It’s the holiday season once again and you’ve got goods to buy! Take a journey through Ventura County’s Top 5 shopping meccas to discover the ideal gifts. Before embarking, consider each of your destinations’ shopping personalities and organize your list accordingly. Here are a few gift recommendations to get you started. And you might as well pop into some of our favorite local watering holes to refuel along the way!
Eclectic art lover’s stomping ground
Visit the Human Arts Fine Crafts Gallery, an artistic bazaar brimming with glass, ceramics, textiles, wood art, paintings, and sculptures, with a special focus on jewelry. The “Reptilian” glass series, a captivating collection of whimsical paperweights, perfume bottles, and bowls created by Tom Philabaum, offers pleasurable and practical gift items for both men and women. 310 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, 805.646.1525
Items & Prices
Collection of art glass pieces $160 – $210
Ideal haven for the discerning antiquarian
Yesteryear treasures abound at Times Remembered, but don’t expect a quick shopping excursion. You’ll likely get pleasantly lost within this treasure trove of period pieces and collectibles. The gift giving options here are inexhaustible for anyone with imagination and patience. Antique gift giving is your chance to show you understand your recipient’s unique character. 467 E. Main St., Ventura, 805.643.3137
Items & Prices
Women: 1930s Gold & White Filigree Perfume Bottle $75, Mother of Pearl Opera Glasses $119, Whiting Davis Art Deco Purse $225
Men: Circa 1920s Remington Knife With Leather Case $150, 1930s Kabar Knife $45, Western Knife $55
Bargain basement for fashionistas
A dazzling panoply of discounted goods, the Camarillo Premium Outlets are perfect for the one-stop shopper. For an assortment of women’s and men’s wear, pay a visit to Off 5th – Sak’s Fifth Avenue Outlet, where you’ll find both brand name and store brand items ideal for holiday gift giving. Don’t fear the trendy or seemingly rakish styles; you’d be surprised by how many people on your list would appreciate something with a little character. 800 E. Ventura Blvd., Ste. 600, 805.987.4475
Items & PricesWomen: Faux Fur Vest $79.99, Gloves $59.99
Men: Camel Hair Sports Coat $199.99, Leather Gloves $49.99, Scarf $59.99
A cornucopia of look better/feel better/be better spas and salons
There are three categories of gift cards: Those that offer a service, those that offer a product, and the paramount—those that offer both. A gift card from Kalologie Skincare is the latter. Once your receiver gets this gift in their hands they’ll have some big decisions to make: Do I go for the facial, or do I indulge in some top-of-the-line products? That’s their dilemma! But you might suggest the Custom Kalologie Facial, at only $90. It’s 55 minutes of satisfying “me time.” 2200 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., 805.497.9400
Items & Prices
Gift Cards at any price
First stop if you want to emblazon your holiday honey with a little bling
Moyen & Co Jewellers features a collection from designer Barbara Bixby, who’s known for ultra-fem fatale jewelry designs imbued with ancient meaning and mystique. Her Keys of Life Collection is particularly intriguing. Each key is formed with a particular set of gems believed to evoke a certain property. For example, peridot brings inspiration, iolite awakens intuition, and citrine stimulates intellect. When forged together, they create the Key of Wisdom (see image). Unlock the door to her holiday happiness. 2806-A Townsgate Rd., 805.494.8114
Items & Prices
Key of Wisdom Pendant/Chain $735 (Chain sold separately; price determined by length)
Ventana’s Top 5 Holiday Shopping Tips
1. Get a good night’s sleep, wear comfy shoes, drink lots of water…and then carry a trendy oversized purse that misaligns your spine, applies pressure to your vertebrae, and defeats you before the first credit card swipe.
2. Think about all of the items you’d like to buy for yourself the moment you walk into a store, then perform the Jedi mind trick and forget about them.
3. Make a list with your giftee’s name at the top in bold block letters (include a photo if you have one on-hand), along with their likes, dislikes, and general character traits. The moment you start trying on their gifts, revisit the list.
4. Shop alone. Leave the nosy friend at home and don’t answer the phone when your heart broken poker buddy’s name shows up on caller ID. They mean no harm—the loving shopping saboteurs.
5. Bring plenty to occupy yourself while standing in line: at least three Harry Potter books, a mini DVD player, and series two and three of CSI. It’s called shopping preparedness.
Eat, drink, and shop on...
Ventura: Westside Cellar Café and Wine Store
Indulge in a selection from the Gourmet Cheese Menu, which includes seasonal fruits, mixed nuts, dried fruit, and a delectable Persian Haroset. Pair your culinary pick-me-up with a glass of Gruet sparkling wine. 222 E. Main St., Ventura, 805.652.7013
Westlake Village: Four Seasons Hotel
If you plan to shop on a Saturday or Sunday in Westlake Village, afternoon tea at the Four Seasons is the perfect pit stop. Sip, nibble, and enjoy views of the waterfall and gardens while dining in the Lobby Lounge. (Reservations required) 2 Dole Dr., Westlake Village, 818.575.3000
Thousand Oaks: Chocolatine
Hot chocolate and a crepe with homemade jam at the Chocolatine will sustain you during your trek through Thousand Oaks. Lounge in très French surrounds, contemplating Paris for your next sojourn, and then move on. 2955 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., 805.557.0561.
Ojai: Ojai Café Emporium
The Ojai Café Emporium offers a singularly satisfying bakery treat called the “mini cinni.” This little cinnamon role served in a cupcake holder, along with a cup of coffee, will help you regroup, refocus, and resume your journey. 108 S. Montgomery, 805.646.2723
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