Everything You Should Know About Shopping In LA
It seems everywhere you turn in Los Angeles there are shops, flea markets, malls, and entire streets dedicated to luring the consumer in to spend a few of their hard-earned dollars. This large bustling city is the perfect place to lose yourself when shopping.
With the weather being sunny and simply fantastic most of the time, spending an afternoon strolling through a shopping district or hanging out in an open-air mall would be the perfect day, especially for shopaholics who flock to L.A.'s shopping destinations.
When you think about shopping in Los Angeles, many will probably envision the iconic scenes in Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts’ character learning the ins and outs of L.A. shopping and strolling down the famous shopping street, Rodeo Drive, with Richard Gere. But no one wants to go shopping when they have to drag their suitcases with them. Leave your bags at one of the many locations for luggage storage in Los Angeles before you hit the stores.
Shopping in Los Angeles is one of the ultimate experiences whether you live in the city, suburbs, or are just visiting for a few days (for where to stay in LA, see our guide to the best locations). Check out some of the most popular malls, lesser-known gems, and amazing vintage finds in Los Angeles.
Popular Shopping Malls in Los Angeles
One of the biggest and possibly best shopping malls in Los Angeles is the Beverly Center with over 100 different stores ranging from home goods to electronics to haute couture. You will be able to find exactly what you are searching for here.
This mall is right in the heart of downtown Los Angeles and offers extensive shopping opportunities, a kiddie playland, and an amazing food court. Stop by the Concierge Desk for coupons and offers from several of the retailers.
Many visitors have referred to The Grove as a theme park for grown-ups. This trendy, vibrant shopping mall has breathtaking water features and quite a few celebrities have even been spotted browsing the stores and munching goodies from the food court.
This open-air mall has great flow and allows shoppers to soak up some sun while taking part in some much-needed retail therapy. The central fountain will help soothe your soul and gives a relaxing vibe for shoppers. Designer boutiques are dotted throughout this shopping center.
Kick back and enjoy the latest thriller or rom-com at the movie theater when you need a break from searching for great bargains. There are several eateries at The Grove that are not your typical mall fare, so you can enjoy a gourmet meal after working up an appetite.
This giant mall will take you all day to fully explore. While it does lack some of the more charming boutiques, Westfield Topanga does have several typical chain stores where you can quickly find what you need and some pretty great bargains.
This mall has a rather eclectic mix of high-end stores and everyday essentials. You can pick up a new toothbrush at Target and then head to Neiman Marcus for a new outfit for your hot date Saturday night. There are a few specialty shops located here as well, but not many.
Stop by one of the coffee shops and refuel while you are combing the mall for great finds and then grab brunch (see our fabulous guide to the best LA brunch spots here) or dinner at one of the delicious eateries. If you drive to the mall, park outside the main entrance where it is free instead of in the garage.
The Row DTLA
If you are looking for a unique shopping experience in Los Angeles, head to The Row DTLA with its rather diverse group of shops and stores. This is a newer mall filled with big box stores, adorable boutiques, and vintage oddities.
People who are not afraid to dive in and search for fantastic bargains will love coming here. Grab a pastry and a coffee before hitting the stores and when you need a break, grab a bite to eat at the food court and relax until you get your second wind.
A great feature at The Row DTLA is Market Market, open every other Saturday, where you can find fantastic handcrafted jewelry, artwork, accessories, home furnishings, homemade baked goods, and so much more.
Sherman Oaks Galleria
While Sherman Oaks Galleria is not necessarily the trendiest shopping mall in Los Angeles, it is a great place to drop in and grab a few things or meet up with friends for a few hours of window shopping and catching up with each other.
Catch a movie at the Arclight Theatre; you can even reserve your seat in advance. Then drop by the Cheesecake Factory and enjoy indoor or outdoor dining. Dining al fresco is very pleasant in Los Angeles. There is even a newer Apple Store for those looking for the newest technology.
Designer Stores and Outlets in Los Angeles
There are plenty of people who come to Los Angeles just to check out Citadel Outlets where they can save so much cash and walk away with name-brand items from BOSS, Armani, Zwilling Henckel, Prada, Gucci, L’Occitane, Coach, Nike, Louis Vuitton and so many more.
Located only 35 minutes from LAX and 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, you can expect to spend the entire day browsing through over 130 different name-brand stores. Fashionistas on a budget will love the Citadel Outlets.
This is an upscale outlet mall; therefore, the traditional food court will not be found. Instead, there are upscale dining establishments with a few moderately priced eateries sprinkled in for good measure. Spend a few hours shopping and then enjoy a delicious respite before heading home.
Santa Monica Outlet
Located outside Los Angeles proper, the Santa Monica Outlet is not a mall per se; instead, it is one rather large store that is home to several designers and brands. When you walk in, you may feel a bit of sensory overload, but pace yourself and enjoy the experience.
With everything deeply discounted, up to 75%, you will find fantastic gifts for loved ones, amazing deals to update your wardrobe, and maybe just a few things that you have been longing for but did not need. Be sure to check out the sales racks in front.
