Your scenic trip to the Rocky Mountains is a spectacle unparalleled in the United States, especially if it’s your first time in the West. Denver is the perfect home base for your mountain vacation as well. Rent a car, take the scenic route, and go explore the wilderness. But when you’re ready to head home, don’t forget to grab a souvenir, or two or three, to take with you.
In this blog, though it’s hard to narrow it down, we’re noting five things to look out for and snag at a gift shop in Denver, Colorado. You’ll want to take a piece of the West home with you. Fortunately, whether it’s rocks and minerals, natural jewelry, a simple t-shirt, or other western wear, Colorado has some of the best tourist offerings in the country.
In fact, despite the money coming in from sports betting and legal cannabis, tourism pays for Colorado, according to Visit Denver. Below are some quick facts about the Colorado tourism industry in 2021:
- Visitors to Colorado spent $21.9 billion in 2021
- The state welcomed 84.2 million visitors (36.3 million overnight) in 2021.
- The tourism industry supports more than 1161,000 jobs in Colorado (2021).
- Tourism saves every Colorado household $670 annually in taxes (this is the amount of tax dollars residents would have to pay if not for the nearly $1.5 billion in state and local taxes paid annually by visitors).
Because of the heavy traffic, there are so many gift shops to choose from in Denver and in surrounding mountain towns across the entire Colorado Front Range. Below are some fun, signature souvenir picks to look out for during your stay.
A Bolo Tie
To get in the western spirit, make sure you outfit yourself in the best western wear. A bolo tie is a nice choice because you can sport it for nearly every occasion, from weddings to concerts. Feel like a cowboy and take your western style home with you for all to see.
Rocky Mountain National Park Swag
During your Denver stay, visit the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, just over an hour’s drive from the city. Experience the glorious mountains that make Colorado the wild and wonderful state it is. While you’re there, support the national parks by snagging some cool gear like a windbreaker or coffee. You’ll have a cool memento to take home with you and it’ll be for a good cause.
While it’s not The Himalayas, The Rocky Mountains are still a perfect place for alpacas to live and thrive. Because of this, there are countless alpaca farms decorated around mountain towns along the Front Range and in more western parts of the state.
Shearing alpacas is safe, sustainable, and provides some of the best winter clothing to battle the winter. While this is a bit more expensive for a gift shop gift, you get what you pay for and you’ll be thankful on your next brisk hike in the cold.
True Hiking Gear
It’s easy to point tourists out on the trail because they are hiking in jeans, or are otherwise unprepared. Make sure to beef up your hiking gear by snagging some solid boots, hiking pants, a warm beanie, and maybe even a hydration pack if you’re going to be out and about often. To determine if hiking is really going to be something you like, make sure you’re prepared to experience the hike properly. These materials hold up as well, so your new gear will stand the test of time.
Stickers & Fridge Magnets
The simplest and least expensive gift shop gifts, stickers, and magnets are easy ways to remember your trip and decorate your personal belongings with memories and wanderlust. You can put them on your car or water bottle to prove your adventures, or put them on your fridge to see them often and remember your trip fondly. Plus, they only cost $5 to $10, at most.
Though you can’t go wrong in most Colorado gift shops, these are just a few of the best choices, in this author’s humble opinion. But the reality is to buy what you think will help you cherish and remember your vacation the most.
While you’re grabbing a souvenir, snag a gift for a loved one as well to encourage them to make the trip themselves. It could be an excuse for you to come back and do it all over again.