BEST STORE AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (2006)

The Colorado Collection Concourse B, Gate 44 303-342-7878

The Colorado Collection is a hard-to-find sanctuary in a land of cheap, tacky souvenirs. Before the locally owned boutique took off with DIA in 1995, the Colorado Collection was located downtown, and owner/goldsmith Lauren Wahlstrom sold her work out of the shop. Wahlstrom has since passed away, but her family still owns and runs this store specializing in unique, original jewelry, such as the earrings that Breckenridge artist Denise Bloch makes with her own hand-blown glass beads. And even if you're not looking to spend any money, the store's friendly employees are a joy to chat with. Be warned: Layovers pass quickly here, so don't miss your flight.