There’s just so much see and do in Monterey Bay and Carmel and there’s also plenty to buy – so be prepared for an onslaught of excesses!
Whether you’re on the hunt for Mexican folk art or fine home furnishings seek out Haute Enchilada and Nido in Moss Landing, exquisite early 20th-century estate jewelry at Fourtané in Carmel, or even surfer gear at on the Beach in New Monterey. The well-heeled shopper will find an eclectic collection of emporiums from which they will be overwhelmed. Without question the famous shopping destination is Carmel-by-the-Sea. Ocean Avenue and its surrounding streets offers boutiques like Girl Boy Girl, which carries Trina Turk and Theory, and sister store Paloosh, with its impressive selection of Juicy Couture and BCBG. Nalu’s designer denim Paige; Premium Design and Rock and Republicor Intima’s European lingerie are must sees and must haves!!
The newly revamped Carmel Plaza houses include such renowned brands as Bottega Veneta; Cole Haan; Anthropologie and other high-end favorites. Carmel’s shopping district extends down Ocean from Junipero to Monte Verde, with many shops are located on the winding side streets just a block or two from the main streets. Small boutiques rule the day, and although the most conspicuous commodity for sale in Carmel is art, there’s a wide range of shops carrying exquisite clothing, shoes and handcrafted goods.
The Plaza is home to about 50 shops and restaurants, including galleries, jewelry stores and several upscale retail shops, including Louis Vuitton, J. Jill, and Anthropologie, all in a courtyard setting. Ocean and Mission, Carmel.
Crossroads Shopping Village
Almost a separate township unto itself, the Crossroads includes among its 70 shops and restaurants a Safeway grocery store and Long’s drug store for shopping essentials, as well as many small specialty shops and eateries.
You’ll find clothing, jewelry and restaurants as well as craft shops and a garden store among the 50 shops in this charming open-air complex with a rustic theme located on Highway 1 at Carmel Valley Road, Carmel.
Carmel valley A meander up sunny Carmel Valley Road yields a glimpse into a bucolic corner of the county that operates on its own relaxed schedule. Twelve miles east of Highway 1 lies Carmel Valley Village, a quirky and interesting assortment of shops, wine tasting rooms, cafés, restaurants and art galleries. This is ground zero for indoor and outdoor décor shops; you could well leave here with a collection of gorgeous Mexican tiles or a whimsical sculpture for the garden. Parking is easy to come by and the locals are friendly, making Carmel Valley a choice destination for an afternoon.
The heart of Monterey is Alvarado Street, where 200-year-old adobes sit cheek-by-jowl with sleek new buildings that reinterpret the ubiquitous Spanish Colonial style. In recent years an assortment of fashionable boutiques has sprung up along Alvarado and its side streets, and just east of downtown, bibliophiles will find several quality used and rare book dealers. A tobacconist, cafes, bars and restaurants round out the appeal of this relaxed but upbeat downtown.
Del Monte Center
Macy’s, Mervyn’s, Whole Foods who’s to say which is the anchor store among the 85 locally owned shops, family restaurants, and national stores in this outdoor garden shopping mecca? Look for a Banana Republic and a White House/Black Market to appear in the near future located at Highway 1 at Munras, Monterey.
Fisherman's Wharf & Cannery Row
Both popular tourist destinations, these locations offer a plethora of gift shops and fine seafood restaurants, not to mention bars and nightclubs. Cannery Row also has several art galleries, the Monterey Bay Aquarium (with its own gift shop), and three nightclubs.
Although Moss Landing is a bit off the beaten path, those with a hankering for antiques will find that the shopping here is unsurpassed. Funky little cottages throughout the village have been converted into antique stores and art galleries selling everything from curios to china hutches. Weekend arts, crafts and jewelry fairs will also appeal to bargain and treasure hunters. Not only is there a diverse selection, but the authentic fishing village atmosphere adds to the experience. Treat yourself to lunch or dinner at one of several seafood cafés or restaurants.
It’s all about character in New Monterey, the up-and-coming business district along the main thoroughfare linking downtown Monterey and Pacific Grove. Antique shops, fashion boutiques and home furnishing stores rub elbows with tattoo parlors, used book and record stores and a clutch of surf shops, and a bevy of small ethnic restaurants invites shoppers to stop and refuel. Cowboys and golfers will find some of what they need here, too. Lighthouse Avenue between Monterey and Pacific Grove.
Shoppers who are looking for home furnishings may find exactly what they seek amid the Victorian charm of downtown Pacific Grove. While PG still boasts a great local market and hardware store, the city has been revitalized with an influx of shops specializing in women’s fashions and decorations for the home, as well as a great collection of vintage, consignment and upscale resale boutiques. Several small restaurants and antique stores galore round out the shopping experience.
American Tin Cannery
More than just an outlet center, the American Tin Cannery, a stone’s throw from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is becoming a destination for anyone who enjoys finding gems in unexpected places. A great women’s boutique, a pottery-painting studio and possibly the most fashionable sock shop in three counties have taken up residence here, as well as a tavern with ocean views and, of course, the outlets including Nine West, Izod, Van Heusen and Reebok. 125 Ocean View, Monterey. sand city ~ seaside Tiny Sand City has become a primary destination for big-box shoppers on the Peninsula. The intersection of Playa and California bisects the shopping district, with Costco on one end and Borders Books at the other (and stores like Target, Ross, Marshalls, Circuit City, and Orchard Supply Hardware in between). Take a minute to unwind with a latte from Starbucks or a pedicure from Angel Nails before heading across the street to Seaside’s Cost Plus, on the corner of Fremont and Playa. Just a few blocks away from the Edgewater and Sand Dollar shopping centers is Sand City’s nascent “downtown” shopping district. Tucked into this funky light industrial neighborhood with its lofts and garages are a smattering of storefronts offering outdoor gear, gourmet foods and surf memorabilia. In Seaside, ethnic markets, discount shops, vintage clothing stores, and Mexican bakeries and craft shops line Fremont Boulevard and Broadway Avenue. salinas Most if not all of life’s necessities can be found in Oldtown Salinas, in the shadow of the National Steinbeck Center on South Main. Looking for coffee? Clothing? Cocktails? No problem. A preponderance of turn-of-the century buildings are home to an increasing number of fine restaurants, hip clothing boutiques and antique stores.
Northridge Shopping Center/Harden Ranch
Located virtually across the street from each other near the intersection of Boronda Road and North Main Street off Highway 101, Northridge and Harden Ranch combine to form a destination location for many serious local shoppers. A complete array of big-name department, book, grocery, toy, jewelry, sports, pet, hardware and furniture stores (not to mention the attendant restaurants and cafés) make this a one-stop shopping district. North Main, Salinas.
Whether it’s Monterey Bay shopping, Marina, CA treasure hunting or just perusing boutiques at Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s sure to be time well-spent. The Sanctuary Beach Resort offers a welcoming and indulgent respite after a long day on your feet.