It is no small feat for an independent bookstore to stay in business during the times when even giant chains have caved in. It is a downright marvel when a brand-new bookstore emerges and proceeds to forge upstream against the general trend of brick-and-mortar decline. One such miracle occurred in the midst of the Downtown Arts District in 2011 when The Last Bookstore opened its doors, dazzling eager bibliophiles and inquisitive passers-by with its spacious, beautifully laid-out interior packed full of new and used editions of every genre. With its affordable prices, friendly staff and a massive, continuously changing collection, the bookstore quickly claimed for itself a permanent place among the most popular destination of Downtown LA.
The famed town of Beverly Hills is arguably synonymous with Los Angeles. From opulent mansions to the glamour associated with Hollywood, Beverly Hills embodies the essence of LA's fanciful lifestyle. There is a lot to enjoy here, enough to justify a day visit, if not more. You may start by exploring the heart of Beverly Hills; the fabulous Rodeo Drive and the adjacent streets, all lined with some of the best world-class boutiques from coast to coast. Visit a few art galleries, such as the Gagosian and William Karges, located in the same area. Grab a bite to eat at one of the more casual cafes and bakeries, or splurge at the legendary Spago. Dozens of top-notch spas are at your fingertips. A mid-afternoon stroll through the lush Beverly Hills Park provides a nice change of pace and a natural respite in between your urban explorations. West Melrose and Robertson shopping districts await insatiable shoppers looking to explore further.
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.
If you're looking for fresh and healthy produce, this is the market. It is held twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Saturday market comprises of about 30 vendors and farmers; all of their produce is either organically grown, or if not certified organic: at least pesticide-free. Parking is available on the nearby streets and also in several parking structures in the vicinity. Credit cards may be accepted, but it will vary by vendor.
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.
The oldest open air market in the city, the Grand Central Market is located in the bustling downtown area of Los Angeles. This has been a one stop shopping destination for everyday wants since 1917. From fresh produce to fresh meats, perfumes to liquor and jewelry to grains, you will find all you need. This huge market even has several restaurants on-site and is known as a foodie's paradise. Come and experience the flavors and sights of this market; a favorite with locals!
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.
Located in art district of downtown Los Angeles, Poketo offers well designed apparel, housewares, decor and stationery which will color your life. With a mission in "art for your everyday", they're products are fun,simple, and functional such as Bongo, a wirelessly speaker that looks like a wooden old style radio. Poketo is a good place to shop for women in particular because it provides a variety of costumes and accessories designed especially for this shop. Not only products, the shop itself also is well decor and all items are well categorized, which creates a comfortable shopping environment for you.
One of the oldest shopping centers in the city, the Historic Chinatown Central Plaza is a place where culture meets recreation. The pagodas, neon lights and mandarin boards make this spot seem more downtown Shanghai than Los Angeles, and infuses a touch of Chinese culture into the city. Lined by several stores, restaurants and services, this is where one can find it all from fashion, accessories and electronics, to souvenirs, handicrafts and art. The site also plays host to a number of cultural festivals, concerts, parades and more.
The Silverlake Flea market joins LA's repertoire of open-air markets, with its location in the premises of Micheltorena High School. Held every second Saturday of the month from 10a to 4p, this fabulous market features a range of unique vintage goodies, rad handmade products and a ton of locally-manufactured merchandise that will leave you captivated. There is ample space for local food trucks as well as live bands to play here as well. Silverlake Flea was voted by LA Weekly as the Best Indie Flea Market.