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SHOPPING

Whether you are window shopping, picking out a souvenir to bring back home, or buying an entire new wardrobe; you won't be disappointed with the abundance of shopping choices that San Diego has to offer. With an average temperature of 72 degrees the variety of outdoor shopping malls, shopping centers, vintage/antique stores, and quaint neighborhood boutiques, San Diego offers a pleasant yet energized atmosphere to partake in some San Diego shopping.

Westfield Plaza

3030 Plaza Bonita Road, Suite 2075 , National City, CA 91950 (619) 267-2850

Opened : 1981

Westfield Plaza Bonita, formerly Shopping Town Plaza Bonita, is a shopping mall in National City, California, owned by the Westfield Group. Its anchor stores are JCPenney, AMC Theaters, Macy's, and Target.

Sea Port Village

619-235-4014
849 W. Harbor Dr. Suite D
San Diego, CA 92101

Even before browsing any of our 54 specialty merchants or perusing the menus of our 17 restaurants, you'll sense a difference at Seaport Village. It's shopping that doesn't quite feel like it. Four miles of tree-lined paths. Quaint maritime buildings. Fourteen acres of coastal paradise. Sweeping panoramas of San Diego's Big Bay. Weekly music and entertainment. All of it made even better by that everyday San Diego sun. Whether shopping, dining or just strolling, Seaport Village provides it all. Everything. Under the sun.

On your next trip to San Diego you can be assured of two things: the weather will be amazing and you'll discover lots to do at Seaport Village. Whether whiling away a whole day or just stepping out for an hour, our 50-plus diverse shops , 17 unique eateries and outdoor entertainment will more than satisfy. Come explore Seaport Village's sprawling tropical grounds and find everything under

With over 50 places to shop, we very well might have everything. Clothing for women, men and kids. Souvenirs, art, toys. Gifts for others, gifts for yourself. And in between the variety in all the shops, the everything continues—a lagoon, a carousel, a marina and much more.

For better or for worse, shopping malls have become the town squares of American society. Entertainment, along with shopping, is the name of the game for malls these days. So, a trip to the mall means a little shopping, something to eat, then catch a movie. And some malls do the entertainment thing better than others (Westfield Shoppingtowns notwithstanding). Here's my subjective take on the malls around San Diego County. I won't include "big box" centers , only your traditional shopping malls.

Fashion Valley Center

Located approximately one mile from the Mission Valley Travelodge

The class of San Diego malls, Fashion Valley has arguably the best of the upscale stores. Nordstrom, JC Penney, Macy's, Nieman Marcus and the new Bloomingdale's anchor this well appointed two-level outdoor mall. Where else will you find a Tiffany store? Good restaurants and an AMC multiplex make this a place to go beyond shopping. Burberry, Lily Pulitzer, Gucci, Ruehl, Apple and Sony Style store reflect the mall's cool factor.

Westfield Mission Valley

Located approximately two miles from the Mission Valley Travelodge.

Westfield's Mission Valley Center The selection of shops and the gigantic AMC multiplex suggest a catering to the teen and young adult crowd. But it does have a two-level Target (always good to have), two Macy's stores and Nordstrom Rack, and a 24-Hour Fitness gym .

Westfield Horton Plaza

Horton Plaza's construction in the mid-1980s jump-started the Gaslamp renaissance. Its multi-level, somewhat confusing whimsical architecture is a must-see for any San Diego visitor. Nordstrom, Macy's and a wide array of shops and eateries make this the noontime stop for downtown workers.

Otay Ranch Town Center

OK, Otay Ranch Town Center just opened in fall 2006. So what makes it so special? Well, it's the first regional mall to open in 20 years. And it's not your traditional mall, but a "lifestyle" mall. Think: a neighborhood business district, only with upscale shops and department stores .

