Colorado has its gorgeous mountains, its bustling city and yes, it happens to be a cultural center for the arts. Just to the south of the towering buildings of downtown Denver, the Santa Fe Art District is an amazing walking tour. Located on and around Santa Fe Drive and Kalamath Street between Alameda and 12th Avenue are hip restaurants and a potpourri of art galleries for every taste and culture. The artistic flavor is found throughout this area in its art galleries and eateries.

First Friday Art Walks
Santa Fe Art District
801 – 811 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204

The first Friday of every month is the chance to get outside and enjoy some of Colorado’s incredible art. The First Friday Art Walks call for breaking out the fun outfits and sense of adventure to walk along the old area of Santa Fe in downtown Denver to view classic and edgy paintings and photography. It is a chance to share the experience of live music, painting exhibitions, food and culture of the Denver nightlife. The local art galleries stay open late to welcome visitors to a carefree and creative atmosphere.

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Denver Photo Art Gallery
833 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 744-7979

The Denver Photo Art Gallery is an extraordinary space representing an exciting mix of both local and national artists. This unique area of the Santa Fe Art District was remodeled in 2004 and is now one of Denver’s largest galleries. Check out the Michael Anderson exhibit at Denver Photo Art Gallery through December 31 to see some of the most creative photography in America. See his stunning photographs of the Utah Canyonlands and the islands of the Seychelles off Africa. Inside this gallery, visitors will also find work from our country’s fine art photographers.

iSushi Japanese Restaurant
801 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 747-6776

Rarely can sushi and reasonable prices be found in the same sentence. iSushi Japanese Restaurant is one of the freshest in Denver. Ideal for happy hour, dinner or lunch, this place is the stop to make while exploring Denver’s art district. Diners rave about its quaint outdoor patio and friendly wait staff. Along with a good wine selection, fabulous sushi rolls and sashimi, it offers traditional Japanese cuisine at an affordable price. Be sure not to leave without trying the fried cheesecake for dessert.

Rackhouse Pub
208 S. Kalamath St.
Denver, CO 80223
(720) 570-7824

Sushi is not everyone’s first choice and sometimes a good old fashioned pub is just the ticket. Take a break to refresh the creative psyche and stop in for some amazing food and drinks at the Rackhouse Pub. The restaurant is built right next to the Stranahan’s Distillery and it is a safe bet that enjoying a good whiskey will revitalize many a gallery hopper. Its beer list is incredible including a beer-of-the-day special. Rackhouse is known for its fresh and amazing pizzas, street tacos and its mac ‘n cheese that can be mixed with chili that will send your taste buds into a frenzy. The fun and friendly staff will take good care of its diners who will not leave disappointed.

Spark Gallery
900 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 889-2200

Located right on the corner of 9th and Santa Fe, the Spark Gallery has gained a reputation as one of the more impressive galleries on the Santa Fe Art Walk. Lots of space with main rooms and several smaller studios provide a creative array of artwork. Naturally, it can get a bit crowded at times but it’s worth braving the crowds. This gallery happens to be the oldest cooperative gallery in Denver offering everything from sculptures, drawing, paintings, photography and even embroidery and ceramics. The artwork can be trusted as many of the gallery’s members are faculty at Colorado universities and art schools. Spark is a must-see stop on the gallery walk.

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Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on