San Diego Holiday Shopping Guide

Make everyone’s holiday wish list a dream come true! San Diego offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities that make holiday shopping a breeze. From brand name designers to fabulous outlet malls, unique boutique shops and specialty stores, San Diego is the perfect holiday shopping destination to make this season merry.

Outdoor Shopping Centers

Spend the day at one of San Diego’s premier malls! Fashion Valley Mall features outdoor shopping at its finest with department stores such as Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and all the big name designers. Kids will enjoy visiting Santa at his workshop, and mom and dad can happily check everything off of their holiday shopping list.

The revitalized Westfield UTC shopping mall is definitely not to be missed this holiday season. Since its complete revamp and expansion in 2017, UTC has grown to a massive outdoor mall packed with great shopping and dining options with huge designer department stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Apple, and Tiffany & Co. You’ll find all the main staples here (plus free parking!), and plenty of smaller, boutique-like shops for the harder to please on your list!

Other great outdoor shopping areas include Westfield Horton Plaza located in the heart of the downtown Gaslamp Quarter, Del Mar Highlands Town Center in Carmel Valley, and Hazard Center, which features several name brand stores like Barnes & Noble, Lakeshore Learning, Wood Ranch BBQ, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, and a movie theater in Mission Valley.

San Diego Outlet Centers

For the best deals of all, the San Diego’s outlet centers offer something for everyone with great bargains as well as a festive holiday atmosphere for all to enjoy. Throughout the holiday season, Carlsbad Premium Outlets, located in the North County Coastal area, and Las Americas Premium Outlets, located in South Bay, have extra-special offers on extraordinary brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Sunglass Hut, and more.

Get the most out of your outlet holiday shopping in South Bay by continuing your holiday shopping at San Diego Outlets at the Border, conveniently located right next to Las Americas, and pop into amazing stores like Armani Exchange, Express Factory Outlet, and H&M. For those out in East County, Viejas Outlet Center offers high-end brands at incredible prices.

Unique San Diego Shopping Areas

Specialty retail shopping for unique San Diego items can be found at Seaport Village and The Headquarters at Seaport on the Big Bay Embarcadero; at the Coronado Ferry Landing and Shops At The Del at Hotel Del Coronado; at Liberty Station in Point Loma; and at Bazaar del Mundo and Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town.

For the beach-lover on your gift list, cruise on over to these local boutique stores in La Jolla that are all about trendy San Diego style: Everyday California and Surf Diva Boutique! For the more adventurous on your list, gift a fun excursion and kayak trip with La Jolla Kayak.

Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Shopping

It’s no secret that San Diego is home to some of the best (and trendiest) neighborhoods for holiday shopping! Here are some of our favorites.

La Jolla

San Diego’s jewel by the sea is one of the best upscale shopping areas in San Diego. It is also home to great ocean-view art galleries, restaurants and cafes.

A couple of noteworthy shopping districts you will not want to miss are Prospect Street then on to Girard Avenue, where you’ll find fashion and great retail shopping for the whole family. For women’s apparel, be sure to make time for Robina Boutique, Lolo, Swoon (great for teens), Simple Lifestyle for Men & Women, Pomegranate, Amore, Alpaca Collections, Blended Industries, Sauvage Boutique, Sigi’s, Eva Varro International, La Donna, Laura Gambucci and Rica Boutique (also for teens). For men, there’s the Ascot Shop, Tommy Bahama, Y-3, Simple Lifestyle for Men & Women, Polo Ralph Lauren and Lucky Brand. For children, there’s Geppetto’s Toys. While for our beloved pets (we did say the “whole” family), stop by Muttropolis.

For contemporary home furnishings try MOS (My Own Space) and finally, don’t miss Warwick’s Bookstore, one of the best independent bookstores in San Diego.

Cedros Design District

Cedros Design District is a shopper’s mecca when it comes to a variety of interests, specializing in interior design. This quaint dog-friendly area contains blocks of restaurants, cafes, galleries, garden stores, fashion boutiques, art and custom-designed furniture studios to speak to the true artistic visitor.

Great boutiques for visitors include HIS Men’s & Kid’s Store, Gerhard, Tucci Boutique, Pink Lagoon, Cedros Soles, Mabel’s & Baby Mabel’s, SOLO, Cut Loose, Weeds Clothing Boutique, La Femme Chic (designer resale), Camellia Boutique and Adventure 16 Outfitters Inc. (camping store). The Leaping Lotus features over 120 shops under one roof including clothes, jewelry and furniture. While Bon Bon Home & Garden, NATIVA Interiors and Bixby & Ball are must stops for home furnishings.

Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter is Downtown San Diego’s thriving historic district, and home to many uber-popular restaurants, bars, galleries, theatres and coffeehouses, but it also features unique boutique shopping. Whether your shopping list is uptown-chic or downtown-cool, the 5th Avenue block has a variety of opportunities.

For women’s fashions and accessories, make sure your itinerary includes: Bubbles Boutique, Heavenly Couture (great for teens), Eden Boutique and Dolcetti Boutique. For men’s fashions check out Blends, 5&A Dime and Dolcetti Boutique. For more mainstream but still wonderful shopping opportunities try Quicksilver, Lucky Brand and Urban Outfitters.

Encinitas

Just five miles north from Cedros Design District, along the gorgeous Highway 101 coastline, you’ll find the cozy surf town of Encinitas. This Zen beach community is packed with casual, hip restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and yoga studios, intermingled with quaint boutiques. There is always something to do in this fun beach town! The shopping block on the main road, South Highway 101, offers The Lumberyard Shopping Center and a collection of family-friendly boutiques including Magical Child, deepFLING Jewelry and Grounded (furniture/home goods).

A few other must-shop trendy boutiques close by are Ecotopia for men’s and women’s apparel and accessories, Flashbacks (vintage/retro) and a little further southeast is Swirl Boutique for women. Other unique furniture and home good shops are Bliss 101 carrying just about everything from furniture, art, clothing and jewelry to Earth’s Elements and Bamboo 2 U & Beach House Too (beach-chic furniture).

North Park/South Park

For a trendier local scene, the places to be are the North Park and South Park neighborhoods along 30th Street and University, as well as 30th Street and Fern. Both areas offer a diverse variety of restaurants, coffee houses, dessert bars, bars, beer pubs, vintage stores, and colorful boutiques.

For fashion, gifts, vintage or home goods, visit Mimi & Red, Love & Aesthetics (for men), Simply Local (55 local vendors under one roof), Aloha Sunday Supply Co., Hunt & Gather (vintage), Mythology Eco-Boutique (Eco-friendly), Junc.Life, Bad Madge & Company (vintage) and Graffiti Beach Boutique. Home and gift stores to check out include Pigment and Make Good. For the skincare and beauty junkie in your life, be sure to visit Shop Good.

Whether you’re looking for fun holiday gifts or simply want to check out the San Diego shopping scene for some souvenirs, there is definitely something for everyone in America’s Finest City! Visit our La Jolla Holiday Shopping Guides for more options in The Village.

Where to Shop Locally in La Jolla on Small Business Saturday

 

In an increasingly concentrated business world, Small Business Saturday helps small businesses to survive under pressure from large chains and globalization. Support your friends and neighbors and preserve competition by shopping on Small Business Saturday in La Jolla and in and around La Jolla Cove on Saturday, November 25 from 10am-6pm. 

La Jolla is a great place to do your holiday shopping. Not only are you encouraging local business, you’ll be able to find something truly unique for that special person. From designer clothing and lifestyle boutiques to family-owned bookstores, the Village has it all.

We’ve got a list of our favorite La Jolla shops and small businesses to help you finish your shopping before the holiday rush! You can also get organized with the help of this small business finder hosted by American Express.

