One perfect day in Denver's River North

Art takes center stage in this Denver community

Jess Chamberlain

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;, 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;

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