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.
LOS ANGELES, CA
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.
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.