While there's no shortage of shopping in San Diego, a little help with sourcing the perfect gift is always welcome. For those of you who like to browse, touch and consider multiple options, the city's boutiques and malls are a perfect place to start.
However, gifting experiences and supporting local artisans is also becoming incredibly popular. Thankfully, San Diego is full of good options in this department as well.
Fashion Valley Mall tree lighting — Photo courtesy of Fashion Valley Mall
Head to the Mall
By far the widest selection of gifts for all ages is likely to be found in one of San Diego's popular outdoor malls. Fashion Valley Mall is the largest, with the most luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada. It's also home to the only Disney Store, Topshop, Art of Shaving, C. Wonder and Neiman Marcus stores in San Diego.
Take advantage of valet parking, unless you plan to arrive right when it opens: this mall becomes extremely busy.
Browse Local Boutiques
Those looking for unique gifts may want to head over to Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, a cool zone of over 85 shops, spas and restaurants. Browsing the pleasant street doesn't feel like a chore, and it's certainly less hectic than the mall. Here, there's everything from housewares to one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces to books.
Start or end the journey with a meal at Claire's, famous for outstanding lunch and breakfast in a cozy atmosphere.
Support Our Local Artisans
If you're looking for gifts that are unique to San Diego, our slideshow is full of them. From hand-crafted candles to stylish bowties to salts sourced from La Jolla Cove, products made in San Diego support local artisans that are destined to hit it big.
Find these special items in stores, online or at local farmer's markets; Little Italy, La Jolla and Point Loma are some of the most popular.
Give a San Diego Experience
A seaside location and year-round sunshine means that gifting San Diego experiences is often well-received, starting with tickets to a Padres or Chargers game. A segway tour, local wine tasting adventure, spot of afternoon tea or something to do with the person you care about is always a great option.
However, we're big advocates of the relatively new Balboa Park Explorer Pass, which allows families and individuals annual access to 17 of the park's normally ticketed institutions, starting at $99 (or $199 for families).
Stay Safe with a Gift Certificate
Keep an eye out for restaurant gift certificate promotions surrounding the holiday. It's not unheard of for Cohn Restaurant Group or Beaumont's to offer opportunities to purchase discounted gift cards (for example, a $100 card for $80) to incentivize guests to give them as gifts.