I am probably biased because I stayed in Manhattan Beach and could conveniently walk down Manhattan Beach Boulevard to all of the cute little restaurants and boutiques, but I have to put forth a strong argument for the superiority of this shopping area over many others in Los Angeles.
Everyone knows that LA has great shopping, but I am completely unenthusiastic about chain stores at The Grove or the high-end designer retailers (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc.) that I could find at any fancy airport these days. What I am really looking for when I do travel shopping is a small scale area with affordable boutiques that offer a taste of the region's sense of fashion. I want to be able to walk from store to store and experience the local environment, rather than drag myself through windowless and location-generic malls.
In just a few blocks along Manhattan Beach Boulevard, between N Valley Drive and the ocean I was able to find small boutiques with a regional style and affordable prices. I would actually call this area "cute", which is pretty hard to find in the LA area. So if you are travelling to LA and looking for a fun place to shop, I definitely recommend it. Here is a selection of my favorite spots...unfortunately most of them are too small to have websites, but I listed their phonenumbers:
- Mandarine - (310) 379-9955. I got this tunic length orange and green plaid button-up for only $37 and last time I picked up a cropped 3/4 sleeve faux leather jacket for about $60. Everything is very trendy and affordable.
- Katwalk - (310) 546-8710. There are two across the street from each other on Manhattan Beach Blvd, so try both because they have a different selection. Not as cheap as Mandarine, but very affordable compared to other shopping in LA.
- 3rd Gallery - (310) 376-4735. Not cheap, but gorgeous designer and one-of-a-kind dresses and jewelry that are fun to check out. Try the sale rack...
- Kitten - (310) 546-8710
- envie - (310) 796-5553