Westfield University Town Center

One of the many Westfield Shoppingtown entities, UTC is a pleasant outdoor mall. Located in the Golden Triangle area (and slated for a refurbishing), it caters to the yuppie/soccer mom crowd. The much-used ice skating rink distinguishes the mall from others of Westfield's homogenous stable. Nordstrom, Sears, and Macy's are the majors.

Grossmont Center

This quaint mall in La Mesa is the shopping center that time forgot. It's a cozy, well-maintained outdoor mall in La Mesa that is lacking in pizazz and choices - in fact, it's a bit dull. But in the world of mega-malls, sometimes dull is OK. Anchored by a two-story Target, a smallish Macy's, Grossmont also has a nice Pacific Cinema, and a two-level Wal-Mart.

Westfield Parkway Plaza

Yet another Westfield mall, Parkway Plaza is the regional mall serving East County. This indoor, single level mall is a necessity in scorching El Cajon. Malls tend to reflect their clientele, and Parkway serves the unpretentious, middle America of East County. Young adult shops, a Regal Cinema and a food court make this the area's teen hangout. A two-story Wal-Mart is the newest tenant.

Westfield Plaza Bonita

Located in the South County area, Plaza Bonita is the Westfield indoor, two-level counterpart to Plaza Camino Real. In fact, other than the more ethnically diverse makeup of the Chula Vista, National City area shoppers (Hispanic, Filipino), you wouldn't know if you were in Plaza Camino, North County or Plaza Bonita. But the mall is undergoing and extensive makeover, adding a Target, Borders Books, and 14-screen AMC Cinema by 2008.

Chula Vista Center

Chula Vista Center is one of the smaller malls in the region, and often gets lost in the shuffle between nearby Plaza Bonita and the new Otay Ranch Towne Center. An older mall located in downtown Chula Vista, it has the only Sears store in the South Bay are. It's also anchored by Macy's, JCPenney, Mervyn's, and an ULTRAStar Cinema. Chula Vista Mall

Westfield Plaza Camino Real

Another generic, indoor Westfield mall, Plaza Camino Real serves the North County Coastal area (Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside). Two-level, with the usual assortment of over 170 stores, Plaza Camino is as undistinguished as North County Fair, except they have a MovieMax Theatre Plaza. A new Steve & Barry's University Sportswear and Bella Furniture are open.

Westfield North County

Yet another Westfield shopping mall, North County (Fair) serves the North County bedroom communities of Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, etc. This large, two-level indoor mall is of mid-1980s vintage with your usual allotment of department stores and shops (JC Penney, Sears, Nordstrom). Before Westfield took it over, it was known as North County Fair, and people still refer to it as that.

Factory Outlet Malls

They used to be called "factory outlet" stores and located in non-descript, glorified strip malls. Boy, have things changed. Today, San Diego's outlet centers are impressive retail complexes that rival your traditional regional shopping mall. And they offer you high-profile brands in their own dedicated stores, though to be honest, not all of them are "outlet" stores.

In fact, from my experience, I don't see a huge difference in discounts offered from any good sale at your traditional retail store. In fact, some of the prices seem awfully, well, retail. Nonetheless, many shoppers swear to outlet centers, attributing much to the perception that they're getting a discount on name brands. And if you feel like you're getting a bargain, then that's all that matters, right?

Las Americas

Las Americas is the county's newest outlet center and it is an impressive one indeed. Latin themed in architecture, this sprawling complex next to the Mexico border offers well over 75 stores to fill every designer addict's need. Nike, Hilfiger, Claiborne...you name it, Las Americas has it, and a new expansion has added even more stores including Neiman Marcus, Kennth Cole, Polo and Coach outlets. Take the last U.S. exit to Camino de la Plaza.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets

Carlsbad Premium Outlets is another sprawling complex serving the north county. With 90 stores in an attractive setting, next to the Carlsbad Flower Fields, this outlet center is heavy on the designer names (Karan, Cole, Lauren), and even has a Barney's New York outlet. 5620 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008.

