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This Denver neighborhood was ranked the 2nd best place to live. What it doesn't have might surprise you.

Denver's Wellshire neighborhood is home to an estimated 3,500 people. One thing it doesn't have? Its own restaurant.
Credit: KUSA


The real estate website Niche.com only has good things to say about southeast Denver’s Wellshire neighborhood. 

This year it was ranked the second best Denver neighborhood to live in (South Park Hill took the top spot), and the third best to buy a house -- as well as to raise a family. 

It makes sense. The neighborhood -- which is between East Hampden Avenue, South University Boulevard, East Yale Avenue and South Colorado Boulevard -- is basically full of 1950s-style houses and the families that live in them. Wellshire also has a low crime rate and wide-open streets. 

RELATED: This small community in unincorporated Arapahoe County was named the best place to live in Colorado

While it’s technically within the city of Denver (albeit on the southern boundary), this neighborhood feels more like a suburban subdivision. Nevertheless, it's only a short bike ride away from more lively parts of town like Washington Park or the University of Denver. 

That's good news, since the Wellshire neighborhood (minus the golf course and events center) doesn't have a single restaurant within its boundaries -- something that's rare for a city where it feels like a new dining hall opens every day.    

This story is part of our weekly 9Neighborhoods series. Join us on the 9NEWS Instagram starting at noon on Friday for a photo tour of Wellshire. Have an idea for where we should go next? Email us at webteam@9news.com.

A country club golf course (without country club prices)

Wellshire's claim to fame is its golf course. In fact, it's the only course west of the Mississippi that was built by Donald Ross, a famed builder who originally designed Wellshire in 1926. 

At the time it was a country club, but it was purchased by Denver during the 1950s when it went through some rough times. 

RELATED: 'It’s a legacy that we have to leave': Neighbors push to protect Park Hill Golf Course

Now, anyone can golf on this once-exclusive course. Playing nine holes is $18 during the week, and $21 on the weekend.

Here are some early photos of the golf course's construction (and it's bathrooms, which were heavily featured on the Denver Public Library archives, for some reason).  

Credit: Courtesy Denver Public Library Digital Collections
iew of the women's restroom on the west side of the Wellshire Golf Course (Wellshire Country Club) in Denver, Colorado. The wooden building has a privacy screen near the entrance.
Credit: Courtesy Denver Public Library Digital Collection
Automobiles are parked near the club house at the Wellshire Golf Course (Wellshire Country Club) in Denver, Colorado. The brick building has a chimney.
Credit: Denver Public Library Digital Archives
Westward view of the entry gates to Wellshire country club, near Colorado and Hampden Boulevards, Denver, Colorado; shows early phase of construction including rutted dirt road, realtors' advertising signs (G. Watkinson, I. J. Keator), and sign indicating city limits.

The golf course is still open, and the famous Wellshire Inn (and its recognizable building) is now a private events venue that's gotten some national recognition as being one of the top spots for weddings. 

Living in Wellshire

Back when Wellshire was built, it was in a much more sparsely populated area than it is now -- despite being less than 10 miles from downtown. 

People didn't really start moving to the area until the 1950s, and you can see a lot of that influence in the architecture today. 

Credit: Courtesy Denver Public Library Digital Archives
View of a house in Wellshire neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. The International style house has large windows and a brick wall nearby. The house was designed by architect Norton Polivnick in 1957.
Credit: Courtesy Denver Public Library Digital Collection
Interior view of a home in the Wellshire neighborhood of Denver, Colorado; the California bungalow style residence has decor including couches, chairs, a fireplace, lamps, a painting, Buddha sculptures, and a plant alcove. This house was designed by architect Norton Polivnick in the 1950s.

In recent years, though, developers have started remodeling some of those homes -- and that means the neighborhood runs the gamut in terms of pricing. 

According to Trulia.com, the median household income in Wellshire is $130,279 a year -- well above the city and national average. The median home value is $562,845

With that being said, homes on the market in Wellshire as of this writing include everything from a $374,000 three-bedroom ranch to a $1.3 million renovated custom home.

Credit: KUSA

Things to do 

There might not be a restaurant within Wellshire's limits but step outside of them, and it's right back to city living. 

Just across Colorado Boulevard from the neighborhood's borders is everything from a King Soopers to a Chipotle, and on the other side of the neighborhood is another (very fancy) King Soopers as well as a Modern Market. 

The neighborhood is also only around a 15 minute drive (on a good day) from downtown, and another 15 minute drive to suburban enclaves like Streets of Southglenn and Park Meadows Mall. 

Is this neighborhood a walkable hipster enclave? No, but Wellshire does give you a suburban feel while keeping you close to downtown Denver.