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Central shopping

The city's core promises a treat for the senses

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Any seasoned shopper will tell you that true shopping isn't just an errand run; it's an experience. And when shopping on Tejon Street, the experience is all about the scents. Below are some of our signature storefronts, but the best way to experience this area is just to follow your nose.

Savory Spice Shop (110 N. Tejon St., savoryspiceshop.com) has called Tejon home for just over two years now. When you're lured in the door by the breeze of cinnamon and cloves that wafts from inside, you'll find more than 400 hand-mixed spices, most available to taste and smell-sample. Stocking everything from Tahitian vanilla — sold by the bean — to all varieties of curry, it's a dream for burgeoning cooks and professional chefs alike.

Complete your cooking aspirations up the block at Sparrow Hawk Cookware (120 N. Tejon St., sparrowhawkcookware.com), offering rainbows of china dishware and utensils of all sorts. If you want to shop completely local at this locally owned shop, there's a special "Made in Colorado" section filled with Always Azul Pottery from Villa Grove, beyond Cañon City.

Wander unwarily into Terra Verde (208 N. Tejon St., terraverdestyle.com) you'll be assaulted by a nearly overwhelming scent of rose, lavender and femininity. But once you get past that, the knick-knacks and candles and endless bars of soap will quickly draw you in; toward the back, find a wide selection of boho chic women's clothing.

Speaking of boho chic, the Leechpit (802 N. Nevada Ave., leechpit.com) is a must for those with a little edge; the vintage clothing is almost rivaled by Adam Leech's assortment of records and general pop-culture flotsam.

Also full of color and flair is Zeezo's (104 N. Tejon St., zeezos.com), a renowned costume shop, where you can lose yourself in the magic tricks or venetian-style mask displays. But we're perhaps wandering too far afield here; for more straightforward fashion, try Kirk and Hill (129 N. Tejon St., 635-7038) or Lucy's Consignment Paradise (318 E. Colorado Ave., gotolucys.com). And for athletic apparel, drop by Title Nine (210 N. Tejon St., titlenine.com) or Lululemon (115 N. Tejon St., #110, lululemon.com), which is housed in a tiny showroom tucked down an alley off Tejon that also offers free yoga classes.

For the comfort of Birkenstocks and the like, try Brown's Shoes (123 N. Tejon St., brownsshoefitco.com); for athletic options, also consider Runners Roost (121 N. Tejon St., runnersroost.com) and the Colorado Running Company (833 N. Tejon St., corunco.com). After all, there's nothing in the world like the smell of new shoes.

Do rocks have a smell? At Accents on Tejon (234 N. Tejon St., accentscolorado.com), they do. The store boasts a fierce Mosasaur skull in the window (complete with rows and rows of wicked-looking teeth) and shelves and shelves of fossils, gemstones, preserved butterflies and seashells. Exceedingly breakable and exceedingly beautiful.

For more rocks, Mountain Chalet (226 N. Tejon St., mtnchalet.com) is a hub for hiking, mountaineering and rock climbing gear. The Ski Shop (1422 S. Tejon St., theskishopinc.com) is a haven for both skiers and snowboarders. Mountain Equipment Recyclers (1005 S. Tejon St., merecyclers.com) offers up high-quality resale clothes and equipment for all sorts of outdoor sports. And if biking is more your thing, you'll find your niche at the Old Town Bike Shop (426 S. Tejon St., oldtownbikeshop.com).

Further entertain your more kinetic side with the downtown artistic scene.

Meininger Art Supply (201 S. Weber St., meininger.com) stocks everything you could possibly imagine needing for your latest art project. For art inspiration, stop by Van Briggle Pottery & Tile (1024 S. Tejon St., vanbriggle.com), a historical art gallery and contemporary pottery studio that will make you fervently wish you could handle a potter's wheel.

You can purchase more local art at Cottonwood on Tejon (8 S. Tejon St., cottonwoodcenterforthearts.com), a space filled with the works of studio artists from Cottonwood Center for the Arts (427 E. Colorado Ave.). The literary arts are well represented at Poor Richard's Bookstore (320 N. Tejon St., poorrichardsdowntown.com), which conveniently adjoins Rico's Café and Wine Bar. Take heed: The scent of coffee and old books is downright seductive. But if you prefer writing to reading, check out C.J. Kard (214 N. Tejon St., cjkard.com) for all things stationery.

Seamstresses shouldn't miss the Mill Outlet Fabric Shop (2906 N. Prospect St., milloutletfabric.com), where you can easily get lost in the bolts of fabric, ribbon, and threads in all textures and colors. Another place to get lost is Antiques Gallery (117 S. Wahsatch Ave., 633-6070), which stocks the wares of 150-some dealers and consigners.

Independent Records & Video (123 E. Bijou St., beindependent.com) is a Colorado-born music staple, with a vibrant buy-sell-and-trade program. If music is a hands-on experience for you, Tejon Street Music (330 N. Tejon St., tejonstreetmusic.com) is your one-stop-shop for guitars, banjos, mandolins and ukes, and Meeker Music (113 E. Bijou St., meekermusic.tripod.com) houses more strings, brass and reeds.

We can't wrap up a section on tickling the senses without including flowers. With imports from Hawaii and Bangkok, Gentry's Flowers (225 E. Pikes Peak Ave., gentrysflowers.com) is as charming on the inside as the outside adobe suggests. Visit Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 for "happy hour": 50 percent off all fresh-cut stems.

Other stores with Central locations: Discover Goodwill outlet store (3506 N. El Paso St.); Extreme Bargains (3190 N. Stone Ave.); Pikes Peak Chocolate Company (125½ N. Tejon St.).

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