Where to stay in Denver, Colorado

Best Places To Stay in Denver – Tips, and Advice

  • Best nightlife in Denver: The Central Business District has the best nightlife in Denver. Nightclubs, jazz bars, speakeasies – it has a bit of everything. Though the CBD does have some fierce competition in cool neighbors LoDo and RiNo!
  • Best luxury location to stay in Denver: Cherry Creek, with its numerous boutiques and designer stores, is the most luxurious location in Denver. The neighborhood is a sophisticated escape from the bustle of LoDo and RiNo, and is perfect for shopping.
  • Staying in Denver on a budget: Capitol Hill is central, historic, and full of attractions. After a number of years of falling behind the more popular districts of LoDo, the Highlands, and RiNo, it is also one of the cheapest areas to stay.
  • Best area for families: The Lower Highland (LoHi) neighborhood is ideal for families. It’s a safe, quiet area away from the intense nightlife districts that is still an exciting neighborhood with plenty of things to do.

Live the high life in Denver, Colorado’s Mile-High city. For a city on the smaller side, Denver has a lot of personality. Each neighborhood has a different atmosphere that completely changes the feel of your vacation.

Whether you’re looking for great nightlife, shopping, history, or art – Denver has a district that will suit your tastes, with the added bonus of fantastic views of the Rocky Mountains.

These are the best places to stay in Denver, according to your ideal vacation type:

The 6 Best Areas To Stay In Denver – A Neighborhood Guide

1. Lower Downtown (LoDo) – Great For First-Timers

lower downtown

Battling it out with the arts district, RiNo, for the title of Denver’s coolest neighborhood is Lower Downtown, or LoDo, as it’s affectionately known by locals.

LoDo takes a little of everything that is great about Denver’s other neighborhoods and condenses it into one. The historic architecture of Capitol Hill, the nightlife of the Central Business District, the artsy vibe of RiNo, and the boutiques of Cherry Creek; it’s all here in LoDo,  in a microcosm of the city.

Historically, LoDo was one of Denver’s most affluent neighborhoods – you can still see evidence of this in the elegant Victorian architecture of the district. 

The heart of LoDo is Larimer Square, the city’s first designated historic district. Go for a romantic stroll past the specialty boutiques and award-winning restaurants – the square is lit up with thousands of glittering fairy lights, making it particularly atmospheric in the evening.

The abundance of bars, restaurants, and cafes in LoDo is simply staggering. Whether you want to admire the city from a rooftop bar, relax in a speakeasy or sip Italian coffee in a cozy cafe, LoDo has everything. There’s even a bar – and award-winning restaurants – in the iconic restored Union Station.

Other attractions in LoDo include the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, the Pepsi Center, and the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

If you’re a sports fan, you should of course catch a baseball game at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.

Best Hotels in LoDo:

($$$) • The Crawford Hotel at Union Station • 0.1 miles from 16th Street Mall
($$) • The Oxford Hotel Downtown Denver • 0.4 miles from Coors Field
($) • Hotel Indigo Denver Downtown, an IHG Hotel • 0.3 miles from Museum of Contemporary Art

Best Airbnbs in LoDo:

($$$) • Mint House Downtown Denver: 2BR Apartment • A few minutes from Union Station
($$) • Stylish 1BR Apt w/ Balcony in Union Station • Short walk to Larimer Square
($) • Modern Downtown Loft • Walking distance to Coors Field

2. Capitol Hill – For Budget Travelers and History

capitol hill

The historic Capitol Hill is classic Denver, with stately old mansions, tree-lined streets, and a number of parks, both big and small. Capitol Hill is a great location for travelers on a budget. Despite its central location and numerous attractions, the neighborhood is more affordable than the other popular districts in Denver.

Most recognizable to Capitol Hill is the gold-domed Colorado State Capitol building, which towers over the beautiful Civic Center Park. The 13th step leading up to the Capitol marks the exact point Denver reaches a mile above sea level. 

Capitol Hill hasn’t got quite the same variety of restaurants, bars, and trendy cafes as LoDo or the Central Business District, but this doesn’t mean it is completely lacking.

The neighborhood might be quieter, but it still has its fair share of fantastic restaurants, bars, and clubs – and because the area isn’t as tourism-focused, you can find some lovely authentic spots run by locals, for locals.

Surprisingly, the historic district has a thriving punk scene, with a number of punk-aesthetic bars dotted around the area. It’s also one of the most LGBT-friendly neighborhoods in Denver.

While in Capitol Hill, you have to visit the home of the “unsinkable” Molly Brown. The famous Titanic survivor’s former residence is now a museum dedicated to detailing her eventful life. The Denver Art Museum is also worth stopping by, as is the History Colorado Center, with its interactive exhibits. 

