Boasted as “where art is made,” Denver’s RiNo, or River North Art District, is reminiscent of the early days of Miami’s famed Wynwood Walls. Trendy and bustling, this creative neighborhood features street art from both internationally renowned and local street artists.
With art, boutiques, and breweries around every corner, RiNo is the best neighborhood in Denver to get lost in. The neighborhood is like Instagram candy, making it one of the best photo locations in the city! I spent hours walking up and down Larimer, photographing everything, and wandering down side streets.
If you’re looking for the best things to do and places to shop in RiNo, keep reading:
The Best Things to Do in RiNo, Denver
RiNo Street Art
RiNo’s street art is the main attraction to the neighborhood. With everything from warehouses to restaurants to stores covered in floor to ceiling murals, the street art is absolutely unmissable. In RiNo, you’ll find murals from artists ranging from internationally renowned, Wynwood Walls favorites, such as Shepard Fairey, Cryptik, and Ahol Sniffs Glue, to local Denver-based muralists like Illson and Ashley Joon Art.
You’ll find the the biggest concentration of murals in RiNo around the Denver Central Market, and in the RiNo art alleys, however that shouldn’t defer you from wandering! I walked for several blocks down and around Larimer Street and didn’t run out of art.
Larimer Boy and Girl by Jeremy Burns
Easily one of Denver’s most buzzed about murals, Larimer Boy and Girl by Jeremy Burns is a 3D mural—you’ll see either the boy or girl based on which direction you’re standing.
You’ll find vibrant street art by Denver-based artist Michael Ortiz “Illson” all over RiNo (and honestly, Denver as a whole!). His bright murals blend ideas from pop art and thermal art to create a distinct style in candy-toned hues that is instantly recognizable.
Mastery by Casey Kawaguchi
This grayscale portrait of an Asian woman in a kimono sits in a parking lot at 28th and Larimer, by artist Casey Kawaguchi.
Besties by Diana Contreras
Florida-based Diana “Didi” Contreras has been making waves in the street art world, and for good reason! Her fluid art embodies the feminine spirit in a playful, vibrant way. In Denver, you can find her work in the parking lot of the Denver Central Market, created as part of Crush Walls.
Elle Street Art
Also created as part of Crush Walls, you can find this abstract portrait mural by Elle Street Art in RiNo on 27th and Larimer St.
Eyes by Ahol Sniffs Glue
Miami favorite, Ahol Sniffs Glue (David Anasagasti), is behind one of RiNo’s most famous murals. Located at 2550 Larimer St., this creepy-yet-cool piece is also one of Denver’s biggest.
The Blooms by Ashley Joon
Ashley Joon is easily one of my favorite Denver-based street artists (what can I say, I’ve always been a sucker for impressionist florals). I discovered the piece below near the Denver Central Market while wandering around RiNo, then quickly learned that she was also behind the gorgeous art at the rooftop bar at the Ramble, where I was staying! Click here to view her work at the Ramble (it’s SO cute and such an Instagrammable spot).
It looks like the mural below may no longer be around, but Ashley still has work in RiNo, in the parking lot of the Denver Central Market.
Floral Mural by Detour (Thomas Evans) and Esoteric Art (Patrick Kane McGregor)
This floral mural by Thomas Evans “Detour” and Patrick Kane McGregor (half of the father-son Esoteric Art duo) has a soft spot in my heart due to a book from my childhood. “The Blue Roses” by Linda Boyden was one of my FAVORITE childhood picture books, and on this mural in RiNo is none other than blue roses.
This floral mural isn’t just blue roses—it’s just so large that I couldn’t capture it in one image! The mural ranges from warm, tropical florals to cooler toned blues and purples.
Fox by Johnny Defeo
This little fox mural would be easy to miss, but something about it’s smaller size and light colors made it one of my favorites in RiNo! This mural was created by Denver-based artist Johnny Defeo.
