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Road Trip: Southern California Shopping Spree

Discover some of the best local boutiques, open-air shopping centres, and trendy neighborhoods on this retail-focused journey

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Posted 2 years agoby Julia Polloreno

This coast-to-desert itinerary showcases Southern California’s eclectic shopping scene. After working your way through beachy San Diego County, venture north to the shopping mecca of Orange County, taking in ocean views along the way. Then it’s time to head for Los Angeles to sample two legendary shopping corridors before turning east to score bargains in the laid-back Inland Empire. Finally, you’ll head to Palm Desert for another distinctly California experience, window-shopping in the shadow of swaying palm trees.

Stop one: Westfield UTC

In La Jolla, this open-air mall has 150-plus stores, including California-only brands and pop-up shops, plus great food like gourmet pizza and a cold-pressed juicery. Distance to next stop: 10 miles

 

Stop two: Cedros Design District

 

Heading north, find Solana Beach’s design-centric district a block from Highway 101. Pick the perfect gift at artsy home goods store Solo, or peruse the on-trend women’s clothing at Pink Lagoon. Next stop: 68 miles

 

Stop three: South Coast Plaza

 

California’s biggest luxury shopping centre caters to trendsetters with more than 250 boutiques and restaurants. Three miles away, South Coast Collection and The OC Mix is where interior design and culinary buffs go to explore high-end showrooms and farm-to-table restaurants. Next stop: 48 miles

 

Stop four: Abbot Kinney Boulevard 

 

Stroll this mile-long street in funky-cool Venice to shop a unique blend of independent and cult brands, all mixed with some of LA’s trendiest restaurants. Next stop: 9 miles

 

Stop five: Rodeo Drive

 

Pretty Woman put this ritzy Beverly Hills corridor on the cultural map. Spot the famous Via Rodeo sign on Two Rodeo Drive, a charming European-style outdoor shopping center. Next stop: 55 miles

 

Stop six: Ontario Mills

 

To the east in San Bernardino County, this major shopping destination is one of the largest indoor malls in North America, with more than 200 stores. Next stop: 81 miles

 

Stop seven: El Paseo

 

Known as “The Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” El Paseo in Palm Desert boasts more than 300 boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. The Gardens on El Paseo is a culinary and retail hub set against a dramatic desert backdrop.

 

 

 

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