La Jolla shopping is some of the best in San Diego. Home to everything from cute boutiques to high-end brands, our retail therapy includes browsing for unique souvenirs, special occasion dresses, and nearly everything in between.
These recommendations for La Jolla shopping are divided into six areas that I have mapped out below: Prospect Street, Ivanhoe Avenue, Herschel Street, Girard Avenue, La Jolla Shores, and Westfield UTC Mall.
The bulk of the best shopping is in downtown La Jolla, otherwise called the Village of La Jolla. One can easily start on Prospect Street, shop both Ivanhoe Avenue and Herschel Street, and finish with a long walk down the roughly mile-long strip of boutiques and more on Girard Avenue.
I’ll tell you how to do it. Along the way, you’ll pass even more shops than are mentioned on this list, in addition to 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 we residents go out of our way to enjoy.
These La Jolla boutiques are located right in the heart of downtown near various art galleries, La Valencia Hotel, and Grande Colonial Hotel. Prospect Street is often referred to as the Rodeo Drive of San Diego.
A family business established in 1986, CJ Charles carries fine jewelry and estate pieces, along with luxury watches from Cartier, Patek Philippe, Montblanc, and more. In addition to being certified dealers of some of the most well-known jewelry brands, they also have their own line of handcrafted pieces, called the Riviera Collection.
They’re known for their excellent customer service, too. Knowledgeable staff will help you through each step of finding the right piece for you—whatever it is. Need a watch repair or a ring resizing? They also offer in-house services.
- 1135 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 346-5301
We Olive calls itself “The Olive Oil Experience,” and that’s exactly what you’ll be getting here and much more. Selling only locally-sourced products, they focus on olive oil, but they also have a huge variety of other natural, organic gourmet foods.
It’s a foodie’s paradise with wines, cheeses, specialty dips, spreads, and even sweeter treats like caramel and almond brittle. The wine bar on their outdoor patio is where you can also enjoy happy hour drinks and small bites overlooking La Jolla Cove.
- 1158 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 551-8250
Keep veer off Prospect Street to Herschel Avenue. There’s one shop here that’s worth a stop into.
The motto at Gracie James is “artful living,” and it’s easy to see why. A potpourri of art, jewelry, clothing, and outdoor decoration, walking into this florist shop/boutique is like entering an indoor fairy garden. Gracie specializes in hanging terrariums and custom ceramic planters, but she also offers a wide collection locally and internationally sourced art that she chooses personally.
She also carries a small selection of simple, high-quality clothing. From its ornamental zen gardens to crystals, it has an earthy-chic vibe that’s perfect for the shopper with artistic tastes.
- 7938 Herschel Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 291-8041
Head back to Prospect Street and turn left. The next right is Girard Avenue and its half-mile of shops and restaurants on both sides of the street.
While many of them are independent boutiques, shoppers will also find more well-known brands like Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, White House Black Market, Bluemercury, and Lululemon.
The stores here are listed from north to south on Girard Avenue, on both sides of the street.
This boutique is best described as “Southern belle in Southern California.” First opened in Houston, francesca’s sells young, girly, trendy clothes for older girls and women looking for a bit of whimsy. Go here to find anything floral, lacey, or sparkly. Their fun collection is good for daytime events like garden parties, weddings, and beyond.
They usually have fantastic sales happening, especially around their jewelry and other accessories. It’s also a great source for decorations and funky party gifts, like a blow-up unicorn pool float or cool sunglasses.
- 7886 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 729-0350
The 40-year-old brand of preppy clothing is famous for a wrinkle-free fabric called Catalina cloth (I love it). The look is both and polished-yet-casual (and comfortable). The La Jolla J. McLaughlin store is mostly women’s clothing and accessories but they do have a small men’s section.
- 7880 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 731-9338
If you’re looking to treat the kids or yourself, stop into Balboa Candy. They’re known for their salt water taffy (and will usually offer you a sample), but adults will enjoy their stock of vintage sodas and retro candy like Bazooka bubble gum and similar. Don’t forget to try the fudge, which is my personal favorite.
- 7864 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 246-6836
Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland
Teuscher isn’t just high-end chocolate–it’s the creme de la creme. Where else are you going to find truffles made with Dom Perignon? Founder Dolf Teuscher founded his company in 1932, and his recipes have been the gold standard of hard-core chocolate lovers ever since.
