Many Denverites spend more money on camping equipment than clothing and accessories. But you can still manage to shop 'til you drop in the Mile High City. From the luxury labels of Cherry Creek to the discount prices of Colorado Mills, there's a shopping center for every style and budget.
The Denver Pavilions shopping center boasts an open-air feel in the heart of downtown on the 16th Street Mall, a complex designed by renowned architectural firm I.M. Pei and Partners. Unlike traditional malls, the Pavilions is not anchored by any department stores. However, the shopping center features popular chains such as Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, and Forever 21.
Beyond boutiques, bars, restaurants, and a bowling alley, and a movie theater round out the attractions, as well as a movie theater. The only downside to the Pavilions is parking, which you need to pay for by the hour unless you validate your ticket. (You can get your parking validated by seeing a movie). You can also arrive via light rail or take the free mall ride operating on the 16th Street Mall.
If you grew up in the Littleton or Centennial area, you might remember the Southglenn Mall, complete with staples from the 1990s (e.g., Orange Julius and Abercrombie & Fitch). That mall has been demolished, and it's since been re-imagined as an outdoor mall.
The mall is a mix of boutiques and chains like H&M, Victoria's Secret, and Marshall's. You'll also find restaurants, a Whole Foods, a library (with an outdoor deck), and a movie theater. In the summer, concert-goers can catch shows here, and an ice rink pops up during the holiday season.
Cherry Creek boasts the crème de la crème of brand-name stores in Denver, catering to Burberry babes or Lacoste lads—it offers the widest selection of premium labels.
Department store anchors include Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. If you love boho-chic fashion, check out stores like Anthropologie and Free People. There's also a movie theater.
The only downside to Cherry Creek is its meager food court, which consists of a handful of fast-food restaurants. One exception: The Nordstrom's Bazille Restaurant has a tasty menu. You can find chocolates, macarons and other gourmet delights to take home.
Otherwise, you're better off zipping over to Cherry Creek North, where you'll find a lineup of local eateries and the famous Cherry Cricket (which has some of the best burgers in Denver), along with dart boards.
Park Meadows Mall was built to resemble a mountain lodge, with plenty of wood beams and open spaces. The mall includes specialty stores such as The Buckle, which will hem jeans purchased there free of charge.
Department store anchors include Dillard's, JC Penney, Macy's, and Nordstrom. The food court offers a wide selection of vendors and plenty of seating around a cozy fireplace. There isn't a movie theater within the mall, but United Artist Stadium 12 is close by and for a larger selection, AMC Theaters 24 in Highlands Ranch is a 10-minute drive away.
Located halfway between Denver and Boulder, Flatiron Crossing makes a convenient meeting point between the two cities. Department store anchors include Dillard's, Macy's, and Nordstrom. Other specialty stores include Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. A movie theater and several restaurant chains such as PF Changs and Il Fornaio are also located in the outdoor section of the mall.
The only downside to the mall is the lack of signage directing shoppers back to the highway. Keep an eye out or you'll end up going the wrong direction on Route 36.
During the summer months, the mall offers a free concert series on Thursday nights June through August.
Colorado Mills takes the concept of outlet malls to a new level. Every store in the Mills offers merchandise at discount prices, from Ann Taylor Factory Store to Saks OFF FIFTH. Bargains abound for shoppers willing to put in the extra effort.
A movie theater and food court also are located within the mall. The only downside is the somewhat confusing layout of the mall, which divides each section into neighborhoods.