February remains the perfect month to discover (or re-discover) the story of San Diego during Museum Month with 50% off admission to more than 60 San Diego County museums, historic sites,...
Whether your attitude is "Shop 'Til You Drop" or more “Are We Done Yet?," these shopping experiences — based on the neighborhood vibe — can satisfy any personal style while taking in some of San Diego’s most go-to restaurants and bars.
From tree-lined streets with small boutiques, to shopping blocks with worldwide brands, to expansive outdoor malls, the following San Diego shopping destinations can help you accomplish your retail mission while providing some fun along the way!
Perched between the Pacific and San Diego Bay, beautiful Point Loma is home to Liberty Station. This historic former naval base was transformed into a vibrant outdoor oasis for arts, shopping, restaurants, bars, cafes, golfing and much more. The Liberty Public Market offers an amazing array of food and beverage options, with plenty of inviting outdoor seating areas. The market also boasts great shopping for women’s and men’s clothing and jewelry, at such shops as Nobel Rags, Barrack22, Imperfects, Kai & Skye and the Old Town Soap Company. From the Public Market, take a jaunt across the street for a colorful display of home goods, gifts and plants at the popular Pigment. Next door, Moniker General showcases clothing, home goods, gifts, jewelry, specialty coffee and craft beer on tap. This area is also home to the hub of local artisans and vendors called Sea Hive Station, a 23,000-square-foot indoor space where you'll find over 150 San Diego-based brands and small business vendors. The outdoor vintage market takes place every second Sunday of the month.
The lovely neighborhood of Mission Hills offers a quaint neighborhood setting, with delis, intimate bars, gourmet restaurants, home-goods shops, women's boutiques, food purveyors and jewelry studios. Be sure to shop at the one-of-a-kind gift and home-goods boutique Lewis & Fay, the ultra-chic women's boutique Chateau Bel Age, and the rare finds from international jewelry designers Taboo Studio. Feeling a little famished? Check out Wolf in the Woods, a neighborhood hangout, or devour some delicious Mexican food at La Puerta. The bar at Fort Oak lends itself to a great date night. Or grab a pizza at Cardellino.
Bankers Hill is known for its picturesque hillsides, tree-lined streets and beautiful views of the city. A great women’s boutique is Thread + Seed; there’s also a high-end consignment store called Majolie Designs. A favorite local sushi hangout is Azuki Sushi Lounge, known for its skillful, creative sushi and sashimi and casual lively atmosphere (the front door is made out of edible lucky red beans). If you need a sugar rush between shopping jaunts, be sure to stop by Extraordinary Desserts for some decadent treats, plus organic coffees and teas. Looking for one of the best views in San Diego? Be sure to dine at the elegant Mister A’s, with its stunning bay and skyline views and Mediterranean- and French-influenced American cuisine.
The eclectic neighborhood of Hillcrest offers many trendy boutiques, bookstores, cafes, restaurants and clubs. This area is the epicenter of San Diego's LGBT community, where some 250,000 people turn out every July for the Pride Parade. Some boutiques not to miss are the vintage store Flashbacks and the hip retro resale shop Buffalo Exchange. A favorite coffee hangout for locals is Lestat’s, with a welcoming atmosphere and both indoor and outdoor seating. After experiencing the lively Hillcrest neighborhood, you’ll want to replenish yourself by dining at some of the area’s wonderful restaurants, including Ortega’s, Gossip Grill, Trust, insideOUT, Barrel & Board and Great Maple (be sure to order their famous maple-and-bacon doughnuts). If clubbing is what you desire, be sure to check out Rich’s nightclub and Flicks bar, with games and karaoke. Both keep the nightlife going until 2 a.m.
The historic neighborhood of Little Italy has developed from a quiet community established in the 1920s into a happening place to dine, shop and hang out. Here you will experience a variety of restaurants, pubs, bars, breweries, Old World trattorias, cafes, women's boutiques, jewelry stores, home-goods and lifestyle boutiques, interior design stores and antique shops. Stop by the glamorous women's boutique Luci and Lola Boutique, the worldly jewelry and accessories store Rosamariposa, the super-hip home goods and accessories boutique Love & Aesthetics, and the modern women’s fashion house Maison Amani.
Downtown San Diego's famed historic district, the Gaslamp Quarter is home to numerous popular restaurants, bars, clubs, pubs, cafes, museums, theaters and boutiques. Make sure your shopping itinerary includes the latest cool sneaker designs at Blends or Sparks; the California-chic women's boutique, Wild Dove Boutique; and the one-stop-shop for the latest men's streetwear fashions and hats, 5&A Dime. You’ll also want to experience the artfully designed open-air lifestyle center The Headquarters. This legendary waterfront icon was built in 1939 and was San Diego’s old police headquarters; it’s now home to a collection of specialty shops, excellent restaurants and special events. A favorite women’s and gifts boutique is Madison San Diego
The hip urban scenes of both North Park and South Park are great places to experience San Diego's cool vibe.
