San Diego

San Diego’s retail landscape has changed radically in recent years with the opening of several new shopping centers—some in historic buildings—that are focused more on locally owned boutiques than national retailers. Where once the Gaslamp was the place to go for urban apparel and unique home decor, many independently owned boutiques have decided to set up shop in the charming neighborhoods east of Balboa Park known as North Park and South Park. Although Downtown is still thriving, any shopping trip to San Diego should include venturing out to the city’s diverse and vibrant neighborhoods. Not far from Downtown, Little Italy is the place to find contemporary art, modern furniture, and home accessories.

Old Town is a must for pottery, ceramics, jewelry, and handcrafted baskets. Uptown is known for its mélange of funky bookstores, offbeat gift shops, and nostalgic collectibles and vintage stores. The beach towns offer the best swimwear and sandals. La Jolla’s chic boutiques offer a more intimate shopping experience, along with some of the classiest clothes, jewelry, and shoes in the county. The new La Plaza La Jolla is an open-air shopping center with boutiques and galleries in a Spanish-style building overlooking the cove. Point Loma’s Liberty Station shopping area in the former Naval Training Center has art galleries, restaurants, and home stores. Trendsetters will have no trouble finding must-have handbags and designer apparel at the world-class Fashion Valley mall in Mission Valley, a haven for luxury brands such as Hermès, Gucci, and Jimmy Choo.

Enjoy near-perfect weather year-round as you explore shops along the scenic waterfront. The Headquarters at Seaport is a new open-air shopping and dining center in the city’s former Police Headquarters building. Here there are some big names, but mostly locally owned boutiques selling everything from gourmet cheese to coastal-inspired home accessories. Just next door, Seaport Village is still the place to go for trinkets and souvenirs. If you don’t discover what you’re looking for in the boutiques, head to Westfield Horton Plaza, the Downtown mall with more than 120 stores. The sprawling mall completed a major restoration project in 2016 to include a new public plaza, amphitheater, and fountains.

Most malls have free parking in a lot or garage, and parking is not usually a problem. Westfield Horton Plaza and some of the shops in the Gaslamp Quarter offer validated parking or valet parking.

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  • 1. Ascot Shop

    La Jolla | Clothing

    The classic Ivy League look is king in this traditional haberdashery that sells menswear by Saxx, Robert Talbott, and Peter Miller. In-house...Read More

  • 2. CJ Charles

    Jewelry & Watches

    An exquisitely appointed shop selling designer and estate jewelry, CJ Charles specializes in Bulgari watches, Cartier, and Patek Philippe, along...Read More

  • 3. Fair Trade Decor


    This home store in Del Mar Village stocks only fair trade items from more than 40 countries, including goat wool rugs from Mexico, colorful...Read More

  • 4. Flower Hill Promenade

    Del Mar | Shopping Centers/Malls

    At first glance, this open-air shopping center anchored by a Whole Foods Market ( 858/436–9800 ) might look like your typical upscale SoCal...Read More

  • 5. Fresh Produce

    La Jolla | Clothing

    Sunny and spirited Fresh Produce sells beach-inspired clothing made with comfy fabrics. The boutique's easy-to-wear pieces are perfect for vacations...Read More

  • 6. Geppetto’s Toys

    La Jolla | Toys

    This family-run toy shop has been in business for more than 40 years. With 10 locations throughout San Diego, the store offers classic toys...Read More

  • 7. La Jolla Cove Gifts

    La Jolla | Souvenirs

    Located one block from the ocean, this gift shop sells T-shirts, souvenirs, seashells, jewelry, and nautical items. ...Read More

  • 8. La Jolla Surf Systems

    La Jolla | Clothing

    One block from La Jolla Shores beach, this local institution stocks hip beach and resort wear, plus top-brand surfboards, bodyboards, and wet...Read More

  • 9. Pomegranate

    Jewelry & Watches

    In La Jolla for nearly 40 years, Pomegranate pairs contemporary and antique jewelry with edgy and artistic fashions by American, European, and...Read More

  • 10. Rangoni Firenze

    La Jolla | Clothing

    The shoe shop carries its own house brand of Valentina Rangoni footwear, as well as handbags. ...Read More

  • 11. Sauvage Swimwear

    La Jolla | Clothing

    This luxurious boutique sells sexy and sophisticated swimsuits, beachwear, jewelry, and accessories for women, as well as swim trunks, surf...Read More

  • 12. Sigi's Boutique


    Women seeking high-end European designer fashions and accessories love this shop's fine cashmere from Scotland, stylish classics from Italy...Read More

  • 13. Warwick's

    La Jolla | Books/Stationery

    This family-owned-and-operated bookstore has been a La Jolla fixture since 1939, and often hosts big-name author signings. They also carry stationery...Read More

  • 14. Westfield UTC

    Shopping Centers/Malls

    This popular outdoor mall on the east side of I–5 has more than 150 shops and 40 eateries, plus an ArcLight Cinemas and a children's play area...Read More

  • 15. Africa and Beyond

    La Jolla | Crafts

    This La Jolla art gallery has been selling traditional and contemporary African art for more than 30 years. Find Shona stone sculptures and...Read More

  • 16. Fogel's Antique Beads

    Jewelry & Watches

    Among the European precious beads from the 1920s are dazzling Austrian and Czech crystal beads. Restringing is done here. ...Read More

  • 17. KERUT


    This fashion-forward boutique, featured in magazines such as Elle and Condé Nast Traveller , makes it easy to get the coveted Bohemian look...Read More

  • 18. Lulu Belle


    Named for the owner's pet rabbit, this upscale boutique caters to women seeking casually elegant designs from labels like Ella Moss, Rory Beca...Read More

  • 19. Seaside Home

    Household Items/Furniture

    This luxury home furnishings shop went through a rebranding recently and is now focusing more on interior design services and bespoke furnishings...Read More

  • 20. Swiss Watch Gallery

    Jewelry & Watches

    One of the largest watch dealers on the West Coast, this family-owned shop carries all the top brands, including Omega, Charriol, Cartier, and...Read More

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