Souvenir Shopping Part 1, San Diego (Self Guided)

It would be a pity to leave San Diego without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Diego, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.
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Souvenir Shopping Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Souvenir Shopping Part 1
Guide Location: USA » San Diego (See other walking tours in San Diego)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
Author: Daniel
Carol Gardyne Studio

1) Carol Gardyne Studio

What to buy here: Hand painted silk scarf. The hand-painted silk scarves by local San Diego artist Carol Gardyn are inspired by her surroundings in San Diego’s vibrant Little Italy neighborhood, hence the bright colors and accents. Each scarf in Gardyn’s studio boutique on Columbia Street is an original, one-of-a-kind creation that starts as a piece of white, high-quality, 100% silk fabric and is transformed into a beautiful piece of wearable art using a gutta resist and color technique. Scarves come in several sizes and shapes with natural and abstract patterns meant to capture the beauty of nature. If you really want to commemorate that memorable sunset or stroll in Balboa Park, however, you can ask Carol to custom make a scarf in whatever colors and size you would like. Cost: $38-$85, more for a custom scarf.

Monday-Sunday: 10:00-18:00
Best Damn Beer Shop

2) Best Damn Beer Shop

What to buy here: San Diego Micro-brewed Beers. It’s only natural that a city with two major league sports teams is serious about its beers. When it’s time to celebrate that homerun or touchdown, San Diegans like to cheer with a locally-made beer, and there are several award-winning brews to choose from. Bring home a sample bottle from some of San Diego’s best-known breweries, or just choose the bottle with the cutest logo and name. Whether it’s the dark, fruity flavors of Alesmith’s Old Numbskull brew or the foamy, medium-bodied beer of a Greenflash Hop Head, a San Diego microbrew is a souvenir that is easy to enjoy. It’s not hard to find a local bottle or two at most liquor stores, but for the absolute best selection and prices, head to The Best Damn Beer Shop inside the Super Junior Market in downtown San Diego. The variety of beers filling their shelves will leave you nodding in agreement that the shop’s name was well-chosen and speaks the truth. Cost: $4-14 per bottle. Where to Buy: Best Damn Beer Shop, 1036 7th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101. Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 619-232-6367.

3) FeeLit

What to buy here: Comic book art. Comic-Con is San Diego’s biggest and wackiest event of the year, but you don’t have to be in the city during the craziness to get in on the comic-inspired action. Original illustrations by Southern Californian artist Chantal deFelice are beautiful graphic-novel-like depictions of urban scenes that and small enough to fit in your carry-on. Prints are hand-drawn or painted and mounted on salvaged scrap wood and sealed with a matte protective coating. Wall art ranges in size from 4 x 5 to 5 x 7 and miniature prints are also available as original pendants or earrings. You can find Chantal’s art along with other artists’ work, collectible pop-art figurines, and unique graphic t-shirts at the tiny Feelit boutique in downtown San Diego, a fun store full of one-of-kind items that support independent musicians, artists and designers. Cost: $25-50.

Monday–Saturday: 12:00-19:00; Sunday: 13:00-17:00.
Make Good

4) Make Good

What to buy here: Handmade beer glasses. It doesn’t matter whether you like your beer in a bottle or in a glass. With these original handmade glasses you get both, and you can keep appreciating San Diego’s best brews long after the suds have been savored. These 16 oz beer glasses are “up-cycled” from the bottles of some of San Diego’s most popular microbrewed ale. Glasses are made and sold individually, so each glass is unique and one-of-a-kind while also looking good as a set. The glasses are sold at Make Good in South Park, an independently owned boutique that features hand-made goods by local San Diego artists and is like a brick and mortar version of Cost: $14.50 each. Where to buy: Make Good, 2207 Fern Street, San Diego, CA 92104. Hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Closed on Mondays. Phone: (619) 563-4600.
Off The Record

5) Off The Record

What to buy here: Vintage vinyl record. Today’s iPhone generation may have no memory of record stores and the joys of browsing through a stack of vinyl records, which makes a vintage LP that much more of a retro-cool gift. Most single records will set you back only 99 cents, which makes an old fashioned 45 a better value than your average download, because you get both an A and a B side. You’ll need a turntable to listen to the music, but the biggest joy comes from just holding these souvenirs from a different era and trying to imagine a time from way back. Lou’s Records in Encinitas and Off The Record in Normal Heights are two San Diego stores that still specialize in old-school wax. Both stores have been around for decades. They have shrunk in size since their glory days before the digital revolution, and browsing through their inventory feels a little like browsing through a well-organized garage sale, but there are treasures to be found for those that dig, and the vibe is always rock and roll. Cost: 99 cents to $20 or more.