Viejas Outlet Center

Viejas Outlet Center, located across from the Viejas Casino, is the county's first of the dressed up outlet centers. And it still is the best in terms of ambience. The Native American theme and meandering walkways and gardens lend to a more serene shopping experience, if that's at all possible. But it works. The shops are your usual assortment of outlet standbys (Hilfiger, Gap, Nike), but it's worth the drive to Alpine. Plus, don't miss the special water shows, Power of Nightfire during summer and Legend of the Ice Princess show during the holidays. Oh yeah, and you can hit the casino if you still have dough after shopping. 5000 Willows Rd. Alpine, CA 91901.

San Diego Factory Outlet

The first of San Diego's outlet centers, the Factory Outlet has fallen somewhat on hard times with the opening of the flashier Las Americas right across the street. Mainly because most of the orginal tennants abandoned this strip mall for the nicer Las Americas digs. But there are still a few shops where you can find bargains. 4498-B Camino de la Plaza, San Ysidro, CA 92173.

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro 2265 Bacon St. 921OB - 921PL - 921PB Abbott Street Market 2074 Abbott St. The Ace Tattoo Company 5058 1/2 Newport Ave. American Home Automation, LLC / AHA-AV 4833 Santa Monica Ave. Apogee Body Piercing 4985 Newport Ave. Apple Tree Supermarket 4976 Newport Ave. Arco Gas Station 1902 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. The Artist Outpost 4822 Santa Monica Ave. Beach Sweets 5022 Newport Ave. Bernie's Bicycle Shop 1911 Cable St. Better Surf...than Sorry and Surfer Baby 5059 Newport Ave. Bird's Surf Shed 1963 Abbott St. The Black 5017 Newport Ave. Blondstone Jewelry Studio 1912 Cable St. Botanica Home and Garden 1909 Cable St. Branches and Blossoms 4030 Wabaska Dr. Breast Pump Genie 1889 Bacon St. Camellia Wedding Flowers 2232 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Chameleon Hair Lounge & Boutique 4728 Voltaire St. Claytime Ceramics & Gifts 1863 Bacon St. The Closet 4878 Newport Ave. Coastal Sage Gardening & Botany for Kids, Lic# 920677 3685 Voltaire St. Coconut Peet's Surfboard Repair & Trading Co. 4103-4111 Voltaire St. Computer Guy Services - Professional Technology Consulting 4870 Santa Monica Ave. The Corner Store 4873 Newport Ave. Cow Records 5040 Newport Ave. Creations 4958 Newport Ave. Crystal Visions 4966 Santa Monica Ave. CVS Pharmacy 4949 Santa Monica Ave. East Wind Herbs 4966 Santa Monica Ave. European Cake Gallery 3661 Voltaire St. Falling Sky Pottery 1951-B Abbott St. Floral Fantasia 4993 Niagara Ave. Flowers of Point Loma 2170 Chatsworth Blvd. Galactic Comics & Video Rental 4981 Newport Ave. Gilmore Family Jewelers 2675 Rosecrans St. Golden Seashell Jewelry 4920 Newport Ave. The Holistic Science Company 4852 Voltaire St. Hoppy Beer Gear Humble Heart Thrift Store & Boutique 4967 Newport Ave. In Harmony Herbs & Spices 1862 1/2 Bacon St. James Gang Company 4851 Newport Ave. Julie Designs 1877 /1883 Bacon St. Karen's Consignment Gallery 4051 Voltaire St. Kobey's Swap Meet 3350 Sports Arena Blvd. La Playa Books 1026 Rosecrans St. Mad Monk Tea 4966 Santa Monica Ave. Maek Ceramics 1918 Bacon St. Mallory's 4916 Newport Ave. Mallory's New Furniture Store 4905 Newport Ave. Meditation & Manifestation Supply Store 4799 1/2 Voltaire St. Miss Match 4932 Newport Ave. Newport Farms Market 5004 Newport Ave. Newport Quik Stop 4921 Newport Ave. Nina Brazil / Designer Style 4925 Newport Ave. OB Corner Store 4991 Newport Ave. OB Gift Shop 4949 Newport Ave. OB Hardware 4871 Newport Ave. OB Quik Stop Liquor 4984 Voltaire St. OB Smoke Shop 5038 Newport Ave. Ocean Beach Antique Mall/ Empire Enterprises 4926 Newport Ave. Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Market 4765 Voltaire St. Ocean Beach Surf & Skate/Ocean Experience Surf School 4940 Newport Ave. Ocean Gifts & Shells 4934 Newport Ave. Olive Tree Marketplace 4805 Narragansett Ave. Ozzie's Import Auto Repair / AUTO SOUND 1871 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Pat's 1502 Glassworks Pat's Liquor 5096 Voltaire St. The Philosopher's Stone 4967 Newport Ave. Point Loma Grocery Outlet 3948 W. Pt. Loma Blvd. Pride Surf Shop 5035 Newport Ave. Purple Church Record Lounge 4967 Newport Ave. Raindrops 1951 Abbott St. Rite Aid Drug Store 4840 Niagara Ave. Rock and Roll San Diego 3360 Sports Arena Blvd. Run For Cover Bookstore and Cafe Shara 4847 Newport Ave. Smokers 4812 Santa Monica Ave. South Coast Closeouts 1930 Bacon St. South Coast Surf Shop 5023 Newport Ave. South Coast Surfboards, Inc. South Coast Wahines 5037 Newport Ave. Stonehedge Leather Co. 1967 Abbott St. Stuff 2 Puff 4881 Newport Ave. Stump's Market 3770 Voltaire St. Sunshine Daydreams 4979 Newport Ave. TD Himalaya 1919 Cable St. Thistle Flowers 4822 Santa Monica Ave. Tree of Life 4870 Santa Monica Ave. Trendz By Trade Victory Wine & Spirits 1775 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Vignettes 4828 Newport Ave. Willow 4918 Voltaire St Wings 4948 Newport Ave.

