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Shopping Spree

Steer your car to these chic boutiques, luxury open air shopping centres, factory outlets and specialist 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 film at the state of the art cinema, eating and drinking your way around the beautiful grounds (Lemonade and Shake Shack have long queues for a reason), or just lounging in the sun with a freshly pressed juice. Serious shoppers will appreciate Westfield’s variety, from familiar brands (H&M to Hermès) to California cult labels including Gorjana (jewellery), Marine Layer (fashion) and Travis Mathew (menswear).

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    Stop 2

    Cedros Avenue Design District, Solana Beach

    410 S Cedros Ave, Solana Beach

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

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      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 options 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 complete your day of shopping with a musical or concert at the adjacent Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

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      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 for three blocks and is anchored by Santa Monica Place, a cluster of stores containing popular retail brands including Coach and Michael Kors. Check out the Third Street Promenade’s colourful street performers and shops brimming with collectibles, such as the multi-hued kaleidoscopes and vases at Adamm’s Stained Glass Studio & Art Gallery and the 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 Hills’s Rodeo Drive is the pinnacle of luxury shopping experiences, known for both its glamorous couture stores (think Versace and Prada) and the exotic cars that cruise the iconic stretch. Shop like a jet setter at prestigious boutiques such as 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 a 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 (93,000 square metres)!Ontario Mills houses 200 stores (and counting), including luxury brands such as Coach, Hugo Boss and Kate Spade New York. Browse for bargains for the whole family and your home (Restoration Hardware Outlet is a big attraction for interior design fans), then refuel at one of the casual family friendly dining options, such as Rainforest Café. Before you go, make sure you check the Ontario Mills website for changing deals and special events.

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      Stop 8

      Uptown Design District, Palm Springs

      2600 Cherokee Way, Palm Springs

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

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      Stop 9

      El Paseo, Palm Desert

      El Paseo, Palm Desert

      This high-end shopping district is a retail oasis in Palm Desert. El Paseo, which covers an area of nine blocks, houses a number of luxury labels (think Gucci and Louis Vuitton), chic restaurants and locally-owned shops such as BG’s El Paseo (colourful women’s fashions), Trestle (homewares) and The Body Deli (hand-crafted soaps and lotions). For some more open-air shopping, head to the Gardens on El Paseo, where you’ll find more cult brands including Johnny Was, Kate Spade and Saks Fifth Avenue. 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 a platter of oysters) at Pacifica Seafood Restaurant.

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      Road Trip Snapshot

      Find out 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 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

        Car & RV Hire

        Trusted car & RV hire companies to make your trip much easier

        Avis Rent a Car
        Enterprise Rent a Car
        Hertz Rent a Car
        Budget Rent a Car
        Payless Car Rental
        Zip Car
        Alamo
        National
        Thrifty
        Dollar
        Fox Rent a Car
        Sixt Rent a Car
        Advantage OPCP
        Silver Car
        E-Z Rent a car
        Midway Car Rental
        Mex Rent a Car
        United Auto Rental
        Auto Distributors
        Cruise America
        El Monte RV

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