If you fancy an escape to nature, you can’t go wrong with a few hours spent in Cheesman Park and the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Best Hotels in Capitol Hill:

($$$) • The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton • 0.1 miles from the Colorado History Museum
($$) • Sonder — The Essex • 0.3 miles from the Molly Brown House
($) • Warwick Denver • 0.6 miles from Denver Art Museum

Best Airbnbs in Capitol Hill:

($$$) • Denver | Private Hot Tub | Patio | Garage | • A few minutes walk from the Molly Brown House
($$) • Carriage House @ Queen City Co-Op – Sleeps 6! • Easy walking distance to Denver Botanic Gardens
($) • Urban Oasis in the Heart Of Denver • 18 miles from Denver International Airport

Best Hostel in Capitol Hill:

($) • Ember Hostel • 0.5 miles from the Molly Brown House

3. Central Business District – For Great Nightlife

central business district

If you’re looking for the best nightlife in Denver, look no further than the Central Business District.

The name might not sound like the calling card of a place with wild and exciting nightlife, but don’t be fooled – the Central Business District is the liveliest neighborhood in Denver after dark

There’s a ridiculous amount of choice. You can visit jazz bars like Dazzle Denver or Jazz at Jack’s, or maybe the popular Union Lodge No. 1, a speakeasy from the prohibition-era serving up cocktails 1800s style is more your thing.

From cabaret nightclubs like The Clocktower Cabaret to regular old nightclubs and bars, there’s plenty of options in the Central Business District for great nightlife.

The famous 16th Street Mall runs through the neighborhood and into LoDo. The street has over 300 shops – a mix of familiar chains and local boutiques – and dozens of restaurants. Book ahead for afternoon tea at the historic Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, an iconic Denver establishment. 

Most of Denver’s theaters are in the Central Business District and neighboring LoDo. The Denver Center for Performing Arts complex encompasses a number of different theater companies, while the Paramount Theater is a 90-year-old historic Art-Deco venue.

There are a few museums to visit as well, including the Denver Firefighters Museum and the American Museum of Western Art. Don’t forget to visit the late Lawrence Argent sculpture on 14th St – though as it’s a giant 40 foot Big Blue Bear, it would be pretty hard to miss.

Best Hotels in Central Business District:

($$$) • Four Seasons Hotel Denver • 0.5 miles from the Pepsi Center
($$) • Le Méridien Denver Downtown • 0.3 miles from the Buell Theater
($) • Staybridge Suites Denver Downtown, an IHG Hotel • 0.2 miles from Civic Center Park

Best Airbnbs in Central Business District:

($$$) • The Aristocrat – 3800 sqft Denver Loft w/ HUGE Patio! Great Views! • Easy walking distance to 16th Street Mall
($$) • Best Location HUGE 1 bedroom loft • Less than 5-minute walk to Denver Convention Center
($) • Private Garden-Level Apartment in Downtown Denver • A few minutes from Coors Field

Best Hostel in Central Business District:

($) • Hostel Fish • 0.6 miles from the Paramount Theater

4. Cherry Creek – For Luxury Travelers And Shopping

cherry creek

Love shopping? Head to the elegant sophistication of Cherry Creek, Denver’s go-to neighborhood for shopping.

With an indoor shopping mall on one side of a street and an outdoor row of boutiques and designers on the other, it’s hard to deny Cherry Creek’s status as the city’s best shopping district. The area has an upmarket and luxurious feel, with leafy boulevards lined with immaculate designer stores. 

Brands like Louis Vuitton and Burberry are dotted between local boutiques in an easily walkable district with a quieter and laid-back vibe. Thanks to this more relaxed and residential setting, Cherry Creek is one of the best neighborhoods to stay for families.

Cherry Creek is a little further away from Denver’s main attractions than some of the other neighborhoods, but they are still only a short drive away. The Denver Botanic Gardens are close enough to walk if you don’t mind stretching your legs a little! 

Being slightly away from the bustle of Denver’s tourist attractions has helped Cherry Creek cultivate a reputation for authenticity – especially when it comes to food. The big chains of fast-food restaurants are few and far between here; the bistros, cafes, and restaurants are all independent and locally owned.

It’s also easy to find spots to lay back and relax in this district; Pulaski Park and (a little further out), Cherry Creek Reservoir are both great choices in this regard.

For a fun day out, hire a bike and ride the Cherry Creek Trail all the way up to the Highlands district. It’s a picturesque trail that takes you over bridges and alongside the river – all while avoiding the roads.

