SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP
GREAT PLACES FOR SHOPAHOLICS IN CALIFORNIA
IF YOU’RE READY TO WHIP OUT THE PLATINUM CARD, HEAD TO RODEO DRIVE IN BEVERLY HILLS, HOME TO CHANEL, GIORGIO ARMANI, AND OTHER MEGA-DESIGNER BOUTIQUES.
Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and vegetables? Try our farmers markets. Looking for a handmade ceramic bowl? Go to one of the many artist enclaves dotting the state. Simply looking for a great bargain on shoes? California has some of the largest outlet centres in the country. Or are you looking to indulge in the latest designer wear? Then head to our high-end shopping districts or shopping centres.
LA COUNTY SHOPPING
Just east of Beverly Hills, upscale The Grove, across the street from the popular Original Farmers Market, has a village atmosphere, with a fountainfilled park and leafy outdoor cafes.
For celeb-spotting while you shop, aim for Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
Also in town is the popular, pedestrian friendly Third Street Promenade, with big-name chains and a lively feel.
At the south end of the promenade, open-air Santa Monica Place features trendy boutiques and a rooftop dining deck with ocean views. Just south is Venice Beach’s fun and funky Abbot Kinney Boulevard, home to hip clothiers, galleries, and oh-so-cool restaurants and cafes.
In-the-know visitors make sure to come to the Palm Springs area with room in their suitcases. Bargain hunter’s beeline for the town of Cabazon, home of Desert Hills Premium Outlets and an impressive list of designer brands including Prada, Burberry, and Gucci. Nearby Cabazon Outlets offers more great deals on clothes, shoes, and housewares.
In Palm Desert, the wide, artwork-and-flower trimmed street known as El Paseo has boutiques, galleries, and shops trendy enough to earn in the nickname “The
Rodeo Drive of the Desert.” The Gardens on El Paseo retail complex is especially luxurious-a great destination for strolling on warm evenings before having dinner at one of its outdoor cafés-it really doesn’t get much better than this. Creativity also plays a big role in Palm Springs, where the Backstreet Art District features artist-owned galleries and working studios, giving you a chance to chat with artists as well as buy their one-of-a-kind pieces. Browse at shops in the appealing Uptown Design District, a hotbed of vintage and contemporary treasures in Mid-century Modern buildings as retro-chic as the items for sale inside.
In Santa Barbara, State Street is synonymous with shopping, and if you don’t want to be tempted, you’d better put on blinders before you walk. If you’re ready to dive in and enjoy, start at State Street’s upper end, with luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co. at La Cumbre Plaza. Next up, La Arcada; it’s twisting walkways with fountains and flowerpots allow plenty of time to gaze into boutique windows and think, ‘Oh, I really need that…’
Grab an espresso at local favorite The French Press to keep you going then continue south to the babbling fountains and lush landscaping at Paseo Nuevo shopping center, home to more than 50 stores. Continue to Victoria Court, with an alluring mix of independent shops and top restaurants. Once you’re ready to call it quits, settle in at Blue Tavern (California cuisine with a Peruvian twist), Olio (perfect wood-fired pizza in a rustic chic setting).