The River North Art District (RiNo) in North Denver, formerly known for its lackluster warehouses and factories, has transformed into a trendy hotspot with an industrial and artistic feel. RiNo has become a magnet for young professionals and hipsters who are drawn to the district’s colorful murals, art galleries, bars, breweries, and parks.
Since 2004, RiNo has become a hub for all types of artists, including culinary and brewery masters. The blending of the old industrial look with modern urban art has helped push RiNo’s popularity. This area is now home to many trendy establishments that are popular with the millennial crowd.
The district is technically located within the greater Five Points neighborhood and its radius is approximately one mile. Today, the identity of Five Points is blended with Ballpark, River North Art District (RiNo), and Curtis Park, which are micro-neighborhoods in Denver. The massive popularity of the RiNo Art District has overshadowed Five Points, and most consider it to be its own neighborhood.
The boundaries of RiNo are marked by major streets and highways, with the northern boundary being Interstate 70 and the southern being Park Avenue West. The western boundary is Interstate 25 and the eastern boundary is Arapahoe Street. With the installation of new pedestrian bridges, sidewalks, and bike lanes, getting around RiNo is increasingly accessible. Additionally, visitors who are coming from outside the Downtown area can hop on the light rail’s University of Colorado A-Line, jumping off at 38th and Blake Street.
RiNo’s history is rooted in its industrial past, as it was once a major industrial hub with businesses like pattern shops and foundries established in its warehouses. The area’s empty and rundown warehouses attracted the attention of individuals like Jill Hadley-Hooper and Tracy Weil, who officially created the River North Art District in 2005. Since then, RiNo has continued to evolve into an artistic and cultural destination.
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The district is home to a variety of art galleries, museums, and studios that showcase the work of local and international artists. There are also numerous shops that sell art, crafts, and vintage items. Visitors can explore these establishments during the day, and then hit the town for a night of fun, as RiNo stays awake long after dark. Bars and breweries are the places to socialize, and on the First Friday of every month, there are special showcases of art and live music.
RiNo is a relatively small area, but there are still plenty of things to see and do. Walking or biking around the area is recommended, and the Denver B-cycle program has set up stations where people can rent bicycles to get around the city. With the increasing accessibility of the district, it is no surprise that RiNo is becoming a more popular destination for visitors and locals alike.