Estes Park abounds with exquisite and unique family-operated shops and businesses. There are no major national retailers in Estes Park, which helps retain the small-town atmosphere. In keeping with its strong creative community, Estes Park has many shops which feature works of local artisans. These include visual media, woodworking, blown glass, leather and other crafts. Small specialty gift shops and bookstores are a refreshing change from the "mall giants" that are prevalent in many communities.
The Estes Park downtown area features shops fronting on Elkhorn Avenue, the main street, and those on the Riverwalk. Part of an Urban Renewal plan for the downtown area after the Lawn Lake Flood of 1982 damaged large sections of the downtown, the Riverwalk meanders along the path of the river parallel to Elkhorn Avenue. Several other areas have become major shopping sites, including Stanley Village, which is anchored by a major supermarket, National Park Village South near the Highway 36 entrance to the National Park and the South St. Vrain corridor on Highway 7, just south of the main downtown area. Each October, downtown merchants have a "Surprise Sidewalk Sale," and in December "Celebrate Estes" weekend features sleigh rides, hayrides, Christmas carolers and other special attractions, along with great holiday shopping.
Shopping in Estes Park is an experience that may bring many visitors back to a more casual, refreshing type of shopping they remember from childhood.
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