Hi Sweetheart

This friendly shop, owned and operated by Molly Rossetti, has a dazzling mix of decor, jewelry, stationery, baby gifts and gadgets for sale, carefully selected from an array small craft companies. For a gift with a fun, funny, and personal touch, look no further! You’ll find something for all ages. This year, enjoy 15% off storewide, mimosas, sweet treats, and a FREE canvas shopping tote! Shop online, too, using the code “SWEET” for 15% off your purchase on 11/25! 7920 Ivanhoe Avenue, La Jolla. Open from 10 am – 6 pm

Pannikin

Pannikin Mug Sale! $15 for all styles. Stock up for friends and neighbors before the holiday season. 7467 Girard Avenue, La Jolla. 6am-6pm.

Wax Me Boutique

25% off all retail (Grande Lash, Grande Lips, Billion Dollar Brows, PCA Skincare, and plenty more). 7730 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla. 10am-6pm.

Beads of La Jolla

Beading Kits on sale for $15. DIY bracelet station. 7730 Herschel Avenue, Suite J, La Jolla. 10am-5pm.

SoCal Queen

Be sure to stop by for your gift with purchase, special discounts, and goodies to partake in! 1010 Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla. 10am-5pm.

Geppetto’s

Holiday Specials all weekend long! 7850 Girard Ave, La Jolla. 9am-7pm.

Adelaide’s, Faded Awning, Girard Avenue Collection will also open all day (no specials or sales).

Swoon Collection

The entire store will be 30% off on Small Business Saturday. 7910 Ivanhoe Ave, La Jolla. 11am-6pm.

Rica Boutique

20% off storewide. They will also be giving away a RICA shopping voucher in each bag worth 15%, 25%, or 50% for future purchases from 12/26/17 thru 2/15/2018. 7944 Girard Avenue, La Jolla. 10am-6pm.

Parakeet Cafe

The cafe will be offering a free “Birds of a Feather” drip roast coffee to everyone who is out “Shopping Small” in La Jolla. Bring in a receipt from your favorite participating Small Business! 927 Silverado Street, La Jolla. 6am-7pm.

Sicilia Bella

Stop by and check out Sicilia Bella’s expanded menu, beer, and wine offerings, as well as their Italian specialties inside the market. 7918 Ivanhoe Avenue, La Jolla. 9am-8pm.

Barre 59

Buy More, Save More in the Barre59 Boutique! Spend $150, get 15% off / Spend $250, get 20% off / Spend $550+, get 25% off.

Cyber Monday Class Deals: 10 pack – $150, savings of $60. (must use within 60 days, Limit 2 per person. Keep yourself accountable thru the holiday season & purchase Unlimited Classes until 12/31. Cost is $185. 7928 Ivanhoe Ave, La Jolla. 

Warwick’s

Arguably the oldest family-run bookstore in the U.S., Warwick’s carries a huge variety of gorgeous books! Reading never goes out of style, and a book is a perfect gift for a bored nephew, family intellectual, or adventurer looking to learn a new skill. They’ll be open 9am-6pm, and will hold raffles throughout the day plus kid’s activities. 7812 Girard Ave, La Jolla. 9am-6pm.

Feel good about supporting your community by participating in Small Business Saturday this November 25th — and happy shopping!

 

 

Soothe Your Sweet Tooth at La Jolla’s New Teuscher Chocolatier

Teuscher Chocolates has officially opened at La Plaza La Jolla! This is the chocolate shop’s first San Diego location and ninth North America location (their only other Southern California store is in Beverly Hills). The artisan chocolatier has been around for more than 80 years, and hails all the way from Switzerland; today, there are stores worldwide in five different countries.

They boast a wide variety of delectable treats – from truffles to holiday gift boxes and even milk chocolate animal figurines (adorable and scrumptious!). Here is the inside scoop on the newest sweet spot near La Jolla Cove.

80 years ago in a small town in the Swiss Alps, a master chocolate maker embarked on a path that would make him one of the world’s greatest chocolatiers. Dolf searched worldwide for the finest cocoa, marzipan, fruits, nuts, and other ingredients; after years of experimenting, he successfully created what are now the chocolatier’s internationally-renowned recipes.

Today, their kitchen in Zurich makes hundreds of varieties using these original recipes, which have now passed from Dolf to his son. Absolutely no chemicals, additives or preservatives are used (even more reason to treat yourself!).

Teuscher’s confections are prepared fresh from scratch each week and flown immediately to their stores in Europe, America, Canada, Asia, and the Middle East.

The Chocolate

Teuscher prides itself on carrying a whole host of different chocolate varieties – there is definitely something for everyone!

  • Truffles: Swiss chocolate filled with various ganaches. A unique specialty is the Champagne Truffle, which is their very own one-of-a-kind recipe that was created 50 years ago. Hand-crafted in small batches, each contains a whipped cream center made with Dom Pérignon champagne and encased in a dark chocolate ganache. Other varieties include butter crunch, Bailey’s Irish Cream, almond, orange, walnut and cocoa, and seasonal selections like cinnamon and lemon.
  • Pralines: Their yummy pralines features hand-sourced almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and fruit. Coated in chocolate both as whole nuts and ground into marzipans and giandujas, these yummy bites are great for nut lovers.
  • Chocolate animals: sculptures, anyone? Their sets of milk, dark, or white chocolate figurines (they can do dogs and cats!) are perfect for the younger chocolate lovers and make for a great holiday gift.
  • Chocolate bars: Their chocolate bars range from 37% to 99% cocoa and are made with all-natural ingredients and pure cocoa butter.

Teuscher Chocolatier is open Monday-Friday from 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, and Sunday from 11am-5pm. They are located in La Plaza La Jolla at 7863 Girard Avenue, Suite 204.

La Plaza is located directly in the Village, which makes it a great jumping-off point for all-day explorations! After doing some shopping, head over to La Jolla Cove and watch the sunset, or stroll to the Children’s Pool and check out the seals.

 

La Jolla Spotlight: Molly Rossettie, Owner of Hi Sweetheart Gift Boutique

 

When Molly Rossettie moved away from Orange County several years ago, she never thought she’d return to sunny SoCal – or be the owner of an incredibly successful boutique! After having lived in both New York and Philadelphia (where she opened her first store, The Little Apple), she and her husband decided to relocate to San Diego in early 2013. The idea for Hi Sweetheart was born after Molly started settling in; she was working at the MCASD when she realized the potential for a new boutique right here in La Jolla. Hi Sweetheart opened its doors in March of 2014 and has been stocked with cute gifts, home decor, and other adorable goodies ever since!

We sat down with Molly to chat about her love of La Jolla, her creative aspirations for the boutique, and her new blog.

Your shop, Hi Sweetheart, has been in The Village for over 3 years now. What has been your favorite part about being a small business owner in La Jolla?

Owning Hi Sweetheart is a wonderfully creative outlet for me. From selecting the inventory  & fine tuning the visual merchandising to crafting the window displays and composing the posts for the shop’s social media pages, it’s always something new that gets the wheels turning, especially at 11:30pm when I’m trying to sleep!  The friendships I’ve created with customers, too. I love when a customer brings their kids, parents or an out-of-town friend into the shop to say hi. It means a lot to me that they feel the store is a fun, bright and happy place that they want to share.

As someone who wasn’t born here, what were your first impressions of La Jolla? Have they changed over the years?

La Jolla is beautiful place live. When my husband was accepted to his residency here, we came to find an apartment & as we drove down Torrey Pines Road it was sunny and perfectly breezy, flowers were in bloom and literally a butterfly floated past. We found an apartment in the village by the Museum of Contemporary Art, just blocks from the beach and we just kept saying to each other “it’s so nice here.”  We relocated from Philadelphia, so there was some major culture shock! I am a Southern California native, but  lived in New York and Philadelphia for over 8 years before coming back.

I had gotten accustomed to living in busy and very diverse cities; walking at a fast pace, riding the subway, living in a high-rise, making 9:30pm dinner reservations. There was an adjustment period, but four years later, we are still here! I treat La Jolla like a little city. I love the outdoor murals all over the village, we walk from our house in The Muirlands down to dinner and drinks, I shop in and support local businesses in the village and I actually like when village is busy and bustling with locals and tourists.

