Depending where you live, you may not be able to just "pop down" to Long Beach, but once you’re down there, you'll find yourself wanting to stay. When you’re not touring the Queen Mary or catching the ferry to Catalina, dive into the neighborhood’s unexpected mecca of indie boutiques. Yes, it’s true—while you’re waiting for traffic on the 405 or 710 to clear out, you might just stumble upon a unique second-hand book, authentic mid-century credenza or locally made leather jacket. Intrigued? Check out our insider’s guide to the best shopping in Long Beach.
RECOMMENDED: A complete guide to Long Beach
Shopping in Long Beach
This off the beaten path, independent store is bigger than it looks from the outside: the premises are unexpectedly roomy, and every shelf is chockablock with CDs and vinyl, both new and secondhand. Under the shop's exposed beam ceilings, find an extensive library of top 40 crowd-pleasers and timeless classics amid rarer, more underground gems. Don't forget to glance at Fingerprints' schedule of live performances as well, which happen many times a week and feature both up-and-coming acts and bigger names (Run River North and Rick Springfield, to name a few).
This mid-century decor emporium is one of SoCal's best-kept secrets in vintage shopping. The place is packed to the gills with authentic home wares from the '50s and '60s (think: tufted arm chairs and hairpin leg coffee tables), as well eccentric baubles from antique vases to 50-year-old sewing machines. Also for sale is a collection of screenprints by artist David Weidman, many of which can be spotted in Mad Men reruns.
It doesn't get much more indie than this East Village-meets-Arts District shop, owned by chill couple Kat and Matt Engel. Offering a delicately assembled range of craft merch, from vinyl records and local home goods to vintage-inspired mens’ and womens' apparel (from Kat's family business La Femme Vintage), the boutique has a distinctly intimate feel and warm, handcrafted aesthetic.
Long Beach's favorite local bookshop vends a lovingly curated assortment of new and gently-used titles, all colorfully displayed on the shop’s homey, well-labeled shelves. Say hello to the store’s resident cat and friendly staff as you browse contemporary poetry, astrology handbooks and horror fiction, with a cup of complimentary coffee in hand. Bibliophiles could easily kill two or three hours in this place, which also hosts regular author events and signings. (Check the website for scheduling details.)
Part nostalgic museum exhibit, part vintage boutique, this Long Beach mainstay is a retro fashionista’s wonderland. The interiors were inspired by an old-school department store, complete with vibrant neon signs and dressing rooms that look like pastel pop art refrigerators. The clearly organized selection of apparel and accessories from the '40s through '80s is impressive (expect to find everything from mod coats to glam rock boots). Though prices are a touch steep—and some Yelpers find staff 'tudes chilly—the place undoubtedly offers some of the best vintage treasures in Long Beach.
Swing by this cozy, cool-girl womenswear shop—pronounced "a-nay-say," you’re welcome—for a handpicked selection of trendy, American-made clothing, accessories and home goods. Reasonable prices and a minimalist aesthetic (think: dainty gold rings and cotton shift dresses) make the place a SoCal millennial’s dream boutique. Stalk their new arrivals on Instagram.
This shabby-chic boutique is your one-stop-shop for boho womenswear, jewelry, indie apothecary goods, stationary and other delightfully feminine tchotchkes. Founded by gal pals Karen Quimby and Billie Gentry, the shop has a community-driven vibe, as evidenced by their smiley-faced staffers and monthly trunk shows featuring unique designers. Stop in to add a quartz gemstone arm cuff to your jewelry collection or pick up a unique, handmade greeting card. The place feels like a beachside Cali-girl’s home away from home.
This kitsch factor is high at this teensy, irreverent Long Beach boutique. Within its beachy, bright green walls, find vintage clothing for men and women (mostly from the '40s, '50s and '60s), accessories and other offbeat oddities. If you're in the market for a rockabilly frock, tropical print button up, Western belt buckle (or simply like to marval at colorful, shiny things), this is your spot.
Think of this monthly antiquers' paradise as the Rose Bowl Flea Market of Long Beach. Whether you're dropping by to furnish your new sunroom, find a specific 1920s steamer trunk, or aimlessly wade through the mammoth selection of vintage clothing, home goods and miscellaneous baubles, the event rarely disappoints. Your ticket is $6 general admission, $12 if you want to get a head start on the action an hour before the masses flood in to swipe that mid-century bar cart you've been jonesing to find.
Restock your festival wardrobe, from wide-brim hats to turquoise finishing touches, at this independently owned womenswear boutique. Opened by Dayna Mance with the free-spirited bohemian in mind, the shop offers a playful array of paisley-patterned, fringe-trimmed apparel and accessories from brands like For Love and Lemons, Free People and Stone Cold Fox, as well as unique handcrafted jewelry from around the world. The shop's Instagram-worthy interiors, featuring tribal print rugs, tapestries and locally sourced driftwood, complete the hippie-chic shopping experience.