Here’s a baker’s dozen of independent shops you can only find in Boulder.
Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery
Pick up a watercolor of Boulder’s Chautauqua Meadow, a locally made fabric handbag or a beautifully inlaid wooden cutting board. The Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery showcases paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, woodwork and fiber arts by local and national artists. It’s the perfect place for tasteful mementos of your Boulder visit.
Boulder Book Store
Towering wooden bookshelves, creaky wood floors, a great “staff picks” shelf, local bestsellers and a tremendous selection spanning three floors makes this homegrown bookstore a favorite stop on Pearl Street. Simply get lost among the Boulder Book Store shelves or sit in on an author reading.
There are secondhand stores and then there is Common Threads — filled to capacity with cut-rate deals on pre-owned designer clothing and shoes. Shop alongside Boulder’s most stylish set, and enjoy the thrill of the hunt for that prized Isabelle Marant blouse or a pair of Frye boots with your name all over them.
A Boulder original that holds a special place in the hearts of locals, McGuckin Hardware is worth a stop just to marvel at the variety of merchandise — from yo-yos and pet beds to wrenches and ball caps. You’ll find something here you can’t live without, guaranteed — and helpful staff members are around every aisle.
This Pearl Street shop has both impeccable taste and fair-trade ethics. Every item sold in Momentum is handmade and helps provide employment opportunities for artisan groups around the world. Find super-soft woven towels, table linens, pottery, jewelry, baby gifts and clothing to make you feel good inside and out.
Enter, and draw your eyes over a sea of bicycles. Then let the super-friendly staff point you to what you’re looking for. U Bikes is a Boulder biking institution, with sales, rentals, master bike-fitting services and a 24-hour bike-part vending machine out front.
You’ve probably spotted The Peppercorn’s blue-and-white-striped shopping bags all day along Pearl Street. Clever culinary tools, stacks upon stacks of cookbooks, locally produced foods and gorgeous pottery are packed into every nook and cranny of this delightful shop. Just try to escape without a blue-and-white-striped bag of your own.
Cedar & Hyde Mercantille
So chic, yet so woodsy. The spare, modernist designs of the goods sold in Cedar & Hyde are softened by the fact they’re often made of natural materials — corked clay canisters, the softest denim and organic cotton clothing, even a leather-and-wood fly swatter that could double as a piece of art.
A longtime hub for Boulder’s hardcore adventurers, Neptune Mountaineering is all about friendly advice and precisely right gear for rock climbing, camping and skiing. There’s even a small museum inside, showcasing climbing and skiing equipment and photographs from the mid-1800s to the late 1900s.
Your furry friend will be pretty upset with you if you don’t bring him or her back something spiffy from Boulder. Farfel’s Farm has a staggering selection of colorful collars, gourmet pet treats and toys that aim to please your pooch.
Art Source International
Vintage Boulder-themed posters, black-and-white photographs, posters, old maps, globes and puzzles line the walls of Art Source International — a Pearl Street landmark.
Art Parts Creative Reuse Center
You never know what you might find at Art Parts Creative Reuse Center, where you'll find a fascinating variety of new and gently used creative materials organized artfully and meticulously. You'll be among artists browsing for just the right glass bead or finding, home-decor nuts picking up frames and fabrics, and families just there for artistic inspiration.
Island Farm’s warm, welcoming downtown shop perfectly encapsulates Boulder’s style: Cool, but comfortable. Stylish but decidedly un-fussy. Urban with a hint of outdoorsy-ness. Browse racks full of premium denim, breezy linen and drape-y velvet; walls of canvas and leather handbags; and cases of crave-able jewelry.
Let’s keep shopping, shall we? See another list of must-see shops.