6.9 out of 10

Union Station

Ranked 22nd best neighborhood in Denver
39.7537303648021 -105.000390190396
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Pest Free
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Medical Facilities
  • Clean & Green
  • Parking
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Where it all started"

This spot and the blocks surrounding it is the seed of Denver's revitalization frenzy. This development caused the area, which used to be nothing but the wrong side of the tracks, to grow into a lively spot for residents and partiers. The revitalization started in the 80s due to investments by developer Dana Crawford, who began the transformation of LoDo (lower downtown) into a hot space for loft living. She, almost single-handedly, turned the first of the abandonded Victorian brick warehouses into lofts worthy of high-end price tags.

The construction of Coors Field cemented the district's upswing, and LoDo is now a long-established place to live, shop, and work. This is the core of urban cool. I wouldn't waste much time bargain-hunting, because costs here are high. But this is a great place to be. Union Station, the rail transport hub, is also the hub that connects 16th street mall's Downtown area to the more popular area for nightlife. Here you will find block after block of historic facades fronting hip bars, restaurants, and boutique stores.

Parking is predictably rough here. Not only is this a trendy place to be, it's also part of the scene before and after any sporting event. It's a natural fit for anyone going to or coming from Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, or Mile High. If you don't pay attention to game schedules, you might find yourself packed shoulder-to shoulder in crowds filling every street and sidewalk. Even on weekend nights without games, you certainly won't be alone in the Union Station neighborhood.
Pros
  • The hub of urban activity
  • Beautiful commercial facades
Cons
  • Parking is a constant frustration
  • Can be swamped by loud, drunken crowds
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"LoDo: Denvers Epicenter of Urban Glitz"

Ask five residents to describe Denver, and at least four of them will use the phrase “laid-back.” Perhaps it’s the proximity of the rugged Rockies, perhaps it’s the city’s cow-town roots, or both, but there’s not generally a lot of pomp and circumstance here. Although bars can be crowded from Thursday through Sunday, brewpubs, wine bars, or dives seem to be a more Denver-esque choice than the club scene.

Union Station, better known as LoDo (Lower Downtown) is where you go in Denver when you want urban glitz. The 16th Street Mall runs through the neighborhood (see my review of the CBD for more information), but savvy travelers and locals pass on the Mall for the western or southern portions of the neighborhood. Streets on the western side bristle with steakhouses, dance clubs in old warehouses, and large sports bars/brewpubs. Larimer Square is glamorously festive, draped with a curtain of lights all year round. Coors Field, home of Colorado Rockies baseball, is also located here, and the surrounding blocks are full of bars tailor made for pre-game pumping up and post-game celebration or consolation.

At its best, LoDo offers an enormous variety of urban fun. You can get a salad topped with quail’s eggs, drink swanky cocktails made with organic booze, take in some live music, or sing along to Irish pub tunes or dueling pianos. You can’t swing a sparkly purse in LoDo without hitting some restaurant, bar, or club, and many of them are among Denver’s most notable.

If you’re lucky, the crowd around you will stay classy. But at its worst, LoDo can feel crowded and exhausting as you fight your way through mobs of the young, pretty, and loud, or of frenzied sports fans, who have all converged on LoDo with the singular goal of getting as wasted as possible.

LoDo also has a more sober, daytime identity as part of the downtown business district. Like the Central Business District to the southeast, LoDo is home to more office workers and nighttime revelers than full-time residents, though there is more residential housing here than in the CBD. And that housing is definitively upscale: lofts and luxury condos with drop-dead gorgeous views of the mountains or the bright lights of the city.

The heart of the neighborhood, and what gives it its name, is its historic train station. Union Station is currently undergoing redevelopment as Denver expands its rail network. In addition to more tracks, however, the plans call for a huge amount of retail, residential, office, and hotel construction in areas around the station that were once parking lots or weedy fields. This already desirable neighborhood is going to become more so when this project is completed.
Pros
  • City's highest concentration of nightlife; vast array of choices
  • Planned Union Station development will add even more residential/commercial density
Cons
  • Can be swamped by loud, drunken crowds
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish

Travelling to Union Station?

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Best Streets in Union Station

1

16th St

3/5
"Heart of the city"
39.753037491647 -105.003124583246

Unranked Streets in Union Station

19th St

4/5
"Visiting Downtown Denver"
39.7562884972454 -104.999337493974

Bassett St

3.5/5
"Great little place to be."
39.7562897618474 -105.004082486385

Blake St

4/5
"Ball Game Time!"
39.7509093261909 -104.998713099855

Market St

3.5/5
"Busy Market and Shopping area. "
39.7504006768509 -104.997626612663
"A savory delight"
39.7528666782469 -104.999715109219

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