For the best shopping in Boulder, head to the Pearl Street Mall, where you’ll find not only shops and galleries galore but also street entertainers.
Twenty Ninth Street, centered on the former site of the Crossroads Mall at the intersection of Canyon Boulevard and 29th Street (tel. 303/444-0722; www.twentyninthstreet.com), is a major new multiuse development featuring an outdoor shopping center. Open since 2006, tenants include Eddie Bauer, Ruby’s Diner, MontBell, Borders, Apple, and Century Theatres. Hours are 10am to 9pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday.
The indoor-outdoor, 1.5-million-square-foot FlatIron Crossing (tel. 720/887-7467; www.flatironcrossing.com), an upscale mall featuring Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Brookstone among its 200 shops, is a more comprehensive option for the devout shopper. It’s 9 miles southeast of Boulder off U.S. 36 in Broomfield. Hours are 10am to 9pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday.
Arts & Crafts
Boulder Arts & Crafts Cooperative -- For 4 decades, this longstanding Pearl Street Mall store has offered a wide selection of artwork, most made by locals. 1421 Pearl St. tel. 303/443-3683. www.boulderartsandcrafts.com.
Being a college town, Boulder is one of the best cities in the world for a browsing bookworm. It reportedly has more used-book stores per capita than any other U.S. city. Chain outlets include Barnes & Noble, 2915 Pearl St. (tel. 303/442-1665). The independents run the gamut from the Kerouac and Burroughs specialists at Beat Book Shop, 1717 Pearl St. (tel. 303/444-7111), to the “explicitly socialist” nonprofit Left Hand Book Collective, 1200 Pearl St. (tel. 303/443-8252). Trident Booksellers, 940 Pearl St. (tel. 303/443-3133), is a good used-book shop with a coffeehouse attached.
Gifts & Souvenirs
The best stops for T-shirts, University of Colorado paraphernalia, and other Boulder souvenirs are Jackalope and Company, 1126 Pearl St. (tel. 303/939-8434); Where the Buffalo Roam, 1320 Pearl St. (tel. 303/938-1424); and the CU Bookstore, 1111 Broadway (tel. 303/442-5051). Long a hub for Eastern religion, Boulder also has a plethora of Tibetan gift shops--Old Tibet, 948 Pearl St. (tel. 303/440-0323), is the longest standing.
Sports Authority, 3320 N. 28th St. (tel. 303/449-9021), is a good all-purpose source, while the following are more specialized--and interesting--retail outlets.
Boulder Army Store -- Sure, this store started as a military surplus outlet, but today it is one of the premiere spots to get outdoor gear in one of the premiere outdoor cities in the country. The selection spans tents, boots, sunglasses, and most any other item you'll need before wandering into the nearby wild. 1545 Pearl St. tel. 303/442-7616. www.boulderarmystore.com.
McGuckin Hardware -- Open since 1955, this is the anti-Home Depot. Fiercely independent and ultra-supportive of local products, McGuckin is a cavernous hardware store that harkens back to a pre-Big Box era. You'll find tools and lumber alongside outdoor gear, housewares, art supplies, and toys in the 60,000-square-foot space. 2525 Arapahoe Ave. tel. 303/443-1822. www.mcguckin.com.
Peppercorn -- Bar none, this is the best kitchen store in the Rocky Mountain region. You will find every imaginable pot, pan, and cooking gadget, plus plenty for other rooms in your home in this sizable space. 1235 Pearl St. tel. 303/449-5847. www.peppercorn.com.
Kites and Toys
Into the Wind -- Into the Wind is known for its kites, and with good reason—it likely has the best selection in the state—but that's just the beginning of the whimsical catalog available here. Wind-up gorillas? Check. Black-light posters? Check. Hacky-sacks, inflatable taxidermy, and propeller beanies? Check, check, and check. 1408 Pearl St. tel. 303/449-5906. www.intothewind.com.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.