Denver's trendy LoHi

Jenifer Harrington
The Highland Bridge's triple-rib arch rises dramatically 70 feet above the ground. Completed in December 2006 the bridge has made LoHi more accessible from downtown a boon to the neighborhood's growth.
Get your big-city fix in the up-and-coming Colorado neighborhoods of Lower Highland and Central Platte Valley

We can't think of a cooler part of Denver than Lower Highland and the Central Platte Valley for beating the midwinter doldrums with a shot of cosmopolitan buzz.

Think happening restaurants, a new contemporary art museum, and an architecturally forward-thinking bridge. The neighborhoods are easier than ever to visit in tandem, thanks to the bicycle-and-pedestrian Highland Bridge connecting them across Interstate 25.

GETTING THERE

The Lower Highland and Central Platte Valley neighborhoods flank I-25 northwest of the central business district and Lower Downtown (LoDo). To reach the area, take I-25 north to the 23rd Ave. exit and head right, toward Water St., or take I-25 south to the 20th St. exit.

EAT

Sushi Sasa Kick back at the blond-wood sushi bar. INFO: $$$$; 2401 15th St., Ste. 80; 303/433-7272.

Vita Settle into black curved booths for savory Mediterranean offerings like mushroom gnocchi with manchego cheese, clever cocktails like the basil gimlet, and live jazz Thursdays through Saturdays. INFO: $$; 1575 Boulder St.; 303/477-4600.

DRINK

Paris Wine Bar Pair a great selection of wines by the glass with one of the "boards" (cheese, antipasto, etc.). INFO: $; 1549 Platte St.; 303/217-5805.

Forest Room 5 Chic restaurant and lounge features cushy couches, film screenings, eclectic music from resident DJs, and a tapas menu. INFO: $$; closed Sun; 2532 15th St.; 303/433-7001.

SHOP

Red Door Swingin' Modern boutique offers funky furnishings, fashionable handbags, groovy jewelry, and bold art designed by locals. INFO: 2556 15th St.; 303/433-6900.

Phoebe's Past & Presents Everything from retro wall clocks to world music CDs and artistic greeting cards. INFO: 1535 Platte St.; 303/458-5544.

PLAY

Commons Park Hugging the South Platte River, the 25-acre park is nice for sledding and making snow angels, but the best reason to linger is the view of Denver's cityscape and the Rocky Mountains beyond. INFO: Little Raven St. between 15th and 19th Streets; denvergov.org or 720/913-0642.

NEARBY

Check out the modern galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (closed Mon; $10; 1485 Delgany St.; 303/298-7554), stroll its rooftop garden planted with native foliage, or drive by at dusk, when the light-saturated, box-shaped building literally glows in the dark.

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