California Shopping


Old Town San Diego Boutiques

Old Town San Diego
2645 San Diego Avenue (address for candle shop)
San Diego, CA 92110

Not everything in San Diego's Old Town comes from Mexico but there are some really nice gifts you can buy that capture its flavor without having to make the trek south (and the slow return) back across the border, which isn't far from San Diego. If you've made that trip, you probably know about the slow process of getting back into the U.S. It can take an hour or longer standing in line if you walk, or riding a bus or car.

In Old Town the Mexican ceramics and crafts that you'll see on "the other side" are neatly displayed in mercados and outdoor plazas. Several of my favorite shopping spots include Bazaar del Mundo and El Centro Artesano where you can buy a neat, metal sculpted accordion player (top left photo) for around $49.95. There are hand painted pots (bottom left photo) sold there as well, with a three size set selling for around $24.95. A shop that bills itself as a museum and store features nifty ceramic dogs, chickens, roosters, dolls and so much more.

Old Town Market Festival Marketplace weaves through the historic Casa de Aguirre and into a courtyard where you may hear musicians performing happy tunes on hand-made flutes and other instruments. Prices for decorative tiles are as low as $1.99, a keepsake Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) ceramic plate is around $14.99, and a hand-crafted planter of a man taking a siesta with his sombrero covering his face goes for about $24.99. Silver and metal tooling is exceptional so you'll be glad to know that home decor such as silver crosses you can hang on the wall go for around $14.95.

Leather goods such as belts, hats, backpacks, carry on bags and purses are made of durable leather that never seems to wear out. I am carrying around my black leather backpack I purchased there about 15 years ago--and I carry heavy cameras in it!

Clothing is often light, cotton, colorful and comfortable. Ladies like the loose fitting dresses for summer while men go for t-shirts.

Around San Diego Old Town there are unique souvenirs. At "Colorado House" which contains a Wells Fargo antique collection (stagecoach, strong box, safe and ledger,) I spent a mere $1 for a writing pen that has a stagecoach on it. Some things that caught my eye were a gold panning plate for $12.50 and a ceramic cookie jar shaped liked a Wells Fargo Stagecoach for around $25.

These are just a few of the gems located at Old Town, where there's lots of free parking, enterainment, and some of the best Mexican restaurants in all of the U.S.

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