Did any of that serve as inspiration for starting your new blog? What was the main inspiration behind it?  

The idea behind the blog was to create a digital “Unofficial Local’s Guide to La Jolla.” Something that could be useful for tourists who visit the shop. I love sharing restaurant and activity suggestions with visitors, but I usually just scribble it down on a post-it. I thought it could be a useful tool to market the shop as well as offer a local perspective to eating, shopping and exploring the village. The funny thing is, the blog has now taken on a completely different format, thanks to local freelance blogger and Hi Sweetheart shopgirl, Eliza Vera, who has helped me create some great content. We launched the blog on July 15th and I’m still working on the Local’s Guide! Coming Soon!

Tell us a little bit about your “Wonder Women” series. What was your inspiration for starting that?  

The “Wonder Women” series was inspired by the whole “Girl Boss” movement.  I work with a lot of female designers and entrepreneurs and many of my customers are women, so I thought it would be a great platform to feature them and share their work and some fun facts about them! I based some of the interview questions on the Proust Questionnaire that is featured on the last page of every Vanity Fair magazine.

How did you go about picking the people you interview? Are they all local?

So far the blog’s “Wonder Women” have been local, but my list of names is growing and I hope to eventually include Marnie Duncan, owner of MOD Fitness in Austin; Nicole McClay and Jessica Schulz, sisters and owners of KORE Swim; and sisters and owners of Rock Scissor Paper in Los Angeles, Heidi & Susie Bauer.

Has anyone that you’ve spoken with really stood out or surprised you, and why?

I’ve been more excited by the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of so many people. The willingness to take a chance, be imaginative, balance their home ad work life and endure those “what the hell am I doing?” moments.

How do you curate the “La Jolla Local’s Guide”? Is it mostly your favorite spots, places you’ve discovered over the years?

Yes, the guide highlights my personal local favorites. There is no “sponsored” content or anything. I’ve include tried and true spots for a light lunch with the girls, early outdoor breakfast with kids, martinis with a view, a quick and lasting manicure and a fun Sunday activity for the whole family. I wanted to make it more than a list of businesses and addresses, but more of an “occasion” based guide to visiting and living in La Jolla.

What are some of your other favorite “hidden gems” in La Jolla? Any place you frequent regularly or want to learn more about?

Happy Hour at Catania. Sicilia Bella for espresso or cappuccino. Wax Me Boutique for brows and a nice, natural sunless tan. Manhattan in the Empress Hotel on Fridays and Saturdays for dinner for two at the bar and the musical stylings of Tad Sisler (it’s so fun). El Ranchero Verde “The Ranch” for post-beach day margaritas and chips and salsa. The Bird Rock Bike Path is a great route for walkers to get to from the village to Bird Rock to explore another part of La Jolla.

Do you have any insider tips for someone visiting La Jolla?

I think walking is best way to explore any neighborhood. I would advise tourists to turn down the smaller streets off Prospect & Girard, like Ivanhoe Avenue and Kline Street. There are fewer chains and some hidden gems off the main drag in the village. If you are with kids and need a non-beach activity, check out the Birch Aquarium and the La Jolla Rec Center. Chat with shop owners, servers, bartenders (especially at Whisknladle & Catania), industry people usually have great insight and suggestions for post-lunch shopping and place to explore outside La Jolla.

Hi Sweetheart is located at 7920 Ivanhoe Avenue in La Jolla. Stop by any day of the week – the shop is open 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday, and 10am-4pm on Sunday. Be sure to follow their new blog for more La Jolla stories!

 

 

Where to Find the Best Shopping in La Jolla

La Jolla Shopping

Grab your purse and some good walking shoes! From original vintage apparel to high-end urban furnishings for your home, you’ll love all the hidden treasures La Jolla shops hold (not to mention the stunning La Jolla Cove or ocean view). There almost too many stores to name, so let’s break it down by area.

Whether you check out only one or multiple of these spots, you’ll be getting a great La Jolla shopping experience!

Girard Avenue & Prospect Street: The Heart of Downtown La Jolla

Located right next to the beach in downtown La Jolla, and this area is known for its mix of unique boutique shops, mall stores, and higher-end establishments like Cartier. You can window shop for fun – the cute storefronts and picturesque sidewalks make for a lovely stroll – or dive right in to purchase your treasures. Prospect St boasts several different kinds of shops, while Girard is home to trendy, upscale boutiques like Francesca’s.

If you need a break from browsing, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants sprinkled amongst the shops to grab a quick bite.

Westfield UTC: A truly trendy outdoor mall

Though not located directly in downtown La Jolla, Westfield UTC is about a 15-minute drive from La Jolla Village Square and is more of a traditional mall/outdoor shopping center atmosphere; albeit a bit more upscale! The entire mall has recently undergone a complete renovation, and is now more luxe than ever: you’ll find high-end department stores like a two-story Nordstrom (part of the recent renovation), Tiffany & Co, Zara, Michael Kors, and Anthropologie, all mixed in with smaller-scale shops such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Vans.

This shopping center also boasts a full ice rink, an ArcLight Cinemas movie theater, an Apple Store, and a 24-Hour Fitness all on site. There are dozens of brand-new restaurants, including both fine dining and quick cafeteria-style eateries. Come here and spend the entire day – there’s plenty to do!

Shops on Ivanhoe

This small business area in downtown La Jolla has an intimate neighborhood feel, where fellow owners wave and greet each other by first name. Shopping locally not only supports these small businesses and boosts the local economy, it guarantees you’ll be sporting or gifting something truly unique! As these shops like to say, “Local is the new black.” Get a feel for this area yourself and check out their Instagram account!

The shops on this street include Hi Sweetheart, a cute gift boutique; Swoon Collection, a trendy clothing store; Barre59, a workout studio; Sicilia Bella, a yummy Italian cafe; Contemporary Arts Gallery; and Naturale Beauty. It’s an eclectic mix of stores and restaurants and a fun place to walk around and spend an hour or two.

After shopping, it’s a short walk down to La Jolla Cove or the Children’s Pool to finish off the day with sunset at the beach.

La Jolla Design District

The beauty of La Jolla can’t help but spark creativity and inspiration. The design district of Herschel Avenue and Girard Avenue represents the best of La Jolla’s premier design minds and venues. You’ll find full-service design boutiques and niche spots to let you tailor your home, furniture and other design needs to your dream specifications.

It’s a wonderful mixture of vintage, antiques, and trendier new spots; there’s truly something for everyone!

Dempsey La Jolla Plaza

La Plaza La Jolla

La Plaza, a gorgeous open-air shopping destination in La Jolla, was recently renovated and now features incredible ocean views from the top floor plus dozens of boutique, trendy, and upscale shops and boutiques. If you get hungry while you shop, there are also plenty of restaurants (our favorite is definitely Catania!), a juice bar, and a coffee shop. La Plaza has a Moroccan/Spanish theme, and is definitely worth browsing during your La Jolla shopping excursion!

Also nearby is The Shoppes at La Jolla Village Square (just a few minutes drive from UTC), and also boasts several cute shops and restaurants. Regardless, whether you’re on Prospect Street, checking out La Plaza La Jolla, or browsing Girard Ave., you’ll find all types of shops and boutiques to fit your La Jolla shopping needs!

7 Cute Boutiques and Trendy Shops in La Jolla

Our latest roundup of the trendiest La Jolla boutiques is an eclectic mix of surfer-chic and bohemian-gypsy goddess. Take a peek at some of our favorite trending women’s boutiques and shops in La Jolla!

LF Stores

If you’re looking for badass clothing, you have to check out LF stores. Located at 7864 Girard, LF sells clothing for girls who are fierce, fashion forward, and love individuality. The brand is geared toward girls who dare to be different. It’s trendy, yet it pushes boundaries.