Gracias by Jason Albert Garcia and Adam Kiyoshi Fujita
I came across this neon-look mural while on my way to 54thirty, a rooftop bar in Denver. “Gracias” is a collaboration between Colorado-based Jason Albert Garcia, and NYC artist, Adam Kiyoshi Fujita.
You’ll find Jason’s work across RiNo, as part of his Ojo de Dios project, using color to provide texture and depth to geometric patterns.
Adam Fujita is known for his neon-inspired murals (he self-describes as a “Brooklyn-based neon wizard). I was unfamiliar with his work prior to stumbling upon his mural, but fell in love after digging deeper! Finding the “Gracias” mural led me to chase his murals in New York, where he recently collaborated with one of my all-time favorite street artists, Surface of Beauty, to create a floral and neon mural in Chinatown.
Rather Severe and RUMTUM
This mural in RiNo absolutely exudes energy. A collaboration by Rather Severe and RUMTUM, it’s hard to look away from! Neither of these artists shy away from color in their individual work: Rather Severe using an animated, graphic style, and RUMTUM tending to be a little softer and more expressive. Together, they make a strong duo.
The other half of Esoteric Art, this portrait mural by Tristan McGregor is one of the most beautiful, realistic murals I’ve seen in my street art travels. Created as part of Crush Walls, this mural is located in the parking lot of the Denver Central Market.
River North Art District Tours
Finding street art in RiNo is easy, but speaking from personal experience, is also time-consuming. I love a good wander, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! If you only have a few hours on hand and want to discover the best craft breweries and street art in Denver, book a tour by clicking here.
“Nothing Without Courage” by Zach Yarrington
Where to Shop
The best places to shop in RiNo aren’t necessarily the typical boutiques, but rather the artist marketplaces. This neighborhood has a couple artist and local boutique collectives that are not only fun to explore, but have amazing pieces at reasonable prices.
2936 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Modern Nomad is hands down my favorite place to shop in RiNo. This design collective features everything from small clothing boutiques, to boho-chic curated home decor pieces both new and old, and some amazing vintage clothing finds. The best part? All their prices were incredibly reasonable. Situated in a 5,500 square foot warehouse in the heart of RiNo, you’re sure to fall in love with something here.
ONWARD COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
2719 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Onward Community Collective is a newly opened artist marketplace in the center of RiNo. This interesting dual level space serves both as a space for artists to sell their work, as well as an art gallery on the upper level. The space is eclectic and unique, just like the products being sold. The dynamic is quintessential RiNo, and is a can’t miss if you’re looking to shop local.
3151 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Steadbrook is for my sneakerheads. If streetwear and skating is your style, you’ll fall in love with this minimalist space and nonchalantly cool vibe. Steadbrook curates some of the best in men’s contemporary streetwear. You’re sure to find some of your street style staple labels and even discover some you’ve never even heard of. Even better? Their sale prices on brands such as A.P.C. are unbelievable.
Where to Eat and Drink in RiNo, Denver
3163 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Mister Oso is not only one of the best places to eat in RiNo Denver, but it’s also one of the most instagrammable. I stumbled upon this spot by complete chance, when I had been walking for hours in the heat, dehydrated, and definitely in need of nourishment! My favorite finds are oftentimes the ones least expected, and completely unplanned. This photo worthy spot offers a great happy hours, refreshing freshly squeezed juice, and Latin cuisine. Stop by Mister Oso for a quick bite in the afternoon, or come back for a girl’s night out or date night.
3001 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
If you’re a beer lover, Epic Brewing Denver is a must for you. Admittedly, breweries aren’t typically my thing, nor did I see myself recommending one in this guide. I ended up at Epic Brewing with my cousin, and I’m glad she brought me here!
Epic Brewing is one of the best breweries in Denver, and has a menu sure to satisfy everyone from the beer lover to the newbie. I tried both their fruit seltzer and their Tart ‘N Juicy Sour IPA, and both were full of flavor. If you’re looking to go brewery hopping, check out nearby 10 Barrel Brewing and Colorado brewery staple, Odell.
