There’s no better time of the year than the holidays to support local businesses in your community. There’s also something really special about having a personal connection with a boutique or boutique owner and knowing that you have something that is hopefully much more unique than what you’d buy at a chain store. So take an afternoon, head to a neighborhood you’ve been meaning to check out, pop into a local coffee shop for a cup of joe, then work up an appetite shopping local. During the holidays many neighborhoods do “walk abouts” where all the shops will stay open late for an evening of friendly fun where you can meet your neighbors and socialize with shopkeepers. Last week in my Gift Guide: For Her post I mentioned the eat.shop.local guidebook – here’s my own little shop.local version for three cities I’ve called home: San Diego, Los Angeles, and Seattle. A few of my favorite 'hoods for shopping local.
Image via Luci Dumas
San Diego – South Park
Perched above downtown San Diego, Sunset Magazine recently called South Park, “an offbeat ‘village’ within the city” (Sunset, June 2010), and it’s true. South Park shopkeepers sell everything from delightful homespun threads to tasty home-churned ice cream. Don’t miss this quaint spot full of can’t-find-it-anywhere-else goods. The neighborhood holds regular walkabouts with live music, food samples and shops open late. Find out when here: http://www.southparkscene.com/
Image via Yo Venice on Flickr
Los Angeles – Abott Kinney Blvd.
This great street in the Venice Beach neighborhood of LA is lined with one-of-a-kind boutiques, Parisan style sidewalk cafes, lively nightspots and top-rated restaurants. It’s a little beach meets boho in this neighborhood that Julie Roberts and her brood call home and you’ll see lots of people walking, riding bikes and strolling with yoga matt over their shoulder to the local cycling + yoga studio. Check out the neighborhood and even shop online here: http://www.abbotkinneyonline.com/
Seattle – Madison Valley / Madison Park
More than just picturesque waterfront access to Lake Washington, the Madison Park - Valley area is full of boutiques for shopping, and places to reward yourself after -- margaritas at Cactus anyone? With a sunny sky, this is one of Seattle’s best walking neighborhoods. Get Your Bearings at: http://www.madisonparkseattle.com/