LF Stores is known for innovative trends and their personalized styling sessions. Searching the world for inspiration, they have consistently been a leader in unearthing fashion treasures. With their passion for cutting edge looks, they are constantly receiving new and innovative products.

Check out their latest lookbook here.

Pink Lagoon

If you’re looking for casual everyday wear, you need to check out Pink Lagoon. It’s a styling boutique that works for any type of woman whether you’re a student on a budget or a businesswoman looking to add fresh pieces to their wardrobe. The team is known for their welcoming vibe and styling suggestions for what to wear.

Pink Lagoon, located at 1033 Silverado St., is founded on the principle of building a closet that fits your lifestyle. They have a great selection of basics and the latest accessories.

Check out their wardrobe design + styling services here.

Alexia Maria

If you’re in need of a high-end gown for prom or a fancy gala, stop by Alexia Maria located at 1261 Prospect St., in La Jolla. Its designer and creative director, (you guessed it) Alexia Maria, designs her gowns from fabrics such as silk faille, duchesse satin, and organza – handpicked from the best sources.

Every article of clothing is handmade. Her feminine, elegant, and classic gowns are designed with the modern woman in mind. If you’re looking to wear something that will blow people’s minds away, this is the place to go.

Check out her gorgeous website store here.

Diane’s Beachwear

If you’re looking for bikini’s, cover-ups, or the latest swimwear, you need to check out Diane’s Beachwear located at 7920 Herschel Ave. This trendy boutique offers swimwear for young women who want to look great and confident at the beach or poolside. They also sell a variety of beach accessories including a super cute inflatable swan.

Check out their store here.

mimi & red

Mimi & red specialize in casual wear for any occasion. This cute boutique opened in Spring 2007 in San Diego and later expanded to Bird Rock in La Jolla. The welcoming staff makes their customers feel welcome and love giving their styling input when needed.

With a large selection of clothes ranging from fun rompers to wispy dresses, you can find anything you want in the latest style. It’s fun, stylish, beautiful. What else could you ask for in a boutique?

Take a look at their store here. mimi & red is located at 5680 La Jolla Blvd in La Jolla.

RICA Boutique

RICA is what you get when you cross surfer-chic and bohemian-goddess. It’s nothing short of fresh and fun. The founder, Erica Alexander, takes inspiration from fashion blogs, magazines, and street styles to find the top trends at affordable prices for you.

The store draws influences from a wide variety of styles found all over the world and repurposes them in a unique way.RICA Boutique is located at 7944 Girard Ave, La Jolla. Take a peek of their style here.

Swoon Collection

If you want trendy and affordable, head down to Swoon Collection on Ivanhoe Ave. The shop gets new clothes and styles each week. Their collections include everything from rompers to maxis, to delicate rings and large necklaces.

The boutique offers upcoming brands that make any outfit effortlessly chic.

Take a look at their Facebook page here.

La Jolla is not just home to boutique shops, but a wide variety of shops for anyone. Make sure to check out as many as you can, and if you need a pick-me-up get your caffeine fix at one of these coffee shops or grab a bite to eat at one of these yummy La Jolla restaurants.

Where To Find Free Parking in La Jolla

La Jolla is filled with amazing sights and incredible restaurants, but sometimes it seems like it’s almost not worth it when there’s no parking to be had. Instead of circling the block, don’t despair! Use this helpful La Jolla parking guide to plan your outting.

Note that some of these places have small parking spaces or limited spots. Always follow signs and please don’t park in a spot you are not 100% sure you can use! If all fails, pay to park, especially if you plan to spend the entire day in la Jolla. Private parking lots are pretty cheap and it’s better than risking getting a $40 ticket or getting your car towed. You can also call ahead to ask about parking.

La Jolla Shores

Galaxy Taco provides 14 free parking spaces every day. They do fill up quickly during lunchtime, but if you give it a few minutes you’ll usually find something.

The Shores Restaurant offers discounted parking validation to diners. Try to get a table on the patio, as it gives you great up-close views of the waves at La Jolla Shores!

On Girard

Meanley and Sons Ace Hardware is La Jolla’s go-to for hardware and yard supplies. There are a few parking spots in the back, but those are often taken so try to plan for backups or show up early.

Adelaide’s Florist has a short-term zone in the back for quick drop off or pickup, but no proper reserved parking spots.

Union, Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank should all have parking spaces or validated parking for customers. You’ll be glad to know many of the spots are under shady trees, a blessing in the summertime.

On Prospect

Diners at the famous seafood restaurant Crab Catcher can get validated parking for the underground lot, Coastwalk, directly below the restaurant. We recommend the delicious crab legs!

On Herschel

Beer lovers rejoice, as Karl Strauss Brewing Company and Whisknladle does validate parking in two different locations nearby. One is located in an alleyway located directly behind the restaurants. Access to the alleyway is on Herschel. There is an additional option at 1111 Prospect. How it works: Obtain validation coupon from business and deposit in paybox within five minutes of arrival.

If you’re in the mood for a classic sub, Jersey Mike’s has a few 20 minute reserved spots on the first floor of parking structure adjacent to the restaurant (down the driveway).

Sunglasses are a must for the beach! Sunglasses Hut has reserved parking for customers behind their store, though there are not many spots and it is a small lot so be careful.

On Fay

THE LOT La Jolla is a luxury movie theatre with an in-house restaurant and its own parking.

La Jolla Brewing Company has a small private lot with an entry off of Fay. Even if you’re not drinking, a trip to La Jolla Brewing Co. is worth it for the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon alone! Hint: It makes a great lunch date.

Parking for Bernini’s BistroPrepkitchen, and Juice Kaboose is located behind the Sycamore Court alleyway, accessible via Pearl or Kline.

On the other side of Fay is Vons, which has a main lot and a smaller lot behind it off of Fay Avenue with 2 hour parking. The smaller lot is a good option when the main lot gets busy.

Near Pearl and Fay

BevMo has a customer lot, which is especially handy if you’re picking up a keg or cases of wine and don’t want to lug it down the street.

Masala Street redefines the fine Indian dining experience, perfect for a special date night or celebratory dinner. Masala Street has customer parking behind the restaurant, which you can find coming from Fay Ave or Pearl St.

Near Pearl and Draper

El Pescador has their own customer lot. We recommend the fish tacos!

Wahoos Fish Tacos, Be Fresh, The Taco Stand, Pizza on Pearl, and Tandoori Chef all share a few limited spots in their respective locations.

The building where Chedi Thai and Don Carlos is located has parking behind it. Follow signs for designated parking spots for each restuarant.

The Bella Capri building has 2 hour parking for Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill.

Hopefully these free parking spots make your day easier!

La Jolla Holiday Shopping Guide Part II

Read through the first part of our La Jolla Holiday Shopping Guide and haven’t quite found what you’re looking for? Give the rest of these a shot, as La Jolla truly does have something for everyone.

For the Beer Aficionado

Absolution by the Sea Brewery, recently opened where La Jolla Brewing Company used to operate, is a tasting room and brewery right in the heart of La Jolla Village! Your special someone will enjoy a gift certificate for any of their brews during the holiday season; we recommend trying one of their namesake beers, such as the Absolution By the Sea 858 or Absolution by the Sea Copperhead. 7536 Fay Ave.

Try a gift certificate to Public House La Jolla, which specializes in craft beer and burgers. Their extensive beer list is updated daily here. 830 Kline St

Karl Strauss Brewing Company has a location in The Village just off Girard Avenue. Any craft beer fan will appreciate their variety of brews! 1044 Wall St

For the Wine Expert

LJ Crafted Wines in Bird Rock is an urban winery and tasting room. Gift someone a subscription to their growler club, which gives the recipients growlers of a monthly selection of their fresh-from-the-barrel wines. 5621 La Jolla Blvd.

