VISIT DENVER has just finished crunching the tourism numbers for 2013, which proved to be a record-setting year: Visitor spending topped $4 billion for the first time.
Where did tourists spend their money? A lot of it went to shopping and entertainment centers. Look below to see the photo-illustrated top ten, supplemented by VISIT DENVER text.
Number 10: Belmar
Twelve minutes from Denver, Belmar shopping and dining district is an outdoor destination with 80+ galleries, restaurants and shops including local boutiques, and the best national brands including Nordstrom Rack, Charming Charlie, GUESS, White House Black Market and Victoria's Secret. Plus, the Belmar free shuttle connects guests to the Wadsworth RTD light rail station seven days a week. Number 9: Shops at Tabor Center
Downtown Denver's restaurant, shopping and entertainment center featuring The Palm, The Cheesecake Factory and more. Continue to keep counting down tourists' ten favorite Denver shopping and entertainment centers in 2013. Number 8: Flatirons Crossing Mall
Discover a unique Colorado shopping experience with over 200 retail shops, restaurants and an AMC theater. The outdoor village at FlatIron Crossing gives you the opportunity to shop or dine while enjoying the Colorado sunshine. Number 7: Larimer Square
Grab a latté and do a little window-shopping in Larimer Square, on Larimer St., between 14th and 15th. This historic district epitomizes urban style and sophistication - if you're on the hunt for tomorrow's trends, you'll find them here, either in the shops or on the locals who hang out in the square. What began as Denver's first city block is today one of the city's most chic fashion districts. More than 200 fashion lines from the runways of New York, London, Paris and Milan are on display. From handcrafted jewelry, to chic bags, to shoes that let you step out in style, you'll find clothing and accessories from designers including Ted Baker, J. Lindeberg, True Religion, Morphine Generation, Tracy Reese and Vivienne Tam. Continue to keep counting down tourists' ten favorite Denver shopping and entertainment centers in 2013. Number 6: Park Meadows Retail Resort
Welcome to Park Meadows, "Colorado's Only Retail Resort" and the largest enclosed shopping center in Colorado. With 185 popular retailers and restaurants; American Girl, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Sephora, and more, shoppers enjoy the lush landscaping, soaring timber ceilings and relaxing outside beside a bubbling stream in The Vistas. Number 5: Denver Pavilions
16th Street is packed with restaurants, cafes, public art -- and of course, a cornucopia of shopping options, including Denver Pavilions (500 16th St.). Multi-leveled booksellers, expansive brand name stores, quaint gift shops and more all make their home here. Just start strolling (or hop on the free shuttle that runs the length of the mall) and you're sure to find something to your liking in no time. Continue to keep counting down tourists' ten favorite Denver shopping and entertainment centers in 2013. Number 4: Outlets at Castle Rock
Surrounded by spectacular mountain views, Colorado's largest outlet center is the #4 top tourist destination in the state. Conveniently located off I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs, The Outlets at Castle Rock offers pedestrian-friendly and pet-friendly, open-air shopping of name brand fashions to residents and visitors alike. Number 3: Cherry Creek Shopping Center/Cherry Creek North
To call the combination of Cherry Creek North and Cherry Creek Shopping Center simply a "shopping district" doesn't quite do it justice. It's more of a shopping experience. Just a ten-minute drive from downtown, Cherry Creek North is a 16-block extravaganza features the region's largest collection of independently owned shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants and spas. From the latest fashion trends, to home furnishings, jewelry and just about anything else on your list - you'll find it here. As if that isn't enough, adjacent to Cherry Creek North is Cherry Creek Shopping Center with no less than 160 of those brand name stores that you simply cannot live without. When added together, Cherry Creek North and Cherry Creek Center form one of the most massive, diverse and exhilarating shopping zones in the U.S. You can easily spend a couple hours here, or a while away a whole day browsing one-of-a-kind items and searching for the perfect keepsake to remember your trip to the Mile High City. Continue to keep counting down tourists' ten favorite Denver shopping and entertainment centers in 2013. Number 2: "LoDo" Lower Downtown Historic District
Over the past two decades, LoDo (lower downtown) has been restored and renovated into one of the liveliest areas in the city. With one of the largest concentrations of Victorian and turn-of-the-century architecture in the country, LoDo is home to 90 brewpubs, sports bars, restaurants and coffeehouses as well as the site of Coors Field (2001 Blake St.) home of the Colorado Rockies. You'll see a lot of creative types roaming the streets as the area is home to a number of advertising agencies, graphic design studios, Internet design firms and a plethora of art galleries. Number 1: 16th Street Mall
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As you reach the end of Larimer Square, you'll encounter a sight sure to quicken the pulse of any dedicated shopper: the 16th Street Mall, the sprawling 16-block, I.M. Pei-designed pedestrian mall that stands as Metro Denver's No. 1 tourist attraction.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.