The shopping season is short this year and if your gift list is long, San Diego’s B&B owners will gladly help by sharing their favorite holiday events and stores. Why not plan a shopping getaway – relax in sunny San Diego and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
The first weekend in December is chock full of festivities that combine fun and purchasing power.
Balboa Park’s December Nights, one of the nation’s premier holiday festivals, takes place Friday, December 5 from 3 –11 p.m. and Saturday, December 6 from noon-11 p.m. Entry into the dozens of museums is free 5-9 p.m. and their shops have a bonanza of fine gifts as well as original art. As you stroll around the 1200-acre park, pause to enjoy numerous entertainment venues – music, dance, singing, and even a puppet theatre showing A Christmas Carol.
If you enjoy holiday parades followed by shopping at unique stores, you have two events to consider. Coronado Island hosts Santa on Friday, December 5 at 3:20 p.m. when he arrives at the Ferry Landing. Local merchants kick off their special sales 5:30–9 p.m. and the parade down mainstreet is from 6–7 p.m.
The quaint surfing village of Ocean Beach is celebrating “35 years of Peace, Love & OB” Parade on Saturday, December 6 at 5:05 p.m (OB Time). The VW Beetle club and classic Woodies join marching bands and floats to make their own version of holiday joy.
Friday Night Liberty at Liberty Station is San Diego’s biggest gallery walk. Purchase original art, handmade jewelry, accessories, clothing, chocolates, books, ceramics, and more. The San Diego Watercolor Society will provide live music and hor d’oeuvres at their gallery.
On Saturday, December 6, don’t miss the annual Artisan’s Alley Craft Fair in Coronado. For 42 years, local artists, crafters, and designers have gathered on the school grounds to sell their handmade gifts. The fair is held rain or shine. You’ll be serenaded by the middle and high school bands while you shop, as this is a fundraiser for the music programs in Coronado.
Don’t feel that you must cram all your shopping into the first week of the month. Here are some recommended stores open all season for your finicky or funny friends’ gifts.
San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood boasts blocks of shops from the Village Hat Shop (fedoras to sports caps to women’s wearable art and more) to Babette Schwartz (irreverent and fun items for all ages) to Adam and Eve (romantic and sexy gifts). See a list of shops at the Hillcrest shopping website.
Not to be missed in Coronado is d’Forsythe’s Jewelry with stunning pieces from around the world. (A portion of all profits is donated to the Foundation for Women, a micro-lending organization.) For the men on your list, consider stopping by Village Hardware where they will help you design a “BUD Kit” with items typically included in the survival kits local Navy SEALs carry.
For some of the most upscale shops in San Diego, spend the day in La Jolla. If diamonds are on your list, Bella Fine Jewelry will design one-of-a-kind pieces. Another spot for unusual gifts is Africa and Beyond, one of the country’s leading galleries specializing in arts and crafts from African nations. And for a gift that lasts all year long, purchase season tickets to the La Jolla Playhouse noted for Broadway-bound hits, experimental, and avant garde theater.
Finally, a perfect one-size-fits-all present – a gift certificate to one of San Diego’s special Bed & Breakfast establishments! Your dollar goes even further at the Hillcrest House B&B where the purchase of $100 comes with a free $20 gift certificate.
For more information on each B&B, check out their website: