Washington Park

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The city’s official website describes Washington Park as “the jewel of the Park Hill neighborhood,” and with two lakes, multi-use pathways, and a vast grassy meadow, it is easily one of the most popular public places in Denver. The huge park, which covers 165 acres and is long and rectangular, has people running on weekdays. On weekends, there are picnickers, bikers, and those just enjoying the scenery. The website touts the diverse uses of the park, with an amphitheater that has “summer concerts and events,” a playground, basketball courts, and a recreation center.

Between 1899 and 1908, the architect Reinhard Schuetze created the park. In 1908, new paths and vegetation were added in a French country style. The brick houses in the area were constructed throughout the early 20th century.

On weekends, volleyball nets and barbecues line the lawn. Standup paddleboarders ply Smith Lake. Each evening, as the sun sinks behind the mountains and transforms the lake and sky above it into brilliant hues of crimson, rose, and gold, a throng of people come to visit “Wash Park,” a 155-acre expanse of gorgeous gardens, lakes, and green lawns—and perhaps the city’s most beautiful location to watch a sunset.

If working out together seems romantic to you, couples can walk, run, skate and cycle here. For those who find a quaint romance in croquet, there’s a court and lessons provided by a local club each week in summer. Summer also offers surrey bikes and pedal boats for rent; the boathouse is also a romantic wedding venue. If strolling through formal gardens sounds more your speed, Washington Park’s flower gardens are among the city’s most beautiful – one was even modeled after the gardens at George Washington’s Virginia home!

The activities here are seemingly endless! You can go biking or hiking on the paved road within the park. Joggers are also welcome to use the 2.6-mile perimeter loop that is free of bikes. Paddle boats are rented on Smith Lake via the Boathouse. Circle the small lake and enjoy new angles of Wash Park. Both Smith and Grasmere Lake permit fishing. Check local rules and regulations on-site. There are picnic areas with grills and countless grassy spots. Bring a blanket, some chairs, and a cooler, and grab your spot at this grassy beach. On summer weekends, expect to see the lawns covered with people playing volleyball across Washington Park!

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