Ocean Beach Is the Authentic Beach Town Community

Ocean Beach Pier at Sunset is breathtaking.

Ocean Beach is the authentic beach town. Palm trees line the streets of this historical Southern California community. It's kissed by the sun, romanced by the Pacific Ocean and has a personality all its own. A good reason for discovering Ocean Beach is its casual, small-town charm with its diagonally parked cars along the main street of Newport Avenue. This centrally located three-block-long shopping district has much to offer—and has no parking meters!

Ocean Beach has a lot to offer. If shopping is your way to relax, take a walk down Newport Avenue and browse through one unique shop after another offering TONS of microbreweries, surfboards, shells, beads, boutiques, unusual resale treasures and one of the large antique zone. Plus, the majority of merchants are residents, so expect to receive a friendly smile and good old-fashioned service.

Hungry for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Ocean Beach delivers whether it's a first-class meal with an ocean view or a simple bite to eat.

The streets of Ocean Beach are also dotted with friendly pubs. They are ideal for catching the sunset from a deck, watching your favorite sporting event or celebrating with a friend over a house specialty. You'll definitely feel like a native at one of these relaxed, friendly establishments. Most of these places are in the third block of downtown Ocean Beach, which is nearest to the ocean.

Here too is Hodad's (5) at 5010 Newport Ave. (619-224-4623). They claim to have the world's best burgers. They're also proud to announce that they have served under 99 gazillion. Yes, you'll find plenty to do on Newport Avenue.

WHAT TO DO IN OCEAN BEACH

If it's action you want, swim or surf in Ocean Beach's big blue backyard. Ocean Beach is proud of its beautiful main beach, which is patrolled year-round by San Diego City Lifeguards . Plus, there are designated areas along the beach specifically designated for swimmers, dogs and for surfing.

If you want to buy a surfboard, there are several shops near the beach including South Coast Surf Shop (6) at 5023 Newport Ave. (619-223-7017). You can also find a good selection of Hawaiian shirts and swimsuits here too.

