Many of Santa Monica’s most unique shops can be found on Montana Avenue, Main Street, and Wilshire Boulevard. All of these areas are lined with independent boutiques and shops ranging from eco-friendly apparel to home goods and curated gift items. By Juliana Shallcross
On Montana Avenue there’s Cozzi Cozzi, which offers stylish women’s clothing (think sun dresses and cardigans) and trendy jewelry at affordable prices. Everything in the shop is $100 or less, making for a guilt-free shopping excursion. Also on Montana Avenue is Andrew’s Cheese Shop, which is the perfect stop to pick up a gourmet sandwich or a picnic basket for your day (or night) at the beach. All baskets and to-go boxes include a baguette, a selection of cheeses, and plastic utensils. Andrew’s Cheese Shop also frequently has events, such as grilled cheese and beer nights, which you can find out more about on their website.
One of the many local independent shops on Main Street includes Mindfulnest, which features jewelry, art, and accessories that you can only find here, since most of the products are from local designers and artists. Other unique, local shops on Main Street include Lost & Found, which actually has two stores on Main Street. One sells women's, men's and children’s clothing and accessories from independent designers, while the other—Lost & Found Home—has a carefully curated selection of home goods from local and global artisans. Some of the items at the latter shop include pillows, rugs, glasses, baskets, books, and candles.
While Wilshire Boulevard is lined with numerous mainstream stores, it’s also home to some independent shops, such as The Acorn Store, just below Wilshire on 5th Street in Downtown Santa Monica, which is a specialty toy shop that sells only wooden toys, giving parents plenty of options when shopping for eco-friendly and non-toxic items for their children. The store offers plenty of small toys, too—especially good to know if you’re looking to pack some souvenirs for the trip home.
Haute Seconds, located on Wilshire Boulevard at Harvard Street, is a designer resale shop that carries a current and fashionable selection of clothing, shoes, and handbags from designer names such as Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Missoni, and Prada. This is a must-stop for vintage fashion lovers.
Santa Monica Farmers Markets
Lastly, there are a number of Santa Monica farmers markets beyond just the popular Downtown Santa Monica farmers market on Saturday mornings. What’s unique about these is that they feature foods and other products exclusively from local farmers and designers. Some of the other Santa Monica farmers markets include a Wednesday morning farmers market in downtown, as well as a Saturday morning market on Pico and Sunday morning market on Main Street. Local growers at these markets often sell more than just fruits and vegetables. Many artisans and local businesses even make themselves available at the markets to give shoppers a “one-stop” shopping experience, making it feel all the more local and unique. Additionally, the Main Street farmers market on Sundays features entertainment such as live music, arts and crafts.