Did you say Shopping in LA? Let’s face it, if you’re in LA you’re going to want to shop. The shopping here is pretty amazing and you can pretty much spend your whole time shopping if you’re that way inclined.
Strip shopping is great along Melrose Avenue (West Hollywood), Third Street (WeHo), Robertson (Beverly Hills) and of course there’s always Rodeo Drive. Westfield has come to America and revolutionised Mall shopping and with most of the malls outdoor you don’t have to sacrifice sun time–and don’t worry it “never rains in LA”.
So here it is a run-down of your shopping options. Whether you want to get it done quickly or randomly browse and enjoy all LA shopping has to offer, this post is for you.
LA: The Grove & the Farmer’s Market
Seen as a must-visit shopping destination in LA the Grove certainly gets busy. It’s easy to get to by Uber, taxi or car. If you drive be sure to check out for validations around the various stores. And if you want to get into the LA thing there’s Valet parking at The Grove. Do watch it though as validation is different for the Grove and the Farmer’s Market so watch where you park depending on what you’re after. (I usually park at the Farmer’s Market–if I’m lucky enough–especially if I’m going to pick up some fresh produce for dinner. I also found out that Nordstrom validates for The Grove parking so that’s a bonus).
Not only is it pretty but there are great places to eat and (of course) shop. There’s a massive H&M and you have to let curiosity get the better of you by visiting American Girl. For a complete shop/store listing click here.
After a multi-million dollar facelift and expansion Century City is making itself a must-do destination while shopping in LA. A Westfield Mall, it follows the recipe of destination shopping in Australia like Chatswood and Sydney City.
So convenient to Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and the westside there are great restaurants, good shops and very popular (you never know who you might spot).
Speaking of restaurants it has Shake Shack and our ultimate favourite from our Shanghai days, Din Tai Fung [shriek].
It has Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s AND Nordstrom’s, a HUGE Apple Store, Tesla (in case you want to buy a car) and high-end brands. It also has the usuals like Victoria’s Secret and Zara. More exciting for us Aussies is the Cotton On sighting as well as Typo. For a complete store listing click here.
And if that’s not enough Century City is very dog friendly.
If you’re staying in Santa Monica you really don’t want to drive up to LA to shop. And you don’t need to because there’s great shopping right where you are.
Check out Third Street Promenade–the famous pedestrian-only shopping strip with great brands and a great vibe. (I have to say I never shop down here because when you’re in Beverly Hills you don’t need to but it’s great shopping none-the-less).
Montana Avenue has upmarket boutiques and coffee shops but still offers a laid-back beach feel. If you’re in Santa Monica it’s well worth meandering along–you never know who you might spot.
And, for something a little more hip check out Main Street.
Like all people in Santa Monica, you’ll never have to leave :-).
Camarillo Premium Outlets
At 45 minutes from Beverly Hills it’s a bit of a drive to Camarillo but I can tell you you won’t be disappointed. As far as outlet malls go this one is a beauty with some great brands and a decent place to shop. There’s everything from Kate Spade, Converse and Cotton On to BCBG Max Azria and Armani and Tori Burch.
Click here for a link to the store guide and map and have fun!
Citadel outlets are just south of Downtown on the I5 and really convenient if you’re staying in Orange County (Disneyland or the beaches–there’s an Express Shuttle from select Anaheim Hotels) or LA.
The first time we went here we had a field day (and so does everyone else we bring). First stop for the Aussies Converse, Vans and Nike then you can branch out to H&M, American Eagle, Guess, Michael Kors, Banana Republic and Billabong. There are heaps of other shops too. If you’re out for bargains and have a big shopping list be prepared to take up most of your day.
It’s not bad people watching too just quietly–you get a better cross-section of LA than you do in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.
LA doesn’t do mega malls like we have at home in Australia but Topanga is the exception to the rule. It’s not handy if you’re staying at the Beach but if you’re staying in Beverly Hills it’s pretty easy to get to. This mall is it has it all: Forever 21, Brandy Melville (not in very many Malls), Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neimen-Marcus, Henri Bendall, Bath & Body Works, Wet Seal–the list goes on. It’s a one-stop shop. Beware though you’ll need the day–there’s a lot to get through if you’re a thorough shopper, you might need to take advantage of its late-night trading.
I haven’t been a big fan of the Beverly Centre but I’m getting used to it. Like all the other malls it has good brands to choose from including New York’s Henri Bendel. It’s convenient and close to Melrose, Third Avenue and Beverly Connection across the road has Target and Nordstrom Rack if you don’t have time to hit the outlets but are looking for a bargain or two.
I just love Melrose Avenue. The best thing about it is keeps changing. It starts from being designer boutique paradise to vintage shopping paradise to grungier hipster shopping. There’s a lot to look at, great street art and great photo opps. Here’s a great site that details what’s on offer on Melrose. And while you’re there don’t forget to cover off Melrose Place. You might like to lunch at the Fig & Olive it’s great food & wine (and great olives and olive oil).
Check out my photo gallery on Facebook.
Robertson is another great street for people watching and high-end boutique shopping. Celebs and those in the know prefer to shop here than Rodeo Drive because it’s slightly less conspicuous. Having said that it’s where The Ivy is and there are tour buses that travel along this strip hoping to spot a celeb (I wonder if they ever do?! One time my son & I were coming out of The Ivy a tour bus came past and we waved to them, probably not the celebs they expected to see!)
Another great strip with groovy boutiques and great places to eat including the uber-popular star-spotting eatery Joan’s On Third.
You might notice I didn’t mention Rodeo Drive. It’s more of a sightseeing destination than a shopping destination–unless of course you have come with your Black Amex and are ready to do some damage. By all means head on down there and check it out. But if you’re that way try Beverly, just one street over. It has great shops and a little more kind to your credit card.
Universal Studios City Walk
If you’re really short on time there are actually a few good stops at Universal Studios City Walk. Of note are Abercrombie & Fitch and a huge Billabong shop. And there are a number of different restaurants to choose from if you’re exhausted from your long day there.
Getting around LA
It’s pretty hard to get around LA in anything other than a car. If you’re going to brave driving in LA drive fast and be decisive. Other than that here’s a post on driving in LA.
Have you heard of Uber? We love it and use it here all the time. Here’s a link to sign up (with a promo code for up to $30 off your first ride). Give it a go, you won’t regret it.
xx It Started in LA xx
[…] But, if you’re from Australia (or anywhere outside the US) you’re definitely going to want to take advantage of the cheaper prices for shoes (thinking Vans, Nikes and Converse) and clothes and hit the streets (or malls). Lucky I’ve written the ultimate guide to shopping in LA. […]
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[…] more in shopping in LA check out my post on that very […]
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