Looking for fresh fashion pieces for fall? Head north. Dynamic shopping experiences await in San Diego’s North County, where stylish, upscale hubs cater to men, women and kids. Here are some of our favorite destinations to indulge in a little retail therapy this season.
By Sarah Daoust
1. Del Mar Highlands Town Center
This high-end, open-air community hub in Carmel Valley is home to more than 70 retailers, including specialty shops, fashion boutiques, restaurants, grocery stores, gourmet markets and Cinépolis luxury movie cinema.
/ Top Picks / Diane’s Beachwear for stylish swimsuits and beach accessories; Daisy Blue for elegant women’s resort wear; and Loghman Jewelers for handmade Italian jewelry and Swiss watches for men and women.
12925 El Camino Real, Carmel Valley, 858.793.5757, delmarhighlandstowncenter.com
2. Del Mar Plaza
Enjoy a shopping spree by the sea at this tony plaza, offering refined dining, shopping and ocean views at every turn.
/ Top Picks / Peaches En Regalia for luxe fashion pieces for both men and women; Garys Studio for finely tailored menswear, from casual sportswear to sport coats and suits to shoes; and Coco Rose, a tropical oasis filled with romantic women’s wear and jewelry from Bali.
1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858.847.2284, delmarplaza.com
3. Flower Hill Promenade
Explore 40 chic shops and restaurants at this ever-expanding outdoor lifestyle center near the Del Mar Racetrack.
/ Top Picks / Patrick James, stocking “West Coast Classic” sportswear and suits for men, along with in-house tailoring; Sweetpea Children’s Shop, offering unique clothing and accessories for children and infants (including high- style diaper bags); and Van de Vort, with the latest “on trend” sexy, bohemian pieces for young women.
2720 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, 858.481.2904, flowerhill.com
4. The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch
With a mix of fashionable boutiques, specialty shops, grocery stores, fitness studios, dining and more, The Village is a locals’ gem but a new discovery for many visitors to San Diego.
/ Top Picks / Tre Boutique, for sophisticated head-to-toe styles for women, with such designers as Hale Bob, Alberto Makali, Bailey 44, Veronica M, Bianca Nero and many more; Mabel’s, a charming retail den catering to women, babies and expecting mothers, carrying jewelry, attire, shoes and gifts; and Urban Girl, specializing in one-of-a-kind gifts, candles, candy and clothing for men, women and kids—with products made locally and in the U.S.
13490 Pacific Highlands Ranch Pkwy., Carmel Valley, 858.755.7950, phrvillage.com
5. The Lumberyard
This laid-back outpost in Encinitas houses a fun mix of nearly 50 stores and eateries, ranging from quirky boutiques to mainstream retailers.
/ Top Picks / deepFLING, a treasure trove for Scandinavian fashion, jewelry and accessories for women; Movin Shoes, with men’s and women’s running and walking shoes and apparel; and Cut Loose, a casual, colorful line of women’s clothing sewn and dyed to order in San Francisco.
701-1031 South Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, shoplumberyard.com
6. The Forum Carlsbad
An outdoor mall offering a potpourri of mainstream retailers (think: Anthropologie, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and many more), specialty shops, restaurants and markets, The Forum also offers year-round community events, from yoga to special sales and deals.
/ Top Picks / Francesca’s for fashion-forward women’s clothing and gifts; Johnny Was for luxe bohemian clothing with colorful, vintage-inspired patterns and embroideries; and Jos. A. Bank for men’s business, corporate-casual and weekend apparel.
1923 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, 760.479.0166, theforumcarlsbad.com
7. The Shoppes at Carlsbad
A two-story, enclosed mall with more than 100 shops and major department stores (including Macy’s, Sears and J.C. Penney), the center has undergone extensive renovations and has added numerous new restaurants and retailers in the last year.
/ Top Picks / Lemonchello’s Boutique for high-end women’s clothing and accessories at discount prices; Zumiez for snowboarding and skateboarding shoes, clothing and more for the whole family; and Men’s District for dapper suits, pants and shoes ranging from casual to formal.
2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 760.729.6183, theshoppesatcarlsbad.com
8. Cedros Design District
It’s nearly three enchanting blocks along Cedros Avenue, filled with more than 85 eclectic shops encompassing fashion, homewares, art galleries, antiques, design studios, a Sunday farmers market (noon to 4 p.m.) and the famous Belly Up concert tavern.
/ Top Picks / HIS for coastal-casual apparel for men, boys, girls and infants; Passion Fine Jewelry for elegant necklaces, earrings, bracelets, watches and more; and Cedros Soles for women’s shoes and accessories. You’ll need some fabulous footwear for all this walking.
All photos are courtesy images.