Shopping Local or in L.A., Go Metro this Holiday

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ride metro shopping in Los AngelesL.A. is a shoppers dream, from arty items at museum gift shops to laid-back beach attire in ocean-adjacent malls to seriously discounted clothing at the downtown Fashion Mart. The only problem — besides money to pay the bills — is getting there without the stress and strain of L.A.’s nasty traffic.

The good news is that Metro’s 79 miles of rail and 191 bus routes can take you pretty much wherever you want to go. The other good news: nearly everything seems to be on sale this year.

Start local by jumping on the Blue Line to shop at CityPlace in downtown Long Beach. Westfield Promenade at Warner Center in Woodland Hills is just steps from the Metro Orange Line Warner Center Station. The shops and restaurants in Old Town Pasadena can be reached on the Gold Line and The Grove and Farmers Market are easily accessed by a variety of Metro local and Rapid buses.

Drop by the Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station. It’s a gateway to dozens of shops selling clothes, pottery, teas, shoes, books … all within a 10-minute walk. For interesting one-of-a-kind items, don’t forget the store at the Japanese American National Museum, just across the street from the train. It’s one of the many great shops in L.A.’s world-class museums.

Stop in at the gift shop at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, next to the Japanese Museum. Also downtown, try out the shops at MOCA Grand Avenue or Disney Hall, just up the hill from the Metro Red Line Civic Center Station, or travel to the L.A. County Museum of Art store. To easily get there take the Metro Local 20 or Rapid 720, which stops nearby at Wilshire and Fairfax. The Metro Rapid system is a network of speedy buses that reduces transit commute times by up to 25 percent.

Shopping for kids? Hop on the Metro Silver Line to the California Science Center or the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park. (The Natural History Museum is being remodeled but it remains open to the public.) Both are loaded with games and toys that children love … and learn from.

If L.A.’s famous malls are more your thing, let the Metro Red, Purple or Blue lines carry you to 7th St./Metro Center Station to a wide variety of the shops at Seventh + Fig, as well as at Macy’s Plaza. The Red Line can also carry you to Hollywood & Highland Center, where there are more than 60 shops. Or you can Go Metro to Universal CityWalk on the Metro Red Line at Universal Station.

Check out the newly redesigned Santa Monica Place (and sample Forty Carrots plain yogurt at Bloomingdale’s while you’re there) by hopping aboard the Metro Rapid 720 at the Purple Line Wilshire/Western Station. Just across the street from Santa Monica Place is Third Street Promenade with the perfect clothes for the under 30 set. (And remember, in L.A. 50 is the new 30.)

Then there’s the NoHo shopping district in North Hollywood (Metro Red Line North Hollywood Station) and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (Metro Rapid 720 on Wilshire). If you’ve been very good, or know someone who has, take the Metro Red or Purple lines to the glittering Jewelry District in downtown L.A.

For further inspiration Metro has produced a “Go Metro Shopping Guide,” which lists shopping venues accessible by Metro. The guide includes more than 30 different shopping areas along the Metro Red, Purple, Orange, Blue, Green and Gold Lines and bus routes. Find it at metro.net/shopping.

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