San Diego City Guide
By Katherine Bond
I don’t need a list of reasons to shop. “It’s on sale,” is a good enough reason for me, personally. Now San Diego, Mecca of the quintessential Southern California vacation, has an offering straight from the streets of NYC’s Fifth Ave: shopping tours. Garb San Diego, a sister entity of the epically popular food tour company, Bite San Diego, will offer shopping excursions throughout neighborhoods of San Diego. The best part is that guests will shop at locally owned fashion boutiques and enjoy discounts of 20% or more.
The first route covers Downtown and Little Italy with seven boutique stops, which feature some of the area’s best fashion designers as well as a stop at Café 21, one of my favorite neighborhood foodie nooks, for cookies and tea at the end of the trip. Led by professional stylists, Garb San Diego operates its Downtown/Little Italy tour three times a week, with one outing on Friday and two on Saturday. My tour guide, Benjamin, was a complete doll, quite professional, and clearly engrossed in the fun of fashion. I’m still using the gorgeous tote bag, made of durable burlap and brazened with the cute “garb” logo.
For Garb San Diego’s Downtown/Little Italy tour, guests will visit some of the area’s hottest fashion stops. Be Beauty Boutique, San Diego’s most charming beauty boutique, with weekly new arrivals of dresses, local jewelry and accessories is one of the top places on the tour’s itinerary. Kapreeza, meaning “spoiled little girl” in Russian, is a gem find which shoppers will adore for its modern European lingerie and swimwear. Vocabulary is the most articulate blue boutique of San Diego, where Garb tour members will find loads of accessories and treasures for gals and guys alike.
Boutique De Marcus, with its dazzling dresses and edgy everyday wear for men and women, designed by Baghdad-born Marcus Hanish, is a spot that is sure to impress. Goga by Gordana, designs by San Diego’s Project Runway Season Six and Project Runway’s All-Star designer, Gordana, originally from former Yugoslavia, warrants a stop during the day, as well as Cariloha, the city’s only store whose entire line of cool, soft, and go green attire is made from bamboo. Finally, shoppers will visit Rubber Soul Vintage, East Village’s fashion forward vintage clothing shop, stocked with hard-to-find treasures from the 20s-70s.
Tour guests also receive a custom tote bag and styling tips and assistance from Garb San Diego guides. Tickets are $49 and must be purchased online at GarbSanDiego.com.