For the Coffee Addict

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters has the best coffee in town! Buy anyone who loves coffee a b

ag of one of their roasts. 5627 La Jolla Blvd

For the Dog Owner

If you need to shop for a dog owner, Muttropolis on Girard is the place to go! This boutique has supplies and accessories for dogs and puppies, including an adorable selection of leashes and collars for true holiday fashion. 7755 Girard Ave.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER!

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT LA JOLLA EVENTS, STORE & RESTAURANT OPENINGS, & MORE!

For the Kids

Geppetto’s in downtown La Jolla is San Diego’s beloved toy store. Find toys for all interests and ages! 7850 Girard Ave

Shannon & Co. Children’s Boutique is a kid’s clothing store that’s been in La Jolla for over 15 years! This local Southern California business sells adorable clothing for babies and young children and blanket. 7863 Girard Suite 110.

For the Interior Decorator

Etceteras La Jolla has home decor, furniture and antiques, making it a great destination to shop for a home decor hobbyist! 7503 Girard Ave

If your partner has been bothering you to get new furniture, surprise them with a trip to Nativa Interiors! Whether you need tables, seating, or anything else, you’ll find collections and styles in one simple location. 7770 Girard Ave

Hi Sweetheart offers adorable home decor gifts, as well as toys, gadgets, books, stationery, and more! One of our favorite boutiques in La Jolla, you’ll be sure to find something for a Palm Springs living room, teen’s bedroom, or den for the holiday season. 7920 Ivanhoe Ave.

For the Health Foodie

Juice Kaboose offers fresh blended organic juices and a diverse menu with many vegan and gluten-free options. Look for their current specials on 3-day juice cleanses! 7556 Fay Ave

Lean and Green organic cafe has a variety of organic veggie-based dishes for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice taste for health! Check out their variety of juices, salads, wraps, bowls and smoothies. 7825 Fay Ave

Beamingsuperfood cafe specializes in cleanses! If your gift recipient is into health cleanses, they’ll love Beaming’s cleansing programs that incorporate food and lifestyle, not just juice. 7863 Girard Ave, Suite 201

All images used are from their respective businesses.

La Jolla Holiday Shopping Guide Part I

Winter holidays are rolling around, and that means gift shopping! Whether you’re just starting to strategize or are ready to go, here’s the first installation of our guide to gift shopping in La Jolla California to help you get what you’re looking for. (Find part two here).

For the Stylish Dresser

A classic since 1950, Ascot Shop boutique has seasonal collections of dapper masculine formal wear, a custom shirts shop, accessories, and some casual options too. If you know someone who would love a nice pair of cufflinks to jazz up their button-down for that holiday dinner, look no further. 7750 Girard Ave.

White House Black Market offers stylish and classy women’s clothing, making it a solid choice if you’re looking to gift someone a beautiful dress, warm sweater, or just a nice pair of work pants. White House Black Market also has accessories and shoes to round out the perfect outfit. 7925 Girard Ave.

Lucky Brand’s durable and sexy jeans? Yes please. Winter in La Jolla may not be that cold but certainly requires a good pair (or three) of jeans. If you need something to match your purchases, Lucky Brand offers many cuts and styles of jeans for all bodies and other clothing as well. 7844 Girard Ave.

We all know someone who appreciates a good plaid or new formal wear. Whatever the desire, Ralph Lauren will be sure to have something to make their holiday dreams come true. This location also carries children’s lines, so you can shop for the whole family. 7830 Girard Ave.

For the Book Enthusiast

Warwick’s offers a broad selection of books for all ages and interests. And if you’re shopping for anyone picking up a new hobby, why not start them off with a good book on the subject? 7812 Girard Ave.

D.G. Wills has “La Jolla’s largest collection of new and used scholarly books” making it the perfect destination if you’re shopping for a collector or an intellectual. Pick up some poetry or a history of Rome! 7461 Girard Ave.

For the Jewelry Collector

Pura Vida Bracelets sells hand-made bracelets from Costa Rica, helping sustain the artisan jewelry economy there. Find a variety of fun, casual, and cute designs for everyone. 1025 Prospect St.

C.J. Charles is the place for jewelry, precious metals, and timepieces in La Jolla. If you’re looking to make this winter special for that special person, head on over to C.J. Charles to see quality pieces from famous collections. 1135 Prospect Street.

For the Yoga Master

Find quality U.S.-made yoga attire at YOGASMOGA. YOGASMOGA has a men’s and a women’s collection that feature technologies like sweat-wicking, anti-pilling, and quick drying. 7863 Girard Ave.

lululemon, known for their yoga attire, also has clothes for running and other athletic pursuits. Join them for monthly trail runs and yoga classes! 7835 Girard Ave.

Buddhi Yoga La Jolla was voted best yoga studio in San Diego, and with good reason! Buy the yoga guru in your life some quality classes or help them follow their dream of becoming a yoga teacher at Buddhi Yoga! 7843 Girard Ave.

For the Cook

Buy the gourmet in your life some new cooking gear, specialty equipment, or diningware at Sur La Table! A new set of bowls or candlesticks for the true holiday table, or a popover pan may be just what that someone wants. 7643 Girard Ave.

Harvard Cookin’ Girl in downtown La Jolla has a variety of cooking classes for all interest groups and skill levels! Whether your gift recipient is a beginner or a dedicated fan, there’s something for everyone. 7441 Girard Ave.

The Newest Azzurra Capri: Have You Heard it’s Coming?!

Who doesn’t dream of teleporting to Italy? We may not be able to walk on the sidewalks of Rome tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean we can’t walk in Italian style. Say hello to Azzurra Capri, the Mediterranean-inspired sandal brand. Featured in stores all over the world, this fall we get to a have an Azzurra Capri boutique, only the second one, right here in La Jolla.

Once Upon A Time…

There was a woman who loved shoes. Diana Carolina, owner and designer, says she’s always been passionate about sandals. “The beauty of San Diego is the weather. When it’s sunny and 70 year round, you really can rock sandals here any time of year!”

With this idea and niche in mind, Diana opened her first flagship store in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. It was originally intended as a simple showroom for her handmade Italian sandals, but soon enough turned into the popular boutique that is beloved across San Diego county today. With La Plaza’s Mediterranean architecture, rooted in Spanish & Moroccan culture, Diana realized it was the perfect fit for her second store. She has a lot of loyal customers in North County, where she’s originally from herself, and La Jolla will be the perfect bridge for these clients.

The New Azzurra Capri La Jolla Location

Shoppers can expect to see the signature type of sandals Diana is so famous for at the new La Jolla store. Diana also promises a strong concept of swimwear and resortwear, featuring new, fresh brands to the La Jolla Azzurra Capri boutique.

I love that Diana’s style is authentic; she’s consistently visiting Europe, including Italy, of course. There she attends trade shows and gets inspiration from the latest fashions. “Their (European) fashion is very much about having unique pieces in a closet that they’ll have for a long time. Instead of a quick, trendy piece that won’t last long, it’s all about getting something that’s really good quality and timeless.” It is such timeless pieces we can look forward to seeing in La Jolla’s Azzurra Capri.

Azzurra Capri: The Starbucks of the Sandal World

Diana is the Starbucks of the sandal world because, like your tall mocha with peppermint syrup and non-fat milk, she can customize shoes to be exactly what you want. At both the Little Italy location and the new La Jolla La Plaza venue, you can come in and have custom sandals made just for you. This includes:

  • Sizing your feet for the perfect fit
  • Choosing your leathers
  • Creating your dream style and look, whether plain and simple or extra glam

Until the Store’s Fall Opening

I can’t wait for the opening this fall. In the meantime, check out her website to get a feel for what’s to come at: Azzurra Capri.

You can also see a seriously breathtaking bathing suit, featured from her Little Italy Azzurra Capri location, in a post from our guest blogger: Snorkeling & Kayaking at La Jolla Cove with Stephanie Blaunc.

La Plaza Shopping Center Welcomes 3 New Tenants

La Plaza, La Jolla’s new premier shopping center, is already a fantastic place to shop and dine. But wait…looks like the experience is about to get better. La Plaza La Jolla is introducing 3 new tenants:

  • Azzurra Capri
  • Kenneth Barlis
  • Le Petit Bistrot

What is it that each of these has to offer?

