Denver’s oldest. At one time, Five Points was called the “Harlem of the West” because some of jazz’s best-known artists tended to stop in one of the jazz joints here and play some standards.
People like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis once graced the streets of this neighborhood, and it’s also mentioned often in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.
The Five Points of today maintains the diversity and artistic counterculture for which it has been known but combines it with a modern infusion of cutting-edge coffee shops and craft breweries.
This spot is great for music lovers and those with a taste for the ephemeral. Though there are lots to see, Five Points doesn’t have too many “destinations” like Capitol Hill or Downtown.
Things to do:
- Watch a performance by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, a modern dance company whose dances honor the African heritage of its performers.
- Dr. Justina Ford, the first black female doctor in Denver, left behind her historic home, which has now been converted into the Black American West Museum.
- Learn the deep and occasionally mysterious history of Denver’s past with the interactive Denver Story Trek, an experience that allows you to use your smartphone to “look past the facade” of Five Points’ historic layout.
- Take Welton Street Cultural District’s Walking Tour for a highly informative look at Denver’s historic African-American community.
Where to eat:
- Woods Boss Brewing Company offers tasty beer and rustic American eats.
- Spangalang Brewery, named after the sound of a cymbal when it’s banged, is another great spot for high-quality food.
- If you want to eat at Five Points, the recommended method is to walk along the streets and see what interests you: some of the best soul food, barbeque, Louisiana catfish, and Caribbean food in the world is waiting to be bought at Five Points.
Five Points Budget Hotels
- Super8. The Super8 has decent rooms for people on a budget. Free WiFi and standard television.
- Motel 6. Well-rated, affordable budget hotel.
Five Points Mid-Range Hotels
- HostelFish. For young vacationers ready to check out Denver’s famous nightlife, HostelFish is full of like-minded individuals ready to live life to the fullest. Shared rooms.
- Kimpton Hotel Monaco. Not technically in Five Points, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco is in downtown Denver, but it offers easy access to Five Points and plenty of other neighborhoods near the city center. Free WiFi.
Five Points Luxury Hotels
- Ramble Hotel. The Ramble Hotel offers a luxurious break from the rambling lifestyle. High-class rooms with great views.
- Rally Hotel at McGregor Square. A beautiful building with grounds that feel like a campus, the Rally Hotel is a favorite of high rollers. Great location and quality service.
Where Should You Stay in Denver?
That wraps up our tour of Denver. From Capitol Hill to Five Points, there’s plenty to do in Denver, whether you’re an outdoor sports enthusiast, a professional sports fan, an indie music lover, a fan of craft beer, or simply an admirer of Victorian architecture.
No matter where you stay in Denver, the city is accessible via light rail, taxi, or Uber. What are you waiting for? The mile-high city awaits you!