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Best Palm Springs Shopping

AOL PICK from our Editors

Palm Springs’ shopping is the reason many people come—it’s that good. From haute couture by Fe Zandi, St. John and Escada, to mainstream department stores and those $15-dollar-only shops—fashionistas will have it all. But there’s more. Fine art, fun art and antiques abound—and as the mid-century hub of the world, Palm Springs shops are the epicenter of 1950s furnishings and collectables, both genuine and faux. You’ll find the best shopping is centered in two regions: ritzy El Paseo in Palm Desert and Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

El Paseo Shopping District

Neighborhood: El Paseo

Aptly nicknamed the “Rodeo Drive of the Desert,” El Paseo is a wide avenue, about a mile of which is lined with more than 300 shops, restaurants, jewelers and fine art galleries. If you can afford the top designers, they’re here. Escada, Bottega Veneta, St. John, Gucci and Fe Zandi Haute Couture (she was the designer to the queen of Iran) are peppered among slightly less-expensive style leaders like Cache. But you’ll also find one-of-a-kind insider spots like DOT, specializing in edgy women’s wear and accessories by American and Canadian designers, at nearly normal prices. For something truly original, the Riga boutique sells hand-painted “wearable art” in the form of slinky French silk chiffon dresses, shawls and scarves hand-painted by boutique owner and artist Riga Sekander. She features styles for the whole family: women’s apparel, kids' clothing and toys and a small men's wear line. Palm Desert’s shops don’t neglect the men. Don Vincent’s Men’s Wear is one of the desert’s leading men’ clothiers. Everyone knows the Cactus Flower Shoe Salon is the place for stylish sandals.

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El Paseo Shopping District  

North Palm Canyon Drive

Neighborhood: Uptown

North Palm Canyon Drive will put mid-century modern fans in heaven with its abundance of antique and art galleries and some very of-the-moment boutiques. Fashionistas with money to burn will thrill to designer Trina Turk’s retro resort and beach wear and home furnishings, which she displays inside a landmark 1960s Albert Frey-designed building. The M Modern Gallery features an avant-garde collection of top names in mid-century-influenced art, from pop to surreal; and don’t miss Shag (the store). Just Fabulous Galleries is just that, with the hottest coffee table books on Palm Springs’ celebrity past, plus retro-inspired cards, stationery, artwork and home décor. Dazzles is a wonderful find for precious and quirky mid-century collectibles, from re-strung Eames patio furniture to costume jewelry and all the mid-century ceramic poodles and panthers you could ever want. If you’re in the mood for fine furnishings, less is more at a la Mod, a small mid-century consignment furniture and accessories store, with owners who prefer top quality over quantity.

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North Palm Canyon Drive  

South Palm Canyon Drive

Neighborhood: Downtown

You’ll find touristy T-shirts along with fake and real jewels, the latest in doggie fashions, and some really cool gift and fashion boutiques among the more than 200 shops here, all within easy walking distance. For eye-catching tropical-style apparel and bling, The Collection is a steal--really. One look at the price tags and you’ll wonder, “How can they do it?” The fun and flirty fashions for women, kids and poodles at the Ooh La La, Baby La La and Shoe La La boutiques are a must-look and a probable buy. Need a hat? The Desert Hatter is filled floor-to-ceiling with chapeaux for every occasion, from Halloween witch hats and Aussie sunbonnets to Greek caps and rhinestone visors. When the locals need a beautiful gift, they come to the Music Box & Clock Shoppe. For 20 years, it’s been the center for hard-to-find Lladro and Disney figurines, Faberge collectibles and Swarovski crystal.

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South Palm Canyon Drive  

Angel View Prestige Boutique

Neighborhood: Uptown

You haven’t shopped Palm Springs until you’ve shopped here. It’s the locals’ favorite resale shop. And if you find a treasure—and chances are you will--you’ll be helping developmentally disabled infants, toddlers, children and young adults. There are 11 Angel View thrift marts throughout the desert, all raising funds for the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation Inc. But this location is the favorite. Look for exceptional men’s and women’s clothing and accessories in the street-front boutique, then check out the barn-size shop in the back for house wares, furniture, books, toys and more clothing.

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Angel View Prestige Boutique  

Resale Therapy

Neighborhood: South Palm Springs

Gently worn, and sometimes never worn, haute couture gowns, designer women's wear, shoes, vintage alligator bags—and men's wear—make this a must-visit for any Palm Spring shopping spree. Don’t miss the back room, where everything is $15 or less. The exclusive Parker Resort is across the street, so you may see stars—the celebrity kind and their personal shoppers—perusing the racks. After all, they know a good buy when they see it, too.

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Resale Therapy  
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