Why go now: This art district is booming but still feels like a secret—even to locals.
Where is it? North of downtown, bordering the Platte River and the train tracks.
What it used to be: All factories and warehouses in the 1930s.
Number of artists' studios and galleries now: 150+
Locals call it: RiNo
Who's here: Sculptors, painters, ceramists, and mixed-media and you-name-it artists.
The vibe: Anything but stuffy. Open studio nights are celebrations with food and wine, many spaces are live/work, and artists and gallery owners will chat with anyone interested enough to ask questions.
By appointment: Most galleries have limited hours, but call ahead and you'll likely get a private tour.
Coolest time to come: First Fridays and Second Saturdays (Feb 3, 11; rivernorthart.com), when many galleries and studios are open for the evening till 10 or 11.
Reason to come back: For the local crafts and food, plus live music, at the Denver Handmade Homemade community market (once a month starting in Mar; denverhaho.org for details)..