You can also stroll the 1,971-foot landmark Ocean Beach Pier (4) , which is the longest concrete fishing pier on the West Coast. There is a bait-and-tackle shop here where you can rent a pole, bait, tackle, net and expert advice. Then you can dangle a fishing line and catch some fish while enjoying the ocean air and great coastal views. While on the pier have a bite to eat at the Walking on Water Cafe (4).

Plus, at low tide you can spend literally hours just discovering the many tide pools south of the pier. For low and high tide information, call (619-221-8824). The tide pools are at the foot of the pier.

You can also rent a bike or a pair of rollerblades, jog or just enjoy walking on the miles of sandy beaches. End a perfect day by watching the sun melt into the horizon from beautiful Sunset Cliffs near Hill Street (see map).

Tennis , soccer and baseball enthusiasts will be happy to discover Robb Field (1) (619-531-1563), an expansive recreation center. It comes complete with a fee based weight room and fitness center. This all-purpose athletic park also boasts Robb Field Skate Park (1) with 40,000 square feet of curves, bowls, jumps and rails. Admission is free to the park. Robb Field is where I-8 ends and Ocean Beach meet.

OCEAN BEACH HAS A DOG BEACH

Ocean Beach also has a quarter mile of beach dedicated to your furry four-legged friends. It's the world famous Dog Beach (3) , where you can bring your canine companion for a walk on the beach with or without a leash. It's located next to the jetty at the foot of the San Diego river.

In addition to Dog Beach , Ocean Beach abounds with pet-friendly hotels , dog washes and a lot of businesses will leave water bowls out for your pooch.

FARMERS MARKET

This is the 24th year for O.B.'s Farmers Market (8) on the 4900 block of Newport Ave. Open every Wednesday from 4 p.m.–8 p.m. in Summer, and till 7 p.m. in the Winter. Pick up sunflowers and sample exotic fruit, vegetables, breads, pasta or wonderful desserts at this award-winning certified farmers market. Where else can you ride a llama, listen to live music, enjoy a fresh crêpe or have your child's birthday party?

OCEAN BEACH ANTIQUE  ROW

Newport Avenue is also home to many antique dealers (9) , which comprise thousands of square feet of space, making Ocean Beach the largest antique district in San Diego County. Simply park your car along Newport Avenue and start browsing. Most stores are open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily and all accept credit cards .

For starters, it's not your traditional stereotype grandmother's antique store, yet you'll find some classic antiques from that era. The selection is much greater and all-encompassing with lots of classic trends such as mid-century modern, shabby sheik, retro (which is very popular these days), industrial, primitive, Indian artifacts and the list goes on and on.

Also see the Ocean Beach Antique Association page and video.

If you need a break from antiquing, stop in at Culture Brewing Co , at 4845 Newport Ave., a popular brewery that showcases local artists on their walls .

If you prefer, sample some wines across the street at Gianni Buonomo Vintners Winery and Tasting Room (9) at 4836 Newport Ave. (608-212-8551) [gbvintners.com]. This award winning winery is open Wed. and Thurs. 2 p.m.– 9 p.m., Fri. 2 p.m.– 10 p.m., Sat. 1 p.m.– 10 p.m. and Sun. 1 p.m.– 7 p.m. Also ask them about joining their wine club because once you've samped their wine and don't live nearby, you can have their wine shipped you.

The Sunset Cliffs Inn (7) at 1370 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. (619-222-7901) [the Innatsunsetcliffs.com} is at the south end of Ocean Beach at the foot of Pt. Loma Avenue right at the water's edge. So, expect the crashing waves to put you to sleep. Most definitely, plan to take a walk south along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at sunset, which is a favorite pastime for locals living in the Pt. Loma area. Besides discovering Ocean Beach, must visits should be to Cabrillo Monument, Shelter Island and Liberty Station discovered by reading the Pt. Loma Chapter.

 

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Ocean Beach Hotel
  • (619) 223-7191
  • 5080 Newport Ave
  • San Diego, CA 92107

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