Great places to shop

Hit the mall or go to a museum for fabulous gifts with a sense of place


Denver's smirk at suburban malls is Highlands Square, a historic neighborhood packed with dozens of nowhere-but-here boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Shop for sweets at Le Chocolatier or for personalized perfume at Uncommon Scents. -Jad Davenport

Museum of Nature & Science
A bright gift emporium geared toward the younger set with prehistoric stuffed animals (dinosaurs are a draw), science kits, clever games, and brainy books. INFO: 2001 Colorado Blvd.; 303/370-6366.


The Museum of Contemporary Art
Design, architecture, and fashion merge in MOCA's flagship. Look for vases by Tord Boontje and fashion accessories by Comme des Garçons. INFO: 250 S. Grand Ave.; 213/621-1710.


With the opening of fashion temple Barneys New York and the cathedral-like Westfield San Francisco Centre, with its iconic Bloomingdale's, San Francisco brings high-powered holiday shopping into all its bustling, bag-laden glory. -Samantha Schoech

Asian Art Museum
Handmade items from nearly every country in Asia: silk shawls from Laos, Thai jewelry, Nepalese gilt-copper sculpture. Plus Asian art and culture books. INFO: Closed Mon; 200 Larkin St.; 415/581-3600.

Enjoy retail therapy in Walnut Creek, California
Sweet shopping in Sugarhouse
Shop and stroll in Utah's Kimball Junction
Little Tokyo in L.A.
Miracle on 32nd Avenue

For the modernists on your gift list, swing by Victoria Price Art & Design (closed Sun; 505/982-8632) in Pacheco Park, where you'll find sleek bone-china tableware from Yuki Murata, utilitarian-cool workbags by Sherry Stein, and silver baubles from Kristin Lora.-Katie Arnold

Museum of International Folk Art
An eye-catching cache of crafts, like tiny Mata Ortiz pots, South African beaded-cloth horses, and Peruvian finger puppets. INFO: Closed Mon; on Museum Hill, 706 Camino Lejo; 505/982-5186.


Museum of Glass
Like entering a kaleidoscope: pieces made on-site by resident glass-blowers, and luminous cone paperweights of recycled glass for less than $20. INFO: Closed Mon; 1801 Dock St.; 253/284-3009.

More: The West's best shopping streets »

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