North Park is known for hip restaurants, dessert bars, men’s and women's boutiques, lifestyle and home good boutiques, vintage stores, breweries, wine bars, coffee shops and galleries. Some buzzed-about boutiques to visit are the men's and women's vintage clothing accessories boutique Hunt & Gather, and the uber-cool lifestyle and home goods boutique Pigment. A favorite boutique of the locals is Mila North Park, carrying the latest women's clothing and accessory trends. Among restaurants, some of San Diego’s’ best-kept secrets are in North Park, including Underbelly North Park, which offers ramen and Japanese comfort grub in an industrial-chic setting. Another local hangout is Wormwood, featuring a Bohemian Parisian design and San Diego’s first absinthe bar and “bistronomic” restaurant.
The historic neighborhood of South Park offers a laid-back and electric mix of boutiques, restaurants, dessert bars, cafes, taverns, breweries, lifestyle and home goods shops and vintage boutiques. Some must-shop places are the rustic-chic boutique Gold Leaf, carrying everything from furniture to jewelry and candles; the go-to vintage boutique Bad Madge & Company; and the beach-chic boutique Thread + Seed. If your style is a little more modern, with well-curated collections, be sure to shop at AYI boutique. After collecting your shopping bags, refuel by stopping at Station Tavern, an open-air beer garden offering comfort food and craft beers. Or try a neighborhood favorite for Italian food, Enoteca Buona Forchetta, featuring delicious family recipes in a cozy atmosphere. For chocolate lovers, check out Eclipse Chocolate Bar, Bistro & Bodega. End your day at the Rose Wine Bar, offering a range of thoughtfully sourced wines with an outstanding menu to pair with your pours.
The picturesque small-town ambiance of Coronado combines a beautiful beach feel with many opportunities to partake in shopping along with other activities. Connected to Downtown San Diego by the arching San Diego-Coronado Bridge, Coronado is just minutes from the center of the city. Famously known for being the home of the historic Hotel Del Coronado, the Crown City boasts fashionable boutiques for both women and men, family-friendly restaurants, cafes, flower shops, ice cream parlors, museums, tours, theaters, galleries, bicycle rentals, sailing and quaint bars. Be sure to check out women’s fashions at the chic and cozy Paris & Me Boutique and the Wild Dove Boutique. Studio 1220 and Avenu boutiques carry the latest trends with a California vibe, and the custom-tailored gifts and stationary store Seaside Papery is a must-shop for loved ones.
The neighborhood of La Jolla is San Diego's jewel by the sea. One of the more popular beach destinations, this sophisticated coastal community is home to many world-class restaurants with water views, breakfast cafes, bars, wine and olive-oil tasting rooms, galleries, custom jewelry stores, antiques shops, toy stores, pet supply stores, interior design and furniture studios, and upscale boutiques, and is home to the flagship location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. A couple of noteworthy boutiques you will not want to miss are Robina Apparel and Accessories, with its tres-chic women's designs; the California styles of Be Boutique; and the high-end Parisian styles at Julyette Paris. For the stylish guy, be sure to check out the men’s classic looks at The Ascot Shop, the cool vibe of Whiskey and Leather, and the everyday high-end quality of Simple.
Del Mar is a picturesque, cozy North County coastal community and home to the famous Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack. Enjoy the San Diego County Fair in June and July, or the midsummer Del Mar Racing Season Del Mar offers magnificent restaurants, outdoor shopping centers, hot air balloon rides, men's and women's boutiques, cafes and flower shops. The stunning outdoor shopping centers you will not want to miss are the Del Mar Plaza, Flower Hill Promenade, Del Mar Highlands Town Center and One Paseo. Be sure to make time for the upscale Matti D Boutique, located directly across from Flower Hill Promenade.
Three delightful areas to spend some shopping time are the seaside communities of Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Encinitas. Carlsbad is a seaside resort town known for its laid-back setting and great surfing. The area is home to The Flower Fields of Carlsbad and LEGOLAND California Resort, which consists of a theme park, water park and SEA LIFE Aquarium. Walk tree-lined streets and enjoy galleries, boutiques, restaurants, farmers markets, garden shops and a premium outlet center. Be sure to spend some time at the deluxe outdoor shopping center The Forum Carlsbad; the fashion-forward women's boutique Ooh la la girls; and the beachy women's boutique Swirl Boutique.
The gorgeous seaside community of Solana Beach has the Cedros Design District and is a shopper's mecca when it comes to a variety of interests. This quaint, dog-friendly area contains blocks of restaurants, cafes, galleries, garden stores, home-goods shops, women's & men's boutiques, upscale resale shops, jewelry studios, millinery boutiques, olive oil tasting rooms, art studios, entertainment, wine bars, pubs and custom-designed furniture studios that speak to the true artistic shopper. Accomplish your shopping desires by visiting the design-driven and fashionable pet boutique Muttropolis; the ever-so-chic women's boutique Pink Lagoon; Suzan’s, voted Best Jewelry by Ranch & Coast magazine; and the upscale collective emporium SOLO, featuring unique artists and vendors as well as some of the best coffee table books. Watch your time, as you might just get lost in this hidden gem!
The surfing community of Encinitas is an easygoing, relaxed place to be, with family-friendly restaurants, cafes, yoga studios, salons, surf shops, boutiques, wine bars and taverns. You’ll want to spend some time at Brixton for both men’s and women’s casual fashions and accessories. Then be sure to peruse the festival beachwear fashions of Gypsy Feather and the surf styles of SALT SURF.
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