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A Guide to Shopping in Orange County

A Guide to Shopping in Orange County

Here’s your guide to Orange County shopping, because treating yourself never goes out of style.


5 min read

October 07, 2021

Whoever said the OC’s just about surfing was probably only passing through. Sure, the sport is practically woven into the region’s fabric, but the amount of retail therapy hidden makes shopping in Orange County truly a way of life. Without further ado, here’s your guide to Orange County shopping, because treating yourself never goes out of style.

The Best Malls in Orange County 

The LAB Anti-Mall is a modern, open-air destination featuring trendy retail shops and a range of restaurants

The LAB Anti-Mall

Location: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa

Starting this list going full anti-mall might be a bit out of the box, but we’re taking pointers from the wonderfully unconventional LAB. The name is actually an acronym, which stands for ‘Little American Business’—and that’s exactly what this shopping center in Orange County is striving to support. Established in response to the retail monotony plaguing the OC’s suburbia, the LAB went from a night-vision goggle factory into an indoor-outdoor hangout space dotted with art, music, fashion, and hip cuisine.

At Brea Mall you can find something unique for each member of the family.

Brea Mall

Location: 1065 Brea Mall, Brea

With over 180 stores from your favorite brands, the Brea Mall is the go-to retail center in North Orange County. Brands like Nordstrom, Apple, Banana Republic, Lululemon, Michael Kors, and more can all be found here, alongside a few ethical brands you’ll love looking into. Plus, since the back-to-work season is right around the corner, why not assemble a brand new outfit to rock around the office? And, in addition to a little shopping therapy, you can treat yourself to a full-service day spa and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the area—there’s no going wrong with this OC mall.

Bella Terra 

Location: 7777 Edinger Avenue, Huntington Beach

An open-air treat, Bella Terra is a well-known outdoor mall in Orange County where your wallet will thank you instead of hating you. Big names here include Barnes and Noble, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory, and more. You can spend the whole day trying on clothes, hopping from shop to shop, and indulging all those impulse buying needs you’ve been repressing. But shopping at Bella Terra is only the tip of the iceberg. There are renowned restaurants, salons, and theaters all over—coming here is fun for the whole family, not just its resident shopaholics.

This mall in Newport Beach has a long history with fashion runways. No wonder it goes by the name Fashion Island.

Fashion Island 

Location: 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

Ask any local and they’ll tell you that the best shopping in Orange County is at Fashion Island. A stone’s throw from the beach, this mall is home to over 200 stores and restaurants, most of which offer services like personal shopping and home delivery. And if that wasn’t enough, Fashion Island is also a bit of an architectural marvel—the mall features the world’s largest wind chimes near Macy’s. The Butterfly Court is also found here; it’s where numerous models have strutted down the runway, showcasing all that’s new and trendy.

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The Outlets at Orange

Location: 20 City Boulevard West, Orange

Less than 10 minutes from the OC’s Disneyland, there’s another destination that’s just as magical—that is if you’re into bargain hunting. But then again, who isn’t? The Outlets at Orange features top stores and is host to other activities that’ll get the whole family pumped up for a trip to the mall. Catch a movie at the AMC Orange 30, rejuvenate with a treatment at the Burke Williams Day Spa, while your kids shred on the indoor street course at Vans SkatePark. But don’t forget; you’re here for the shopping. Scout for marked-down merchandise at Neiman Marcus Last Call and find seriously awesome deals at Nordstrom Rack and DKNY. Get surf-ready at Hurley or find something slinky and lacy at Frederick’s of Hollywood; this Orange County outlet is a dream come true for your credit card.

Boutiques in Orange County

In Orange County you will never run out of high quality bags and accessories. For the best of the best, you have to start at Marian Paquette.

Marian Paquette 

Location: 1504 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

In the vibrant tapestry of Southern California fashion, making a statement requires stepping away from the predictable and embracing the extraordinary. Marian Paquette's boutique in Orange County stands as a beacon for those seeking distinctiveness in their accessories. Her collection of handmade bags is a treasure trove of bold hues, luxurious fabrics, and unique hardware, offering everything from elegant clutches to timeless top-handle designs and versatile crossbody options. Each piece is a testament to craftsmanship and global flair, with materials meticulously selected from France, Morocco, and Italy, inviting you to infuse your wardrobe with a touch of international sophistication.

Alchemy Works 

Location: 3408 Via Oporto, Newport Beach

Conceived by the creative Los Angeles duo, Lindsay and Raan Parton, Alchemy Works is a haven for aficionados of luxurious and distinctive items. This industrial-chic store also serves as a versatile gallery and venue, offering ample space to explore its curated collection. Shoppers can discover a world of carefully selected treasures, from artisanal apothecary items and bespoke letterpress artwork to exclusive accessories from independent designers. Among the sought-after pieces are the sumptuous velvet bodysuits by Heidi Merrick, stylish Janessa Leone hats, and the elegant jewelry designs of Grace Lee, to name a few. Adding to the ambiance, a Blacktop Coffee outpost is conveniently nestled within, providing the perfect complement to your shopping experience with a refreshing coffee break.

Before you hit the waves in Orange County make sure to stop by Thalia Surf Shop for the best clothing and gear.

Thalia Surf Shop

Location: 915 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

Located on the Pacific Coast Highway, this unique gem is a wink and a nod to Laguna’s rich surf history. Thalia Surf Shop offers a trusted mix of clothing and gear—most of the items come from indie brands—and it’s all a shrine to the sport. The lovely staff shares your passion for shredding waves, so any of your board-related inquiries will be answered with knowledge and expertise. P.S. If you’re also on a quest for the rarest vintage surfer tees, vinyl records, and art books, this Orange County outlet might be an answer to your prayers.

Roger’s Gardens 

Location: 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona Del Mar

From its modest beginnings as a gardening center in Costa Mesa during the 1960s, Roger's Gardens has blossomed into one of the nation's premier destinations for landscaping, gardening, and floral design. Today, visitors flock here not just for the exceptional selection of plants and blooms, but also for unique pottery, thoughtful gifts, and artisanal furniture. The staff here are as warm and welcoming as they are informed, ready to assist with any gardening endeavor. Nestled within the verdantly landscaped grounds, you'll find the Farmhouse, a charming eatery dedicated to farm-to-table dining. If you've ever dreamed of crafting your own succulent haven, consider this the perfect opportunity to turn that vision into reality.

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