One easy (and pretty fun) way to give back to the communities you’re visiting is by supporting the local stores and businesses. This list of 18 spots across the state is a good place to start. For more ideas on how to travel with an eco-friendly focus, download or order our latest California Road Trips guide, which features an entire section on sustainably-minded travel.
Art & Makers
This whimsical spot is owned by two assemblage artists who scour garage sales and junkyards to give discarded objects new lives as furniture, jewelry, and art. Among the treasures are lamps made from tractor grills, working clocks made from broken ones, and rings made from silver spoons.
Get your handcrafted goods at this Port of Los Angeles emporium, home to more than 100 individual artisans. Stroll through a maze of makers’ shops housed in a lofty 1940s warehouse to browse, buy, or take an art-making class.
Seamstress and eco-stylist Heather River curates “functional art”—clothing, jewelry, stationery, and home decor—handmade by independent artisans. Feel good knowing that your purchase supports Truckee’s art scene and helps artists make a living.
Nothing is mass produced at this “anti-souvenir” shop. The Haight Street boutique sells keepsakes made by Bay Area artisans—California poppy coin purses, surﬁng bear onesies, sea otter bamboo dinnerware, and cable car pillows.
Old Sacramento’s eclectic cafe features upcycled art from local creatives. Unwanted magazines, tires, and takeout containers ﬁnd new purpose as paper sculptures, paintings, and fashion.
Like many hometown surf shops, this 30-year-old store plays a big role in preserving Dana Point’s rich culture by holding contests, demos, movie nights, and art festivals. You can also buy or rent skimboards, wetsuits, beach chairs, and more.
Check out a working beehive at this Ventura County honey farm. At the 100 percent solar-powered facility, you can sample raw and unﬁltered honey or shop organic products such as candles, lotion, and lip balm.
Since 1986, CBW has been stimulating young minds with picture books, fairy tales, young adult novels, and stories that inspire. The shop overﬂows with 80,000 volumes and offers free puppet shows, musical acts, and a book recycling program.
Browse sustainable products like bamboo utensils and stainless steel straws as well as upcycled goods—earrings made from surfboard resin, wallets made from plastic bottles, and bags made from repurposed netting.
Your kids will put down their phones to pore over this shop’s robotics kits, ant farms, telescopes, volcano-building sets, and other brain-tickling goods. Want your kids to get excited about nature? Buy them their ﬁrst pair of binoculars.
Apparel & Home
For more than a century, this Central Valley institution has been the go-to for pointy-toed boots and silver belt buckles. Shopping for a cowboy hat? Choose one from the 2,000-plus inventory, then have the store manager steam it so the brim curls just the way you like it.
Four generations of Bosworths have worked—or still work—at this 1911 general store. Poke around to ﬁnd the perfect Stetson hat, locally produced honey, or just the right hardware.
In days gone by, it wasn’t called recycling—each generation simply passed on their most intriguing stuff to the next. Japanese glass ﬁshing ﬂoats? Wooden juggling pins? You’ll ﬁnd them—plus more modern coastal decor—amidst the offerings of the 22 booths in this antiques mall.
Local artists, designers, and entrepreneurs came together to create this small collective and community gathering place. They sell an array of housewares and apparel and host workshops for everything from charcuterie-board-building to ukulele-playing.
Browse this boutique’s fair-trade home goods, ethically sourced jewelry, and sustainable apparel with the knowledge that everything is made by independent designers. Thread Spun’s house brand is made in San Diego by women who arrived in the U.S. as refugees. Ten percent of all proﬁts go to charity.
This family-run business makes eco-conscious living fun. The owners source wellness, personal care, and household products that are free of ingredients you can’t pronounce, and everything is plastic-free and zero-waste.
Cache Creek Lavender, Rumsey
This family-run farm in Yolo County harvests small-batch organic lavender to make essential oils, bath salts, and soap as well as culinary goods like salt and tea. Browse the inventory or just wander around and inhale the heady aromas.
You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy browsing this shop’s colorful art and garden decor. But the big draw is the more than 1,000 varieties of heirloom, non-hybridized seeds—including rainbow-colored tomatoes and rare Italian squashes.