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LoDo, Denver

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LoDo, Denver is the lower downtown area of Denver, Colorado, the oldest and original settlement of the city of Denver. It is a mixed-use historic district, known for its nightlife, and serves as an example of success in urban reinvestment and revitalization. The current population is approximately 21,145.HistoryPrior to European exploration of the area, Native Americans, particularly the Arapaho tribe, established encampments along the South Platte River near or in what is now LoDo. In 1858, after the discovery of gold in the river, General William Larimer founded Denver by putting down cottonwood logs in the center of a square mile plot that would eventually be the current LoDo neighborhood, making LoDo both the original city of Denver, as well as its oldest neighborhood. Then, like now, LoDo was a bustling and sometimes wild area known for its saloons and brothels. During the Sand Creek Massacre, it was LoDo where the heads of the slaughtered Arapaho tribe were paraded in victory.As Denver grew, city leaders realized a railroad was needed to keep Denver a strong city, especially when the transcontinental railroad bypassed Denver for Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1870, after much cajoling from town leaders, residents passed bonds that brought a 106mi rail spur from Cheyenne. This and later train lines ended up in the Central Platte Valley, adjacent to LoDo. Union Station became the place most people traveled into the city and LoDo would be the first part of the city they would see. This section eventually became Denver's Chinatown from the 1870s to the 1880s, only to be torn down by race riots.
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  • We Stayed specifically in LoDo as it was a district that had everything we could possibly want! I highly recommend staying at the Crawford Hotel in Union Station. Great hotel and a great, quirky locat...  more »
  • A nice neighborhood to walk around in. It seemed very safe even at night. There were lots of restaurants with outdoor dining and it is a close area to lots of other tourist attractions.  more »
  • They have some interesting architecture and art, and I am sure its great if you are into that, but its not an area I would put High on the list of things to do. There are some water features the kids ...  more »

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Where to stay in Denver

For a touch of class near all Denver's major attractions, book a room at one of the city's historical hotels, built during the late-19th century silver rush. Denver's oldest hotels feature opulent oak furnishings, silver chandeliers, and frescoed walls, as well as spacious rooms packed with high-tech gadgets. If you're planning your visit on a limited budget, consider the affordable hostels and bed and breakfasts located outside the central part of town. Alternatively, you can also stay at one of the mid-range hotels near the airport.
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