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Years ago, one of the summer rituals for L.A. children was a new pair of huaraches from Olvera Street and maybe some Mexican jumping beans. Nowadays those rituals are a year-round treat on this cobblestone street, which is a block-long cornucopia of traditional Mexican clothing, artwork, gifts, leather goods, novelties and restaurants. There is also a Visitors Center where tourists can appreciate the complimentary screening of a film which depicts early life in Los Angeles. Olvera Street was created in the 1930s and comprises the area known as the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, which is the site of the city's beginnings. Free tours are given to the public by the Las Angelinas, a non-profit organization.
The Fashion District sprawls over 90 blocks of downtown Los Angeles, and is just the place to be if you are looking for bargains or wholesale material. This section of the city is absolutely crammed with stores selling designer clothing, shoes, accessories, textiles and even flowers at unbeatable rates. Other bric-a-brac on display includes toys, lingerie, CDs, prom gowns and kids wear. Over 1,000 such retailers show off their wares at a flea market, which always dons a festive appearance. Weekends are particularly busy, with great discounts of up to 30 percent. Hours of operation and credit cards may vary by store.
Natives in-the-know refer to this outdoor bazaar as The Alley and here is where you will find a quarter mile of goods of every description and wall-to-wall people in search of the perfect bargain. Here in Santee Alley you will find casual and chic day wear and evening wear. There are all kinds of jewelry concessions as well as menswear, children's clothing, lingerie and toys. If you like the idea of searching through piles and piles of merchandise for the best bargains, among throngs of other people who are doing the same thing, you won't want to miss cruising The Alley.
If you want to see everything that L.A. shopping is known for, there is no better place than Melrose Avenue Shopping District, especially on a Sunday afternoon. You can find expensive showrooms between La Cienega and Crescent Heights (Fred Segal, Miù Miù). If you are not a brand fanatic, you can hit one of the reasonably priced boutiques. You really haven't "done L.A." until you have been here.
For those who are looking for a taste of Beverly Hills shopping, but actually have limits on their credit cards, Robertson Boulevard Shopping District is worth checking out with a variety of stores, like Agnes B. and Ghost found here. At Robertson Boulevard Shopping District, you will not be disappointed, as you can eat, drink and shop like the stars on L.A's celebrity-frequented streets. Some shops are a little easy on the wallet while others are not so.
It isn't exaggerating to say that Rodeo Drive contains some of the most expensive real estate on the planet. Remember Julia Roberts' shopping spree in Pretty Woman? Rodeo Drive is where she went. The place boasts of a great mixture of clothing, restaurants, unique shops and celebrity spotting. Be warned, however, some of the stores are so exclusive, shopping is by appointment only.
Westwood Village Shopping District is located close to the world-famous UCLA University. But this shopping area is much more than just a place for UCLA students to hang out. Boutiques, bars, restaurants, and theaters are what this neighborhood is all about. The area's giant movie theaters (and the convenient Westside location) are the spot of choice for many star-studded movie premieres.
Montana Avenue Shopping District is, without a doubt, one of Santa Monica's best-kept secrets. When most people talk about Santa Monica shopping, they immediately think of the loud and raucous Pier or the bustling Third Street Promenade. This stretch (believe it or not) offers an upscale shopping alternative with a distinct neighborhood feel. The array of small boutiques selling clothing is punctuated by charming antique stores, cozy cafes, herbal goods outlets, salons, spas, eateries, florists and a few familiar franchises.
Third Street Promenade is a dazzling shopping destination with clothing boutiques, bars, bookstores, restaurants, movie theaters and more! The upscale chains have begun dominating the street, but there are still many local boutiques and specialty stores. As you walk along the street take the time to enjoy the street performers who create a fun atmosphere. Make sure to visit during the weekly farmer's market for tasty fresh food.