While in Southern California, we stayed in Capistrano Beach, California, only two miles from Dana Point Harbor.
A teacher whom Allan used to teach with lives in the area, and we met him there.
It's a beautiful area with unique shops and wonderful places to eat and drink. In addition, it's a marina and harbor. We ate in a restaurant there, and later, on another day, Allan and I went shopping there.
The shops are delightful. We purchased candy in one shop, wine in another shop, a gift for a neighbor back home in another. Then, we had ice cream at a lovely little cafe.
What to buy: There are clothing stores, gift shops, wine shops, cheese shops, candy shops, and souvenir shops.
Since the weather is usually perfect there, going in and out of the individual stores is a delight (the kind of shopping I love as opposed to big malls.)
What to pay: Prices were just a little above what is usually paid for items.
While staying in Palm Springs for three months, many of the people we met would ask us if we had yet shopped at El Paseo.
So, we decided to take the trip to Palm Desert to experience the ultimate in shopping trips.
Fortunately, we both enjoyed the experience. El Paseo is not always a place where we would actually purchase much because the cost is prohibitive; however, we did enjoy "window shopping" in this elegant area.
We, of course, purchased ice cream cones; we ate lunch and dinner there; I purchased several post cards; most of all, we simply enjoyed mingling with the "upper crust" of the Desert Society.
El Paseo Drive features over 150 stores and restaurants; there is free curbside parking as well as free parking behind the stores.
Between San Pablo Avenue and Larkspur is a lovely garden called "The Gardens of El Paseo". Additionally, we truly enjoyed the beautiful outdoor sculptures which were scattered along the avenue.
While we were there, they were completing a new shopping area called Shoppingtown (between Highway 111 and Fred Waring Drive. It is completed now and just adds more options to this lovely community.
What to buy: One of my favorite stores was called The Feathered Nest. It features Home Decor, a Gift Gallery, and Signature Clothing.
Everything in this store is remarkably beautiful and unique. Of course, there is a price to pay for such unique beauty.
73-425 El Paseo, Suite 21A
What to pay: Everything on El Paseo is expensive
The Burbank Center is three floors of shopping. It has some of the normal shops you find in other shopping malls and a number of more unique, trendy shops. The decor is worth seeing on its own. Of course the mall is also full of Southern Californians so it is great for people watching. Extensive selection of food too. Mall Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 AM to 9 PM; Saturday: 10AM to 8n PM; and Sunday: 11 AM to 7 PM.
What to buy: Whatever you want. Stores include: Macy’s, Mervyn’s, Sears, Sport Chalet, Bed Bath & Beyond, AMC Theater (14 screens), Old Navy, New York & Company, American Eagle, Zales, Aldo Shoes, and Charlotte Russe.
The Bone Room is a truly unique store. It is one of the leading Natural History Stores in the country. They sell: Animal skulls and skeletons, a complete selection of genuine human bones; framed insects from around the world, and supplies for building your own collection; fossil specimens of all types, from dinosaurs to mammoths; eggs, claws, horns; jewelry; and more. If you have watched the TV Show Bones; this is where they get their bones for the show. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM. The people working there are friendly and the owner Ron Cauble is an expert in the field (and my cousin).
What to buy: There are a number of things for sale at The Bone Room that would be difficult to find elsewhere.
There is a neat shopping street in Montrose. It is full of trendy places to eat and drink coffee, and a multitude of interesting shops. You can enjoy walking off your food shopping or watching the people.
Macy's is a large department which you will find in most cities. This one is in San Francisco on Union Square and is really beautiful.
What to buy: Women's fashions, from moderate to very expensive.
I would recommend the souvenir department for tourists. It's better than what you can find on Fisherman's Wharf.
Ralph's is a regional chain of supermarkets. It has a complete meat room, deli, and bakery.
What to buy: You can buy about anything that won't eat you first. I bought the fixins for Puerto Rican chicken and rice, and chili cheese sauce to go over chicken that Sean grilled.
California has several outlet centers that offer some deep discounts for savvy shoppers. One such outlet center is the Vacaville Premium Outlets. The Vacaville Premium Outlets are located along Interstate Highway 80 between San Francisco and Sacramento in the city of Vacaville. A multitude of outlet stores are available and sell a variety of items including clothing, shoes, household goods, and other items. The Vacaville Premium Outlets contain about 120 stores. Many name brands are represented. Check out their web site for a full listing. Good bargains are available as is common with outlets, especially when combined with sales.
The outlets are about a one hour drive east from San Francisco or about a half hour drive west from Sacramento. If you plan to depart from San Francisco towards the outlets, avoid leaving the City in the evening rush hour or your driving time will be significantly longer. The outlets are adjacent to Highway 80. The entrance is at the intersection of Nut Tree Parkway and Nut Tree Road.
This is not a proper shopping tip, but a suggestion that when you arrive in California, or anywhere really in the States, always pick up the leaflets/discount books as they have always got plenty of discount coupons in them. Whether this be for a theme park/zoo/museum/restaurant/hotel, you are sure to find something in there that you can use.
Like her sister cities that surround her, it was the early setters of the Cahuilla Indians the “Agua Caliente” (Spanish for Hot Waters) who have lived here for the past 500 years. The first white settlers where the residents of the Old MacDonald Ranch, then around the 1920’s were renamed Palm Village. In 1943, an Army maintenance camp spurred residence to move in and make this their home. In 1951, the name was change to Palm Desert and now is the home of many snowbirds and regular residence that make this their home year around. This community was incorporated in Nov of 1973.
Rodeo Drive Lives Here too!
Palm Desert offers a vast array of shopping experiences: from the high-end styling’s of El Paseo and the indoor Westfield Palm Desert to numerous strip malls and outdoor vendor markets. College of the Desert hosts the largest outdoor market in the Coachella Valley, with 340 vendors. You can find everything from art, clothing, and accessories to house wares and food.
If you want to get a bargain, drive out to Plam Springs and go to the outlet stores out there. Be like a Palm Springer and shop in the air-conditioned stores during the day and only come out at night.
Hot Leather Fashions by Livid, featuring stylish leather jackets, blazers and coats together with leather skirts and pants. Really nice styles which are unavailable at other places, a very unique selection. www.lividleather.com Free Delivery anywhere.
What to buy: Leather Blazers, leather jackets, fashion leather garments. www.lividleather.com
What to pay: Save upto 40%
The Yarn Place is located close to the intersection of Bay and Capitola. It has a wonderful collection of yarn and what ever you might need in support for for knitting.
This place rivals the store in Seatle that my wife found (hint, hint...SF...). And I...have never actually seen before a "ball" of yarn that cost $50.00 (US,...yes.....)
Anyway the people are great and very helpful.
What to buy: Whatever color, style, or fabric of yarn you might wish to acquire.
What to pay: $5-50 is about right.....some might be less and some more.
This was my favorite shopping center, great shops and great shopping! They have all kinds of shops like adidas, big dog sportswear, gap, puma, hilfiger, book stores, furniture, shoes etc etc. Great place!
One of my favorite shopping malls during my trip. Maybe because of the big contrast of getting back to civilisation after my visit to Yosemite ;-)
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