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Shopping Itineraries for All

For both the "shop-'til-you-drop" and "are-we-done-yet" shoppers

From tree-lined streets with small boutiques to expansive malls with worldwide brands, these San Diego shopping itineraries will accomplish your shopping mission and provide fun along the way.

By: Sandra Veum, Personal Shopper

From Uptown-Chic to Downtown-Cool

Check out some of San Diego top spots for name-brand designers, trendy boutiques and indie aesthetics. Here are a few shopping itinerary ideas based on the amount of time you have to spend.

How much time do you have to spend? 2-3 Hours | 3-6 Hours | All Day

2-3 Hour Shopping Itineraries

Hillcrest and Mission Hills

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 over 150,000 people turn out every July for the LGBT Pride Parade. Some boutiques not to miss are the vintage and retro store of Flashbacks and the uber-hip re-sale shop of Buffalo Exchange.

The charming area of Mission Hills provides a quaint neighborhood setting where the locals go. With delis, wine bars, gourmet restaurants, home good boutiques, women's boutiques, food and lifestyle boutiques and jewelry studios, this is one shopping area not to miss. Be sure to shop at the one-of-a-kind gift and home goods, With Love, Gift & Paperie the ultra-chic women's boutique, Le Bel Age, the sophisticated women's boutique, Chateau Bel Age, and the French country-style lifestyle boutique of Maison En Provence.

North Park and South Park

The hip and urban scene of both North Park and South Park are areas to experience San Diego's cool-vibe. North Park is known for hip restaurants, dessert bars, men's & women's boutiques, lifestyle & home goods boutiques, vintage stores, breweries, wine bars, coffee shops and galleries. Some buzzed-about boutiques to visit are the men's and women's re-worked vintage clothing and accessories boutique, Hunt & Gather; the uber-cool lifestyle and home goods boutique, Pigment. A favorite boutique of the locals is Mimi & Red carrying the latest women's clothing and accessory trends. 

The historic neighborhood of South Park offers a laid-back and electric mix of men's & women's boutiques, restaurants, dessert bars, cafes, taverns, breweries, lifestyle and home goods boutiques 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, Graffiti Beach.

3-6 Hour Shopping Itineraries

Coronado

The picturesque small-town ambiance of Coronado combines a beautiful beach community with many opportunities to partake in some shopping with other activities. Connected to downtown San Diego by the arching Coronado Bay Bridge, Coronado is just minutes from the center of the city. Famously known for being the home of the historic Hotel Del Coronado, in addition to fashionable boutiques for both women and men, family-friendly restaurants, cafes, flower shops, ice cream parlors, museums, tours, theaters, galleries, bicycle rental, sailing and quaint bars. Be sure to check out the bohemian-chic women's boutique, Studio 1220; the versatile and modern women's boutique, Paris & Me Boutique; the boutique for all women, Miss Match, and the custom-tailored gifts and stationary store, Seaside Papery.

Del Mar

Del Mar is the picturesque cozy coastal community where the famous Del Mar Fairgrounds resides. Enjoy the San Diego County Fair in June or mid-Summer Del Mar Racing Season that Bing Crosby famously would partake in. Del Mar offers magnificent restaurants, outdoor shopping centers, hot air balloon rides, men's & women's boutiques, coffee cafes and flower shops. The two 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 women's and men's boutique, Matti D Boutique.

Carlsbad and Encinitas

Two delightful areas to spend some shopping time would be the seaside communities of Carlsbad 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 the SEA LIFE Aquarium. Walk tree-lined streets while enjoying galleries, boutiques, restaurants, farmers markets, garden shops, a premium outlet center and an upscale outdoor shopping center. Be sure to spend some time at the deluxe shopping center, The Forum Carlsbad; the fashion-forward women's boutique, Ooh La La Boutique; and the beachy men's & women's boutique, The Den Boutique.

The surfing community of Encinitas showcases an easygoing relaxed neighborhood with family-friendly restaurants, cafes, yoga studios, salons, surf shops, women boutiques, wine bars, taverns and a unique outdoor shopping center. You will want to spend some time at the quaint Lumberyard Shopping Center, then be sure to peruse the ultra fresh Southern-California-fashions of Swirl Boutique and West of Camden, then don't miss the women's contemporary fashion-forward boutique, Simply Lolo.

All Day Itineraries

Little Italy and Downtown

The thriving urban destination of Little Italy and Downtown offers all day opportunities to shop, dine, enjoy some entertainment and take in the city-scene. The historic neighborhood of Little Italy has developed from a quiet community established in the 1920's into the happening place to dine, shop and hang-out. Here you will experience a variety of restaurants, pubs, bars, breweries, old world trattorias, cafes, coffee cafes, women's boutiques, jewelry stores, home goods and lifestyle boutiques, interior design stores and antique stores. Stop by the glamorous women's boutique Be boutique, the vintage modern interior design store of Boomerang for Modern and the super-hip home goods and accessories boutique Love & Aesthetics, and the worldly jewelry collections at Rosa Mariposa.

Downtown San Diego's thriving and well-known historic district, Gaslamp Quarter, is home to many uber-popular restaurants, bars, clubs, pubs, coffeehouses, cafes, museums, theaters and men & women's boutiques. Whether your shopping list is uptown-chic or downtown-cool, the 5th Avenue block has a variety of boutiques to suit you. Make sure your itinerary includes the quirky accessories women's boutique Bubbles Boutique; the California-chic women's boutique, Wild Dove Boutique; the surfing fashions at San Diego Surf Co; and the one-stop-shop for the latest men's and women's fashions, 5 & Dime. You will also want to experience the historical and artfully designed open-air lifestyle center, The Headquarters. This legendary waterfront icon was built in 1939 and was San Diego’s old Police Headquarters, now home to a collection of specialty shops, world class restaurants, and special events this is one area not to miss.

La Jolla

The area 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 restaurants with water views, breakfast cafes, bars, wine bars, olive oil tasting rooms, galleries, custom jewelry stores, art, antique stores, toy stores, pet supply stores, interior design and furniture studios, and up-scale men's & women's boutiques. A couple of noteworthy boutiques you will not want to miss are the tres-chic women's designs at Pomegranate, the surf-chic ensembles at Rica Boutique, the European designs of Amore Boutique and the dapper and classic men's store, Ascot Shop.

Cedros Design District - Solana Beach

The gorgeous seaside community of Solana Beach has 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, women's & men's boutiques, upscale re-sale 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; and the architectural-chic home good & furniture warehouse, SOLO. Boasting 21,000 sq. ft of shopping with over 120 individual merchants, if there is one store in the Cedros Design District you must see, check out Lotus. Watch your time as you might just get lost in this hidden gem!

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