LA Shopping Overview

Joan's on Third - Café | Market | Restaurant in LA

Who has time to care about anything of remote significance when there are so many great places to go shopping in Los Angeles? Sure, you could work to end hunger or salvage the education system, but you might as well do it in a nice pair of shoes.

For a genuine LA shopping experience, there are a number of great neighborhoods that make the pathway to vapid consumerism easy; streets full of independent boutiques with designer fashions, vintage shops, and single-genre bookstores, as well as massive malls that will suck your soul out through a hot dog on a stick.

Here’s a quick breakdown: Featured in films like Pretty Woman and known for its uber-exclusive designer labels and haute couture fashions, the world-renowned Rodeo Drive is LA’s most famous high-end shopping district. Nearly as exclusive as Rodeo Drive but with a younger and hipper vibe, Robertson Boulevard features a two-block stretch of exclusive boutiques and restaurants that has become a shopping mecca for young Hollywood and reality star wannabes.

Bookended by the Beverly Center to the west and the Grove to the east – two of LA’s most popular malls – Third Street offers one-of-a-kind boutiques, restaurants, and bars that are a welcome respite from the typical corporate chain stores. With its charming Main Street, European architecture, and rich local history, The Grove itself is an outdoor shopping center and Farmers Market that draws a diverse and upbeat crowd of local shoppers and tourists of every kind.

Once the center of LA’s underground and counterculture scene, Melrose Avenue may have lost a bit of its edge in recent years, but it’s still a vibrant destination for an oddly mixed, hyper-eclectic crowd. The vibrant seaside community of Santa Monica, meanwhile, is also home to the Third Street Promenade, a lively three-block stretch of boulevard that is one of LA’s most popular outdoor malls, while Venice Boardwalk is a carnivalesque 1.4-mile pedestrian walkway bursting with frenetic weirdness. Also in Venice, Abbot Kinney Boulevard is a cozy corner of Los Angeles where the notion of the “mom and pop” retailer is alive and thriving. Named for the 1900s-era father of Venice who worked to create an American version of the eponymous Italian city, the area is lined with specialty boutiques, casual bars, and top-rated restaurants.

Although Sunset Boulevard runs all the way from Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, the most famous stretch of this road is the roughly mile-and-a-half span through West Hollywood known as The Sunset Strip. A nightlife hotspot as far back as the 1920s, The Strip today packs in a massive collection of high-end boutiques, glitzy eateries, swanky hotels, hopping bars, pulsing live music venues, velvet-rope clubs, and plenty of chances to spy a celebrity at practically any hour.

And arguably the most popular tourist attraction, Hollywood Boulevard’s one-mile main stretch is packed with Los Angeles shopping with souvenir stores, malls, clothing shops, museums, restaurants, and bars.

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