If you’re in Denver on foot, you’ll find that most visitors do their shopping along the 16th Street Mall (the mile-long pedestrian walkway btw. Market St. and Tremont Place) and adjacent areas, including Larimer Square, the Shops at Tabor Center, Writer Square, and the newest retail development downtown, Denver Pavilions.
Outside the downtown area there are more options, primarily the huge Cherry Creek Shopping Center--a shopper’s dream--south of downtown. There are also numerous funky urban retail areas within the city limits, as well as suburban shopping malls.
Business hours vary from store to store and from mall to mall. Generally, stores are open 6 days a week, with many open on Sunday, too; department stores usually stay open until 9pm at least 1 evening a week. Discount stores and supermarkets are often open later than other stores, and some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day.
Denver’s main antiques area is Antique Row (www.antique-row.com) along South Broadway, between Mississippi and Iowa streets, with hundreds of dealers selling all sorts of fine antiques, collectibles, and junk. Wandering through the wide variety of stores, where each dealer has his or her own unique bent, is great fun. Just remember that prices are often negotiable; unless you’re quite knowledgeable about antiques, it wouldn’t hurt to do some comparison shopping before making a major purchase.
Art & Fine Crafts
The preeminent arts destination in Denver is the ArtDistrict on Santa Fe. In recent years, Santa Fe Drive has emerged as home to about 40 galleries and studios between 5th and 11th avenues. Most of the galleries are contemporary or Latin American and there is a popular First Friday Art Walk here from 6 to 9pm the first Friday of every month. For additional information, visit www.artdistrictonsantafe.com.
Also, the renaissance of Denver’s lower downtown (LoDo) has resulted in the creation of the Lower Downtown Arts District, where you can explore a number of galleries. The district runs from Larimer to Wynkoop streets between 14th and 20th streets. Call tel. 303/628-5428 or browse www.lodo.org for additional information.
A mile to the southeast, the Golden Triangle neighborhood, bordered by Lincoln Street, Speer Boulevard, and Colfax Avenue, has more than 25 galleries and a number of museums. The Golden Triangle Museum District (tel. 303/534-0771; www.gtmd.org) puts together an open gallery event the first Friday night of every month, complete with a free shuttle.
The most recent neighborhood to blossom with studios is River North, aka RiNo in the formerly industrial nether-regions north of downtown; the neighborhood has an open gallery event on the first Friday of the month. For more information, visit the River North Art District'swebsite at www.rivernorthart.com.
There is a sizable downtown Barnes & Noble anchoring the Denver Pavilions at 500 16th St. ([tel] 303/825-9166), with a coffee shop and free Wi-Fi.
Tattered Cover The Tattered Cover is always near the top of the list when it comes to the country's best bookstores. The flagship is on the east side of town in a converted performing arts center, but the LoDo location is also excellent. 2526 E. Colfax Ave. [tel] 303/322-7727. www.tatteredcover.com. There are also locations at Denver’s LoDo at 16th and Wynkoop sts. ([tel] 303/436-1070) and in Union Station, as well as in the Town Center development in Highlands Ranch ([tel] 303/470-7050).
Rockmount Ranch Wear Jack A. Weil invented the Western snap shirt in 1946 and headed the company until he died at age 107 in 2008. In the intervening 61 years, everyone from Elvis Presley to Woody Harrelson has worn a Rockmount shirt. Today Weil's grandson Steve Weil runs the business, which sells its signature snap shirts at its historic LoDo warehouse. The 1908 brick building doubles as a museum of Western shirts, and the embroidery is nothing short of artful. The inventory also includes cowboy hats, belt buckles, and scarves. 1626 Wazee St. [tel] 303/629-7777. www.rockmount.com.
Food & Drink
King Soopers, Safeway, and Albertson’s are the main grocery-store chains.
The Market at Larimer Square- Hit here to grab coffee, baked goods, or a sandwich for your rambles in downtown Denver. There are also shelves stocked with a variety of gourmet specialty foods. 1445 Larimer Sq. [tel] 303/534-5140. www.themarketatlarimer.com.
The Source- Located north of downtown in RiNo, this 26,000-square-foot warehouse is the latest, greatest market in Denver, with local providers like the Crooked Stave brewery, a bakery, a butcher, and several shops and restaurants. The focus is squarely on local and artisan products. 3350 Brighton Blvd. [tel] 720/443-1135. www.thesourcedenver.com.
Gifts & Souvenirs
I Heart Denver Store - Samuel Schimek has created the most original souvenir and gift shop in the city by working exclusively with local crafters and artists. Most of the T-shirts, posters, cards, and other products have a Denver or Colorado theme. On Level 2 of the Denver Pavilions, 500 16th St., #264. [tel] 720/317-2328. www.iheartdenver.info.
Those in need of a bike should talk to the experts at Campus Cycles, 2102 S. Washington St. (tel. 303/698-2811), which carries the Gary Fisher, Trek, and Electra brands. Sports fans looking for that Rockies cap or Broncos shirt will have no trouble finding it at Bill's Sport Collectibles, 2335 S. Broadway (tel. 303/733-4878). There are also all sorts of collectibles here, from action figures to signed jerseys.
Sports Authority Sportscastle - Five stories of sporting goods fill this longstanding retail location just south of downtown, located in a former Chrysler dealership. Besides sales of skis, bikes, clothing, and camping equipment, the store offers a wide range of services, from tank refills to hunting licenses. 1000 Broadway. [tel] 303/863-2260.
Toys & Hobbies
Caboose Hobbies- Here in the Baker neighborhood is the world's largest train store, with nearly 20,000 square feet of floor space and 100,000 train related products in every scale. Even if you're not a certified train-iac, the store is worth a peek for the numerous showcase displays of model-train dioramas that are out of this world. 500 S. Broadway. [tel] 303/777-6766. www.caboosehobbies.com.
Wizard’s Chest- There are three areas of focus at this castle-themed shop in Cherry Creek North: costumes, magic, and toys and games. Upstairs, the costumes run the gamut from princesses to monsters, and the lower level has all sorts of miniature animals and dragons, a wide range of board and role-playing games, and a dedicated magic counter where old pros reveal their secrets to prospective buyers. 230 Fillmore St. [tel] 303/321-4304. www.wizardschest.com.
For information on where to rent sporting-goods equipment, see the “Active Pursuits” section.
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.