Monday-Sunday: 11:00-20:00
Mimi & Red

6) Mimi & Red

What to buy here: Keep A Breast sweatshirt by OBEY. Before Shepard Fairey was known for his Obama poster, he was known around San Diego as the guy behind the enigmatic OBEY graffiti featuring the face of wrestler Andre the Giant that seemed to randomly appear on walls and light poles around town. What a difference a poster makes. Shepard’s graffiti art is now the basis of a thriving designer label. His Keep A Breast sweatshirt not only has the stylish underground coolness of his early works, but it also aids in the global fight against breast cancer. 100% of the profits from the sale of Keep A Breast clothing goes towards the Obey Awareness Campaign. OBEY clothing and accessories can be found at Mimi & Reds, a popular boutique in the arty North Park neighborhood known for its affordable fashion and frequently-changing selection of goods. Cost: $42.95

Mondays: 11:00-18:00; Tuesday–Saturday: 11:00-19:00; Sundays: 11:00-16:00.

Walking Tours in San Diego, California

Create Your Own Walk in San Diego

Create Your Own Walk in San Diego

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Diego is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Gaslamp Quarter Nightlife

Gaslamp Quarter Nightlife

San Diego is famous for its buzzy nightlife. There are plenty of clubs and lounges in the city that offer a relaxing atmosphere, a chance to strike a nice conversation, enjoy great cocktails - classic signature martinis and beautifully mixed drinks with fine liquor atop, and party crazy all night long. Take this walking tour for a unique nightlife experience in San Diego.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Gaslamp Quarter Walking Tour, San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter Walking Tour, San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter is a historical neighborhood established in 1876. It features 16 blocks of wonderful buildings, unique shops, amazing galleries and a wide range of restaurants. This tour highlights some of the most important tourists attractions in San Diego.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Jewell of a city adorning the Pacific coast of California, San Diego is a popular destination renowned for its beaches, parks and warm climate. On this walk you will visit some of San Diego's main and less known attractions situated in the historic downtown area.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Balboa Park Walking Tour, San Diego

Balboa Park Walking Tour, San Diego

Named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Balboa Park is one of the largest cultural parks in USA. The park features 15 famous museums, wonderful gardens, renowned cultural venues and the San Diego Zoo. It is a must see attraction in San Diego and plays host to a constant stream of plays, musicals, museum exhibitions and live concerts. Take this walking tour to discover the amazing...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Top Museums Walking Tour in San Diego

Top Museums Walking Tour in San Diego

San Diego has over 90 amazing museums. They reflect the incredible variety and interests of the region. The museums present a wide range of collections from classic to contemporary art and from natural history to science. Take this walking tour to explore some of the most famous museums in San Diego.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Core-Columbia Nightlife

Core-Columbia Nightlife

San Diego is famous for its buzzy nightlife. There are plenty of clubs and lounges in the city that offer a relaxing atmosphere, a chance to strike a nice conversation, enjoy great cocktails - classic signature martinis and beautifully mixed drinks with fine liquor atop, and party crazy all night long. Take this walking tour for a unique nightlife experience in San Diego.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 14 Gifts That Say San Diego

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 14 Gifts That Say San Diego

San Diego is known for its beautiful, temperate climate, but you can’t take the weather home with you. If you want a piece of San Diego as a souvenir, it’s best to shop with the natives. Whether it is made locally or just made famous locally, following are 14 perfect gifts that capture the...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in San Diego for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best San Diego has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as San Diego, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.