AOL PICK from our Editors
You may not get a chance to gush over just-released Jimmy Choos or sample the latest Latvian artisanal cheese, but Denver shopping can still turn up a few treasures. Larimer Square has one-of-a kind stores, while Cherry Creek North is known for top galleries and boutiques. For those seeking larger retailers, Denver Pavilions and Cherry Creek Shopping Center won't disappoint. From giant retailers to small boutiques shopping in Denver is as diverse and exciting as the city itself. Whether you are looking for climbing gear, antique treasures or high fashion Denver shopping trips can be as adventurous as the rest of your Mile High vacation.
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Denver Pavilions is located on 16th Street Mall (get off at the Pavilions stop). Its huge "DENVER" sign, with its rotating colors, has become a local icon. (For the best picture of the sign, you'll have to back up into one of the side streets—that's how large the sign is.) The Pavilions has become one of the most popular Denver shopping spots for visitors. This open-air shopping and entertainment pavilion is home to 35 shops, including movie theaters and clubs. Some are gigantic retailers like Niketown, Pacsun and Hard Rock Café, while others are small, unique boutiques like vintage clothier Cali & Mo. When the lights go down, Jazz at Jack's, the home club for beloved local band, Dotsero, brings in the nightclub crowd. Parking is available for a fee in the underground Pavilions parking lot.
More Details on Denver Pavilions
Neighborhood: LoDo (LowerDowntown)
Perhaps one of the prettiest areas for shopping in Denver, this hip Victorian neighborhood is filled with one-of-kind-stores and restaurants. At night, Larimer Street looks almost magical, with twinkling lights draped overhead year round. During the day, the street is lined with locals enjoying lunch outside or browsing the shops. Larimer Square is a place to see and be seen, and it's a great location to people watch. The eclectic mixture of shops here includes specialized stores like Dog Savvy Boutique & Spa, which offers spa treatments and oatmeal-peanut butter cookies for your pooch. The European-style café and store, The Market, sells German chocolate, French pastries and Italian coffee, while designer stores like Mariel and jeweler John Atencio offer rare finds for the treasure seeker. Parking is hard to find on Larimer Square, so save the hassle and park at the meters a few blocks away.
More Details on Larmier Square
Neighborhood: LoDo to Central Business District
The 16th Street Mall is a 16-block, pedestrian-only zone that cuts a swath through the heart of Denver. A free mall bus shuttle runs along the street, stopping at every block. Hop on and you’ll zoom along the tree-lined avenue past dozens of shops, stores and restaurants, from tiny tobacco shops to large retailers including The Gap, and TJ Maxx. You’ll see plenty of interesting local life as well, from families out for a stroll to old men playing at the street side chess tables. The Mall is home to the usual touristy t-shirt shops, but you'll find jewelers, boutiques and galleries tucked among them. If shopping makes you hungry, the tiny Thai Food Cart at 16th and Stout is famous for its Pad Thai.
More Details on 16th Street Mall
Neighborhood: Cherry Creek Shopping District
Affluent Denverites frequent the Cherry Creek Shopping District, just three miles southeast of downtown. The district is divided into two areas—Cherry Creek North and Cherry Creek Shopping Center—and has a reputation for high-end retailers, top fashion and the latest designers. Despite its uninspired boxy architecture, the Cherry Creek Shopping Center provides an upscale shopping experience from the start. Park your car with the valet service or in the free parking garage, and then head into the marble-floored shopping center. Even the restrooms here are lavishly appointed. The kids' play area features giant breakfast items to climb on, and is always popular during the day. The mall has 169 stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co., Neiman Marcus and others. Cherry Creek North has a completely different feel. Its tree-lined avenues are home to small boutiques, world-class art galleries and eclectic designers. You'll want to wear your walking shoes to explore the one-of-a-kind stores that line these blocks. Be aware that parking is a bear to find, and will set you back a few bucks at the meters.
More Details on Cherry Creek Shopping District
Neighborhood: Confluence Park
Today, people come to Confluence Park where the South Platte River and Cherry Creek meet to raft, tube and kayak on the man-made whitewater chutes, and REI is there to sell them the gear they need to experience nature. Coloradans love the outdoors, so it's no surprise that REI opened its flagship location near Confluence Park. It was here that Denver was founded back in 1858, when gold was discovered. Located in a restored 1901 Denver Tramway building, this outdoor gear store is a playground for adventure lovers - if you want to fit in in Denver shopping here is a must. It even has a climbing wall and a mountain-bike track. If you need gear for your trek to the mountains, these are the people to talk to.
More Details on REI Flagship Store