Welcome, Denver 'Dores
Welcome to the Denver Chapter! We are a committed and rapidly growing group of Vandy alums. We are dedicated to alumni, current students, parents of current and former students, and all other Commodore fans. Whether you're a Vandy Fanatic or a classroom loving commodore, there is an event for you. New to town? Let us know! We have a whole group of amazing local volunteers serving as advisors on all things Vanderbilt-related in Denver. Contact any of our chapter leaders, shown under the Chapter Leadership section, to connect with us. We'd love to welcome you in true Vandy Style.
Where to Live
Luckily, the City of Denver has produced a map of all of the neighborhoods in the city. Visit denvergov.org/denvermaps/documents/citywide/Neighborhoods.pdf to view the map.
Best places to live tend to be near Wash Park, Cheeseman Park, SoBa and LoDo. Parks are awesome. Bars are awesome. Skiing is best in the world. Not a great guy–girl ratio (“Menver” is a thing). ’13
LoHi and Rino are the newer, trendier places to live; I’d recommend LoHi just north of I-25 because it’s not in downtown and is a bit nicer but is still walkable to downtown and everything else. There are great restaurants there! Be sure to hit the breweries. I love Denver Beer Co., Ratio, and Blue Moon, but there are loads lining the streets of Rino and it’s so fun to do a brewery crawl on a nice day. Everyone here has a dog; if you have the time, you should get one because you can take them plenty of places to eat and drink and they make for a good park buddy on a nice day. I’d recommend a car for sure so you can drive to other cool cities like Boulder and Golden and make it up to the mountains. I go hiking all the time here in summer (Chautauqua Park in Boulder is awesome). Denver is pretty spread out and public transportation outside of the tech center corridor up into downtown is not great. If you want a taste of Nashville, hit the Grizzly Rose for live country and swing and line dancing; it’s a really fun bar. Mexican food is outstanding here; the best is D’Corazon downtown, and the Rio Grande across the street isn’t as good food-wise but it’s a great place to drink with friends and they have a huge patio. Hit a Rockies game in the summer and then bar crawl in LoDo afterwards! ’17
- Downtown – Downtown Denver is still in the process of becoming more residential but offers all the benefits of a major city including public transportation, art museums, NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB stadiums. Apartments actually can be reasonably priced downtown, but there is less availability than in the surrounding neighborhoods.
- LoDo (Lower Downtown) – This updated segment of downtown has renovated lofts and mid–rise apartments, and is centered on the revitalized Union Station, the centerpiece of Denver’s light rail and urban redevelopment plan, allowing quick access all over the metropolitan area and containing some of the city’s hottest venues. Rents tend to be high, but there are lots of options. This is “the place to be” for urbanites in Colorado and is very popular with Denver’s singles.
- Ballpark – This neighborhood is centered around the Colorado Rockies baseball field and is a cheaper alternative to LoDo living without sacrificing proximity to Denver’s nightlife.
- LoHi (Lower Highlands) – Full of trendy restaurants and historic homes, LoHi is a recently gentrified area with a lot of larger apartment buildings and townhomes with reasonable rents that is popular with younger families and professionals. A pedestrian bridge connects it to downtown and LoDo.
- Highlands/Sloan’s Lake – Up-and-coming area, but only three miles from downtown. Prices are much more reasonable but the options are more geared toward single family homes than condos or apartments.
- Baker – Offers many historic homes and newer apartment complexes. Although still an up-and-coming area, it has become popular for working young professionals who want to be close to downtown or to the Santa Fe Arts District, a grouping of art galleries and antique shops along Santa Fe Drive.
- Uptown – A very popular area for 20-somethings east of downtown, Uptown has many bars and restaurants. It is a bit more spread out than LoDo or LoHi so it is somewhat less walkable, but you can easily cycle to downtown or around the area.
- Wash Park – A very popular area southeast of downtown with housing ranging from million-dollar-plus mansions to trendy condos and apartments but is primarily higher-end single-family housing.