 

For Shoes that Really Sparkle: Azzurra Capri

This Mediterranean-inspired sandal brand and boutique, Azzurra Capri, has its flagship store in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Not that I mind venturing into SD’s marvelous Italian neighborhood (#espresso #pastries), but it’s going to be wonderful to have this unique boutique right here in La Jolla; it’ll be the perfect bridge between the North County client base and the current San Diego store.

Azzurra Capri will be proud to host its namesake signature Italian handmade leather sandals. Created by owner and designer, Diana Carolina, she started designing these sandals when inspired by a trip to the Emalfi Coast of Italy. Now, everything that goes into the shoe, even when custom made in the store, is straight form Italy. These beautiful sandals are sold around the world and are trademarked by dazzling Swarovski crystals – certified, of course.

Wedding Bells Anyone? Kenneth Barlis

Tying the knot soon? Or know someone who is? If so, look no further than Kenneth Barlis, San Diego’s ultimate luxury formal and bridal wear designer, for wedding dress and accessory needs.

Barlis’ work has been shown internationally and been featured in top fashion magazines like Vogue Italia. Look forward to garments and pieces featuring his signature intricate layering, detail and use of natural materials.

Get a feel for his fashion and style from the Kenneth Barlis Instagram.

For Truly Authentic Parisian Cuisine: Le Petit Bistrot

My favorite thing about Paris, without a doubt, is the endless supply of plazas and sidewalks lined with outdoor cafes. I’m excited to say that, thanks to this new La Plaza bistrot, I’ll no longer have to jump on an airplane to experience this French phenomenon.

Guest chef star, Gérard Chauvet, and his sous-chef (and son-in-law), Pierre-Olivier Dedieu, are bringing France to us right here in La Jolla through their cooking. The visionary behind it all, Eric Le Glass, promises that Le Petit Bistrot will be a traditional French Bistro with strong roots in Parisian cuisine. It’ll be the very first one in California, featuring items from already established restaurant menus and brand new dishes.

The breakfast menu will include classic French items like fresh croissants and decadent crepes. For lunch and dinner, we can look forward to dishes like French Onion Soup, Escargots a la Bourguignonne and Duck Confit et Pommes Salardaises.

I’m particularly excited about the design and ambience. Diners will actually be able to view the dishes being prepared via an open kitchen. In my humble opinion, dining is all the more fun when we can see the process behind the meal.

French Breakfast from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

French Onion Soup from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

Sea Scallops from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

Orange Crabmeat from Le Petit Bistro in La Jolla, CA

 

La Plaza: Learn More & Get Connected

Learn more about this luxury destination shopping center at our page: La Plaza: The Most Anticipated Venue of the Year.

To get updates on openings and see some afternoon inspiring pictures, make sure to get connected with La Plaza on their FacebookTwitter (@LaPlazaLaJolla) and Instagram(@LaPlazaLaJolla).

4 Best La Jolla Dog Services & Businesses

You relish getting your nails done. You can’t wait till your next hair salon appointment. Why not allow your dog salon time, too? And what about training, is there room for enhancement there?

There are very high quality La Jolla dog grooming, training and service venues; here are the top 4 dog service places in La Jolla!

Pawtopia

Pawtopia in La Jolla, a business voted Best Dog Training Company in San Diego, offers a varray of valuable dog services. They offer:

  1. Dog group training classes
  2. Dog private training classes
  3. Dog Play & Train sessions
  4. Dog Vacay & Train sessions

Perhaps you have a new puppy in training or are going on vacation and need a doggie boarding house. As with humans, La Jolla’s Pawtopia believes each dog learns differently, so they develop unique training programs customized to each canine. Learn more about their offerings at their site, Pawtopia.com.

Uptown Woofs

This is a prime example of La Jolla dog grooming at its highest. Uptown Woofs’ Yelp review is already solid proof: They have 5 stars. They offer doggie baths, dog haircuts, nail grinding and nail trimming. Uptown Woofs is a family-owned business. Multiple generations of this family have and continue to put all their care and love into dogs’ treatment with great skill, famous for ability to trim the curliest and furriest of dog coats!

If you’re still unsure, how does a free gift sound? Uptown Woofs loves to give new clients a welcome present. (What is it? Treats and toys that’ll have your dog wanting to come back soon.)

All About Animals

All About Animals in La Jolla is a family-owned pet store that offers both pet products and pet services. Just like humans, All About Animals understand dogs have their own tastes and preferences. This is why you’ll find such a wide variety of food, treats, toys an more.

If you’re looking for pet services, they also offer:

  1. Grooming
  2. Home pet care
  3. Dog walking

Pet dental cleaning for both dogs and cats (They partner with the dental hygienists from Canine Care Inc.)

To learn more, just head on over to the All About Animals Website.

Sydnee’s Pet Grooming

This is the all-inclusive La Jolla dog service spot. They offer just about everything your dog needs. This includes:

    1. Pet styling
    2. Pet dental
    3. Pet training
    4. Pet sitting
    5. Pet photography
    6. Pet transportation

Located right on La Jolla Boulevard,  you can enjoy the beach (only a few blocks away!) while your dog enjoys their treatment. Get the full scoop on the Sydnee’s Pet Grooming website.

Other La Jolla Dog Activities

Does your pet want to show off their new shiny coat or new training skills? Check out the Top Spots for Dogs in La Jolla (and Dog Owners!)

Weekend Escape @ UTC: Why this Place isn’t Just a Mall

This past weekend, March 28th & 29th, Westfield UTC lived the La Jolla lifestyle to the fullest. People usually take a break from the day-to-day at this outdoor mall by walking the shops and dining at the restaurants. Saturday and Sunday, however, they did so by breaking into a sweat and experiencing new products in Weekend Escape.

From hip hop and yoga to sunset spin, this event was all about being an inspiration for living a good life. This community is proud to be conscious of health, fitness and wellness. It’s why you see many yoga studios throughout the village and so many runners on the beaches.

Culinary-wise, Pirch had its masterful chefs perform cooking demonstrations out front and Shake Smart gave out fantastic samples after the 24 Hour Fitness buns & thighs workout challenge. And to celebrate the end of the first successful day? A VIP Cocktail party packed with perfected shrimp, gourmet mac & cheese and an assortment of beers and wines. There’s just nothing like soft brie and candied walnuts after a day of hearty fitness.

People certainly earned their calories this weekend. Jen Burdis, an American Ninja Warrior bootcamp powerhouse, led people through series of workouts that would make the most trained of athletes proud. Music-wise, people caught their breath while listening to fantastic tunes performed by talented folks like Erick Macek.

The spin class at sunset was easily a top favorite. The instructor and her two assistants, all donning wicked cool leggings, had a large crew of men and women pumping to the beats of club-worthy electronic music. As the sun went down, their heart rates went up. Us spectators greatly applauded the athleticism!

Westfield UTC may offer amazing La Jolla shopping and restaurants, but it does so much else with events like this. After you cool down from this weekend, get excited for what else is coming up…like the Uncorked Wine Walk in May!

Interested in other festivities in La Jolla? Check out our Events Page.

University Town Center: What Can it Offer You?

University Town Center: What Can it Offer You?

Have a cocktail party coming up? Searching for new shoes? Whether you have a purchase goal in mind or simply in the mood to browse, the Westfield University Town Center (more commonly known as UTC) offers a near-infinite range of store options. However, it’s more than just a place to shop. The UTC is a place to enjoy coffee, dine, ice skate and watch the latest movies.

la-jolla-utc-westfield-333x313

Shopping

Certain occasions call for jeans; others need an outfit you can’t as easily roll into a suitcase. Nordstrom. Banana Republic. Express. Free People. Michael Kors. Hollister. Abercrombie & Fitch. From designer to department store to boutique, UTC has something for everyone. If you’re not just here for clothes and accessories, don’t worry. For makeup and beauty, find niche spots like Sephora and BareMinerals. Looking to upgrade your technology? Apple has a highly trained staff at the location here. And if you’re looking to spruce up a room or do some interior design, Crate & Barrel and Pottery barn are here to help.

