December 16th, 2016 at 12:00 pm


We all do it every year: Vow that this holiday season will be different than the last. We promise ourselves that no matter how busy we get, we will not procrastinate when it comes to buying gifts for our friends and loved ones.

But sometimes life gets in the way. You need to stay at home with your sick child, rush hour traffic leaves you frustrated and in no mood to shop, or you simply just don’t feel like spending your Sunday afternoon battling the masses at a shopping mall.

So it’s not surprising if you are reading this, just days before the holidays, with items on your shopping list that have yet to be checked off. 

Don’t panic–you still have time. In the hope that you can avoid some of the crowds, overflowing parking lots, and over-picked shelves, we found several shopping hot spots in Southern California that have unique and tasteful shops filled with gifts that will finish off your shopping list in no time.

San Diego County:

Cedros Design District

Located in Solana Beach, Cedros Avenue is home to many hidden treasures. Its distinctive retailers carry something for everyone, whether you are looking for a gift for your boss’s ultra-modern home, your college-age niece’s eclectic taste, or your mother-in-law’s antique-loving style. Take a stroll down the street–you’re sure to find something almost immediately that catches your eye.

La Jolla

La Jolla is pedestrian-friendly and full of boutique shops. This upscale community is home to shops like Roche Bobois, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, and more. Plus, you’ll find tons of ocean-inspired gifts to send to your non-local friends and family who miss the sun and the sand.


Hillcrest and the surrounding area is an ideal shopping destination. Local establishments sell hip fashion, chic housewares, vintage clothing, and tons of trinkets for everyone on your list. Check out Co-Habitat for colorful decor and textiles, Flashbacks Recycled Fashions for vintage and secondhand clothing, and Bluestocking Books for unique books.

Orange County:

Lido Marina Village

In the charming shopping center of Lido Marina Village, you’ll find artisan shops, curated collections, and sea-inspired wares. The many charming boutiques and stylish shops will ensure that you find something for the trendsetters on your list. Head to Marine Layer for laid-back comfort apparel, Clare V. for French-inspired accessories, or Black Optical to grab a pair of shades for him or her.

Laguna Beach

This beach town has tons to offer when it comes to trendy boutiques and fun shops for the ladies on your list. Find anything from housewares to accessories to vintage goods. Some great shops to begin with are Areo for fun and unique gifts, Yolk for housewares, accessories, and gifts, and Brass Tack for U.S.-made artisan and vintage goods.


Home to over 70 carefully curated restaurants, showrooms, and stores, South Coast Collection has something for the decorators, chefs, trendsetters, and creatives in your life. For the eco-friendly new parents on your list, head to Granola Baby to find sustainable products for children. Old and new homeowners will love furniture and accessories from Room & Board, plus find denim and contemporary clothing for all the fashionistas you know at Eva’s Trunk and Denim Bar.

Los Angeles:


Venice is a retail destination you’ll want to be sure to visit. Burro offers non-cheesy souvenirs, novelties, and home goods, Christy Dawn is perfect for the vintage-loving ladies in your life, and Flowerboy Project combines a flower shop with cool crystals, luxe leather goods, stationary, handmade jewelry, and more.

La Brea Avenue

Located between Beverly Boulevard and West Sixth Street is La Brea Avenue, a street full of eclectic stores. You’ll find vintage, designer, home decor, and so much more. For the active man or woman in your life, head to Aether Apparel. Bonobos Guideshop has the perfect fit for menswear, Pulp Cards and Paper has stationery, artisan jewelry, table books, and more, and Jet Rag is a vintage store bargain hunters will love.

Santa Barbara:

Downtown Santa Barbara

Though you may want to avoid the ever-busy State Street, downtown Santa Barbara has several great shops that are local favorites. If you’re shopping for the skater boy or girl in your life, check out Arbor Collective for handmade snow and skate boards, plus tees, hoodies, and more made from organic and sustainable materials. Warbler Records is the perfect stop when shopping for the music aficionado, where you’ll find vinyls and players, plus handmade ceramics, unique soaps and more. For your cheese-loving friends, (which, let’s face it, is probably all of them) stop at C’est Cheese and grab artisanal cheese and charcuterie, plus locally sourced produce, local imported wines, olive oils, and more.

Did we miss one of your favorite local shops? Share in the comments so we can add to our list! 

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