Downtown's Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall has 40-plus shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, including Lucky Strike bowling and a United Artists theaters updated with luxury lounge chairs in all 15 auditoriums. Shoppers searching for that only-in-Colorado item will find it at the I Heart Denver Store, featuring the work of more than 135 local artists–with 70 percent of sales going back to those artists. Other retailers include Forever 21, Victoria's Secret, Pink, Hot Topic and Banana Republic. Global retailer Uniqlo chose the Pavilions as its only Rocky Mountain location, opening fall 2016. Also added to the mix: For the Win, a 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art gaming venue and chef-driven gastropub. There's a carousel during the holidays and various fun events all summer. Don't miss Maggiano's homestyle Italian fare and several eateries have good happy hour options.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: This is one of downtown's most accessible shopping centers and close to Denver's free shuttle, light rail and busses.
Christine's expert tip: Saturdays and Sundays there's all day parking until 7 p.m. in the Pavilions garage for a flat rate of $7
While Cherry Creek Shopping Center is definitely showing its age, there are still reasons to shop here. H&M, Alex & Ani and Forever 21 join upscale retailers such as Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus in this center located in one of Denver's top neighborhoods. Nordstrom and Macy's are the anchors, Apple has a large presence and do check out the kiosks where local entrepreneurs offer a wide variety of items. Paid valet parking and free Wi-Fi add to the shopping here. Check the center's website to learn which venues offer parking validation as this is one of the few shopping centers that charge for parking onsite (different stores and restaurants offer different deals). If you forget where you parked, there's help for that, too. Just go to findmycar.shopcherrycreek.com.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: It's still one of the top tourist attractions in Denver and located in one of the city's best neighborhoods.
Christine's expert tip: Taking an international trip this year? Currency exchange is conveniently located on the ground floor. Buy what you need, then sell back the bills you don't use.
Although it has more than 180 retailers, restaurants and offices, Southlands is dedicated to the spirit of a traditional American Main Street. Its four-block Main Street area is the heart of this outdoor shopping and lifestyle center in the southeast Metro Area. In addition to shops and restaurants, Southlands offers a health-club facility, 16-theater AMC and winter ice skating pond. True to its "Main Street" ethos, Southlands hosts a full calendar of events that bring locals and visitors together, including a summer-long farmer's market. If you can think of a well-known retailer, it's probably here, and there are plenty of options for health, beauty and massage treatments, too.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: It's a shopping extravaganza with over 1.7 million square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment options.
Christine's expert tip: With luck, you'll never need it but just in case it's good to know there's a 24/7 full-service emergency room on site.
"An urban lifestyle destination that builds on its neighborhood character to create a community with shopping, dining, living and work experiences." That's how management describes the Streets at SouthGlenn, created after the old Southglenn Mall closed down in 2006. It's the ideal mix of retail, restaurants, entertainment and essential services. H&M, Macy's, Marshall's, Old Navy, Ross, Best Buy, Staples and Sears are the big names, but there are dozens of boutique and independent businesses, too. In addition to retail, there are more than 20 food and beverage venues, salon and hair services and a 14-theater complex at which six of the theaters include first class "at-your-seat-service." In addition to the commercial enterprises, The Streets at SouthGlenn is also home to Southglenn Public Library.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: After Southglenn Mall closed, developers reimagined what a shopping center could be. The Streets at SouthGlenn is the contemporary, upscale, indoor-and-out realization of that vision.
Christine's expert tip: Valet parking is available at two stations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 4 p.m. The cost is just $5 per vehicle.
Flatiron Crossing is the indoor mall component of Broomfield's expansive shopping, dining, entertainment and business district along the Boulder Turnpike. Anchor stores are Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's and Dick's Sporting Goods. In addition to 200 shops and restaurants, Flatiron Crossing has a movie theater with comfy, reservable lounge chairs and a popular summer concert series complete with Beer Garden. The mall's management company is committed to sustainability and has installed thousands of solar panels and energy efficient lighting and HVAC, and security personnel use electric cars and Segways when possible. Among the concierge services available to shoppers are a nursing station, complimentary electric scooters for physically challenged patrons, courtesy escort service to help carry packages or if you simply want someone to walk you to your car and free mall-wide Wi-Fi.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Located between Denver and Boulder with convenient access for both off U.S.36, Flatiron Crossing offers stores, restaurants and one of the area's top movie theaters.
Christine's expert tip: Questions? You can chat or text with the Flatiron Crossing concierge at 720.463.4000
Larimer Square is a compact district that has long attracted in-the-know shoppers. It's one of the city's most historic neighborhoods, with gas-lit lamps still lining the cobblestone street. Shoppers here will find exclusive labels for women and men, handcrafted items including shoes and boots, home decor, art, custom and estate jewelry and so much more–all happily walkable from most of downtown. Among its 23 shops and services are a multitude of independent retailers including Cry Baby Ranch, Scarpaletto, Eve, Element and Hailee Grace. Larimer Square is also home to 20 restaurants and nightspots as well as salons, spas and Al's Barber Shop. Annual don't-miss events include an annual sidewalk sale and multiple "Dining al Fresco" evenings. In 2015, Larimer Square celebrated 50 years of historic preservation.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: It's unique to Denver, steeped in the city's history and meticulously preserved, but offering the best in contemporary shopping and dining.
