Boulder's Best Shopping Destinations: From Outdoor Gear to Home Decor

Boulderites (local folks) love and make sure to support their locally owned and operated shops around town. As such, you'll find a plethora of unique shops that can't be found anywhere else on your travels. Moreover, the township and citizens of Boulder dedicate themselves to eco-friendly shopping. As such, you'll find a wide variety of consignment shops, sporting goods recyclers, and even chains who are mindful to make their facilities sustainable by recycling, composting, and using solar power. Consignment shops such as Common Threads provide the perfect opportunity to find designer bargains in a "green" and thrifty way. REI and Neptune's Mountaineering offers gear that will get you up in the mountains and outfit your for you next adventure in the Rockies. New to Boulder, Athleta offers swimming, running, and yoga clothes for your trips to the gym. Novelty and home decor shops such as Peppercorn's and Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery are the perfect stops for sovereigns or little, unique, trinkets that can easily be stowed away in luggage or shipped to friends. Whatever your brand of shopping, Boulder offers local eccentricities, as well as name-brand stores that are sure to fill your closet, adorn your kitchen, and enable you to get the gear.


Named by the "Wall Street Journal" as among America's leading open-air pedestrian malls. Whether it's books, clothing, sporting goods, candy, or jewelry, there's a little something here for everyone. The area includes galleries, entertainment venues, historic sites, and architectural landmarks, while the extensive dining options range from Russian to Thai. The site of frequent outdoor concerts and community events, the Pearl Street Mall is frequented by locals of all ages. Big names such as Patagonia, Athleta, and Prana can be found on the mall, as well as local favorites like Boulder Art Mart, Peppercorn's, and the quaint Boulder Book Store.

Into the Wind is a famous and beloved local business in Boulder that has been in operation for over 30 years. Located on popular Pearl Street, walking into this colorful kite shop is like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. Delights of all kinds, including vintage games, specialty kites, and candies entice visitors. Perfect for those visiting who want to bring back and unique and beautiful souvenir for a loved one. Not to mention, flying your new kite over the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is a once in a lifetime experience. Trick kites are also available for those who are experienced flyers and need a little more excitement.

Known as the "less local" more mainstream mall of Boulder, the 29th Street Mall boasts big names such as Nordstrom Rack, Macy's, and Victoria's Secret. Dining can be found just around the corner at Colorado Pizza Kitchen, Noodles & Company, and Mad Greens. Catch a movie at Boulder Century Theater and then grab dessert at one of Boulder's best frozen yogurt spots, Spooners, where you're charged by the ounce and toppings abound. Other not-to-be-missed shopping destinations include Anthropologie, Moosejaw, Lucy's and Lululemon. This is the perfect mall for anyone coming from a smaller town, who might not have easy access to larger, namebrand, stores.


This north Boulder shop features an excellent selection of vintage eveningwear and good, quality recycled clothing. Track down an old Pendleton shirt or a tweed jacket like the one your grandfather used to wear. Hats, gloves, and purses are only a few of the accessories that you'll find and Candy's is careful with their consignment selections; you'll only find high-quality, gently worn, items that won't need mending or cleaning on your end. Having a wedding or formal coming up? Occasionally, Candy's will stock wedding dresses and evening gowns that are sure to impress for your special day or evening out on the town.

This enormous community bookstore features more than 100,000 titles, with four fabulous floors of new and used books, magazines, journals, and book-related gifts. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed, with warm woodwork, high ceilings, and stained glass windows. Check out the staff picks, for the reliable employees are known for their excellent recommendations. Attend one of the many events, including book readings and lectures. Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Bookend Caf� connected to the shop and dive into your newest book. Because Boulder Book Store is conveniently located in downtown on Boulder's famous Pearl Street, you'll have options for dining and entertainment after you shop.

Shop for unique retro styles at this trendy and hip boutique. You'll find anything from silver beaded headdresses to six-inch spike heels for girls and cowboy boots and funky ties for the guys. Common Era has a wide variety of bold accessories, including banged bracelets, wrist cuffs, and Bohemian style dangle earrings. Purses, clutches, and wristlets can be found throughout the store and, for those of you who need to adorn yourself underneath your fabulous outfit, lacy bras, silky underwear, slips, and stockings can be found in the matching colors of this season's latest styles. The attendants are extremely helpful and always happy to give you a second opinion when second guessing a fashion choice.

For over three decades, this gallery, owned and operated by more than 100 artist members, has been a venue for fine arts and original crafts. Look for contemporary watercolors, blown glass, stained glass, pottery, hand-wovens, woodwork, and jewelry hand-crafted by local artisans. Uniquely designed toys, kites, and puppets are also featured. A Visiting Artist Series features a rotating schedule of fine art and craft exhibitions. Occasionally, you'll glimpse one of the artists featured in the store painting outside, drawing inspiration from Boulder's charming Pearl Street. A perfect stop to purchase rare and beautiful gifts that can't be found anywhere else.


Peppercorn is a unique stop for all of your cooking, entertaining, and dining needs. Flatware, wine glasses, spatulas, skillets, and just about every other tool that you could possibly need to craft the perfect meal can be found in abundance. But the fun doesn't stop there; Peppercorn offers spices, unique baking mixes, jams and jellies, kitchen decor, and quality cooking brands such as Cuisine Art. There fun and fanciful dining decor mixes elegance with a touch of whimsy and provide the perfect gift to bring home after a stay in the mountains. Need something small to tote home? Peruse their wine glasses or array of cook books.

Common Threads

Common Thread is, hands down, one of the best consignment shops you will ever have the pleasure of visiting. The selection is top-notch, always in fashion, and the store lay-out is perfectly organized to help you find exactly what you're looking for, whether is be a new handbag, workout clothing, a cute top, or sophisticated dress. For those of you who are looking for some sexy, fashion-functional, workshop clothing, Common Thread has the perfect selection for you. Name brands that can often be found include, Lulu Lemon, Patagonia, Athleta, Eddie Bauer, Marmot, and North Face. This place is a local favorite for those who wanna look good but not spend a fortune in the process.

One of the best places in town to shop for outdoor gear, Boulder's REI is a haven for climbers, hikers, back packing, skiing, and cycling enthusiasts. Not only do they offer amazing "garage sales" where gear is sold at dramatically reduced prices, they also offer free classes on winter survival, hiking 14ners ( 14,000ft mountains), navigation, and much more. Eco-friendly? You can feel confident shopping with REI in Boulder, as their building is retro-fitted with solar panels, recycling and composting bins are dotted throughout the facility, and they have a high ratio of USA made goods. Interested in earning rewards, a membership with REI earns you annual dividends that can be redeemed in the store.


Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope