Boulder, Colorado Photo by Pedro Szekely via Flickr Creative Commons

While the mountain state certainly has pockets of artists and craftspeople creating unique works of art in small towns like Manitou Springs, shopping is not a highlight on most visitors’ travel itinerary to Colorado. Like anywhere in America, retail malls and shops exist, but nothing incredibly standout.

Denver has Colorado’s best shopping scene, hands down. The mile-long pedestrian 16th Street Mall is lined with all kind of boutiques and restaurants. Adjacent to this strip are pockets of consumerism in kitschy Larimer Square, Writer Square, and the Shops at Tabor Center. All of these neighborhoods can be easily reached on foot in or hop on and off the free tram that runs the length of the mall. Outside of downtown, the massive Cherry Creek Shopping Center is the place to go for upscale Americana.

In Colorado’s mountain towns the shopping tends to line up along the historic Main Street and caters to either tourists looking for souvenirs or people in need of outdoor gear. The more prosperous ski towns such as Vail, Telluride, Durango and Aspen have some interesting independent shops in their historic downtown cores so keep your eyes peeled when you arrive.


There is a fair amount of geothermal energy underneath the mountains of Colorado, and many towns have tapped the hot springs to create world-class resorts and spas. Every ski town has a variety of spas to choose from, typically located within the posh hotels and resorts when you need to rest your feet from the day. Glenwood Springs is particularly popular, with huge public hot springs right in the middle of town. Pagosa Springs and Ouray also have excellent outdoor natural hot springs and the nicer ones often have spa facilities attached to rejuvenate from the mountain expercise.

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