Christine's expert tip: Check out the exquisite glassware at Cry Baby Ranch, from shot glasses and champagne flutes to fruit bowls, which can be laser-etched with any personalized message, logo or monogram. Prices range from about $18 to $400, with etching at no extra cost.
Stanley Marketplace is not just for shopping. It's also for working out, dining, gathering with friends, accessing local services and going about life in a community. It's a next-generation shopping center: hip and social with a dab of history, housed in the old Stanley Aviation building, near Denver's Stapleton neighborhood. It includes 50-plus independently owned Colorado businesses–no chain anchors here. There are boutiques offering inspired clothing, accessories and shoes. Zero Market has everything people need to live with less waste. Some of Denver's top independently owned restaurants are here, including Denver Biscuit Company and Maria Empanada, and there's a Mexico-inspired brewery, cooking school and chocolatier. Honoring the maker community is MindCraft Makerspace, a retail store and workspace where ages 5 to 95 can learn, invent and create. Also of note: The women's restroom on the second floor is an homage to female pilots of the 1940s.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: Stanley Marketplace is a shopping and dining venue reimagined, with a focus on community, sustainability and local businesses.
Christine's expert tip: If you're visiting with kids, check the schedule for Bounce Stapleton. Bounce has Open Gym times for ages 5 & older who can have supervised gymnastics fun while parents shop and dine at Stanley.
Just a short drive from downtown, Cherry Creek North is an outdoor shopping, dining, entertainment and arts district with upscale living and offices. It runs from First Avenue to Third Avenue, University Boulevard to Steele Street. Within this 16-block area are more than 600 shops, restaurants and other businesses. Boutique vs. big store, eclectic Cherry Creek North is home to Eileen Fisher, St. John Boutique, Chico's, PrAna, Design Within Reach, Le Creuset Boutique, Paper Source and Vineyard Wine Shop, among dozens of others. For fabulous one-of-a-kind gifts, cards and work by local artisans, Reverie Living and Show of Hands can't be beaten. Outdoor enthusiasts will find what they need at Marmot and Orvis, while cooks have Crate & Barrel and Sur La Table. Need a full-on spa pampering or fix for your nails or hair? Options abound.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: This is outdoor shopping at its best, more than 600 shops, galleries, salons, service providers and more.
Christine's expert tip: Don't miss CCN's must-do events including Cherry Creek North Food and Wine, Cherry Creek North Sidewalk Sale (for more than four decades), Art Feast and Cherry Creek Arts Festival.
The Shops at Northfield Stapleton is an open-air "town center" located in Denver's thriving Stapleton redevelopment area on the east side of the city. It's next door to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Rapids and an impressive professional soccer stadium and field complex. Northfields Stapleton has more than 80 specialty shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and offers a variety of seasonal events such as wine tastings and classic car shows. Bass Pro Shops, JC Penney, Old Navy, Gameworks and Hot Topic are among the stores. There are multiple restaurants to choose from, including Brother's Bar & Grill, where kids eat free every Monday and Tuesday. Is Santa a sporting man? Maybe so. He arrives at Bass Pro Shops during the holiday season.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: The Shops at Northfield Stapleton is part of a thriving, growing community and one of the top shopping districts on Denver's east side.
Christine's expert tip: Join the INsider program for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. Just go to the mall website and click on "Become an Insider."
The folks at Park Meadows in Lone Tree, five miles south of Denver, are justifiably proud of the center's Western-style architecture and a $1 million collection of commissioned art by Colorado artists. They call it a "retail resort" and the name fits. Shoppers can mosey through nearly 200 retail shops and restaurants. The Disney Store and American Girl are just two of the shops with kid-appeal. For tech and gadget fans, there's Microsoft, Apple, Tesla and Brookstone, and Park Meadows is home to multiple flagship properties– including Nordstrom, Dillard's, Victoria's Secret, Crate & Barrel and Arhaus Furniture. Amenities abound. There's a nursing lounge, mobile-device charging station, strollers and wheelchairs, complimentary Wi-Fi, safety escorts and auto jump starts as needed plus valet parking, and Santa and the Easter Bunny pose in season for photos. Just outside are even more shops, restaurants and services, making Park Meadows a true destination mall.
Recommended for Shopping Malls and Centers because: It's the largest enclosed mall in the state and has almost anything a shopper could want–and then some.
Christine's expert tip: Gift wrapping is available on Level 1, Macy's Court or call 303.792.2533.