San Diego Gift-Giving Guide

The holidays are upon us. For many, that means it’s the season of giving. And while it may be a reflex to head to a big-box retailer or massive online superstore in order to cross names off of your shopping list, we’d like to propose an alternative. San Diego is home to countless independent retailers that have amazing, unique items you can’t find anywhere else and would truly welcome your support — especially in light of ongoing supply-chain disruptions affecting the household-name outlets. So if you’re looking for some unique gifts inspired by our special brand of SoCal magic, take a look at our San Diego gift-giving guide.   

Bespoke Beverages

(Photo: @kilowattbeer)

San Diego has in recent years been referred to as “The Craft Beer Capital of America,” and for good reason. More than 150 craft breweries have made their homes in the area, and each produces a dizzying array of delicious drafts — including stouts, lagers, lambics, sours, and porters. Of course, San Diego also loves our signature IPAs. So why not pick up a mix-n’-match six pack or a growler or two for your favorite beer buff? Of course, thanks to our mild Mediterranean climate, San Diego can also boast many amazing vineyards and wineries that produce delicious vintages from the bounty of their fields. North Park’s Bottlecraft is also a great place to find gifts for craft beer lovers. If you’re in the market for a buzzy beverage that trends toward the eclectic, don’t miss checking out the hard kombucha selection from JuneShine.

Clothing, Art, and Jewelry

(Photo: @threadeandseed)

Finding one-of-a-kind handmade items in San Diego is never a challenge. Want to treat the dapper gentleman in your life with a custom shirt, suit, or tie? Drop by Art Lewin Bespoke Suits and prepare to be impressed. Thread + Seed features exclusive ladies’ couture from selective global brands renowned for superior style. Little Italy’s Adelman Fine Art Boutique is your one-stop shop for objets d’art from local craftspeople and creators. And LeahJessica Jewelry is the local must-stop for custom and handmade accessories for that special someone.

San Diego Experiences

(Photo: @trapeze_high)

Everyone enjoys unwrapping a nice box during the holidays. But if your recipient is the sort that values experiences over items, San Diego has you covered there, too. Candles on Tap is San Diego’s first candle bar, where guests can create their own custom candle from an array of scents, colors, and other options. Is your giftee the adventurous sort? San Diego Surf School offers wave-riding lessons, surf camps, and equipment rentals. Trapeze High will have your recipient flying high circus-style in Escondido. Or gift them the journey of seeing San Diego from the water with a Coronado Kayak Tour.

Local Favorites

(Photo: @libertystation)

San Diego is home to many shopping centers where gift-givers can find unique stores offering tough-to-find items with a distinct local flavor. Nearby Liberty Station is one of the most popular — a public market-style space built on the site of a former Naval training facility — that includes many shops you’ll only discover there. Among them: Mingei Holiday Market, an annual stop featuring handmade gifts from local artisans. Savvy local shoppers also know to head to the can’t-miss shops of Ocean Beach, with its concentrated thoroughfares of interesting boutiques. Of course, shoppers will always find lots to love at Seaport Village, San Diego’s favorite beachfront shopping center. 

Notable Niches

San Diego Gift-Giving

(Photo: @bazaardelmundo)

Sometimes, the perfect gift doesn’t simply doesn’t present itself unless you really dig for it. Thankfully San Diego is loaded with must-stop stores where you’re bound to stumble across something you didn’t even know you needed. Some of our favorites include:

  • Pigment — A locals’ favorite, Pigment features plants, home décor, handmade items, kids’ gifts, ornaments, and more.
  • Bazaar del Mundo — A jewel of Old Town encompassing all the charm, art, crafts, cuisine, and culture of Mexico. 
  • Gold Leaf — If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind shop absolutely packed with treasures, visit Gold Leaf in South Park.

Regardless of what you choose to give your family, friends and loved ones this holiday, San Diego has something special for everyone on your list. If you’re still not sure what to wrap up, why not give the gift of a vacation to remember with one of our special offers this holiday season? Take advantage of our Humphreys Gift Card offer to enjoy a $25 bonus of your own when you purchase one for $100! View our offers page here for more information.