Shopping neighborhoods in Los Angeles have developed their own glitzy reputations. For a genuine LA shopping experience, strike out on your own and discover the following neighborhood shopping destinations, full of independent boutiques with designer fashions, vintage shops and travel accessories. Forget about that one-size-fits-all kind of shopping; in Los Angeles, boutique shopping is about finding a niche and discovering what it offers.
Fashion mavens flock to Robertson’s big-name stores the way surfers seek out legendary SoCal waves. Intermix and Kitson are local boutiques that have perfected the art of catering to celebrity clients right alongside the style-conscious everyman. Some of the best celebrity spotting is at the valet parking stands. Grab a table at The Ivy's outdoor patio and mingle with Hollywood stars who frequently drop in on a break from shopping.
Check out the area on La Brea between Beverly Boulevard and West Third. It’s a paradise for sneaker-obsessed hipsters, stationary enthusiasts and vintage-clothing shoppers who want to find something their friends back home don’t already own. Check out stores such as American Rag for clothes with the vintage touch; a handful of skateboarding shops; and Undefeated for one-of-a-kind shoes.
This popular strip is one of the hottest shopping districts in LA. The entire section of West Third Street from La Cienega to Fairfax is walkable, making it a treat to park the car just once and step in and out of the boutiques that catch your eye. If you prefer to have a solid game plan before you set out, be sure to plan a visit to Noodle Stories for high-end women's wear and accessories, and OK for home furnishings. Travel buffs will enjoy Flight 001 and Traveler’s Bookcase.
Click here for a guide to West Third Street shopping.
Named for the mastermind behind the Venice canals, this legendary street runs through the heart of Venice and was named "The Coolest Block in America" in the 2012 GQ magazine Style Bible. The shopping is located between Main Street and North Venice Boulevard. Home décor shops, handmade furniture stores, vintage clothing sellers, surf shops, perfume shops and bookstores make this area as eclectic as any in Los Angeles. A former hangout for artist types and other hipsters, the area maintains a bit of an underground vibe, while catering to a clientele that’s in the know yet still a few tax brackets removed from the starving artist stage.
Click here for details on Abbot Kinney boutiques, bookstores and galleries.
Estimates put the number of shops at more than 150 along this well-known street in Santa Monica. That translates to more choices than you can make in a single day. Most of the stores are privately owned boutiques or designer-label retail outlets selling couture that’s not widely available. The area is popular among the celebrity set and the well-heeled residents of nearby Brentwood. Situated between 7th and 17th streets, this shopping district offers block after block of boutiques selling everything from antiques to wines. In between, shops such as The Blue House and Hemisphere offer home furnishings, and since you’ll want to stay a while, there are many great places to eat, from cafés to sushi. Back home, you’d be lucky to find a handful of stores like this in an entire city. Here in LA, there’s a whole neighborhood full of them.
In the San Fernando Valley, Ventura Boulevard is ground zero for boutique shopping. Stretching in an east-west direction, Ventura connects Universal City, Sherman Oaks and other neighborhoods all the way west to Woodland Hills. Veteran shoppers focus their sights on Studio City, where celebrities boost the area's reputation as a prime shopping destination. Scope out the section between Coldwater Canyon and Colfax Avenue or head to nearby Tujunga Village (Tujunga Avenue and Moorpark Street) for the ultimate shopping spree.