Shopping in La Jolla is some of the best activities in San Diego, offering everything from cute boutiques to high-end brands. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs, special occasion dresses, or just about anything else, there are plenty of options.
The Village of La Jolla is the hub for all the best shopping, with six areas that we highlight below: Prospect Street, Ivanhoe Avenue, Herschel Street, Girard Avenue, La Jolla Shores, and Westfield UTC Mall.
Exploring downtown La Jolla is easy. You can start on Prospect Street, then shop both Ivanhoe Avenue and Herschel Street before taking a long stroll down the roughly mile-long strip of boutiques and more on Girard Avenue. Along the way, you’ll pass even more shops that are mentioned on this list and many restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes for refueling. Spending a day browsing and eating is one of the best things to do in La Jolla and a pleasure that residents go out of our way to enjoy.
The Best Places to Go Shopping in La Jolla
1. Prospect Street
Prospect Street, located in the heart of downtown La Jolla, is often referred to as the “Rodeo Drive of San Diego.” This bustling street is home to various boutiques, art galleries, and the historic La Valencia Hotel and Grande Colonial. It is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike.
The Shop La Jolla
The Shop La Jolla offers an extensive selection of streetwear clothing in their La Jolla, CA store. Customers can find men’s and women’s clothing, artwork, and fashionable accessories inside the store. The store’s flagship brand, Strangers, features statement pieces that make a statement with any outfit. The knowledgeable staff can guide customers through the store’s inventory and answer any questions. Come visit The Shop La Jolla and find your perfect match today!
Haute couture is the pinnacle of fashion and style, and this boutique has captured it. They offer items that are highly curated and unique, ensuring you look your best and feel one of a kind. Rather than focusing on traditional haute couture, they offer a range of European streetwear to give you an edgy yet stylish look. Whether you’re looking for something to wear to a special occasion or to add a little something to your everyday wardrobe, this boutique has you covered.
Roxy La Jolla
I always enjoy shopping at this store. They have a great selection of items that create the perfect beach vibe. Whether I’m shopping for myself, my family, or my friend, there’s something for everyone. The inventory is always well-stocked, and there’s always something new to discover.
2. Ivanhoe Avenue
If you are looking for a La Jolla shopping gem, backtrack on Prospect Street from Pomegranate and turn right on Ivanhoe Avenue. On the first block of Ivanhoe Avenue, you will find a small row of businesses, all of which are locally owned. Therefore, you will surely find something special if you look around.
At their store, you will find clothing that is stylish, comfortable, and of high quality. Shopping with them is an effortless and laid-back in-person and online experience. They look forward to your visit!
3. Herschel Avenue
Herschel Avenue is known for its unique blend of artisan styles and beachy fashion. Just before you reach Herschel Avenue, you will have passed stores such as Tommy Bahama on Wall Street.
To reach Herschel Avenue from Prospect Street, start by walking away from Prospect Street on Ivanhoe. Turn right on Wall Street and walk one block until you reach Herschel Avenue. Cross the street and turn right down Herschel Avenue toward Prospect Street.
Located in the heart of La Jolla, they are a boutique specializing in a carefully selected range of products. From succulents to art, furniture, clothing, and jewelry, they offer a variety of items to meet their customers’ needs.
The boutique provides a unique shopping experience combining a modern aesthetic and a comfortable atmosphere. With their wide variety of products, customers can find something to fit their style.
4. Girard Avenue
If you’re looking for a shopping destination with a wide array of options, then Girard Avenue is the place to be. Located half a mile from Herschel Street, turning left onto Prospect Street and right onto Girard Avenue will lead you to the bustling street. You’ll find various shops and restaurants on both sides of the street.
The selection includes independent boutiques and well-known brands such as Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, White House Black Market, Bluemercury, and Lululemon. The stores are listed north to south on Girard Avenue, so explore both sides of the street for the best selection.
La Plaza La Jolla
La Plaza is located at the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue in the heart of La Jolla Village. It has recently been transformed into a stunning open-air galleria, with panoramic ocean views and Spanish and Moroccan design elements creating a unique Southern California ambiance. This renovation has given the plaza a new atmosphere and provides a great shopping and dining experience.
2Bella Boutique is the perfect destination for fashion lovers. With their elegant silhouettes, seasonal color palettes, and modern aesthetics, they provide customers with the latest fashion trends. What’s more, they update their collection daily, so you can always find something new to add to your wardrobe. Shopping at Bella Boutique is the easiest way to create your dream closet.
Totem Boutique was created with a purpose in mind. This purpose was to connect its local community and visitors to Trilogy Sanctuary. The shop provides a place to support small and local businesses and find eco-friendly clothing and skincare products.
The selection of products available in Totem Boutique is vast and varied. Sustainable apparel, eco-conscious gifts, handmade and organic bath & body care, local accessories, crystals, metaphysical treasures, books, and more can all be found in the shop.
In 2000, the Ascot Shop underwent a complete store remodel supervised by world-renowned architect Robert Mosier. Mosier is famous for designing the famous Coronado Bay Bridge in San Diego. The remodel transformed the store into a beautiful showcase for its exquisite merchandise. The remodel included hardwood flooring, state-of-the-art lighting, antique tables, and Honduras mahogany cabinetry. These features create a stunning atmosphere in the store.
5. La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores is a neighborhood in San Diego known for its vibrant surf culture. It is a great place to go shopping and find items that embody the laid-back, sunny California vibes. Two of the best boutiques in the area are Re-Align and Sandbar. Re-Align is a beach-inspired shop with colorful apparel and accessories, while Sandbar offers a unique selection of leather goods, jewelry, and home decor.
These two boutiques offer customers the perfect opportunity to fill their closets with items that capture the essence of La Jolla Shores.
6. Westfield UTC
Westfield University Town Center (UTC) is on Genesee Avenue, a 15-minute drive from the Village. This outdoor mall recently transformed into a lifestyle space with a variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment, and even a 22-story residential apartment tower. UTC is a mecca for fashion, food, and entertainment and is known for its high-end shopping brands, such as Free People, Vineyard Vines, Tiffany & Co., and more.
The complex boasts a SoulCycle, Din Tai Fung, full ArcLight Theater, ice skating rink, and valet service. There are also the usual department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s, which have been updated. To take a break from shopping, visitors can relax in one of the multiple outdoor lounging areas or take the kids to the large playground in front of Macy’s. After a day of shopping, guests can enjoy a meal at one of the fine-dining restaurants like Larsen’s Steakhouse.
How to Get to La Jolla
If you’re coming from downtown San Diego, the fastest way to get to downtown La Jolla is by taking Interstate 5 to the La Jolla Parkway exit and following it as it turns into Torrey Pines Road, which will take you to Girard Street. Parking can be tricky in this area, so it’s best to look for free options in the nearby residential neighborhoods. Additionally, some metered parking and paid garage parking from local hotels are available.
Public transit is a great option for those who don’t want to drive. The MTS 30 bus connects downtown La Jolla with downtown San Diego and other key neighborhoods. There are other bus lines that connect to this one, and fares can be purchased at trolley stations or using their smartphone app. In 2021, a new trolley extension to University City (next to La Jolla) will provide a more convenient public transit option.
For a more convenient option, consider taking a Lyft, Uber, or other rideshare service. Fares are relatively low and you won’t have to worry about finding a parking space.