The Los Angeles shopping that is available in the city is as varied as its rich ethnic heritage, and some of the best places to shop In LA can be found in some of the many ethnic neighborhoods. These are also great places for dining on ethnic specialties, for attending special events and holidays, and for visiting some of the city's attractions and landmarks. Many of these neighborhoods represent the largest population outside of their country of origin - largest concentration of Mexicans outside of Mexico, largest concentration of Koreans outside of Korea, and so on. The shops in LA's Chinatown, Little Ethiopia, Little Korea, and the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic District will net you some truly fascinating souvenirs. Other stores in Los Angeles that offer more traditional souvenirs can be found in Venice and Santa Monica near the beaches, destination for so many tourists. The shops and stalls along the Venice Beach Boardwalk in particular offer many handcrafted items.
Los Angeles Shopping
Good Los Angeles shopping can found everywhere in this vast, sprawling city, but some areas are known more as the best places to shop in LA than others are. For a variety of good stores and chic boutiques, try the pedestrian only Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, where you can find name brand stores like the Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Radio Shack. You can also find unique stores such as Anthropologie and the Rip Curl Surf Center. This is also the site of two important Farmers Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It's a one-stop destination, with numerous restaurants and cafés, and there are nearby hotels as well as nightlife.
If you want to rub elbows with the very wealthy and famous, you will want to do at least a little window shopping at the stores in Los Angeles that line famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills—the street where Julia Roberts had her famous shopping spree in the film Pretty Woman. Some of these stores are so exclusive, that the average client drops a cool $100,000 per visit and must make an advance appointment to be served. Here you will find a who's who of elite stores, including Bulgari, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Prada, Lladro, and many more.
There are large shopping centers in Los Angeles all over the city that are home to more affordable names. The Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks (in the San Fernando Valley between Beverly Hills and Burbank) is typical. It is part of the Westfield Group that has several shopping centers throughout the country. They are generally anchored by one or more large department stores, like Bloomindales or Macy's, and then have numerous other retail outlets with clothing and shoe stores, home furnishings, jewelry, electronics, book stores and stationers, several restaurants as well as a food court, and often even movie theaters. You will find that some of the Los Angeles shopping centers are quite famous. These include the Beverly Center (between Beverly Hills and Hollywood), the Sherman Oaks and Glendale Gallerias, and the Grove near the Petersen Automotive Museum.
One of the best places to shop In LA for an authentic flavor of the city is the Los Angeles Farmers Market. An integral part of the city's history, this vibrant, bustling marketplace has been going strong since 1934 when a group of farmers showed up on the empty field and displayed their fruits and vegetable on the tailgates of their pick-up trucks. Today, you will still find stall after stall of fresh produce, as well as shops selling souvenirs, handmade candles and soaps, toys and children's clothing, jewelry and accessories, antiques, sunglasses, and seasonal items. You will also find numerous dining spots with everything from pizza and burgers to authentic Cajun gumbo and a real Argentina barbecue. It is located in the downtown area with easy access to Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Sunset Boulevard. Many iconic stores in Los Angeles are, in fact, located on Sunset Boulevard. More stores that were originally opened to serve the large student population of UCLA can be found in Westwood. Finally, if you need a little pampering after a day of shopping, you will find day spas located in or near virtually all the main shopping areas.