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 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.
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.
With harder-to-find upscale boutiques as well as the usual mall fare, the Beverly Center is one of the more popular shopping destinations in the city of Los Angeles. The structure itself is certainly unique for a mall, with two floors of shops and a third of food court and cinemas atop five-levels of parking, filling an entire city block. Among the more unique stores found here are Belgravia Collection, Betsey Johnson, Cabochon Fine Jewelry, Alexio, Club Monaco, Politix, Vertex, The Icing and Shauna Stein.
Some of the funkiest folks in town do all of their gift and holiday shopping at Wacko, also known as Soap Plant. One of the most notorious and eclectic shops in Los Angeles, it's a sure bet that you'll find things that you never knew existed. From Sumo wrestler lunch boxes to patchouli soaps and kiss "Psycho Circus" dolls, expect the unexpected. It's the perfect place if you want to take home a little bit of Hollywood hipster heaven.
The place is a paradise found for any hipsterette or eccentric fashionista. In short, the store carries some of the most striking and eye-catching t-shirts and tunics in town. But that's not all; there are denims, leggings, frocks and mounds of trendy accessories, all original and with a twist. Sourced directly from select Japanese artists and designers, Popkiller's assortment is unique, edgy and plain unruly in its rampant variety. Furthermore, it spans through mind-boggling miscellany, from fashion eyewear to post cards, stickers and magnets, to weird toys and puzzling gadgets. Grab a two hour parking spot on the street, or in a nearby cheap lot and dive in. You owe it to yourself to experience Popkiller first-hand.
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.
This urban indoor flea market is spread out over 10,000 square feet of space with gorgeous vaulted ceilings and exposed brickwork. Tucked away in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, the Arts District Flea is an amalgamation of vendors with locally made products and handcrafted items. Find delicate silver bow necklaces or a gorgeous sturdy reclaimed wood coffee table. Local art can also be found here, adding a pop of color and character to your space.
Tucked away in the FIGat7th shopping center in downtown Los Angeles, Target is one of the best one-stop shops one can ask for. From stylish, in-season clothes, electronics, home goods, and toiletries, to snacks, and miscellaneous items, this Target has it all. Whether you wish to go on a solo shopping spree or along with friends and family, you can take care of all your big and small shopping needs at this conveniently located store.