The state of California is known for celebrities, beautiful weather, beaches, and of course, shopping. California shopping is one of the state’s main attractions.
The Embarcadero Center
The Embarcadero Center near San Francisco is not only filled with convenient shops and places to grab a snack, it has been the backdrop of famous movies due to its distinctive modernist architecture. The Embarcadero Center is in a mixed-use area, however, so there isn’t much activity after 5:00 pm or on the weekends. The shops are mostly corporate, brand-name stores with a number of ethnic restaurants and a cinema. The prices may be higher than average, but the views and atmosphere are worth it.
If you’re in Los Angeles, you can shop at Santee Alley in the Fashion District. Santee Alley is a bazaar-like passageway that stretches several blocks through the neighborhood. It is a great place to purchase fabric and designer-inspired items for half the price of the real thing. You can also haggle here, which will bring down prices even more.
Horton Plaza in San Diego features the Westfield Mall, a seven-level outdoor shopping mall with a large variety of boutique stores and famous retail brands. The architecture makes Horton Plaza an interesting place to browse, but be aware: photography at Horton Plaza is not allowed unless a member of your party is in the photograph.
Specialty Shops in San Jose
San Jose features specialty shops you won’t find elsewhere, like Powell’s Sweet Shop, where you can buy delicious candy, chocolate and sweets. You can also find Artefact Design and Salvage, which is filled with interesting objects like old gazebos, statues and fountains. If you want music, visit Street Light Records for its collections of new and used CDs, records and tapes.
You can’t mention California Shopping without talking about Rodeo Drive, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Rodeo Drive is filled with boutiques and luxurious couture shops. If you plan on purchasing anything, though, be prepared to spend a lot of money.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in California.