For Those Considering Buying a House in Washington Park – See if Wash Park Suits You!
Located just four miles south of downtown, Washington Park is traditionally known as one of the best places to live in Denver. More commonly known as simply “Wash Park,” the name refers to both the actual park–which features a recreation center, sports fields, jogging trails, playgrounds, rose gardens and lakes–as well as the upscale residential area surrounding it. In addition to being home to one of the best parks in Denver, the Wash Park area is also popular for its multitude of amenities and attractions including boutique stores, art galleries, restaurants and bars, most of which can be found in and around South Gaylord Street, the neighborhood’s main drag.
Wash Park residents love to stroll along the quiet neighborhood streets lined with beautiful homes and lush landscaping, often with dogs or stroller’s in tow as this is a very popular place for families to live and play.A variety of home types exist in Wash Park from cozy Craftsman bungalows and opulent Victorian estates to uber-modern condominiums and mid-century apartment buildings. Duplexes and row-homes are also common here as this was a popular housing style in the early 1900’s when much of the neighborhood was established. See Homes for Sale in Washington Park Denver.
Washington Park Housing and Demographics
Wash Park is a cozy community of about 7,300 residents with a balanced mix of families, young professionals, retirees and students. Niche.com recently ranked Wash Park No.10 on its annual “Best Neighborhoods to Live in Denver Area” report. The area received top scores in categories like Health & Fitness, Nightlife, Commute and Outdoor Activities.
Due to the large size and central location of Washington Park, the neighborhood is generally divided into Washington Park East and Washington Park West. The East side of the park is somewhat quieter and features larger homes than the West side, which has more of a hip, youthful vibe and features more rental properties. The East side is also home to the Old South Gaylord historic district where many of Wash Park’s best restaurants and shops are located, so home prices tend to be a bit higher here. The median household income is around $114,000 and the median home value is about $589,000. The majority of homes in Wash Park are owner-occupied, although this is also a popular area for rentals where the median rent for a one-bedroom unit is around $1,665 per month.
Raising a Family in Washington Park
Wash Park is very family-oriented with a multitude of kid-friendly amenities like children’s boutiques, daycare centers, playgrounds and fun community events. Niche.com gave the neighborhood an ‘A’ grade in its “Good for Families” category, and also ranked it as the No.9 Best Neighborhoods to Raise a Family in Denver Area thanks to a good variety of public school options and low crime rate.
Due to its central location, Washington Park residents have easy access to a variety of educational facilities in the Denver Public School District, several of which are located right in the neighborhood, including Steele Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School.South High School, one of the city’s most iconic buildings, is located in the heart of the neighborhood across the street from Washington Park. Several middle schools are also nearby, including the award-winning Merrill Middle School and the Byers Middle School, as well as a handful of private and Montessori facilities.
What Type of Lifestyle Suits Washington Park?
Wash Park is a friendly, laid back community where residents embrace the classic Colorado outdoor lifestyle with activities like picnics and barbecues in the park, running clubs and volleyball leagues, shopping and dining on South Gaylord Street and sipping beers on sunny patios. Most local establishments and events are kid, dog and flip-flop friendly to support an unpretentious and welcoming atmosphere. A shared love for the outdoors, good food and great company creates happy neighborhood relationships and a tight-knit community.
Bars and Restaurants in Wash Park Denver
Washington Park restaurants are some of the best in town, from hip new eateries like Charcoal Bistro and the Homegrown Tap & Dough to longtime favorites like the Washington Park Grille, Reiver’s Bar & Grill and Carmine’s on Penn. Some of the best Wash Park bars include the Wash Park Tavern, Finley’s Pub and Wash Park Sports Alley, a top spot for watching the Denver Bronco’s football games. Many residents are particularly fond of the dive bars scattered throughout West Wash Park like the Kentucky Inn, Candlelight Tavern and Lincoln’s Roadhouse. The West side is also home to several notable cafes like the Wash Perk coffee shop, Vert Kitchen and Europa Coffeehouse. Popular brunch restaurants in Wash Park include Lucille’s Creole Café and Devil’s Food Bakery, both of which draw crowds from all over town on weekend mornings. And although the neighborhood prides itself on a casual lifestyle, fine dining spots like Café Marmotte and Bittersweet Restaurant are just around the corner for more elegant occasions.
