Where to shop when in California!
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Like they say, 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do', similarly 'when in California, shop as the shopaholics do'. The phrase stands absolutely correct, as the city of California is known for its latest fashion trends world over. Often, shopping is described as an art form in the Golden State. So, today we list out the must-visit shopping destinations for you while you plan your vacation in the Golden State.
Here check out the best ones:
Los Angeles County Shopping:
One of the world’s most famous fashion destinations offers wide range of products for all. For luxury shopping experiences, head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, home to Chanel, Giorgio Armani, and other mega-designer boutiques. Nearby Robertson Boulevard also have good boutiques. Just east of Beverly Hills, upscale The Grove, across the street from the popular Original Farmers Market, has a village atmosphere, with a fountain-filled 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.
Discover downtown’s land of luxury-The elegant square circled by tall palm trees, in roughly the middle of the city’s downtown, is the hub for luxury shopping. Walk streets bounding the square to jot down everyone’s possible wish list of finds at Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Bulgari (as wells as major retailers such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Nike). Slip into the sultry Clock Bar, in the Beaux Arts style Westin St. Francis, to clink martini glasses and compare notes. Anyone longing for a European vibe will feel right at home strolling the narrow, boutique-lined, almost-pedestrian-only Maiden Lane (car free from 11 am to 6 pm). shopping mall. Of course, shopping can sometimes be exhausting. Union Square makes it easy to recharge: the square has plenty of sunny benches for relaxing. Or one can order an espresso and a flaky pastry at upscale Emporio Rulli, with pleasant outdoor seating under market umbrellas right in the square.
Bargain hunters make a 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.
Shopping in The O.C. is almost as legendary as surfing. Start at expansive South Coast Plaza, California’s largest luxury shopping complex, with iconic luxury brands such as Hermes, Chanel, and Prada. Newport Beach has more spoil worthy shopping at Fashion Island, where Italian-style piazzas palm trees, and koi ponds (plus ocean views) feel more like a resort than a shopping mall. Another posh option: Fashion Island, just offshore from Newport Beach; check the website for special appearances by top designers.
Inland Empire Outlets
Shopping in the Inland Empire can be so best for bargain lovers. It’s a hot bed of top-quality outlet centers filled with designer and best brands. Biggest of the bunch is Ontario Mills, California’s largest outlet center. With more than 200 stores, it literally has brand names from A (Abercrombie & Fitch) to Z (Zumiez). Look for great deals in for clothes and shoes for men, women, and children, plus accessories, electronics, sporting goods, and home wares. There’s also a big selection at the Lake Elsinore Outlet Center, where one can find deals at stores for Nike, Gap, and Guess Armani.
Give yourself plenty of time to while walking in Palm Desert. First, you’ll want to see all the art. The galleries along the streets let you get close to art, chat with knowledgeable gallery owners and staff, and even meet the artists on during special openings and events. El Paseo reminds people of Rodeo Drive, what with the impeccably appointed boutiques of top designers, including Bottega Veneta and St. John, tempting you to brandish your credit card and come in. One can find more shops at the Gardens on El Paseo complex: Saks Fifth Avenue, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, Brooks Brothers, Tommy Bahamas, and more.
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), or Bouchon (classy to the max).
The stately brick buildings in this impressive 1895 complex, the original site of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory (previously a woolen mill), are now the home of a stylish collection of shops and restaurants one of the most pleasant places to stroll and shop in the city. Wind through passageways and across plazas to visit an assortment of boutiques and gift shops, or relax with bay views from a selection of restaurants. If you have kids along, you probably have one destination in mind more than any other: the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.
Santa Cruz Shopping
The town’s shopping scene is eclectic, even funky. Downtown Pacific Avenue offers many shops with a local twist, including the venerable O’Neill’s where surfer guys and girls can find a swimming costumes, the creation and design of the city’s favorite son, the legendary Jack O’Neill (he still lives a beach ball toss from the beach here). The independent Bookshop Santa Cruz is packed with happy locals, especially during frequent author talks, and many other boutiques offer art, clothing, and home furnishings. Antique hounds should head to the Santa Cruz Antique Faire (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the second Sunday of the month, on Lincoln St. between Pacific and Cedar