This outlet, located on the second floor of La Plaza La Jolla, is one of only two in California (the other one is in Beverly Hills). These premium artisan sweets are great for souvenirs, gift baskets, holidays, or just the occasional treat. They are flown in from Zurich every week.
- 7863 Girard Ave #204, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 230-6337
Tip: Teuscher is inside La Plaza, a two-story, open-air complex on the corner of Girard Avenue and Wall Street (just a block off of Prospect Street. With its striking Moroccan architecture and gorgeous ocean views, it’s perfect for a little coffee or lunch break. Try Catania’s woodfired pizzas (third floor), Japanese fare from Sushi on the Rock (third floor) or a smoothie from Beaming (second floor).
Charleston Shoe Co.
Stylish Charleston Shoe Co. shoes are so known for their comfort that the brand’s official tagline is “From Cobblestones to Cocktails.” They’re perfect for women who are on their feet all day and many styles can actually be machine washed.
The sandals and wedges with criss-cross stretchy straps fit the casual La Jolla lifestyle particularly well but you can also opt for boots, cocktail, closed-toed, or kids’ shoes options.
- 7852 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (855) 996-7463 ext. 417
Serving San Diego for the past 40 years, Geppetto’s Toys is a wonderland for the young (and young at heart). It’s packed to the brim with every kind of toy, game, and kit you can think of. There is something for every age range, from wood blocks and colorful mobiles for babies legos, puzzles, and board games for older kids.
They have the basics, like hula hoops, slinkies, water wiggles and stuffed animals, but also DIY craft kits and games for more older kids. If you need a last-minute gift for a children’s birthday party or game night addition, this should be your first stop (they’ll also wrap it for free). They along with Balboa Candy, just a few shops away are featured on my list of best things to do in La Jolla with kids.
- 7580 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 456-4441
This one is for the trendy teens in your life though many La Jollan adults (including me) wear the retro California style hoodies and sweatpants.
There’s usually a sale rack in the back of the store that you can dig through to score a better deal.
- 7540 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 263-4280
Warwick’s is the longest-running family-owned bookstore in the United States. Moved from Iowa to La Jolla in 1939, it’s still run by the Warwicks family, the fourth generation since its opening. It’s maintained the welcoming environment of a mom-and-pop shop throughout the years.
Whether you’re looking for the newest bestseller, some young adult fiction, a children’s picture book, or just light reading for a flight home, you’re bound to find your next page-turner. In addition to its great selection of reading materials, they have an entire section for stationery and gifts. It’s a must-visit on a La Jolla shopping itinerary, beloved by the community, and where I go when I’m not sure exactly what to buy someone. Check the calendar for book signings and readings by famous and renowned authors.
- 7812 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 454-0347
Walk back to Girard Avenue and continue south to Ark Antiques, founded in the 1970s as the dream of two women decided to start a business based on their two passions, antiques, and animals. Today, it’s one of the most lucrative non-profits in La Jolla. This specialty shop sells every kind of consigned item you could want including antique jewelry, silver, china, paintings, lighting, furniture, and more.
Know any newlyweds who are looking for some truly unique pieces? They even offer a bridal registry. All of the proceeds from your purchase go to carefully-selected qualified charities for animals (both domesticated and wild). They also have a lot of events involving both antiques and pet adoptions, so it’s a good place to visit if you’re in the market for either one.
- 7620 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 459-7755
Established in 1963 as a local mattress manufacturer (they’re the creators of the original Adjustable Bed style), nobody knows luxury bedding like the staff at Everett Stunz.
They still offer mattresses, both brand-name and custom-made, but they also carry bed and bath linens, loungewear, specialty soaps, and candles, many of which are imported from Europe, and all of them using the highest quality materials available. Looking for an interior decoration overhaul? The owner Nicki will work with you personally to ensure things are exactly how you imagine, whether it’s a bedroom or a yacht.
- 7547 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 459-3305
Gracie and Co.
Specializing in elegant, current, sophisticated apparel for mature women, this La Jolla fashion fixture carries some of the harder-to-find independent labels. They’re La Jolla’s premier purveyor of luxury designer brands: Peace of Cloth, White + Warren, Lilla P, and Fabrizio Gianni are just a few of the names you can find on their racks.
