Bloomberg/Getty Images

Shopping Spree

Steer your car to these tony boutiques, high-end open-air malls, factory outlets, and specialty stores.

Start:Westfield UTC, La Jolla
End:El Paseo, Palm Desert
3 - 5Days,9Stops,286Miles
Westfield UTC, La Jolla
Leandro Crespi/Stocksy
Cedros Avenue Design District, Solana Beach
Mint Images/Getty Images
South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa
Courtesy of South Coast Plaza
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
Brigitte Blättler/Getty Images
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
Courtesy of The Beverly Hills Hotel
Ontario Mills
Carol Yepes/Getty Images
Uptown Design District, Palm Springs
BCFC/Getty Images
El Paseo, Palm Desert
Pascal Shirley
Stop 1

Westfield UTC, La Jolla

4545 La Jolla Village Dr Ste E-25, San Diego

This outdoor retail complex in San Diego County recently underwent a major facelift and expansion, and the finished result is stunning. You can easily spend all day at Westfield UTC browsing the 150-plus shops, catching a movie at the state-of-the-art theater, eating and drinking your way around the beautiful grounds (Lemonade and Shake Shack have long lines for a reason), or just lounging in the sun with a fresh-pressed juice. Serious shoppers will appreciate Westfield’s variety, from familiar brands (H&M to Hermès) to California cult labels like Gorjana (jewelry), Marine Layer (apparel) and Travis Mathew (menswear).

Plan your visit

Stop 2

Cedros Avenue Design District, Solana Beach

410 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach

In the beachy neighborhood of Solana Beach in San Diego’s North County, Cedros Avenue is dotted with vibrant specialty shops. Grab a New Orleans–style iced coffee at Lofty Coffee and browse the numerous home décor retailers, both big box (West Elm) and local-designer-curated (check out SoLo’s collectibles and housewares). For on-trend fashions, head to Gerhard and Pink Lagoon, two high-end boutiques specializing in women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories. Take a shopping break on the patio at either Claire’s on Cedros or Homestead, which specializes in local, wholesome ingredients. If you’re parched from all your purchasing, sample San Diego’s epic craft beer scene at Culture Brewing.

Stop 3

South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa

3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa

Southern California’s largest luxury shopping hub, this Costa Mesa retail mecca offers something for every budget and taste, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Dolce & Gabbana. It would take a week to browse the 250 boutiques at South Coast Plaza, and you’d be well-fed while doing it, too—there are 30 restaurants on site, ranging from the casual eats at Champagne French Bakery Cafe, to the more formal Seasons 52, which serves up a seasonally inspired menu and artisanal cocktails. Another uniquely South Coast Plaza feature: You can wrap your day of shopping with a musical or concert at the adjacent Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Plan your visit

Stop 4

Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica

1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

Situated in the heart of Santa Monica, this eclectic, car-free retail thoroughfare stretches three blocks and is anchored by Santa Monica Place, a cluster of popular retail brands like Coach and Michael Kors. Check out the Third Street Promenade’s colorful street performers and shops brimming with collectibles, like multi-hued kaleidoscopes and vases at Adamm’s Stained Glass Studio & Art Gallery, a vast trove of guitars at Truetone Music. Break for lunch at Bruxie’s and try the signature chicken and waffle sandwich. Nearby, Montana Avenue offers more tree-shaded browsing plus possible celebrity sightings at Kreation Kafe’s juice bar.

Stop 5

Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

295 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills

Beverly HillsRodeo Drive is the pinnacle luxury shopping experience, known for both its glamorous couture stores (think Versace and Prada) and the exotic cars that cruise the iconic stretch. Shop like a jetsetter at prestigious-brand boutiques like Chanel, Fendi, and Dior, all clustered within a three-block radius. Nab an outside table at the elegant 208 Rodeo and enjoy some fabulous people watching over lunch of lobster gnocchi with black truffle cream. Before you leave, snap a selfie by the Via Rodeo sign on Two Rodeo Drive, a faux-European cobblestone alley.

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Stop 7

Ontario Mills

1 Mills Cir, Ontario

California’s largest outlet shopping destination—1 million square feet!—Ontario Mills houses 200 stores (and counting), including luxury brands like Coach, Hugo Boss, and Kate Spade New York. Browse for bargains for the whole family and home (Restoration Hardware Outlet is a big draw for home-design buffs), then refuel at one of the casual family-friendly dining options, such as Rainforest Café. Before you go, be sure to check the Ontario Mills website for rotating deals and special events.

Plan your visit

Stop 8

Uptown Design District, Palm Springs

2600 Cherokee Way, Palm Springs

If you’re a fan of Mad Men’s sleek midcentury-modern aesthetic, you’ll want to head straight to this Palm Springs shopping hub. On North Palm Canyon Drive, dig through the Uptown Design District’s time-capsule shops for retro furnishings and clothing. Treasure hunt through art galleries, antique shops, and consignment stores. Check out Dazzles’ flea market finds: Lucite jewelry, vintage highball glasses, and gold-plated serving dishes. And then swing by Trina Turk Palm Springs, the designer’s flagship boutique that features colorful resort wear and accessories.

Stop 9

El Paseo, Palm Desert

El Paseo, Palm Desert

This high-end shopping district is a retail oasis in Palm Desert. The nine-block El Paseo houses a number of luxury labels (think Gucci and Louis Vuitton), chic eateries, and locally-owned shops like BG’s El Paseo (colorful women’s fashions), Trestle (home goods), and The Body Deli (hand-crafted soaps and lotions). For some more open-air shopping, head to the Gardens on El Paseo complex, where you’ll find more cult brands like Johnny Was, Kate Spade, Saks Fifth Avenue, and others. In the market for original art to adorn your home? You’ve come to the right place—El Paseo is home to one of the largest concentrations of art galleries in Southern California. After working up an appetite with all that window shopping, grab a patio table (and platter of oysters on the half shell) at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant.

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Road Trip Snapshot

Learn more about the amazing locations featured in this road trip. Ready to plan your trip? Print the itinerary or map your adventure to get started.

STOP 1Westfield UTC, La Jolla
4545 La Jolla Village Dr Ste E-25, San Diego
STOP 2Cedros Avenue Design District, Solana Beach
410 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach
STOP 3South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa
3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa
STOP 4Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica
1351 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica
STOP 5Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
295 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills
STOP 7Ontario Mills
1 Mills Cir, Ontario
STOP 8Uptown Design District, Palm Springs
2600 Cherokee Way, Palm Springs
STOP 9El Paseo, Palm Desert
El Paseo, Palm Desert

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