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Top shopping in LA
Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Picture: David May

Los Angeles has had an intense love affair with shopping for decades.

This city is home to thousands of stores - from quirky boutiques stocking one-of-a-kind items to giant emporiums with possibly the widest mix of brands in the world.

If you're heading to the "City of Angels" be sure to bring a big, empty suitcase and a credit card - preferably your sugar daddy's.

SPOT A CELEBRITY

Hollywood & Highland Center
If you want to walk among the stars, the Hollywood & Highland Center is located in Hollywood on the Walk of Fame.

There is so much to do in and around this open-air shopping, dining and entertainment complex you could easily spend a couple of days here. The centre is built around Grauman's Chinese Theatre and houses the Kodak Theatre, a permanent home for the Academy Awards (and home to Cirque du Soleil's Hollywood-themed Iris show most of the year). \

There are 60 stores in the centre, including Louis Vuitton, Guess and Oakley. The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa is just north of the complex.

OUTDOOR SHOPPING

The Grove
This outdoor mega-mall features a park-like environment, a town square with a dancing fountain set to music and an art-deco-style multiplex cinema.

Shops include a Nordstrom department store, Michael Kors, Anthopologie, Crate & Barrel and California's only American Girl store. The Grove's newest retailer, Britain's TopShop, is slated to open in November.

On weekdays the entertainment news show Extra! with Mario Lopez is filmed live on The Grove's cobblestone streets.

GET HEALTHY

The Original Farmers' Market
Launched in 1934, when 18 local farmers gathered at a dirt lot at Third and Fairfax and sold produce from their trucks, the Farmers' Market now features 100 specialty food shops, produce stands, boutiques, butchers and restaurants.

Some vendors have been selling at the market since the beginning, including Magee's House of Nuts and Du-par's Restaurant.

ICONIC SHOPPING MECCA

Beverly Center
This behemoth, located at the edge of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, overflows with more than 160 shops and restaurants, anchored by Bloomingdale's and two Macy's stores.

Among the top names here are Fendi, True Religion Brand Jeans, Charles David and Tiffany & Co, as well as several stores that made their West Coast debut at the centre, including Ben Sherman and Salvatore Ferragamo for men. The luxury wing on the seventh floor features designer shops such as the newly opened Versace Collection.

DISCOUNTED DESIGNER WEAR

Various malls
If you're heading out of town, take some time to stop at one of Southern California's many outlet malls, where you can buy designer-name items at wholesale prices.

Going to Santa Barbara? Swing past Camarillo Premium Outlets, about an hour north of LA, where you can find good deals at stores such as Coach, Tory Burch and Last Call by Neiman Marcus.

Heading to Palm Springs? About halfway between LA and Palm Springs is Ontario Mills, where you'll find good deals at stores including Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Levis Outlet Store.

On the way to Las Vegas, you can grab some bargains at the Barstow Outlets, featuring stores including Tommy Hilfiger and Sunglass Hut.

And if you're staying in LA, the city's only outlet centre, Citadel Outlets, is located about 15km southeast of Downtown. It features more than 115 shops, including The Children's Place, Coach and the Ann Taylor Factory Store.

WANT MORE?

Several other shopping districts can be found in LA, including: the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica (three full blocks of stores); the recently renovated Santa Monica Place (open-air shopping centre featuring Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom); the famed Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (luxury retailers spanning two city blocks); Old Pasadena (upscale shops, bistros and bars housed in restored, historic buildings covering several blocks); LA's West 3rd Street (features one-of-a-kind boutiques and trendy cafes); Westwood Village (dozens of restaurants, shops and movie theatres, all within a few blocks of one another); the Westfield Century City (an open-air mall anchored by Macy's and Bloomingdale's); and Brentwood Village (dozens of independently owned stores plus the major chains).

For more information on Los Angeles visit www.discoverlosangeles.com .