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. Bazaar del Mundo Shops

    Old Town | Shopping Centers/Malls

    With a Mexican villa theme, the Bazaar hosts riotously colorful gift shops such as Ariana, for ethnic and artsy women's fashions; Artes de Mexico...Read More

  • 2. Fashion Valley

    Mission Valley | Shopping Centers/Malls

    San Diego's most upscale mall has a contemporary Mission theme, lush landscaping, and more than 200 shops and restaurants. Acclaimed retailers...Read More

  • 3. Hotel del Coronado

    Shopping Centers/Malls

    At the gift shops within the peninsula's main historic attraction, you can purchase sportswear, designer handbags, jewelry, and antiques. Spreckels...Read More

  • 4. The Headquarters at Seaport

    Downtown | Shopping Centers/Malls

    This new upscale shopping and dining center is in the city's former police headquarters, a beautiful and historic Mission-style building featuring...Read More

  • 5. Coronado Ferry Landing

    Shopping Centers/Malls

    A staggering view of San Diego's Downtown skyline across the bay and a dozen boutiques make this a delightful place to shop while waiting for...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Liberty Station

    Point Loma | Shopping Centers/Malls

    San Diego's former Naval Training Center is now a mixed-use development with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. With its large grassy areas...Read More

  • 8. Old Town Harney Street Market

    Old Town | Shopping Centers/Malls

    San Diego's largest weekend artisan market presents live music and local artists selling jewelry, paintings, photography, handblown glass, apparel...Read More

  • 9. Old Town Market

    Old Town | Shopping Centers/Malls

    The atmosphere is colorful, upbeat, and Mexico-centric at this eclectic market. Local artisans create some of the wares for sale, including...Read More

  • 10. Seaport Village

    Downtown | Shopping Centers/Malls

    If you're looking for trinkets and souvenirs, this is the place. This complex of kitschy shops and waterfront restaurants has upped its hip...Read More

  • 11. The James Coffee Space

    Little Italy | Shopping Centers/Malls

    This spacious warehouse building bears James Coffee's logo on the front and the intoxicating scent of its pour-over brews inside, but the building...Read More

  • 12. Westfield Mission Valley

    Mission Valley | Shopping Centers/Malls

    Among the shops at this sprawling outdoor mall, you'll find American Eagle Outfitters, DSW Shoe Warehouse, and Victoria's Secret. ...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Westfield Horton Plaza

    Gaslamp Quarter | Shopping Centers/Malls

    Macy's, Regal Cinemas, and natural foods grocer Jimbo's . . . Naturally! anchor this multilevel complex that has more than 120 stores, plus...Read More

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