San Diego Is One of the Most Unique Shopping Destinations in California — Here's Where to Browse

Liberty Station in San Diego
Photo: Zack Benson/Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority

Shopping is for some a relaxing pastime, a chance to see and touch new things, a means of finding something fun to wear, or a way to add an appealing item to one's environment. For travelers, shopping is a way to explore a new locale and find just the right thing to inspire memories of a great vacation. It can be a typical souvenir or a piece of art that reminds the visitor of an enjoyable conversation with the artist. Sometimes it can be something as simple as a T-shirt or beach cover-up. It can also be as special as an expensive item that was too unique to pass up.

San Diego has shopping opportunities for all kinds of shoppers, whether they prefer a mall, an outdoor group of specialty shops, unique museum stores, or one-of-a-kind designer retailers. Here are a few suggestions where visitors can add to their wardrobes, buy a simple souvenir, or find treasures that will always remind them of their visit to San Diego.

Spanish Art Village shops in San Diego
Lisa Field/Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority

Balboa Park Museum Shops

Throughout the park, museum stores and artisans provide shoppers the opportunity to take home a prized item, gift, or souvenir. These are just a few of the places where both browsing and buying add to the experience of visiting Balboa Park.

The Spanish Village Arts Center in Balboa Park is a community of more than 200 artisans offering paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photographs, prints, and baskets, as well as glass, clay, and fiber art.

The San Diego Museum of Art store offers books, prints, handmade jewelry, toys, games, and even chocolates in art-decorated tins.

The San Diego History Center Museum Store features books, historic photographs, memorabilia, jewelry, and handmade items by local artisans.

Liberty Station

In San Diego's Point Loma community, Liberty Station was once the Naval Training Center dating back to 1923. It's now a venue for art, entertainment, dining, and shopping. Here are a few examples of Liberty Station's unique shops.

Pigment began as an art gallery and is now known for gifts, plants, pottery, furniture, home decor, and even apparel and jewelry. The husband-and-wife team operate several locations.

Comickaze Comics is the place for a diverse selection of mainstream and independent comics, graphic novels, manga, action figures, and more.

Point Loma Tea offers more than 100 organic, hand-picked teas representing different styles and flavors taste tested and approved by owner Cheryl Graf and her staff.

One Paseo

You can live, work, and shop at One Paseo, and it's a pleasant place to browse the boutiques or stop for a bite.

BlackBook features bikinis, loungewear, sunglasses, and an assortment of beach-ready clothing.

Whiskey x Leather offers clothing and accessories for men and women along with a unique selection of home decor and antiques.

Shop Good is a clean beauty and wellness boutique featuring natural skincare, makeup, chemical-free deodorant, and wellness supplements.

Van De Vort features the latest in boho fashion for women, including dresses, jewelry, lingerie, swimwear, shoes, accessories, and more.

Seaport Village kites flying in San Diego
Courtesy of San

Seaport Village

For waterfront shopping and dining near downtown, visit Seaport Village, the place for casual browsing, souvenirs, clothing, and specialty shops.

American Nostalgia features collectibles, games, toys, and novelty items.

Kite Flite specializes in high-quality kites, windsocks, and accessories with a chance to "fly before you buy" in the convenient sea breeze outside.

San Diego Surf Co. has everything you need for the beach including board shorts, bikinis, sandals, shades and accessories from the most popular surf brands.

Shopping Malls

Westfield UTC in La Jolla is conveniently located within 15 miles of San Diego International Airport and features Nordstrom, Macy's, Anthropologie, Hermes, Banana Republic, and many more in addition to movie theaters and restaurants.

Fashion Valley in the Mission Valley area is a trendy destination featuring Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Macy's, and designer houses like Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, and Saint Laurent.

Westfield Mission Valley is an open-air mall featuring Bloomingdale's Outlet, Nordstrom Rack, Macy's Home, Vans, as well as restaurants and a movie theater.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles