San Diego is a souvenir shopper’s dream destination. The city is known for being a shopping mecca in general, and souvenir shops have helped the city gain that reputation. From Seaport Village to Old Town to Pacific Beach, there’s a wide range of mementos you won’t find anywhere else.
Scenic San Diego Spots to Souvenir Shop
One of the best things about souvenir shopping in the city is that many shops are at some of the most scenic spots in the area. Watch sailboats float by in the bay as you pick up a pair of socks and a bottle opener from Best of San Diego. Admire the beautiful architecture of Balboa Park after getting a hand-painted souvenir at the Spanish Village Art Center. Get down to Gaslamp Garage for what’s probably the best selection of souvenir San Diego mugs you’ll ever see.
And let’s not forget the beachfront souvenir shops. There are 70 miles of coastline in San Diego County, and it’s peppered with stores that have cultivated unique selections of souvenirs.
Souvenirs in the City of Villages
A unique aspect of San Diego is its diversity. It’s been called the “City of Villages” because there are so many different neighborhoods that each have its own vibe. In many ways, it's like many small cities all in one place, and in recent years, the local government has created development plans based on the concept.
Because of the area's diversity, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a gift souvenir for everyone on your shopping list, no matter their interests. Have fun with it and try to find a special souvenir from each village.
San Diego Souvenirs Shops With Items the Locals Own
Want to buy a San Diego souvenir but don’t want to look like a tourist? Don’t worry. It’s a city where you’ll see locals sporting a hoodie with ‘San Diego’ across the front. San Diegans are proud of their hometown and aren’t afraid to show it by warming up with a sweatshirt they got in a Mission Beach shop while walking the boardwalk. You’ll also see locals carrying stainless steel water mugs with the city’s name emblazoned.
Essentially, if it’s a functional souvenir like a beverage cup or a piece of clothing you can wear, it’s something you’ll probably see locals purchase.
Special Event Souvenirs in San Diego
If you count up all of the concerts, festivals, sporting events, conventions and 5Ks, there are hundreds of special events in San Diego every year. If you plan to attend one, you’ll be able to remember the occasion with a special event souvenir. Some events are so huge you can find souvenirs commemorating them all over the city. ComicCon is a great example. During the event, many venues offer special souvenirs for that year’s event that won’t be around for the next convention.