With The Grove at the Farmers Market and The Americana at Brand, Los Angeles practically pioneered the idea that going shopping is about much more than the exchange of money for luxury goods — it’s a full-fledged experience, heightened by live music, trolley rides, and immersive lounges to sit and spend the day. Developer Rick Caruso’s most famous malls are hardly the only places to hang out and enjoy the scenery while you shop (or not). From one Hollywood Hills showroom with a secret rooftop garden to a Malibu store with a yurt in its courtyard, these are some of our favorite destinations to kick back, relax, and maybe even do some shopping, if you must.
The entrance to James Perse’s retail store at the Malibu Lumber Yard is hard to miss — it looks like a Broad Beach mogul’s house, complete with a long row of comfy deck chairs posted outside and a glossy black Ping Pong table by the door. When you go inside, you may never want to leave the designer shop. Employees walk around with trays of bottled water and house-made strawberry lemonade, peach tea, or whatever else they are mixing up at the store that day. There’s even room for good-sized cheering section by the Ping Pong table, so you can bring some friends along.
At the TOMS flagship store on Abbot Kinney, you can shop from rows upon rows of canvas sneakers, summer sandals, and comfy slippers. But you can also buy a latte from the Cafecito Organico cafe in the front of the shop, bring a laptop and make use of the free Wi-Fi while settling into a lawn chair on the astroturf-covered back patio, or attend any one of the in-store events such as yoga workshops, craft nights, and documentary screenings offered throughout the week.
It’s hard not to want to linger in Restoration Hardware’s 40,000-square-foot showroom in West Hollywood. Nearly everything is for sale in this gorgeous gallery, which is perfect if you’re partial to Escalade-sized leather sofas, fantastic lighting, and walls full of botanical prints. Make your way to the third-floor roof where there is an outdoor community space (very tranquil, usually fairly empty) filled with comfy seats, fire pits, a smattering of olive trees. The sprawling views of West Hollywood and The Pacific Design Center are worth the climb.
There are plenty of artfully designed seating clusters inside this bastion of boho chic, but the real reason to visit the Malibu outpost of Urban Outfitters is the glorious back courtyard, which feels a little like a Coachella oasis. There’s a yurt on one end, succulent-laden picnic tables on the other, and a fire pit in the middle. During the day, visitors sometimes treat the spot like an outdoor office, thanks to its free but occasionally spotty Wi-Fi. The yurt, meanwhile, seems to be reserved for more serious discussions.
This enormous used bookstore in the North Hollywood Arts District is filled with couches that practically beg you to have a seat and stay for a couple of hours — especially if you’ve got a fondness for the store cats, Zeus and Apollo. Though the thousands of books that line its shelves are used, they’re mostly in pristine condition, so the place doesn’t have that musty old paper smell you might associate with the library. The vibe is totally zen, save for the sporadic squeal of teenage boys who have just discovered the graphic novel section.