(Anyone looking to get a significant other – or hey, treat themselves – something extra special? Head right on over to Tiffany & Co.)

Dining

Powering up for shopping and fueling in between is crucial for shopping enjoyment and focus. (It’s difficult to decide which dress looks best when you’re body is hungrily declaring it time to eat!) There’s plenty of food selection to keep you sustained here. You can head to the food court or one of the independent restaurants. Load up on delicious, nutritious food at Tender Greens, hit Eureka! Burger for something hearty or experience a higher level of dining experience at Seasons 52.

Deals & Offers

Though this mall that has many high-end stores, there are plenty of ways to grab great offers. On the UTC’s website, they have a list of deals that is kept up-to-date. See when Aldo’s shoes are on sale, when teachers can get an extra discount at J. Crew or when the Children’s Place is having wicked good specials.

Entertainment

It’s no joke how tired one can be after shopping. The lengthy amounts of walking, the reaching and lifting of products, the carrying of well-filled bags…that’s one of the great things about having a movie theater here. After hearty hours hitting the shops, sink into a comfortable chair, sit back and let the cinema screen entertain you.

Other Nearby Arenas

If you’re ready to peruse more, there are other great areas to shop in La Jolla, such as the downtown village. Learn more about the overall scene at the Ultimate La Jolla Shopping Guide.

 

Peter Lik Gallery: Seller of the World’s Most Expensive Photograph

Peter Lik Gallery: Seller of the World’s Most Expensive Photograph

Photography started out as a hold-it-right-there, don’t-move-a-muscle process back in the 1800s. Since that time, technology has grown exponentially and enabled photography to become a powerful art form.

la-jolla-peter-lik-gallery

With examples like the sailor sweeping a nurse off her feet at the end of World War II, we see how important captured images are to our society’s documentation and the beauty they offer.

It can definitely be argued that the modern day master, the Leonardo da Vinci if you will, of photography, particularly landscape, is none other than Peter Lik. Known for being challenged to “Go big or go home”, he tackles both by traveling around the globe and making time to be in his homeland, Australia.

Globally Acclaimed Work

Peter Lik has won an astounding number of international awards, earning over 50 awards in 2014 alone. In that same year, 2014, Peter Lik sold Phantom for $6.5 million dollars, making it the highest costing photograph of all time.

la-jolla-peter-lik-photography

The La Jolla Gallery

He has galleries around the globe, and great excitement was raised when he announced the opening of another gallery in downtown La Jolla. It is run by staff who live and breath Peter Lik’s work, or Pete as they call him. They can quickly and confidently answer any questions you may have about where a piece was shot, what year it came out or how the photograph achieves the illusion of glowing.

One of the managers said this is probably her most frequently asked question, how the image appears to glow. Many people believe they must be backlit. I felt tempted to agree but, upon watching her take it out of the frame, understood there was no way that was possible. It is simply the ink and genius way the photography is printed.

The First Friday of Every Month

You can stroll into the gallery at anytime during open hours to walk the walls and peruse the pictures. However, there’s a way to do it with a bit more flare that we definitely recommend. The first Friday of every month, they invite anyone interested in Peter’s work to come in for a night of cheese, wine and photography. Sip reds or whites while learning about the artwork. It’s also a fun way to mingle with fellow photography lovers and discuss the work.

Looking to Dive Further into Art?

If you or your significant other deeply appreciate art or are starting to gain interest in it, we’ve put together an itinerary for the ultimate art date in La Jolla. Check it out at our blog: The Ultimate Art Lovers’ Date in La Jolla.

La Plaza: The Most Anticipated Venue of the Year

A Brand New Welcome

On March 16th, 2015, La Jollans geared up for more than just St. Patrick’s Day. After much anticipation, they finally got to enter the new La Plaza, one of the most exciting grand openings of the year.

la-plaza-la-jolla-9

This new luxury destination shopping center in the heart of the Village is a beautifully designed and open-aired marvel. Its open-air design is key because, let’s be real, who who wants to be trapped in a covered mall when you’re by the ocean on a beautiful day?

Culinary & Shopping Excellence

This boutique center is proud to offer guests opportunities to visit high-end retail shops, upscale dining venues and professional services of the highest quality.

It’s easy to imagine yourself doing just that as you walk by the Lissilaa Boutique, a haute couture spot, and glance over the menu at Elixir Espresso & Wine Bar, an espresso lover’s dream that’s known for its skilled baristas, fresh crepes and decadent cheese boards.

la-plaza-la-jolla-6

la-plaza-la-jolla-1(1)

La Plaza also specializes in Health and wellness, which its new businesses like Beaming make clear. Beaming organic superfood cafe became a quick hit in its two Los Angeles locations with its all-organic, plant-based menu of smoothies, juices and meals on-the-go. It’s now excited to bring this same quality and lifestyle brand to La Jolla. Also give YOGASMOGA a look, which sells ethically produced, made in the U.S. yoga athletic apparel and hosts yoga classes.

Awe-Inspiring Architecture

Besides the shopping and culinary opportunities, a huge draw for locals and visitors alike is the architecture. Headed by P+R Architects Principal Mitra Esfandiari and project manager Matthew Wister, this three-story center has a European personality that can instantly make you believe you’re abroad (especially when you’ve just had an espresso over at Elixir)! Stroll through La Plaza, and you’ll encounter Spanish and Moroccan design elements such as tile wall murals.

Interested in being one of the first people to check it out for yourself? Simply head down to 7863 Girard Avenue, but make sure to prepare to feel swept off your feet!

Popular Attractions Near La Jolla: Seaport Village

Seaport Village

Interested in venturing outside of La Jolla? Head to downtown San Diego and you’ll find yourself in the bustling metropolitan hub that’s home to the Padres baseball team and multitude of nightclubs. For a laid-back vibe, head to the harbor and you’ll find the charming, calm microcosm that is Seaport Village.

1605_seaportvillage_near_la_jolla_feature

Interested in venturing outside of La Jolla? Head to downtown San Diego and you’ll find yourself in the bustling metropolitan hub that’s home to the Padres baseball team and multitude of night clubs. For a laid-back vibe, head to the harbor and you’ll find the charming, calm microcosm that is Seaport Village.

What is this Place?

You can expect to be a bit surprised at this venue; it’s not the traditional complex of restaurants and shops. It feels more like a small, cobblestoned, European village that simply happens to have the backdrop of San Diego skyscrapers.

Along the water’s walkway you’ll see all types of fun wares and products being sold. There’s even one gentlemen who brings his beloved birds for people to meet and greet with. Shake “hands” with a cockatoo or feel like a pirate with one of the parrots on your shoulder! With all their colorful feathers, they make for seriously photogenic photo partners.

Restaurants & More

There are a variety of great restaurants and eateries located within the village. There are 13 casual eateries, 4 upscale dining venues along the water and (most importantly) the Seaport Cookie Company that bakes the most wonderful array of sweet treats.

After eating a good meal and enjoying a long stroll along the water, we suggest taking a trip to Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffeehouse. Enjoy a latte as you peruse the shelves and end up curled up with a book (or 2 or 3…) If diving into literature doesn’t sell you, their gift section probably will. The store holds a variety of unique gifts and stationery that may be the perfect item you’ve been searching for.

Holidays & Festivals

For some of the year’s biggest holidays, particularly Easter and Christmas, Seaport Village hosts wonderful, child-geared events such as Surfin’ Santa, Breakfast with Santa and photos with the Easter Bunny.