2500 Larimer St #100, Denver, CO 80205
This isn’t your average Italian restaurant. Cart-Driver is an Italian eatery inspired by automobiles. In a way, it kind of reminds me of Deus Cafe Isola in Milan, by motorcycle brand Deus Ex Machina.
Cart-Driver plays off the idea of the carrettiera, or cart-drivers, of Southern Italy. They were farm-to-table pioneers in Southern Italy, bringing the freshest food to each village. Cart-Driver aims to provide similar to Denver, with sustainably sourced food and a community-focused spirit.
I didn’t get a chance to visit on my last trip to Denver, but will hopefully be back to visit soon!
SNOOZE, AN A.M. EATERY
2262 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery is just one of my favorite places to eat in the southwest. It was icing on the cupcake to find one just a couple blocks from my hotel. This retro inspired breakfast spot is absolutely one of the best brunch places in Denver. Service here is friendly and upbeat. The breakfast/brunch menu is extensive, and portion sizes are large. Snooze menu prices are reasonable.
Although this place is busy every day, if you go early on a weekday, staff is totally okay with you pulling out your laptop and working remotely. I had my iPad out, and noticed several others on Snooze’s outdoor patio with laptops as well. Snooze is one of the best places to work remotely for freelancers in Denver!
Where to Stay in RiNo, Denver
The Ramble Hotel
The Ramble Hotel is one of the best photo locations in Denver. It’s French-inspired contemporary decor is every bit instagrammable, and fits RiNo perfectly. The Ramble Hotel additionally features one of the only outposts of Manhattan speakeasy favorite, Death and Co. This hotel seamlessly works the fabric of RiNo into its design, from rich blue accent walls, to art from floral muralist, Ashley Joon, and neon artist, Scott Young, featured in their rooftop patio bar, The Garden. Click here to read my full review.
The Catbird Hotel
If you’re looking for somewhere that feels a little more like home, the Catbird Hotel is for you. Located in RiNo, this hotel is an apartment-style hotel featuring studio rooms. Guests love the in-room kitchenettes, plus you’ll still have hotel-like amenities such as a hot tub, gym, and a rooftop restaurant and bar.
The best way to get around RiNo is simply by walking. The neighborhood is incredibly walkable, and most of the best things to do are no more than a 15-20 minute walk apart. Faster, but still affordable, electric scooters are available all over Denver. Denver does have a system of public buses as well.
If traveling between RiNo and another neighborhood in Denver, I would highly recommend using Uber or Lyft for both convenience and safety reasons. If it’s your first time riding Lyft, use Lyft promo code “EVA07711” for $5 off your first ride!
To put it bluntly, Denver is not the safest of cities overall. Exercise increased caution while walking, and be careful where and when you’re walking, especially when searching for street art. Keep in mind that despite its bright facade and trendy hotels and restaurants, RiNo is still in the Five Points, a conglomerate of neighborhoods in Denver known for having the highest crime rates in the city.
I felt much safer walking around in RiNo than I did in downtown Denver, but I’d still hesitate to call it 100% safe for a solo traveler. I would avoid walking around early in the morning alone (6am-8am), and at night on weekdays. During the day, I had very few safety concerns and felt totally okay!
What is CRUSH Walls Denver?
CRUSH Walls was a street art festival in RiNo, which brought in muralists from around the world to refresh RiNo’s walls. Since then, Crush Walls has been replaced by Art RiNo.
I’m low on time, where can I see street art in Denver?
If you’re low on time while visiting RiNo, your best bet is to start at the parking lot of the Denver Central Market and RiNo Art Alley, then work your way around the area as time permits. You’re find the highest density of street art in Denver there!
What is RiNo short for?
RiNo is short for the River North Art District.
Do I need to book in advance to visit RiNo?
Nope! RiNo is just a neighborhood, with no ticketed or time-restricted areas. Of course, if the idea of trying to find the best murals in Denver is overwhelming, you can always book a tour.
Looking for more of the best Colorado travel guides? Click here for more.
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