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Best of the West: Critics’ Choice Shopping


Best grown-up shopping experience
Fuzzy Antler, Louisville
This beautiful downtown shop is bursting with antique European furnishings and décor—like the home of a packrat with great taste. There’s lots to be discovered here, so take your time.

Best kiddo shopping experience
Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe, Boulder
Here, joy and giggles pour down from the toy- and game-covered shelves and radiate up from the little smiling faces that dance around this kid metropolis. Grandrabbit’s is a child’s fantasy made real, a place where it’s always playtime.

Best way to waste a Saturday afternoon
Antiquing in Lyons
Before you head to Oskar Blues for a Mama’s Lil Pils and bluegrass, visitors must check out what makes Lyons so special (beyond the beer and the music) by stopping by the Left-Hand Trading Company, spacious and cave-like, and the cozy Ralston Bros. Antiques.

Best shop to support local artists
Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery, Boulder
Coloradan’s have mad skills, and they’re on display at Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery. The storefront has a massive collection of locally made arts, crafts and wearable creations. Nearing its 40th year, it’s become the preeminent shop to find locally made craftsmanship.

Best shop for girlie shoes
Two Sole Sisters, Boulder
Nancy Sinatra, had she recorded the song today, would likely have switched the lyrics to something like: “if these heels were made for strutting…” Heels are the modern woman’s power shoes, and if you are in need of something feminine, flirty and butt-kicking, you need only step into Two Sole Sisters, where girls really go wild.

Best shop to explore the past
Serendipity, Longmont
Plan a good hour or more when you visit Serendipity, an antique shop that sells everything from vintage bookcases, kitchenware and headboards to clothing and jewelry. Treasures are all around and a good deal is not hard to find.

Best shop for quirky gifts

Madifine Mercantile, Longmont
Madifine Mercantile is an ode to the sassy and the off the wall. Here, you’ll find a smattering of wacky items, from new vintage to the Big Lebowski Urban Achiever Action Figure, which you totally need.

Best shop for girlfriends
Adorn, Longmont
Whether it’s gifts for a diverse armada of bffs or you’re in need of a pretty something to woo a pretty lady, Adorn is filled with jewelry, accessories and decor to match. No matter the woman (except for the leather-and-chains gal), Adorn has something to feather their nests or their wrists.

Best high-end boutique worth every penny
Weekends, Boulder
If you’re gonna drop some cash, do it at Weekends. Whether it’s a killer leather bag, a pair of Seven jeans or a proper blazer, the inventory is as luxe as it is cool. Sometimes you have to pay a price to be a stud.

Best place to buy a tree

CreekSide Tree Nursery, Boulder
What makes CreekSide extraordinary? Well, here, every tree is special. And we don’t mean that in a new-agey, touchy-feely kind of way. CreekSide’s trees are beautiful, unblemished and well nurtured.

Best shop for frills
Elizabeth’s Embellishments, louisville
It’s a little French country, a little shabby chic and a whole lot of pretty things that make women giddy. Everything to embellish your life from bobbles and bedspreads to blouses and baby gifts.

Best place to get bespectacled

Wink, Boulder
Remember when wearing glasses was about as cool as having braces? Times have changed. Especially at Wink, where glasses are not just a means to an end (that end would be seeing), they are the styled, flattering exclamation points on your visage.

Editors Choice: PETS

Best shop for pet pride
Struttin Pup, Lafayette
Started by two rock and roll chicks, Lafayette’s Struttin Pup is as cool as a pet shop gets. From plush beds to all sorts of fun, funky collars and leashes to natural pet food to a DIY doggie bath, this place truly rocks.

Best local Cesar Millan

Two Bears Dog Training, Lafayette
Two Bears use a cornucopia of training techniques, helping dog and owner create a foundation of communication. Still can’t decide whether it’s human training or dog training.

Best way to Exhaust rover
Healthy Bone, Erie
We love Chris McCandless and his Healthy Bone adventure hikes because he lets dogs be dogs, reminding our four-legged friends that they are all canine and helping to work out their domestication frustrations.


Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google

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