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Old Town Market | © Sharon Mollerus / Flickr
Old Town Market | © Sharon Mollerus / Flickr
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The Top Places to Buy Souvenirs in San Diego

Picture of Juliet Bennett Rylah
Updated: 29 June 2017
When it’s time to leave San Diego behind, tourists have many options for memories they can take with them or gift to loved ones back home. Shopping centers such as Old Town Market and Bazaar del Mundo offer festive and colorful gifts, while Captain’s Cove steers toward pirate-themed souvenirs. Save some of that travel fund for these six unique San Diego gift shops, and take a piece of your vacation home with you.
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Old Town Market

Old Town Market is brimming with souvenirs, spread among 40 unique shops. Some, such as La Paloma Casual, stock your more routine items, including T-shirts, magnets, shot glasses, and keychains, while others cater to more specialty markets. For example, Love My Pet offers animal-themed décor items and merchandise for pets, while Pueblito Cuetzalan stocks fiesta supplies. Mexican Candy Shop is exactly what it sounds like, and Celia’s Fashion Dolls sells a variety dolls. For Vietnamese metal art, visit D&O Import.

Old Town Market, 4010 Twiggs Street, Old Town State Historic Park, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 220 0692

Old Town Market | © Prayitno / Flickr

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Vitreum in Little Italy sells beautifully designed housewares, ranging from sleek and sophisticated to homey and cute. Many items are for the kitchen, including pretty serving dishes, mugs, and tableware, while other items are for home décor.

Vitreum, 619 W Fir Street, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 237 9810

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The Cave of Wonders

The Cave of Wonders offers gifts for all ages, with most skewing in the direction of nature and science. Here’s where you can find rocks, minerals, gems, and crystals, plus incense, art, jewelry, books, housewares, and other gifts. Owner Scotty “the Gem Guy” Chatfield should be able to help answer all of your geological shopping questions.

The Cave of Wonders, 2232 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 296 2232

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Bazaar Del Mundo

This Old Town outdoor shopping center is packed with brightly colored Latin American goods, including textiles, housewares, jewelry, clothing, books, art, and crafts. When you’ve exhausted yourself shopping, you can grab dinner at Casa Guadalajara.

Bazaar Del Mundo, 4133 Taylor Street, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 296 3161

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La Jolla Outpost

La Jolla Outpost is a snorkel rental shop, but it’s got a lot of souvenirs too. They stock all the usual souvenir items, such as T-shirts, hats, accessories, totes, stuffed animals, postcards, magnets, keychains, and knick-knacks, which are all sure to remind visitors of the time they spent beside the sea.

La Jolla Outpost, 8008 Girard Avenue #160, La Jolla, CA, USA, +1 858 352 6108

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Captain’s Cove

What do you get the friend who has everything? Probably a nautical-themed gift from Captain’s Cove, which opened in 1980. Not only can visitors put the finishing touches on their pirate costume with the shop’s ruffly shirts and replica swords, but they can also find mermaids figurines, pirate flags, bottled ships, treasure chests, and flasks. Beyond the sea stuff, they also have a large collection of Jimmy Buffet merchandise, just in case there are any Parrot Heads on your shopping list.

Captain’s Cove, Seaport Village, 851 W Harbor Drive C, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 234 5050