The Runway Sample Sale Boutique
Okay, so not technically an outlet, but The Runway Sample Sale Boutique is very similar and is a terrific place to find amazing deals on the latest fashions in women’s clothing. There are even great finds for men at this upscale shopping boutique.
Most of the clothing is from LA designers but they are the latest fashions and are deeply discounted to fit into even the tightest budget. This great boutique is one of the hidden gems of the LA shopping scene.
While many of the shop's featured pieces were worn during fashion events, the clothing is freshly laundered and ready to wear. The sales associates will help you find the perfect outfit for any occasion and make sure you look fabulous for your big event.
With over 266,000 square feet of optimal shopping in downtown LA, Macy’s Plaza is Los Angeles’ flagship store and is your one-stop shop when updating your wardrobe or giving your home a facelift. The home accessories are trendy and will update to look of any room in your home.
Check out the cosmetics counter for the latest in skincare or to try out a new concealer, their beauty experts are on hand to help you make the best choices for your skin. Then head over and check out the latest fashion trends and possibly update your wardrobe with a few accessories.
Vintage Stores in Los Angeles
On Saturday morning head over to Sunset Boulevard near Silverlake and Echo Park and check out all of the interesting, odd, or just plain funky finds at the Silverlake Flea. Flea markets are some of the best places to find amazing vintage clothing and other unique things.
Be sure to enter using the Free Entrance located on Reservoir and park on the street for free. Vendors will have a plethora of items ranging from vintage clothing, home décor, handmade jewelry, crafts, artwork, home furnishings, collectibles, and some pretty cool antiques.
Melrose Trading Post
Many people compare the Silverlake Flea to the Melrose Trading Post in both size and variety of vendors. This open-air flea market is held every Sunday at the Fairfax High School. Admission is free and there are also some free parking spaces on the street so get there early.
Haggle with the vendors over unique finds of vintage furnishings and clothing, handmade items, artwork, collectibles, and home décor items. You will be amazed at the variety of items on offer and the great deals you can find.
Melrose Trading Post also hosts the Music in the Garden series with a new, up-and-coming artist or band playing live each Sunday. Grab some refreshments and relax while listening to some great music from local artists along the street promenade.
Abbot Kinney Sunday Bazaar
Also known as the Abbot Kinney Flea Market, this interesting bazaar is open Saturday and Sunday in Venice on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Since this is an outdoor flea market, it does close on the rare occasions it is raining.
The first Friday of every month, the flea market opens from 5:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. with many of the stores and shops along the street stay open to lure buyers in for great deals on their wares. Food trucks even converge on the scene so there is plenty to eat and drink while you browse through the market If you want to explore LA's wide variety of amazing food trucks, check out our guide to LA's street food to find out more.
Special events and even great street performers can be found along Abbot Kinney Boulevard when the market is in full swing. There is even a children's play area available - perfect for families looking for things to do with the kids in Los Angeles.
Iguana Vintage Clothing
Head to Hollywood and check out Iguana Vintage Clothing where you can find clothing from the 50s through the early 2000s. Many people visit Iguana’s when they are searching for a fantastic costume or just prefer the styles of times gone by.
Filled with vintage clothing that is in fabulous condition, you can find almost anything while browsing the racks. The staff is more than willing to help point you in the right direction if you are looking for a specific period. The shop has multiple levels plan to "shop 'til you drop" when you visit Iguana.
Popular Shopping Areas in Los Angeles
Universal CityWalk Hollywood
This unique all-inclusive street promenade is filled with shops, eateries, and other entertainment venues. Rich in culture, Universal CityWalk Hollywood offers a unique shopping experience in West Hollywood in Los Angeles.
This open-air shopping area is a place you can easily spend all day exploring and still not see everything there is to see. Pace yourself as you make your way through this district and even stop and try your luck on the mechanical bull or maybe do a little indoor skydiving.
Centered on the iconic Melrose Avenue, Melrose Place is not just a television show, it is a stylish and trendy shopping area in Los Angeles. Visitors to the city always want to take a stroll down Melrose Avenue and check out the different shops.
The Melrose Place Farmers Market, open Sundays, is a favorite with locals and tourists. The selection of vendors is immense, each offering farm-fresh produce and other goods including candles, soaps, jewelry, and fresh-cut flowers.
Probably the most well-known street in Los Angeles, Rodeo Drive is a two-mile-long street located in Beverly Hills and is best known for its upscale boutiques and high-end shops. The epitome of luxury, Rodeo Drive draws millions of visitors each year.
Even if the price tags in the shops are out of your budget, it is still a thrill to stroll along Rodeo Drive and do a little window shopping along the way. It is an experience you will not soon forget as you watch LA’s wealthy making their way through Rodeo Drive.
With all these shopping centers, outlets, and flea markets, it's easy to see why people love coming to Los Angeles, if for nothing more than the shopping experience! If you're wondering how you can get all your new items back to your hotel, check out our guide to getting around LA for a complete rundown of the different transport options that the city has to offer.