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Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Laguna Beach Shopping

Forget about the stress of crowded malls during the holiday season and  come to Laguna Beach to find unique and one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list. Make it an event and enjoy browsing the downtown in the afternoon, watch the unrivaled sunset from Heisler Park, and then refuel at one of the 70+ restaurants in Laguna Beach.

207 Ocean Ave.
Open daily, 10am to 7pm

Since 1992, Areo has been providing its customers with an eclectic selection of gifts and home accents. From books to one-of-a-kind jewelry and a wide selection of soy candles to glassware and home accents, there is truly something for everyone. 

The rustic and welcoming feel of the store keeps you browsing as you come across a new treasure around each corner. Many of the most unique items in the store are pieces that the owner has personally collected during his travels around the world. If you need a one-stop shop for your holiday list, Areo is the place to go. They even offer free gift wrapping!

903 South Coast Highway
Open daily, 10am to 6pm

Established in 2001, Thalia Surf Shop prides itself as an independent surf and skate shop that specializes in retro surfboards, unique clothing, shoes and art.  The store’s walls and ceiling are lined with the owner’s collection of vintage surfboards and skateboards. Local beachcomber, Jim Olarte, found and brought driftwood and palm leaves that represent the laidback authentic Southern California feel into the store. With clothing by California designers, t-shirts by local artists, and even limited edition Thalia-designed Vans shoes, this is a place that locals and visitors can come to find a piece of the local culture. 

Thalia Surf Shop also hosts a gallery exhibit every other month, as well as monthly concerts with local bands at the Marine Room. Check their blog for additional information. Thalia will be where I find gifts for my out-of-town guests that desire a piece of the Southern California beach lifestyle.

445 South Coast Hwy (inside Hotel Laguna)
Open Monday – Friday, 10am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 8pm
Sunday, 10am to 5pm

For over 10 years, Bubbles of Laguna has brought the world of fine bath and body products to Laguna Beach. From lotions and bath salts from Italy, France, Hawaii, Ireland and Sweden, to aroma therapy products made right here in the USA. I especially enjoyed the “Self-Serve Bar” of baths salts, lotions, bubble bath and bath tea herbs. 

It’s a creative way to make a personalized gift for the person on your list that is in need of some R&R. You will also find novel gifts, soy candles and toys.

278 Forest Ave.
Open Monday-Saturday, 11am to 7pm
Sunday, 11am to 5pm

LF Laguna, is the place for all the fashionistas on your list. This is where trends are unearthed. With an edgy sense of fashion and out-of-the-box styling, the girls at LF will help you find the perfect ensemble that portrays your personal sense of style. “Be yourself” is their motto and there are plenty of ways to find your self expression. 

Personally, my closet is full of items from this innovative fashion boutique and I love shopping here for the perfect accessory that best shows off the personalities of my best friends. (Shhh, don’t tell them, but they are each getting something from LF this year!)

Ken’s Jewelry Store
326 Forest Ave

Housed in the oldest commercial building in Laguna Beach, Ken’s Jewelry Store is a piece of our town’s history. As you spend some time in the store you’ll begin to notice both paintings and historical photos on the Koa wood walls. Paintings by plein air artists Roy Ropp (a founding father of the Festival of Arts) and Robert Wood line the walls. Historic Laguna photos of Ken’s Jewelry Store location are also displayed. Ken Lauher started out as a jewelry artist during the Arts and Crafts Movement in the ‘70s. In the 1980s, after the purchase of his current location, he built on and expanded the building to what it is now, a Swiss two-story Chalet. Downstairs is the show room, and the work room and offices are housed upstairs. Lauher told us that 75% of what you will find in his store are actually his own designs…beautiful settings that truly are one-of-a-kind. They also specialize in the mounting and re-mounting of precious stones, cut ‘rocks’ or semi-precious stones, and jewelry repair.

An interesting collection that Ken makes are mounted gold-in-quartz. Ken works with a Sierra Nevada goldmine (one of the few mines left still mining gold!) out of the Sierra’s. These are unique and beautiful pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. Ken’s Jewelry Store is a full-service; ultrasound and steam cleaning, repair and custom design, with many long-term loyal customers. Fun Fact: Ken creates a custom storefront, themed window each month that has become a must-see site in Laguna Beach.

Read our other stories about places to shop in Laguna Beach:

By Anne-Marie S.

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