Best Hotels in Cherry Creek:

($$$) • The Jacquard, Autograph Collection • 0.1 miles to Cherry Creek Shopping Center
($$) • MOXY Denver Cherry Creek • 2.1 miles from Denver Art Museum
($) • DoubleTree by Hilton Denver Cherry Creek, CO • 2 miles from Denver Botanic Gardens

Best Airbnbs in Cherry Creek:

($$$) • Brand New Contemporary Townhouse in Cherry Creek • Easy walking distance to Cherry Creek Mall
($$) • CHERRY CREEK CHIC RETREAT • Close to Cherry Creek Shopping Center
($) • Bootleg Bungalow • 17.4 miles to Denver International Airport

5. Lower Highlands (LoHi) – Ideal For Families

lower highlands

As the name suggests, LoHi is the lower – and cooler – section of the wider district of ‘The Highlands’.

Like Cherry Creek, LoHi is quieter than many of the other neighborhoods, which makes it a great place to stay for families. It’s also home to a number of family-friendly activities, like the Downtown Aquarium. For any couples, LoHi is one of the most romantic neighborhoods in Denver.

With its fantastic location sitting across the Platte River, the district has unrivaled views of the Denver skyline. Restaurants like Linger and El Five offer spectacular views of downtown and unique dining experiences – a perfect opportunity to try some amazing food while on a romantic date. 

Despite the elegance of its largely Victorian architecture and lush parks, LoHi isn’t a neighborhood that takes itself too seriously – it’s full of fun little eccentricities and modern innovation. Nowhere exemplifies this more than Little Man Ice Cream, where you get served delicious homemade ice cream out of a giant milk jug.

The 1912 Bug Theater is another interesting spot – the historic movie theater is now a venue catering to indie and alternative acts.

For people more interested in the art of food than theater, head to the Avanti Food and Beverage Hall. The food hall, housed in a collection of repurposed shipping containers, is a revolving door of vendors.

Many companies use the space to test the waters on a new concept before opening a full restaurant. You can try so many different cuisines here – there are often new stalls opening, so each visit is a surprise.

It’s also only a short walk from LoHi to the Empower Field at Mile High Stadium, home of two-time Super Bowl winners the Denver Broncos.

Best Hotels in LoHi:

($$$) • Life House, Lower Highlands • 0.9 miles from Coors Field
($$) • Fairfield by Marriott Denver Downtown • 1 mile to Larimer Square
($) • Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Speer Boulevard • 0.3 miles from Downtown Aquarium

Best Airbnbs in LoHi:

($$$) • View Downtown from a Rooftop Hot Tub in This Custom Home • Close to Union Station
($$) • Denver’s Urban Oasis + Hot Tub • Short walk to Empower Field at Mile High
($) • Sonder *Free Parking* Studio in LoHi • 18 miles to Denver International Airport

6. River North Arts District (RiNo) – For Artsy, Bohemian Types

river north arts district

No cosmopolitan city is complete without an arts district. The River North Arts District, nicknamed RiNo by locals, is a former industrial zone transformed into a colorful and trendy neighborhood by Denver’s art community.

What RiNo lacks in historic architecture it makes up for in personality. Every street is a burst of color – the majority of Denver’s street art is in RiNo. With trendy cafes, hip bars, and over a dozen microbreweries, RiNo is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city. 

As RiNo is filled with young creatives, the nightlife is some of the best in Denver. From swish cocktail bars like Death & Co to music venues such as Larimer Lounge – RiNo has an amazing variety of innovative bars and cool clubs to visit.

It’s also a haven for craft beers. To name just a selection of the microbreweries in RiNo: the Mile High Brewery, Blue Moon Brewing Company, Mockery Brewing, Odell Brewing and Ratio Beerworks. Trying to visit them all in one trip – or one night – is a challenge that many have already accepted.

If you prefer wine to beer, try Infinite Monkey Theorem, a winery that harvests its grapes from vineyards around Colorado.

RiNo is no slouch when it comes to food. There’s a great choice in restaurants – whether you fancy ramen or Southern BBQ. 

The biggest foodie attractions in RiNo are its food halls. Grab some gourmet chocolate or a wood-fired pizza at Denver Central Market, or head to The Source. This artisan food hall offers a French bakery, Italian coffee, and yet another microbrewery inside its walls.

The shopping in RiNo is amazing for those who love independent boutiques and unique stores. Modern Nomad is a popular warehouse filled with a variety of shops, selling everything from crafts to vintage furniture.

There are also, of course, a number of art galleries to visit in the art district. Particularly if you like contemporary art!

Best Hotels in RiNo:

($$$) • The Ramble Hotel • 0.1 miles from the Denver Central Market
($$) • The Source Hotel • 1.5 miles from Union Station

Best Airbnbs in RiNo:

($$$) • Bright Boho Loft | Huge Private Outdoor Deck | RiNo • Central RiNo location
($$) • Historic Boutique Apartment in Heart of RiNo • Steps from Denver Central Market
($) • Artsy, pristine and perfectly located apartment • Walking distance to Coors Field

A Quick Roundup of The Best Places to Stay in Denver: