Shopping in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is a shopper’s paradise with a great mix of upscale air conditioned malls and boutique style shopping. Designer brands rule.
The most famous shopping street in Los Angeles is Rodeo Drive off Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Those without hefty bank balances can still go window-shopping at jewellery stores like Harry Winston and Tiffany's or the flagship stores of all the designer names, from Gucci to Tommy Hilfiger.
Melrose Avenue, between Highland Avenue and Doheny Drive, is lined with 20th century antique shops and trendy fashion boutiques. La Brea Avenue, off Melrose Avenue, has more hip boutiques and vintage clothing stores. The Silver Lake area, on the border of Los Feliz and Hollywood (Vermont Avenue and Sunset Boulevard), is dubbed the ‘Soho of LA'. It has stalls and boutiques selling stylish vintage and retro clothing.
La Brea and La Cienega, south of Sunset, offer a range of interior design and antique stores, many on a grand scale – you’ll find everything from a rug to a chandelier here.
The kitsch shops along Hollywood Boulevard, opposite the Hollywood & Highland Center, are good for tacky souvenirs like fake Oscars and clapperboard key rings.
Downtown LA has various shopping complexes and gallerias. In the Jewelry District (Hill Street between West Fifth and West Seventh Streets), visitors can find good bargains. The Fashion District is a real shopping experience - a 90-block mix of wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers selling discounted merchandise.
Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade is a pedestrianised mall that runs for several blocks and is lined with shops and outdoor cafés.
The historic Farmers Market (Third and Fairfax Streets) in West Hollywood has been selling fresh produce since 1934. It also has a wide range of food stalls and small cafes offering fare from around the world. Los Angeles has a plethora of smaller farmer’s markets, good for organic picnic fare to enjoy at the beach or portable souvenirs like jams, candies and cookies.
In the Downtown Fashion District, explore Santee Alley, a kind of open air fashion and accessories market place, and the Textile Area between 8th Street and Olympic Boulevard is great if you’re handy with a sewing machine and fancy being your own designer. The Flower Market at 766 Wall Street is the biggest in the US and is open to the public at certain times for a small fee.
The massive monthly flea market at the Pasadena Rosebowl (second Sunday of each month) has over 2,500 vendors and is a great place to browse and hunt modern antiques and bric a brac.
The Beverly Center in Beverly Hills is popular with celebrities, and Westfield Mall in Century City is an outdoor shopping plaza; both have branches of Macy's and Bloomingdales. The Grove is a classy pedestrianised shopping centre in West Hollywood with upmarket brands like Michael Kors, Barneys, Stella McCartney, Banana Republic and a Nordstrom department store. Its counterpart, designed by the same architect, is the newer Americana in Glendale with stores including Armani Exchange, Barneys, Kate Spade and Ed Hardy. In Santa Monica, at the far end of 3rd Street, Santa Monica Place is an outdoor mall offering upscale stores.
Shopping hours are generally 0900-1800 although malls stay open until 2100. Sunday shopping usually starts at 1000 or 1100 and ends at 1700 though can be later at major malls.
Shop in LA for clothing, the latest high-tech gadgets and innovative interior design.
Sales tax in the county of Los Angeles is 8.75% and not reclaimable.