Denver may be best known for its breweries and nearby ski resorts, but don't discount its shopping scene. From high-end malls to neighborhood boutiques, the city offers plenty of options for flexing your spending account. With the help of local experts, U.S. News scouted out the top places to shop for the perfect new outfit, a unique souvenir or funky home furnishings.
In Denver, the Cherry Creek neighborhood is synonymous with luxury, attracting people who want nothing less than the best. Cherry Creek North offers a beautifully landscaped 16-block collection of high-end stores selling perfectly tailored suits, pet bling and more. Adjacent to this outdoor shop-and-stroll spot is the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, with an uber-luxe lineup of more than 150 stores including Neiman Marcus, David Yurman, Tory Burch, Burberry and other premium brands that can't be found anywhere else in the metro area.
"The great thing about Cherry Creek is the choice," says George Maresh, concierge at the JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek.
Cherry Creek is particularly great for custom clothing, he says, noting that some clothiers have been around for decades, such as Lawrence Covell, which was established in the 1960s. Notable recent additions include Frye leather goods (one of only 13 nationwide) and a massive Restoration Hardware gallery of housewares.
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16th Street Mall
Although often denounced as a kitschy tourist trap, the 16th Street Mall has more to offer than chain stores and sports bars. It's also home to several local mainstays like Rockmount Ranch Wear, a historic western store stocked with cowboy essentials like boots, belts, hats and "snap-down" shirts (which the store's founder and owner invented), and the independently owned Tattered Cover Book Store, described by Sheila Gargan, concierge at The Westin Denver Downtown, as "a real bookstore with oak shelves and little nooks you can tuck into."
"What's unique about Denver is we have a lot of entrepreneurs," Gargan says. "The 'I Heart Denver' store in the Denver Pavilions, which started as a popup and now houses local artists, is great for local souvenirs and is very reasonably priced."
The Denver Pavilions is a shopping and entertainment complex in the center of the pedestrian mall that also houses a movie theater, bowling alley and a variety of big-box stores like H&M, Banana Republic and PacSun -- perfect for family fun.
Considered the main drag of Denver's Lower Downtown district, Larimer Square packs some of the city's best restaurants, bars, salons and boutiques into just one block, and is easily spotted by its signature string of lights draped across the street. At once a hub of modern city life as well as a historical landmark with buildings dating back to the 1850s, Larimer is a top spot for visitors hoping to purchase something special. From locally made fashion finds and unique home furnishings to stores specializing in wine and fur babies, Larimer showcases Denver's distinct character and flavor.
Zeyna Aouad, social media coordinator at the Grand Hyatt Denver, located within walking distance of this stylish square, says, "Larimer is good for boutiques, and to find something a little more unique."
Browse the clothing racks at Hailee Grace, Frinje, Blue Ruby or Moda Man for casual-chic apparel, pop into Cry Baby Ranch for a new pair of cowboy boots or a fun western gift, or seek something sparkly at John Atencio and Victoriana Antique & Fine Jewelry. Foodies might prefer to splurge on dinner at restaurants like Rioja, Osteria Marco, TAG and The Capital Grille.
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The Berkeley neighborhood in northwest Denver is gaining popularity for its up-and-coming bars, restaurants, art galleries and boutiques. Tennyson Street is a favorite shopping spot of Zac Johnson, head concierge at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, who describes it as a "cool little area that doesn't feel like a major city."
Lindsey Koehler of 5280 Magazine agrees, saying, "Tennyson Street has changed dramatically in the past few years and now there are so many restaurants, galleries and little places to shop around."
Visitors will find an eclectic array of stores between 38th and 46th streets that cater to a Colorado-casual lifestyle. Check out Inspyre Boutique for affordable women's fashion (everything in the store is under $100) and Berkeley Supply for rugged, yet refined, menswear. Hipsters should head to Spruce for everything their beard desires. Pet lovers won't want to miss Mouthfuls Pet Supply, a store featuring a "bone bar" and a "doggie dispensary" with cannabidiol products for dogs, and the Denver Cat Company, where shoppers can sip a latte with an adoptable cat purring in their lap.
Post-purchase refreshments can be enjoyed at a variety of independently owned watering holes like Call to Arms Brewing Company, the West End Tap House, Berkeley Inn, Local 46 Bar & Biergarten and Tennyson's Tap.
Those with edgier tastes or tighter budgets should venture to the Baker neighborhood where thrift stores, dive bars and pot shops are mixed in with antique stores, hip eateries and high-end salons.
"In terms of shopping, you can find consignment shops and less expensive boutiques on South Broadway," says Joern Howind, concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver.
Some standouts include Boss Unlimited, featuring an epic vintage clothing collection; Decade, with everything from lingerie to refurbished furniture pieces; and the Wizard's Chest, a fantastic toy and costume shop. Bargain hunters will be delighted to discover the Buffalo Exchange, with its superior selection of consignment clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as a well-organized Goodwill store whose shelves locals travel across town to scour.
[Read: The Best Things to Do in Denver.]
South Broadway is also known as a hub for home decor, from the modern interior design showrooms at the Denver Design District to a multitude of antique and refurbished furniture stores. Simply put by Maresh, "Antique shopping on South Broadway is awesome."
To experience more of what Denver has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.
Katie Hearsum is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado, and uses local knowledge to write about life in the Mile High City for U.S. News & World Report. After time spent backpacking across the globe and working on a dude ranch, Katie realized a passion for all things outdoors and hopes to inspire others to expand their horizons by sharing stories about her adventures. She now writes about outdoor sports, travel and lifestyle in Colorado and the West for Snowshoe Magazine, Inspirato, the Matador Network and 5280 Magazine. You can connect with Katie and read more of her work at katiehearsum.com.