- Matthew Schniper
- Downtown Colorado Springs — Tejon Street
As the Independent, we stand in support of other independent businesses that keep more dollars in our local economy and show a personality and human connection that's missing from online shopping. That said, we don't shy away from name-dropping chain outfits below, because they reign over large swaths of town and are a part of our retail makeup. For those of you who are new to the area, we offer the following breakdown to help guide shopping excursions, whether you're just buying basics or hunting for the perfect non-boring gift. (You'll find even more suggestions for retail therapy among our Best Of winners beginning on p. 53.)
Old Colorado City
There is an eclectic array of retailers along the historic Colorado Avenue strip and occupying converted Victorian homes. The retail variety ranges from Southwest-style tourist trinkets to high-end fine art and handmade housewares. Boutiques like Barracuda Bazaar and, farther east, Eve's Revolution draw shoppers with their well-curated collections. The impressive Organica Herb & Tea Co. houses over 2,500 items from around the world, including spices and seasonings, award-winning teas, and medicinal mushrooms as well as tea ware. While you're on the Westside, check out local artists at the The Colorado Creative Co-op, a juried artist co-op with handcrafted arts and new artists all the time; honey-based skin-care like Naked Bee Lotion and soaps at The Honey Cottage; Nepali, Tibetan and Indian folk art and crafts at Everest Tibet Imports; and Mediterranean gifts for the home at Olive Tree Traders.
Downtown Colorado Springs' retail foundation is strong thanks to the delightful combination of faithful and long-established favorites next door to the new and trendy. Pillars of downtown include Terre Verde Boutique, Mountain Chalet, Little Richard's Toy Store and Rutledge's menswear. Venture into Sparrow Hawk Gourmet Cookware for fine kitchenware and unique dining and cocktail accessories; enjoy browsing the shelves at Hooked on Books or Poor Richard's Books & Gifts; or drop by Zeezo's to shop for magic kits, rubber chickens and zombie makeup. The senses-stimulating Savory Spice Shop is a must-stop for any curious culinarian; jewelry and unusual gifts await in the Fine Arts Center's museum shop; and downtown's offerings are rounded out by the two-wheeled fun at offered at Old Towne Bike Shop — a cornerstone of the memorable local small businesses that keep downtown bustling.
A wildly diverse shopping scene is anchored in Manitou Springs. This is where you will find metaphysical fare; unique, rustic antiques; and one-of-a-kind collectibles. Find colorful, fair-trade clothing at Piramide, or hand-painted ceramics at Mavi Turkish Arts, and fill a basket full of gourmet olive oils and vinegars at The Olive Tap. Stop at Ruxton's Trading Post for cowboy and Native American collectibles and artwork, and don't forget the mom-and-pop shop Crystal Wizard Gifts for books, music, crystals and maybe even a psychic reading.
Woodland Park has embraced its Colorado mountain town feel by filling its business district with outdoor retailers, handmade furniture stops and shopping options that hark back to some of Colorado's rich history. Chimayo Turquoise was established in 1974 and has a renowned collection of authentic Native American jewelry. South Platte Fly Shop will outfit a fly fishing excursion for any level of experience, and Tweeds Fine Furnishings has the lodge-style comfort furniture anyone with a Colorado-inspired home would love.
Get a jolt of retail therapy at the The Promenade Shops at Briargate on the north side of town. A premier shopping destination, the area houses some of the nation's leading retailers and restaurants. Gap, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn are frequent stops for shoppers thanks to their well-known brands. The Apple Store and Body Works are also popular for those strolling the open-air, pet-friendly center — who knows when a useful gadget or a little fragrance to welcome the new season is in order? Nearby, the Chapel Hills Mall and neighboring strips have complementary retailers like Macy's, Dillard's, Old Navy and Nordstrom Rack to round out local access to nationwide chains.
One of the Springs' newest shopping centers, Polaris Pointe, in the Gleneagle/Northgate area, caters to outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. Heading north on I-25 you can't miss the 120,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop with everything you need to camp, fish, hunt or boat — you can even bowl and eat inside. Afterwards, Boot Barn will outfit any city slicker in more Southwestern-friendly attire, or provide staple western-wear like work boots from Timberland Pro, Carhartt and CAT Footwear.
Over the years, both Powers and Academy have become bustling shopping corridors. Strip malls line these major arteries with small and large retailers, local businesses and national chains. Both corridors have big-box stars Best Buy, Target, Ross Dress for Less, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby and Michaels and many more. From the south side to the northern neighborhoods, Powers and Academy boulevards have just about any type of retailer a shopper could ask for.
Whether you're taking care of home improvements on your to-do list or upgrading your wardrobe, the Southgate area is ready to provide. With classic home retailers like Sears, DIY stalwarts like Home Depot, and just-about-anything suppliers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, you'll make quick work of your shopping list. Target, Famous Footwear and PetsMart offer the staples and fun finds.
Fillmore to University Village
Begin — or end — a walk, run, or ride along the Greenway Trail at the University Village shopping center. The center is home to the Springs' only Trader Joe's and showcases everything else from gelato to lumber, and one of the two Costcos in town. Grab a coffee, get some shopping taken care of and easily jump on Nevada or I-25 to get back home. Better yet, ride down the trail and bring your goodies home in the front basket of your bike.