Discovering Denver: The Highlands, Sloan’s Lake, and Edgewater

As our loyal readers can tell by now, Denver is full of great neighborhoods to fit every kind of personality and lifestyle. To that admittedly diverse collection, I would add the whole of the Highlands and Sloan’s Lake/Edgewater.

I’ve been living in the area, Edgewater specifically, for almost 2 years now and have been exploring the surroundings on foot, bike, and a bit of driving, and I’ve just barely tapped this area’s potential. From restaurants to parks to houses, this area has some of the best in Denver.

In general, the area covered in this post goes from Federal to Wadsworth in the east-west direction, and Colfax and I-70 north to south. There are enough attractions in the area to keep a visitor or even a resident, busy for years. What follows is a short tour of the area with the convention attendee in mind. First are the areas to relax after the hustle and bustle of the convention, then sight-seeing, and some culinary recommendations.

Parks and open spaces.

Sloan’s Lake is the largest park in the area, with a recently renovated bike and walking path around the lake, a small beach, and plenty of stopping points to watch birds or the occasional boater, and only 15 minutes from downtown, it’s a great place to catch your breath.

Smaller pocket parks are spread throughout the area, Hallack Park 20th and Irving is very close to downtown and offers a great view of the city and Sports Authority Field and further north, Highland Park at Federal and 32nd is the green space gateway to the happening 32nd and Lowell neighborhood.

Sight-seeing.

The neighborhoods surrounding 32nd and Lowell are home to some of the best of Denver 100 year old Victorians. The area has been bubbling with activity for several years now and a lot of the homes have been renovate and restored beautifully. The narrow streets, shaded sidewalks, and comfortable atmosphere makes this a must visit when coming to Denver.

The 32nd and Lowell area is part of the larger neighborhood of the Highlands which hosts an active art scene. The studios along Tennyson, between 32nd and the 40’s, host the popular first Friday’s art walk and are part of a larger cultural district featuring boutique stores. Custom denim stores, fantastic restaurants, and more art studios make up an exciting and unique area.

For the more adventurous, Colfax Ave. offers something a bit different with an eclectic (and admittedly a bit seedy) collection of motels, general stores, and new development gracing the borders of the road. While not for everyone, there is a lot of history associated with the drive and some left-over gems of years gone by like the flourescent signs from the old Aristocrat motel at Colfax and Xavier .

Culinary Treats.

I like food and that is one of the main reasons I love this part of Denver. There is more culinary variety in the northwest corner of Denver than I thought possible. For any possible taste there is a restaurant to match. Interested in fine French dining? Check out Z Cusine or Indulge French Bistro. Perhaps Mexican is more to your liking? Tacos Jaliscos on 38th will do very well as will just about any hole-in-the-wall along Federal. Or maybe you want to have a craft beer (something Denver is fast becoming known for) and pizza, Hops and Pie will take care of you.

Honestly, I could go on for much, much longer about this fascinating corner of northwest Denver. There’s more to discover here than can be packed into a weekend so take an hour or two and wander around 38th and Tennyson or the main drag in Edgewater on 25th and Sherdan to get a small taste of the area. You will be counting the days until you can return.

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