America's Great Outdoor Shopping Destinations
Retail Therapy in the Sunshine, from California to Maine
From urban artisanal markets to by-the-bay boutiques to Hollywood's most famous mall, take advantage of these opportunities to combine retail therapy with breathtaking views, cool breezes and unlimited sunshine.
The Grove, Los Angeles
Since its opening in 2002, The Grove has become an L.A. institution. Not only is it conveniently located next to the historic Farmer's Market — a tourist shopping destination in its own right — the outdoor mall hosts star-studded events, including book signings at Barnes & Noble, Hollywood costume exhibits and shopping parties with top fashion and lifestyle bloggers. Known for its family-friendly stores including American Girl Place, crewcuts by J.Crew and Pottery Barn Kids, The Grove also boasts a kid-approved musical, illuminated fountain.
Highland Park Village, Dallas
Arguably the chicest place to shop in the Dallas area, Highland Park Village was one of the country's first shopping centers. Built in 1931, the center retains its old-world charm and original Spanish–style architecture. Stores range from some of the world's best luxury brands — think Saint Laurent, Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Hermès — to younger contemporary brands like Diane von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone and Scoop NYC.
Union Square Market, New York
Located in the heart of Manhattan, Union Square's open-air farmers' market runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Friday and Saturdays. Launched in 1976 with just a few vendors, the market has over the years expanded to become one of Manhattan's premiere locations. Passersby can sample farmstand cheeses, local produce, heritage meats, artisan jams, maple syrup and even wine. The market is also conveniently located near some of New York's best shopping on Fifth Avenue.
The Marin Country Mart, Larkspur, Calif.
Just a short ferry ride from San Francisco (or a quick trip over the Golden Gate Bridge), The Marin Country Mart offers bay views and a boutique experience. Upscale contemporary boutiques including Calypso St. Barth, Unionmade, Erica Tanov and James Perse are side-by-side with San Francisco's best eateries like Rustic Bakery, Miette and Farmshop. On Saturday, the Mart hosts a farmers' market packed with local artisans, makers and food trucks.
Freeport Village Station, Freeport, Maine
Located in a picturesque coastal town, Freeport Village Station is best visited in the late spring, summer and early fall when shoppers can fully enjoy the beautiful local weather. It's a must-visit for L.L.Bean fans — the nearby flagship store is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and holds educational events on outdoor sporting like archery, fishing, kayaking and shooting. Non-outdoorsy-types can enjoy deals from Nike, Old Navy, Coach and Brooks Brothers.
Photo: iStock Photo: iStock | Allyson Rees is a freelance journalist and former retail editor in Los Angeles who covers the fashion and retailing industries. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including WWD, LA Confidential, Fashionista.com and The Imprint.