What better way to improve your capabilities as a nature photographer than to spend a little time outdoors with John Fielder, the state's renowned chronicler of epic landscapes, hidden meadows and delicate wildflowers? Fielder's workshops last from one to three days and involve classroom sessions and field shoots in places such as Telluride (nice for fall foliage) and the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness, with the aim of bringing the skills of "practiced beginners" or intermediate shutterbugs into sharper focus.

Opened last year on the West Colfax strip in Lakewood by the mother-daughter team of Rose Whitlock and Alisha Mullins, Lost Love is a salute to mid-century kitsch and simpler times, when most kids wanted to be cowboys and cowgirls, and circle skirts and Bakelite jewelry were in vogue. You'll also find retro fashions here, from open-toed shoes and '60s shifts to rockabilly duds and Mexican resort wear, as well as wacky lamps and collectible figurines. Your favorite anachronisms are alive and well at Lost Love.

9797 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood
303-862-4685
facebook.com/Lost-Love-697187857084317

Best Shopping for Antiques and Locally Made Goods

Antique Row

One of Denver's most vibrant shopping districts, Antique Row — from 1200 to 1800 South Broadway — is renowned for its collections of antiques stores; staples such as Black Tulip and Corky's have been bringing collectors and estate-sale diggers to the area for decades. But there's more than just vintage housewares and hard-to-find furniture along the seven-block stretch: Shoppers can also scout out the perfect painting at Brushstrokes Studio-Gallery, revel in handmade costumes and masks at Artsmyths and peruse the costume jewelry at Somewhere in Time; afterward, they can stop in at Black Crown Lounge for refreshment and hear live jazz at La Cour. Wander the blocks to find a world of surprises: On Antique Row, dozens of local merchants, businesses and restaurants are just waiting to be discovered.

antique-row.com
Weathervane Cafe
Kristin Pazulski

There's a lot going on inside the quaint two-story carriage house that's home to Weathervane Cafe. The initial draw of this coffee shop is a menu of great coffee, vast tea options and a rotating selection of small plates and local sweets coming out of the petite kitchen. But Weathervane's self-described "retail pantry" is reason to stay for a little more to drink — and a lot of shopping. The uncluttered shelves of this pantry hold many delightful things: locally made jewelry, jams, pickles, honeys, tonics, housewares and even apparel. From healing bee pollens to decorative houseplants and distinctive pottery, this hip general store is a best-kept-secret one-stop shop for gifts, especially during the stressful holiday season.

The Wizard's Chest
By Lonnie Hanzon, courtesy of the Wizard's Chest

After more than three decades in Cherry Creek North, the Wizard's Chest decided to leave its quaint castle for a bigger, better kingdom on 4th and Broadway. Going from 8,500 to 18,000 square feet, Denver's beloved home base for Magic: The Gathering aficionados, puzzle masters and costume seekers creates a magical new world from the ground up. The store brought in artist and designer Lonnie Hanzon to craft the perfect facade for the new fortress of fun. Hanzon — who's been involved with the Wizard's Chest since its early-'80s beginnings — is the magician behind the store's iconic and bold castle aesthetic, and the new spot is just as whimsical and inviting as the original. Plus — abracadabra! — there's parking.

303-321-4304
wizardschest.com

Ever since Fifty Two 80's opened its doors two years ago, filled to the brim with every bit of pop culture that defined that tubular decade, the store's Denver Broncos memorabilia section has been front and center, no matter how the team has performed on any given Sunday. And while those classic pieces were a big draw during this winning Super Bowl season, there's still plenty left. So if you want to show off your team-rooting roots with a T-shirt or tumbler bearing that classic D logo with the sneering horse (a true throwback to the Elway era), then make your way to this South Broadway site to stock up for next year. After all, it's never too early — or too late — to be a fan.

1874 S. Broadway
720-363-9231
the80sareawesome.com
Ironwood Gallery

Curiosities abound within the walls of Ironwood, a shop specializing in decorative pieces for the home and human. Peek through the store's looking glass of a front window to see its uncommon treasures sparkle. Among other things, you'll find succulents and precious gems sharing shelf space with books and jewelry made from animal teeth. Inside, Ironwood wears its minimal square footage well, hosting art shows in which paintings and collages harmonize with the merchandise. Live music and small parties have been a part of the retail store's life, too, adding to the cozy house-show vibe. This old soul of a store has settled so nicely into the South Broadway 'hood over the past few years that you would swear it's been a part of the city's identity for decades.

Readers' choice: Buffalo Exchange
Spiritways

The magic begins before you even set foot inside Spirit Ways, with fairies peering out from underneath beautiful crystals and glass art hanging from ribbons in the store window. As you enter, you're greeted by the smell of incense and a staff of experts, ready with answers and information about all things metaphysical. For seasoned witches, wizards and spellcasters, Spirit Ways carries a great selection of healing herbs and crystals, essential oils, ceremonial apparel and more. Beginners just entering the magical realm can find tarot-reading instruction manuals, spell kits and lots of guidance from a rotating staff of in-store intuitives and spirit guides, available by appointment. For nearly twenty years, Spirit Ways has been enhancing Colfax with its enchanting inventory and spellbinding presence. Magic, indeed.

Readers' choice: Twist & Shout
I Heart Denver Store

I Heart Denver expanded late last year with a second store at Southwest Plaza in Littleton, giving us even more of this retailer to love. But don't miss the place where it all started, on the second level of the increasingly vibrant Denver Pavilions: More than 150 artists and designers from Denver and Colorado sell their products at I Heart Denver, and the array of items — from original artworks to hand-screened Colorado-centric tees — is amazing at both the downtown location and the new space. No matter what you walk away with — and it's likely to be a big bag of goodies — you can feel good knowing that you've shown some local love.

Readers' choice: Tattered Cover
Tattered Cover DIA
Denver International Airport

Did you forget to pick up gifts for the folks you left behind? No problem. Head to the center of the C Concourse, where Out West stocks an amazing array of Western and Southwestern-themed products — some actually made in the region rather than in China. (The owner, Avila, is based in Albuquerque.) You'll find Native American handcrafted pottery, hats, belts, toys, jewelry and T-shirts. And in case you're headed off on a business trip and neglected to pack proper apparel, you can even pick up an outfit that won't make you look too much like an extra in a Wild West show. There's a second store in the main terminal, but browsing here is a great way to pass the time when you discover that your flight's been delayed.

C Concourse
303-342-6446
avilaretail.com
Readers' choice: Tattered Cover

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