- Cherry Creek – Upscale neighborhood featuring Cherry Creek Mall, the Country Club, and the mixed-development Cherry Creek North area. The eastern part of the neighborhood has many options for upscale apartments and townhomes as well as higher-end single family homes. Great for the shop-a-holics and high-end trendsetters, as well as more established families who want a bit more space than downtown offers.
- DU/University – The area around the University of Denver offers yet more housing for recent college grads and those who like to stay young at heart. With great restaurants, a wide variety of housing options and access to the Denver light rail system, University has something to offer everyone.
- Golden, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Greenwood Village/DTC (Denver Tech Center) and Parker are good choices if you want to live in the suburbs.
Things to do
If you find yourself in Denver, be sure to make your way into the mountains. Mount Falcon, the Foothills in Boulder, and Eldorado Canyon State Park offer great hikes with spectacular views near the city! ’13
I really believe that Denver is the perfect city. The weather is amazing. It’s sunny over 300 days a year and, after a beautiful snowfall, the snow practically evaporates from the ground rather than melting and getting slushy. For those sports fans, Denver has at least seven professional sports teams and four new sports venues. Just a short distance out of the city, you can escape to the mountains to go on a nice hike in Boulder or climb a fourteener (mountain over 14,000 ft.). ’12
- Red Rocks Amphitheatre – A world-famous concert venue built within a natural rock formation overlooking the Great Plains and the city of Denver, Red Rocks has hosted major artists and performers for over 80 years. A park, the venue is open to the public during daylight hours (unless an event is scheduled) and offers a museum and a surprisingly tasty restaurant. Locals are known to frequent the weeknight movie screenings during the summer and to run stadiums up and down the amphitheater stairs.
- Denver Broncos – The Broncos are serious business in Denver (as are the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rockies, the Colorado Rapids and the Denver Nuggets). Virtually every home game at Mile High Stadium has been sold out since the 1980s, and you aren’t a true Denverite until you’ve attended one, but ticket prices are high, reflecting local enthusiasm.
- The Rockies – (the mountains, not the baseball team) Denver is a very outdoorsy city with over 300 days of sunshine per year. A big part of life in the winter is braving the traffic each weekend on I–70 to reach the freshest powder, while summer traffic can be equally bad to go mountain biking, hiking or to get to the many Hot Springs.
- Bar Crawls in LoDo – With the density of hot nightspots in LoDo, LoHi and the Ballpark (not to mention all over town), chances are that you’ll find yourself participating in a bar crawl at one point or another.
- Coors Brewery Tour – In nearby Golden, Colorado, the Coors Brewery (the largest in the world) is open for tours most days and has a fun tasting room at the end of the tour for those over 21.
- Actually, any brewery – Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins all have dozens and dozens of craft breweries worth a visit for anyone interested in beer tasting or brewing.
- Santa Fe Arts District – Just south of downtown along Santa Fe Drive, a grouping of art galleries, bars and antique stores.
- Wash Park – Washington Park is a great place for people-watching, picnicking, jogging or rollerblading.
- Cheeseman Park – Cheeseman Park, a former 19th century cemetery, is a great place for jogging or geo-caching. Local legends maintain that undiscovered gravesites are still often recovered by residents.
- Cherry Creek Trail – The Cherry Creek Trail follows the course of Cheery Creek around the southern side of downtown to the Cherry Creek neighborhood. You can rent a bike through Bicycle, the citywide, short-term bicycle rental program.
- Museums and gardens – Denver Art Museum, Denver Zoo, Colorado History Museum, The Denver Botanical Gardens, Chatfield Botanical Gardens and Chatfield Park, everything at the Denver Center, Union Station.
- Ski resorts – Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek, Loveland, and Keystone are just two hours from Denver.
Public Transportation: Denver has a great light rail system, based on Union Station, that reaches to the Denver Tech Center in the south, to Golden in the West and to Denver International Airport in the Northeast.
Denver - By the Numbers
- Alumni: 2,505
- Students: 84