While they carry California-based lines like Equestrian Designs (which only sells clothing entirely manufactured in the US) most of what they offer is from top-of-the-line New York and International brands. If you’re looking for cashmere, soft knits, and clean lines, this is where to go.
- 7458 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 459-5577
The Faded Awning
The Faded Awning is a local favorite for home decor and one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. Shabby chic and nautical, it’s hard not to think of the Little Mermaid’s trove as you sift through the hidden gems. It’s packed with affordable and unique options–they have a wide variety of both antique and new products, most all of them coastal-themed.
This is a jackpot if you’re decorating a vacation house or beach bungalow, or if you want to bring some of La Jolla back to your own home. They also have a selection of beachy clothing and accessories, like sun hats and tote bags.
- 7464 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 456-7464
These stores are caddy corner to each other and would make a quick detour off of Girard Avenue at Kline Street.
Sweet Paper is a mini detour off of Girard, worth it. Once you reach Kline Street, turn left and you’ll see it on the corner of Fay and Kline near Sugar and Scribe bakery (which you should also stop into for lunch or a treat).
This cute little stationery shop has been featured in San Diego Magazine, San Diego Home and Garden, FINE Magazine, and more. The owners, sisters Julie and Theresa, are the go-to providers of gorgeous custom invitations, menus, save-the-dates and more for brides and wedding planners all over the San Diego area.
While they’re known for their amazing wedding services, they can help you design the perfect paper wares for pretty much any occasion. Go also for their well-curated gifts from jewelry to notebooks, supply beautifully-crafted paper, cards and stationery for personal use. I receive compliments on my Sweet Paper business cards almost every single time I hand one to someone.
- 7660 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 456-1446
Inspired by the iconic artfulness of Italian clothing, Amore Boutique combines classic European styles with San Diego’s more laid-back approach to fashion. The owner, Debora, aims to bring the elegance she saw on the streets of Milan to the avenues of La Jolla.
The result is what she calls “chic and trendy without trying too hard.” Here you’ll find sophisticated pieces that you can fit into your daily wear, whether for an important meeting, running errands, or a coffee date with a friend.
- 7940 Herschel Ave, Unit G, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 337-8791
La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores shopping embraces San Diego surf culture and the two boutiques mentioned below aim to fill your closet with items that pay tribute to hanging ten, barefoot walks in the sand, sunshine, and cheery California vibes.
Yes, Surf Diva is a well-regarded (my top choice) San Diego surfing school but they’ve also been awarded the honor of being the #1 women’s surf shop in the United States. You can gear up for your beach day here or take sunny vibes home with swimwear, casual clothing, beachy souvenirs, and more for both kids and adults. They have great kids’ swimwear with Surf Diva branded UV shirts/rashguards and also cute La Jolla T-shirts. Whether you surf or not, step inside as there is something for everyone.
- 2160 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 454-8273
Everyday California is known for outdoor adventures like kayak tours. Their line of apparel, hats, and water bottles represents their brand but also pay tribute to daily life in California. If you’re on a San Diego getaway, they make for great souvenirs. They are also making California-inspired face masks and are offering comfy work-at-home clothing bundles.
If you’d like to shop online, use code LJM20 for 20% off of clothes and accessories in the apparel section at Everyday California.
- 2261 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
- (858) 454-6195
Westfield University Town Center on Genesee Avenue (about 15 minutes by car from the Village) is a mecca for fashion, food, and entertainment. Westfield UTC is our major shopping mall and lifestyle complex near where the I-5 and I-805 freeways meet.
This outdoor shopping center has been recently refreshed into more of a lifestyle space with much-improved shops and restaurants, a (paid) parking structure, and a 22-story residential apartment tower. Did I mention it also has a SoulCycle, AMC Theater, ice skating rink, and full valet?
While it has your usual giant department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s, UTC is known for its extensive list of luxury shopping brands, like:
Tiffany & Co.
In addition to a collection of high-end San Diego boutiques. When you need to take a break, you can relax in any of the multiple outdoor lounging areas spread throughout the mall, or let the kids get some energy out at the large playground in front of Macy’s.
End your day of shopping in La Jolla with one of the fine-dining options like Larsen’s Steakhouse. Or the many popular Asian favorites like Din Tai Fung and Haidilao.
- 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
- (858) 546-8858
See also: Best La Jolla Restaurants