Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Shopping in the San Diego area

I am not a big shopper, at least not at retail stores. Most of my purchases are through the Internet, with the exception of art, antiques, and similar items where I feel compelled to touch before I buy. That notwithstanding, there are some pretty good places to shop in the area, based on places I have visited - here are just a few. There is lots more than this, however.

Given the weather here, most of the malls are open air, as opposed to those back East where everything is indoors! What a great way to further enjoy the terrific weather here!

If you like malls, Fashion Valley Center, outside San Diego proper on Friars Road, has quite the selection of high-end shops all in one location (the link provides a list of other well-known and popular shopping malls). In San Diego mall shoppers will likely enjoy the eclectic, multi-story Horton Plaza, anchored by Nordstroms. It looks a bit dated, and is fairly predictable in terms of its offerings. There are lots of other smaller stores and interesting shopping in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter. If you like outlets, the Carlsbad Premium Outlets will probably offer you everything you need, just of the 5 and south of Carlsbad Village.

More sophisticated shopping in a mall-like environment is The Forum (at left) on El Camino Real in Carlsbad. And El Camino Real itself, especially in South Carlsbad and through Encinitas, is a treasure trove of strip malls - if you can't find it here, perhaps you don't need it. It's impossible to see what all is available on a drive down the road; you will need many trips to get a good feel for all that is there. Signage is decent but does not give you the whole picture from the road.

There are lots of small shops, some high end, others touristy and predictable, in the downtown areas of Solana Beach (probably the best known area is the Cedros Design District, which has lots of galleries, boutiques, designers, restaurants, furniture stores, etc.), Del Mar, and La Jolla. Prices can be very high in the pricey coastal towns.

You will also find, sprinkled about, the mega stores - Best Buy, Costco, Evergreen (nursery), Fry's (applicances and especially electonics), Lowes, Walmart, among others.

For furniture, there is a good selection on one strip called Furniture Row in San Marcos (not really high-end stuff but a broad range of offerings) just off Route 78. There are lots of other furniture stores in other areas, too.


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