A small-town oasis packs a big dose of traditional Americana into nine square blocks.
Olde Town Arvada is a sanctuary of authenticity in the midst of suburbia's multilane thoroughfares and big-box shopping plazas. Step inside Nature's Gift Candleworks, 7425 Grandview Ave., formerly the town print shop, for a heavenly, hand-poured, fresh pine candle. Next, follow a different scent to Penzeys Spices, 7511 Grandview Ave., and pick up a jar of Vietnamese cassia cinnamon or a Maharajah-style curry for tomorrow's dinner. Nearby at the homey Knit Knack, 7505 Grandview Ave., find heaps of colorful yarn alongside stylish knitters' purses and in-shop couches, while down the street at Olde Town Pickin' Parlor, 7515 Grandview Ave., Gibson guitars and mandolins evoke bluegrass bliss. At lunchtime, slide over to Dnote, 7519 Grandview Ave., for
the signature jalapeño- and pepperoni-topped "Flaming Lips" pizza and a pint of Odell Easy Street Wheat. Adding to the "good ol' days" charm is Grandfather Books, 5612 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., a new and used book shop; if it's closed, leave a note in the wooden drop box with the title you seek and your contact information. Further down the boulevard is Steve's Meat Market, 5751 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., a converted livery stable dating back to 1890 and a goldmine of game, from buffalo
jerky to ground elk. End your day with a treat from the family-owned Rheinlander Bakery, 5721 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., which has whipped up Bavarian goodies for nearly half a century.