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Santa Barbara Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

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Shopping enthusiasts will be in paradise when visiting Santa Barbara, and whether you're a lover of high end designer labels, or prefer to browse bohemian boutiques for that unique find, all sorts of styles are catered for in this diverse city. The natural beauty of the area, coupled with the warm temperature, means that outdoor shopping is generally favored over giant malls, so take your time and enjoy the serene atmosphere Santa Barbara offers.
La Cumbre Plaza

 

 

Just off State Street, La Cumbre Plaza may be a mall, but it's a far cry from an anonymous out-of-town retail center. This is as elegant as shopping complexes can get, with a Mediterranean vibe, ceramic tiles, water features, and palm trees dotted here and there. As for the shopping itself, you'll find some very big and prestigious names here, whether you're after gifts for that special someone or just want to spoil yourself during your Santa Barbara break. Late evening shopping, and events like jazz concerts give the center a laid back vibe.

 

Victoria Court

 

 

Hidden off a little side street in the Downtown area; Victoria Court features a cobblestoned square with a fountain, and traditional white shops surrounded by immaculately maintained green hedges. This old-fashioned setting makes it the ideal spot for vintage and thrift shopping. Bright and colorful scarves, chunky jewelry, second hand designer gear – it's all here to be discovered. There's also plenty of homeware to take back and give your house a Santa Barbara vibe, and there's also some kitsch keepsakes for those retro lovers in your life.

 

Coast Village Road

 

 

One of Santa Barbara's most exclusive addresses, Coast Village Road in the A-list Montecito district is full of some of the city's swankiest shops, set along the pleasant palm tree lined streets. Arty ornaments, memorable gifts, and sleek homewares are among the things on offer, not to mention high end designer clothing from some of the biggest names in the industry. Fashionistas will be in their element here.

 

Funk Zone

 

 

It's called the Funk Zone, but this artisan quarter is more laid back than the name suggests. This is one of the bohemian centers of Santa Barbara, with hip microbreweries alongside trendy restaurants and converted warehouses. It's one of the best places to sip some of Santa Barbara's famous wines – just be careful to pace yourself, because there's a lot to try – and there are also surfboard shops and independent boutiques to explore during a lazy afternoon amid the Californian creatives.