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RiNo on Foot: Exploring the Neighborhood

Two adjacent murals in RiNo, Denver known as "The Larimer Girls", which features two large contemplative femme-presenting faces. One is cartoonish and painted in teal and pink. One is a photorealistic collage of different faces painted in moody shades.

Almost smack in the middle of the River North Arts District, Drivetrain is the perfect launch pad for experiencing everything this energetic and creative area has to offer. Our neighborhood is relatively small and highly walkable — in fact, we think walking is the best way to experience RiNo because of all the art that is tucked into unexpected corners of the city.

When walking, you will notice murals and moments of beauty that you wouldn’t see in your car. Exploring by foot also allows the opportunity to stop and take in what you’ve found. The experience of finding some underrated street art because you happened to spot it on a walk is priceless.

Plus, if you get tired of walking, you can always hop on one of the electric scooters or bikes available from Lyme or Lyft on every corner. The bike and scooter share programs are widely used around here.

Art

Let’s be real — one of the reasons you’d want to live in this neighborhood is the unique arts scene. There is art everywhere here, and truly, the best way to enjoy it is to look for murals and street art as you take a meandering walk. But here are some of our favorite spots for public or gallery art:

RiNo Art Park (5 Minute Walk)

Located behind the closest branch of the Denver Public Library, this art park has some of our favorite RiNo murals. But the art park is more than just a spot on the river with public art — this artist-led, intentional development was made to be a space where art, nature, and collaboration can combine and spark big ideas and community growth.

Being so close to this incredible community resource will put you at the heart of RiNo’s spirit.

Denver Zine Library (5 Minutes)

Speaking of the Denver library, our RiNo branch is committed to supporting the missions of the local neighborhood — so they are an awesome resource of their own. One of the coolest projects they have going is cataloging the zines of the extensive local artist zine culture. You can visit the library to see and learn about Denver zine history and get inspiration from the rich counter-culture spirit.

FooLPRoof Contemporary Gallery (20 minute walk)

One of the hottest spots for contemporary art, this spot has a constant rotation of works by the best of local and touring artists. Gallery openings and receptions here are one of the best places to be on a RiNo Friday night.

Plinth Gallery (4 Minutes)

This nearby spot is focused on contemporary ceramic art. If you want to be amazed by what clay and fire can create, stop by to visit their rotating exhibitions.

Pattern Shop Studio (14 minutes)

This studio is the home, workshop, and gallery of a couple who invested in and helped build RiNo’s art district from the beginning. Sharon Brown’s art is continuously displayed there, and they feature other artists and photographers on a regular basis as well.

Venues

ReelWorks (13 Minutes)

This local venue offers the best in forward-thinking performance of art, music, and more. To have it right in your backyard means access to the coolest entertainment in Denver.

Beer

Denver and breweries are synonymous, so the local breweries are a part of the neighborhood community and vibe. We have a lot of really excellent locations in easy walking distance, but here are our favorites:

Great Divide Brewing (2 Minute Walk)

This iconic, top-notch Denver brewer has a great location just down the block from Drivetrain. It also serves as a venue for everything from weddings to music.

Mockery Brewing (5 Minute Walk)

This lesser known but fantastic brewery is popular for its irreverent vibe and creative takes on beer and beer labels — not to mention delicious beer. It’s just a couple blocks further.

Restaurants and Food Halls

Drivetrain has close proximity to a lot of awesome restaurants, food halls, and other culinary delights. That makes it easy to explore the RiNo scene for any Denver foodie.

The Source Market Hall (2 Minute Walk)

This unique community-gather spot and food hall is a RiNo staple and it’s just down the street — close enough to grab some sushi from Temek Den or mouthwatering tacos from Bellota on your lunch break.

Denver Central Market (20 minute walk)

A little further but worth the walk is Denver Central Market, which has some venders you will be throwing your money at on a Friday night whether you’re slurping oysters from Curio or carb loading at Vero Italian.

Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery and Restaurant (8 Minute Walk)

This special spot is a unique wine-centered concept that is nice enough to take your Friday night date but not so nice you’ll need to dress up. The closest you get to a vineyard experience in Denver, this spot has a nice atmosphere with lots of greenery, brick walls, and chic lighting. It also offers an artisan menu and a cellar of bottles that you can purchase to take home.

Comal Heritage Food Incubator (13 Minute walk)

This restaurant concept encapsulates the best of RiNo’s community-oriented spirit. The kitchen is a program initiated by Focus Points Family Resource Center. It serves as a platform for economic development focused on serving immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs and their families. Not only do they teach their program participants, but they make sure they and their loved ones have what they need to grow. They’ve helped launch four small businesses to date, and you’ll see why when you taste the dishes their participants are cooking up while drawing on their unique heritages.

OUTDOORS

While the best of Denver’s outdoor adventure is in the mountains, it’s nice to have access to green space in your city or neighborhood too. The previously mentioned RiNo Art Park is one of our favorites, but here are a couple others within walking distance.

St. Charles Recreation Center (17 Minute Walk)

This rec center is more than a park — it offers a variety of amenities including basketball courts, a weight room, and pool table, and other rooms available for community use. They also frequently host events and provide community services.

Globeville Landing (10 Minute Walk)

This recently-improved waterfront park offers an excellent spot to picnic, to let your kids play on the playgrounds, to enjoy views of the river, to bike, and to access the river itself. It’s pretty and it has public picnicking shelters and wide breadths of green space and trees. The winding paths and hills along with connections to trails make it a great spot for a walk or bike ride.

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