Info: Uptown is concentrated between Broadway, Colfax Ave., E. 23rd Ave., and York St., which borders the western side of City Park.
As you crest the East 17th Avenue hill from downtown Denver into Uptown, steel skyscrapers give way to swaying elm trees, porch-lined Queen Anne mansions, and flower beds bursting with petunias.
The heart of this increasingly cosmopolitan enclave is City Park ― Denver's largest urban oasis ― where flip-flop-clad locals come out to play, armed with everything from Frisbees and fly-fishing rods to rackets and picnic baskets.The nearby cafe- and boutique-lined streets are abuzz too as this side of town morphs into one of Denver's hippest hoods, with lively new restaurants, chic shops, and a cheery, progressive vibe. All of which makes Uptown the consummate urban playground for a summer fling.
What: A 330-acre recreational heaven, home to rows of tennis courts, community-built playgrounds, shooting fountains, the Denver Zoo, and several small lakes for paddleboating and fishing. Free outdoor jazz concerts too ― be sure to find a patch of grass for local act Chris Daniels & the Kings on July 16. Where: York St. and E. 18th Ave.; 720/913-0696.
What: East 17th Avenue's hottest new hang for hipsters, who swarm the sunny patio for summer rolls and small plates of lemongrass-marinated quail and ?garlic-kissed, yard-long green beans. When: Lunch and dinner Mon-Sat. How much: $$$. Where: 1600 E. 17th Ave.; 303/399-0988.
MILAGRO TACO BAR
What: Top-shelf tequila bar and taqueria with Mexican street-eats such as carnitas-stuffed soft tacos and pricier fare like a poached lobster tostada. When: Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner daily. How much: $$. Where: 1700 Vine St.; 303/399-1700.
What: Frilly furnishings and locally designed jewelry share space with kids' stuff. Where: 1122 E. 17th Ave.; 303/832-1230.
What: Just what it sounds like ― an antique-art gallery specializing in European and Chinese antiques, vintage art, and local works. Where: 1668 Marion St.; 303/832-2004.