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Best Vail Shopping

AOL PICK from our Editors
Shopping in Vail can be divided into four main categories: art galleries, expensive boutiques, sports stores and T-shirt shops. If you want a special Vail souvenir, there are plenty of options to peruse (the Vail manhole covers are replicated in jewelry and make a great keepsake), but for the most part, window shopping is your best bet if you’re keeping an eye on your budget. At least take a peek inside some of the high-end clothing shops like Gorsuch or Axel’s—it’s useful for developing the list of what you’ll purchase when you win the lottery. The galleries in Vail Village are plentiful and provide an extensive collection of visual art ranging from glass sculptures to Western art.

Golden Bear

Neighborhood: Vail Village
Known as “the symbol of Vail Valley,” the Golden Bear store started hand-crafting the iconic Mama Bear symbol in 1975. Since then, the design has been expanded to traditional gifts, such as bracelets, necklaces and rings, as well as more esoteric options such as cigar rings. If you want to take home a bear as a souvenir, be prepared: it’s difficult to find something less than $100. But, it’s worth visiting the store to ogle the gorgeous merchandise, displayed with antiques and other props to show the items to their best advantage. The store also carries lines from other prominent jewelry designers such as John Hardy and Roberto Coin.  

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Golden Bear  

Kemosabe

Neighborhood: Vail Village
A retail store specializing in handmade cowboy boots and cowboy hats (a custom-designed hat can cost more than $300), Kemosabe is pricey but down to earth in personality. Visit to enjoy the country music playing over the speakers or to spin a yarn with the employees (they’re more than happy to sit a spell). Visit the website in advance to reserve a beer—there will be a cold one waiting for you when you arrive.

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Kemosabe  

Troy's Ski Shop

Neighborhood: Vail Village
Specializing in the best gear for both summer and winter sports, Troy will hook you up with skis based on your terrain preferences and snow condition—it’s possible to leave with a pair of twin tips for the pipe one day and go out with fat boards for powder the next. Troy’s can also outfit you for an epic day of cycling with both full suspension mountain bikes and sleek road bikes. Be prepared to have a conversation about your goals—Troy’s specialty is hooking you up with the gear best suited for you, so make sure you have the time to chat.

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Troy's Ski Shop  

Swedish Clog Cabin

Neighborhood: Lionshead
The Swedish Clog Cabin is an unassuming storefront tucked away in Lionshead, but one of the treasures of Vail. Walking in, you’ll most likely be greeted by Tessa Manning, the owner and creator of Tessa’s clogs. Handmade in Sweden and hand painted in Vail, these super comfy clogs are each a work of art. You can customize your footwear, deciding on color, style, snap straps (one of Tessa’s inventions) and artwork varying from flowers and hearts to skulls and crossbones. The store also offers a wide variety of clothing for both children and adults, books, candy and jewelry.

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Swedish Clog Cabin  

Charm School Boutique

Neighborhood: Vail Village
In a town that specializes in mountain chic (and prices that tend to leave you breathless), Charm School Boutique offers a funky mix of clothing and jewelry that echo more of a boho vibe than most Vail shops. Charm School Boutique is the place to go to find a trendy top for a night out or a unique piece of jewelry to spice up something you may already have. While the prices still reflect Vail, there are deals to be had if you’re willing to spend some time and check back often.
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