SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

GREAT PLACES FOR SHOPAHOLICS IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA

Frequent Flyer Destinations - - TRAVEL STYLE -

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.

DESERT SHOP­PING

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.

SANTA BAR­BARA

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).

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