California — Shopping and Leisure
The shopping in California is as diverse and enticing as the state’s amenities. Hit the big cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco to really dig into the unique and boutique, but also for the most sought-after designers. But many of its smaller towns like Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Carmel also have plenty of temptations along their charming main streets. Whether it’s fashion or antiques, used vinyl records or a unique piece of art, you can bet it’s for sale somewhere in California.
If there’s one city in California that defines the shopping experience, it’s Los Angeles. This decadent hive of consumerism practically created the shopping mall as we know it. There are outdoor centers like the very pleasant Grove or indoor malls like Americana at Brand. Beverley Hills and Rodeo Drive need no introduction if you have deep pockets and just wandering along these iconic streets is great for ogling or window shopping. There are also cool, artsy shops along La Brea and Robertson Boulevard.
Santa Monica is another hot spot, with some of Los Angeles’ coolest strip malls here. From the Main Street shops that span the spectrum to slick new outdoor malls like the Santa Monica Place Mall and Third Street Promenade, you can spend days shopping and never retrace your steps in this corner of the city.
San Francisco has an eclectic shopping scene thanks to its diverse population. Whether you want the latest Jimmy Choos, Chinese herbal remedies, or a Louie Vuitton knockoff bag, it’s somewhere around Union Square or tucked deep inside Chinatown.
California is a great destination for a spa getaway. It has some of the country’s best day spas and overnight resorts. You can drop thousands of dollars for a day at Spa Montage in Laguna Beach or the Peninsula Spa in Beverley Hills. The lovely Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, just outside of Santa Barbara, is another popular choice, while Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn drops you into the heart of dramatic coastal scenery. Wherever you go, you can expect world class treatment and a luxurious experience suitable for the upper crusts of society.