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. Another posh option: Fashion Island, just offshore from Newport Beach, where Italian-style piazzas palm trees, and koi ponds (plus ocean views) feel more like a resort than a shopping mall.
For bargain hunters, The Outlets at Orange offers more than 120 value stores, including Nordstrom Rack and a Banana Republic outlet, as well as a host of not-just-shopping attractions, including an indoor Vans SkatePark, movie theatres, and bowling at the light- and music-filled Lucky Strike Lanes.
For a twist on big-box shopping, visit Costa Mesa’s relaxing The LAB Antimall, focusing on appealing independent shops. At The ARTery, see quality handcrafts and artwork displayed in tricked-up shipping containers. At South Coast Collection (SOCO), browse at home decor and culinary stores surrounded by handsome landscaping.
If you like your shopping with a dose of entertainment and amusement-park fun, visit Irvine’s Spectrum Center, where a soaring Ferris wheel, plus a carousel and kiddie train for the little ones, give you a unique way to take a break between boutiques. Late nights are lively here too, with movie theaters, Irvine Improv Comedy Club, and quality restaurants.