The available San Diego shopping is as varied as it is in any large city in the United States, but there are some things to look for if you are a visitor. The city has a number of world-class museums, and shopping in San Diego at the museum stores can give you equally intriguing souvenirs of your visit. You can purchase fine art prints of the treasures you saw at the Museum of Art; at the Maritime Museum, you can buy a model of the very ship you went sailing on that same afternoon. The Californian is an authentic tall ship built in 1994, and the H.M.S. Surprise is a replica of an eighteenth-century Royal Navy frigate. Both are available for weddings, banquets, and other special events, making the model a perfect souvenir of your experience.
Other stores in San Diego museums for great souvenirs and gifts include the Natural History Museum with wonderful artifacts from around the world. The Museum of Art and Natural History Museum are both located in Balboa Park, as is the Museum of Man.
There is other San Diego shopping in large Balboa Park that is the center of the city. The Spanish Village Art Center is an open-air mart with more than 50 booths and stalls exhibiting the works of local artists and craftspeople, and the Old Globe offers theater-related memorabilia from the esteemed regional theater. There is even great shopping in San Diego at the famed San Diego Zoo, which has stores and shops selling zoo-related t-shirts, stuffed animals, educational toys, and home accessories.
Gaslamp Quarter Shopping
Some great boutiques, galleries, and stores in San Diego are also found in the popular historic Gaslamp Quarter, which also has the very best nightlife in the city. There are numerous trendy cafés and dining spots here as well, so you can get in your sightseeing tours, San Diego shopping, and dining all in the same concentrated downtown location. Here you can find stores in San Diego selling clothing and shoes, original art works, handcrafted jewelry, books, and even pets.
San Diego Shopping Image: San Diego CVB
Some more unusual shopping in San Diego is available in ethnic neighborhoods such as Little Italy, which has many festivals throughout the year that bring local merchants out onto the streets. Here you can try the Kettner Art & Design District for art galleries and home furnishings. Also, do not overlook the colorful farmers markets held in communities all over the city. The one in Little Italy is especially large and bustling.
Malls in San Diego and throughout California provide some of the best shopping for residents and visitors alike. You will find several conventional malls, as well as highly sought after outlet malls. The town of Carlsbad, in particular, is known for its group of more than 90 outlet stores boasting national and international brand names. Fashion Valley in Linda Vista, just south of La Jolla, is one of the best malls in the city and is the only one with a Bloomingdales anchor store. La Jolla, in fact, is the best place to go if you are looking for chic designer boutiques, as it is the most affluent area in the city.