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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.

Key areas

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.

Markets

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.

Shopping centres

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.

Opening hours

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.

Souvenirs

Shop in LA for clothing, the latest high-tech gadgets and innovative interior design.

Tax information

Sales tax in the county of Los Angeles is 8.75% and not reclaimable.

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Farmer’s Daughter Hotel

Featuring denim duvets, distressed hardwood floors and wrought iron artwork, this funky boutique hotel in West Hollywood is heavy on the rural theme. Located opposite LA's historic Farmer's Market, it also has a smart pool and sundeck, high speed Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Its onsite restaurant, TART, serves up deliciously healthy hipster treats.

Sheraton Universal

Bang next door to Universal Studios, the Sheraton Universal has something of a corporate air to it but is relaxed enough to offer a poolside bar. Rooms are reasonably sized, with plenty of creams and browns keeping things neutral. It also has a small pool and modern gym facilities. Ask for a room with views of the Hollywood Hills.

The Standard

Chic and affordable, The Standard is a glimpse into the mind of hotel designer André Balazs. Young sophisticates gather in the floor-to-ceiling shag-carpeted lobby for live DJs and performance art shows, while its poolside cafe and 24-hour restaurant serve up quality American comfort food. Rooms offer kitsch furniture, including beanbag chairs.

The Beverly Wilshire

Popularised by its appearance in Pretty Woman, this Four Seasons hotel is renowned for its classical grandeur and impeccable service. An ornately carved entrance leads to a magnificent lobby and a choice between the elegant Boulevard Restaurant, a wood-panelled piano lounge and Cut, the Wolfgang Puck steakhouse. Luxurious rooms have marble bathrooms and the spa is stunning.

Shutters on the Beach

One of two luxury hotels on the beach, Shutters combines sophistication with a beach holiday atmosphere. The lobby has esteemed modern art, including pieces by David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein, and each room has a veranda. All have four-poster beds, plus a copy of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.

Howard Johnson Inn and Suites Reseda

A clean and affordable option in the San Fernando Valley, this hotel features free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool and complimentary continental breakfast. Parking is free and access to the rest of California is made easy with Interstate 405 and Highway 101 running nearby.