Shopping in Washington Park
Washington Park East contains the neighborhood’s main shopping district on South Gaylord Street between Tennessee and Mississippi avenues. Also known as Old South Gaylord, this area is chock-full of cute specialty shops like The Paper Lady, a stationary shop; The Singletrack Factory, a bike store; Bottle Shop 33, a wine and spirits shop; Wish Boutique, a women’s fashion funhouse; Silk Road, an eclectic housewares gallery; Lil Angel, a pet boutique; Trout’s, a men’s clothier; Two Sole Sister’s, a shoe store; and many others. Several hair and nail salons, massage parlors, day spas, yoga and pilates studios can be found here, too.
With so many services and amenities on one quaint block, Old South Gaylord is one of the main attractions of the neighborhood. Additionally, there is a small collection of shops and restaurants on University Boulevard in Bonnie Brae, a pocket neighborhood that shares a border with the Wash Park neighborhood. The nearby Platt Park neighborhood features an extensive selection of boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, bars and gift shops to explore.
Washington Park Fitness and Recreation
Many people are drawn to Wash Park for the abundant recreational opportunities and health-conscious neighbors. In addition to the 160-acre Washington Park, one of the largest parks in Denver, there is also a plethora of fitness centers, yoga studios and personal training facilities from name-brand gyms like CrossFit, Corepower Yoga, Orangetheory fitness and PureBarre to locally owned-and-operated gems like Pearl Street Fitness and Denver Gym & Fitness. Located in the park, the Wash Park Recreation Center is also a great community fitness facility offering group fitness classes, an indoor pool and team sports leagues.
Of course, just taking a stroll around Wash Park to enjoy its beautiful trees, gardens, lakes and wildlife (especially bird watching) is one of the best things to do in Denver. Many residents head to the park year-round to walk, jog and bike on more than five miles of paved and unpaved trails. In warmer months people can also use the tennis and basketball courts, go fishing or paddling in the lake and play soccer and volleyball on the field. Bikes, surreys, stand-up paddle boards, pedal boats and kayaks are available for rent at Wheel Fun Rentals located near the Washington Park Boathouse on Smith Lake. Families with children adore using the park’s many playground and picnic facilities as well as the small kid’s fishing pond.
Community Events in Wash Park
Wash Park events are held year-round in the Old South Gaylord district to encourage residents and neighbors to come together to celebrate their wonderful community. A city-wide favorite is the Memorial Day Festival which kicks off summer with a weekend of live music, sidewalk sales and local food and beer vendors. Other popular holiday events include the Trick-or-Treat Street and the Holiday Walk in December, where families enjoy seasonal food, beverage and entertainment. The recent addition of the Farm To Bottle event in September has been a huge hit featuring local food purveyors, wine tastings and cooking demonstrations. A portion of this event’s ticket sales is donated to a different local charity each year.
Reflecting the local love for fitness, several races are held in Washington Park throughout the year such as the Furry Scurry, benefitting the Denver Dumb Friends League, the Mile High United Way Turkey Trot and the Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk benefitting the Arthritis Foundation.
The nearby South Pearl Street Farmer’s Market features live music, food trucks and several blocks of vendors selling locally-grown produce, hand-crafted jewelry, organic beauty products all summer long.The market also has special monthly events like antique markets, art shows, pet adoption days and craft beer festivals. This special offering is certainly one of the best Denver events around.
Commuting From Washington Park
Wash Park is conveniently located just four miles from downtown and near I-25, one of Denver’s main highway thoroughfares. It takes about 15 minutes to drive to downtown, 40 minutes to drive to the Denver International Airport and 15 minutes to the Denver Technological Center.
The light rail system is also popular with Wash Park commuters with two stations nearby. The Louisiana-Pearl station is within walking or biking distance for many Wash Park residents, offering easy access to some of the city’s main business districts including the Denver Tech Center and the Central Business District in downtown. The other station, located at I-25 & Broadway, also offers a complimentary park-and-ride service.
Finally, the Cherry Creek bike path is also easily accessible for many people living in Wash Park for a quick and easy commute to the downtown and Cherry Creek neighborhoods.