What you’re less likely to have attended is a Busker Festival, which the village is proud to put on every year. A busker is a street performer, like the ladies and gentlemen that paint their entire bodies gold and appear to be moving statues. Think Pier 39 in San Francisco. New York City. And…Seaport Village. This annual festival brings in the best of the best street performers from around the US to entertain the public, for free! It is the only one in Southern California, so you don’t want to miss it. (It’s usually held in early March.)

Parking

As with any busy city, you’re probably wondering how crazy the parking gets here. There are a large amount of parking spaces that are $3 for 2 hours. Each 30 minutes after this initial time slot will then cost another $2.

The Hilton Hotel Bayfront has partnered with the village to workout another option, as well. Park there, for a one-day fee, and simply shuttle over.

While You’re in the Area

While you’re in the area, we definitely recommend walking into the downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. If you’re in this neck of the woods for baseball season, snag tickets and check out all that Petco Park has to offer.

Visit Pacific Beach Neighborhood

Pacific Beach Neighborhood

Head slightly south of La Jolla and find yourself in Pacific Beach, the neighborhood with the movie-like, casual beach lifestyle. With a reputation for surfing, yoga, beachside bars and hopping nightlife, it’s no wonder it’s the first stop for so many 21st birthday bashes.

IMG_0796

The wonderful thing about Pacific Beach is that if you’re seeking a high energy, glass-clinking experience, it’s easy to find. If you’re looking for a calmer experience that involves great cafes, meditation and long walks on the beach, it’s easy to take yourself from the heyday of the main street and relax.

The Main Downtown

The always-happening street of this area is Garnet Avenue. On it you’ll find dozens of bars, restaurants, dance clubs, boutique shops and more. On the weekend and Taco Tuesdays, this area is particularly famous for bars that are open until 2 am. There’s a wide variety of bar types and vibes. Some are smaller and have games like foosball, while you’re more likely to find yourself dancing to colorful lights at Typhoon’s or playing human-sized Connect 4 with a margarita in hand at Cabo Cantina.

On weekends, brunch is a much beloved tradition here. Many venues offer hand-crafted Bloody Marys and incredibly bottomless mimosa deals. (It has been suggested that the people who most love these brunches are those who were heavily enjoying the bar scene here the night before!) Shopping-wise, this area tends to be quite underrated. Pacific Beach is so popular one assumes most clothing is expensive and oriented towards visiting tourists.

However, you can find great quality clothes, sunglasses, accessories and more for reasonable prices. The most popular form of shopping is through the second chance stores. Some examples of these shops include Buffalo Exchange, Thrift Trader and Goodwill. You’ll find incredible deals on great clothes. Sometimes you can find top designer options that even still have the tags on! If that’s not a good deal…we don’t know what is!

Bird Rock: The Blurred Line of La Jolla & Pacific Beach

Northern Pacific Beach is the more calm, more laid back area of PB. Stroll this area to find decadent San Diego-made coffee, take great pilates classes and, if you stroll far enough North, find yourself arriving back in La Jolla! The coastline at this end of Pacific Beach is also more calm.

You’re more likely to see people laying on towels engrossed in books than a group of fraternity men from one of the local schools hosting a volleyball tournament.

Top Activities

Besides nightlife and shopping, just about all of the most popular activities, of course, relate to the beach. We highly recommend:

Renting a Bicycle

If you’re visiting, bicycling is the best way to get around because it eliminates the trickiness of parking on a sunny weekend!

Surfing or Boogie Boarding

You can rent or buy equipment at many local venues and the water here is prime for both.

Running

Along the boardwalk, along the sand…there are many great runs. Check out the top 4 trails our friends over at Visit PB recommend at their blog: Best 4 Trails to Run in PB.

Trying New Food. Specifically? Sushi!

Being right by the water, this neighborhood is a mecca for sushi restaurants. They’re all good, but our favorite and recommendation is Zen 5 Sushi.

Practicing Yoga

Whether you’ve been practicing for years or are just interested in loosening up, PB allows yogis of all levels to practice and increase their depth. The library offers yoga for free on Tuesdays, the infamous cliffs at Law Street host free sessions every weekend morning and private venues like Corepower Yoga attract many with the popular “hot power infused” classes. Learn more about yoga in PB at Visit PB’s Yoga Page.

Nearby & More Information

Slightly south of this area is the laid-back, local vibing Mission Beach & Bay. You can incorporate it into your Pacific Beach itinerary by reading more about this area at our Mission Beach & Bay Neighborhood Page.

And, hey, want to learn more about the specific beach area of Pacific Beach, like where to find parking? Head to our Beaches Directory and check out our Pacific Beach Page.

Downtown San Diego & Gaslamp

Downtown San Diego & Gaslamp

La Jolla is the perfect place to relax in an atmosphere that’s deluxe yet laid-back. If you’re looking to turn the energy up and experience the bustle of a big city, just head south to downtown San Diego, most specifically – the Gaslamp Quarter.

silver-disco-ball1

The Gaslamp is a central hub of diverse nightlife, popping clubs, one-of-a-kind bars and divine restaurants. We want to highlight the best spots and events to be on the look out for.

Restaurants

It’s easy to travel the world in style and comfort right here in the Gaslamp. The unique restaurants here serve food from around the world, each specialized in their own distinct dishes. From Brazilian steakhouses (Fogo de Chão) to gourmet fondue (The Melting Pot), they have it all.

The ultimate way to experience these places is during San Diego’s Restaurant Week. The finest of fine restaurants put together set menus of their mouth-watering food at extra special prices. Find yourself enjoying a $15 lunch at Searsucker or a full, top-of-the-line dinner at Greystone Steakhouse for only $40!

For the most hip of hipster restaurants, The Neighborhood is fantastic. No ketchup and no drama. This spot offers fantastic burgers, jalapeno mac ‘n’ cheese and innovative cocktails such as the “Wrong Island”. It’s base? Earl Grey infused gin.

Clubs & Bars

Perhaps you want to try a drink you’ve never heard of. Maybe you want to people watch. You’re pondering if you want to dance the night away. There’s a wide variety of bars and clubs here for all of these activities.

Perusing the streets you’ll find many bars worth checking out, however, the most exclusive bar cannot be found unless you know where it is. For a truly insider experience, we’re going to let you in on a secret…The Noble Experiment. This is no ordinary bar. It cannot be seen from the outside and you must reserve beforehand.

How to find it? You must enter The Neighborhood restaurant and go to the very back. Go past the bathrooms and see a wall of barrels. Push the wall and you’ll discover…it’s not a wall; it’s a door, a door to a receptionist who’ll welcome you to a 1920s bar. It was, in fact, a speakeasy back during prohibition times that’s still operating today. Experience this time period for yourself by taking in the atmosphere and ordering yourself a mean cocktail! (And make sure to book a week beforehand; this place gets reserved fast.)

For dancing, some of the most popular clubs (especially for a younger demographic) include The Tipsy Crow, Whiskey Girl and Fluxx. For a slightly more mature crowd, there’s a great country bar with everything from dancing and DJs to a backroom with cornhole, foosball and and ping pong: the marvelous Moonshine Flats. For a place with every type of drink and beer you can imagine that also has plenty of screens for watching the game, hit the delicious and dim-lit Yardhouse.

Petco Park

Whether you love baseball or have never seen a single game, Petco Park is a great destination. Nestled in the heart of downtown, look down to see the ball game and cast your eyes up to see the skyrise of the city buildings and (if it’s night time) the city lights surrounding you. Every type of vendor is here, including fancier cuisine than your standard hot dog and Coke. And if baseball really isn’t your sport, this venue hosts other events like live concerts, as well.

Learn more about this famous venue at our Petco Park Page.

Last But Not Least, Cruises!

You can plan your trip to downtown or, by simply walking around, let it plan your day for you. Walking down the street a restaurant’s aroma may capture you. Stroll down by the bay and you’ll find out a Hornblower Cruise is leaving. Why not hop on? To learn more about cruises that leave from this downtown area, check out our Dinner Cruises Page and Sunset Cruises Page.