What would any part of Los Angeles be without shopping? Indeed, it is part of the way of life in Southern California. And so we cover our favorite shopping areas in the Valley. Now, granted this is not Rodeo Drive, but the Valley still has some excellent shopping. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Universal CityWalk
Adjacent to the Universal Studios Theme Park, Universal CityWalk offers up a plethora of quirky and unique shopping options, as well as a handful of traditional favorites in an entertaining outdoor setting. Head over to the Los Angeles Sock Market for some of the craziest socks you’ll ever find, or pop into IT’SUGAR or Sparky’s for both new and unusual candies and confectionaries, as well as favorites of yesteryear.
Things From Another World will send comic book fans and sci-fi geeks into the stratosphere and Magnet Max has every imaginable magnet you might want to stick on your fridge. If you just need a new pair of shoes or a cool shirt, you can find that too. Head over to Guess, Skechers, or Abercrombie & Fitch and shop your heart out.
2. Downtown Burbank
If you can’t decide between strolling a boutique-lined street or hitting the mall, head to Downtown Burbank, whereas luck would have it, you can do both. The Burbank Town Center Mall at the end of San Fernando along Magnolia Blvd. has many of the chain favorites, including Macy’s, Sears and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Boutiques include Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21 Aeropostale and much more. And there’s even a movie theater if dad wants to catch a flick while the girls shop. Or head down San Fernando for a host of unique shops from the popular resale chain Wasteland, to Urban Outfitters, to unique gift shops like Skyblupink.
3. Ventura Blvd.
For a real street shopping experience, head to Ventura Blvd. in Studio City between Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Whitsett Ave. A stroll down this busy and popular street offers up a number of shopping options, as well as a chance to sit down at the local Starbucks and rest your feet or grab lunch at local favorite, Mexicali. Chain stores include Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic, Gap and Chico’s. But amidst the big names lie little shoe, clothing and jewelry boutiques, including the popular shop, Dari which is known for carrying the latest, trendiest and often most expensive of choices. There are also shoe stores, bookstores and even bridal couture. Plus if the weather’s nice, and it usually is, you can enjoy the sun as you make your way.
4. Westfield Topanga/Westfield Promenade
Located on the border of Canoga Park and Woodland Hills the Westfield Topanga and the Westfield Promenade make up an enormous collection of shops and department stores in multiple sections. It’s truly a shopper’s paradise. Westfield Topanga has 230 tenants and is spread into three sections and two stories. A major renovation in 2008 added a new food court and extra parking garages making parking easier and eating options tastier. Located one block is the Westfield Promenade, which offers another 50 stores as well as restaurants and a movie theater. Plans are underway to connect the two shopping centers with a village that will feature outdoor spaces as well as retail stores, offices, a boutique hotel, and a community and cultural center.
5. Westfield Fashion Square
Set along Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks, Westfield Fashion Square is the ideal neighborhood shopping mall. Just the right size for an easy trip to pick up a few things and yet big enough for a major shopping trip, this cleanly laid out mall is anchored by Macy’s and Bloomingdales. This upscale-style mall offers up a selection of major chains like Gap and Banana Republic as well as specialty jewelry, clothing, and gift shops, like Tous and Betsey Johnson. Parking is ample and usually easy to acquire on a weekday, though like anyplace else, the weekends can get busy. If you get overwhelmed by the larger malls or just want a place that’s easy to navigate, this is the spot for you.