San Diego is famous the world over for its beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, scenic parks, and family friendly attractions, but what many visitors don’t know about San Diego until they’ve arrived in the city is that it’s also a fantastic shopping destination. It doesn’t matter if you’re inclined to explore the arts-and-crafts stores of historic Old Town, prefer to browse the indie boutiques of the fashionable Gaslamp Quarter, or hope to find something special to take home from the waterfront shops of Seaport Village, San Diego features a shopping area that’s just right for your tastes and budget.
Depending on your interests, different shopping scenes in San Diego cater to different clientele, and knowing how you’d like to spend your big day out can go a long way toward helping you plan the perfect San Diego shopping spree. Dreaming of an afternoon spent perusing high-end offerings in an upscale setting? You’ll want to head straight to Prospect Street in La Jolla, where you can alternate stops in antique shops and art galleries with stunning views of the adjacent Pacific Ocean. In the market for big-name brands and extensive retail variety? You’ll love Mission Valley, home to the massive Fashion Valley complex and the Westfield Mission Valley strip. A fan of vintage clothing, unique brands, and quirky stylings? San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood—home to numerous bookstores, thrift shops, and a thriving weekend farmers’ market—is tailormade for you.
No visit to San Diego is complete without a trip across its bay to Coronado. Legendary for its beaches, boardwalk, and iconic Hotel del Coronado, Coronado is also home to Coronado Ferry Landing, a shopping village with designer brands, fashionable boutiques, and stellar views of San Diego’s skyline. Another hallmark of the San Diego shopping scene is the outdoor mall. These open-air facilities are located in various neighborhoods throughout the city, guaranteeing that you’ll be able to luxuriate in San Diego’s unbeatable climate even as fulfill your shopping fix.
One of the best elements of the San Diego shopping experience is how much a part of the fabric of the city each one of its premier shopping districts is. San Diego’s most vibrant shopping destinations tend to be located near many of the city’s most popular attractions, which means it’s easy to plan an outing that neatly combines the opportunity to shop until your heart’s content with the chance to see what makes San Diego such a desirable place to live. What’s more, regardless of which San Diego shopping neighborhood you seek out first, you’ll have your pick of fabulous bars, cafés, and restaurants along the way.
Continue reading below for a rundown of notable San Diego shopping destinations, plus the inside scoop on signature stores, area attractions, and more.