For sheer variety and scale, LA shopping is hard to beat. This is a fashion-conscious, trend-setting consumer paradise with the shopping options to match.
Your best buys are the aforementioned fashion items, sporting goods and gear, locally produced wine from the Napa Valley, movie paraphernalia and collectables, and - of course - videos and DVDs of the movies and stars that make tinsel town famous the world over.
If you're looking for both designer wear and celebrity sightings, head for Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive where big name jewellery and haute couture stores line up like A-list stars at an exclusive beach. For more unusual, arty and eccentric items, head for the potpourri of Venice Boardwalk or Melrose Avenue. Nearby Main Street is good for trendy but affordable attire, as well as antiques and collectables.
Certainly the best-value LA shopping can be found at the discount outlet complexes on the edge of town. Here you can find all the big name brands at substantial discounts - up to 70 percent off the list price. Check out Ontario Mills and Desert Hills Premium Outlets for some great bargains.
Of course LA, like every big American city, has its share of mega-malls. The best of these are the Beverly Center, with nine floors of stores and restaurants, and Westside Pavilion, which includes a wonderful three-floor Barnes and Noble bookstore. On the other end of the scale are the vibrant flea markets, the best of which are the Rose Bowl Flea Market & Swap Meet, and the sparkling Jewellery Mart.
A Sales Tax of 8.25 percent is built into the purchase price. However, as such sales taxes are set at state level, there is no way to obtain a refund from the federal government for non-US visitors.
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