Shopping for souvenirs, like sightseeing, writing postcards, and tasting different foods, is on the to-do list of all travelers to a new city. We all want a little trinket to remind us of our time spent during a vacation getaway. It’s not surprising that Los Angeles, a city built on dreams and aspirations, offers some pretty fanciful places to purchase souvenirs. The following is a guide to the 10 best souvenir shops in Los Angeles, so you’ll be primed to bring back some amazing mementos for yourself and for friends and family.
1. La La Land; ultimate souvenir destination!
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The delightful La La Land is everything you’d expect from a Hollywood Boulevard souvenir shop; massive, boisterous and jam-packed with everything that pays homage to Hollywood. There’s no shortage of collectibles; with overflowing amounts of shot glasses, vanity plates, t-shirts, key chains, tiny Oscar statuettes, as far as the eye can see. Listen to raucous music piping from La La Land’s speakers as you check out Elvis Presley’s specialty-built shiny blue Cadillac, on permanent display; part of La La Land’s tribute to The King of Rock ‘n Roll. Los Angeles has tons of souvenir shops, but La La Land definitely stands out from the crowd.
La La Land
Address: 7001 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028
2. It’s A Wrap; wear these Hollywood hand-me-downs with pride!
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Ever fell in love with a blouse you saw on your favorite actress in a TV show, or coveted the cool jacket an action star donned in the latest blockbuster movie? It’s A Wrap is a one-of-a-kind store that affords you the opportunity to dress like a Hollywood star. Selling secondhand props & wardrobe, some that were never worn, from movie and television sets, It’s A Wrap’s clothing ranges from top-notch designer outfits to bizarre Star Trek apparel. Don’t miss the chance to explore It’s A Wrap’s unique shopping experience.
It’s A Wrap
Address: 3315 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505
Website: It’s A Wrap
3. Find freaky trinkets at Bearded Lady Vintage & Oddities
The barn red A-frame house where Bearded Lady Vintage & Oddities resides is eye-catching, and before you even enter it has the subtle feel of a circus freak show. However, if you’re searching for the perfect souvenir for a loved one who’s into circus tricks, taxidermy, mortician’s make-up kits, or hardcore horror stories, then Bearded Lady Vintage & Oddities is the go-to place. Peculiarities abound, and you’ll be a hero to a niece or nephew who geeks-out on such things.
Bearded Lady Vintage & Oddities
Address: 3005 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California, CA 91505
Facebook page: Bearded Lady Vintage & Oddities
4. Skeletons in the Closet; calling all morbid souvenir chasers!
Two things you never imagine would go together - a coroner’s lab and a gift shop. But that’s exactly what happened 19 years ago when LA’s County Coroner opened Skeletons in the Closet. Located inside the coroner’s office of Los Angeles, Skeletons in the Closet sells only odd crime scene and coroner-related merchandise. Believe it or not, Skeletons in the Closet attracts visitors from all over the world. And Skeletons in the Closet certainly has a sense of humor, selling Sherlock Bones mugs, water bottles, tote bags and t-shirts with a skeletal depiction of super sleuth Sherlock Holmes in his iconic hat with pipe. There’s also coroner foot magnets; a foot with a toe tag attached. Skeletons in the Closet’s best seller is the chalk outline of a body on a beach towel.
Skeletons in the Closet
Address: 1104 N Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033
Website: Skeletons in the Closet
5. Los Angeles County Store; beyond the usual baubles
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If you want to buy a souvenir for someone with discerning tastes, the Los Angeles County Store is the perfect place. There’s no gaudy t-shirts or flashy key chains here. Offering local gourmet snacks, jewelry, tote bags, boldly-designed neckties and fine soaps and lotions, Los Angeles County Store is a boutique dedicated to showcasing the stock of up-and-coming LA designers and artisans. Los Angeles County Store’s owner handpicks all items in the establishment and she has her quirky side; displaying fabric pouches and pencil cases with animal stitching, and novelty animal pillows, like walruses with cameras around their necks, or seals toting a shoulder bag. Los Angeles County Store is a fun spot to spend an afternoon. It’s certain you’ll come away with something to remind you of your Southern California adventure.
Los Angeles County Store
Address: 4333 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Website: Los Angeles County Store
6. Murillo Leather Goods; top souvenir shop on Olvera Street
Want a unique and memorable souvenir? Then, your next stop should be Murillo Leather Goods on Olvera Street in Downtown LA. Murillo Leather Goods opened its shop in 1971, and can be found among the many stores and stalls that fill the red-brick, tree-lined historic district. Handcrafted leather and bohemian hippie-style goods, along with charming imports from Mexico, is what Murillo Leather Goods is all about. Murillo Leather Goods’s leather bracelets with names inscribed are a very popular item sold, from 10 USD.
Murillo Leather Goods
Address: 6 Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Facebook page: Murillo Leather Goods
7. Cosmic-lover? Griffith Observatory Emporium Gift Shop's the answer
Griffith Observatory Emporium Gift Shop, also known as The Stellar Emporium Gift Shop, is situated inside Los Angeles’s iconic Griffith Observatory. An eclectic place, Griffith Observatory Emporium Shop provides a wonderful display of astronomy and other space-related gifts, like constellation mugs and telescopes. There’s a Junior Astronaut Costume for any budding cosmic explorer. If caffeine is your rocket fuel buy a Blast Off Espresso Cup. A very cool souvenir for an aspiring scientist is The Thames & Kosmos Scope Constructor, an optical construction kit that allows you to build microscopes, telescopes, and binoculars.
Griffith Observatory Emporium Gift Shop
Address: 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027
8. For extreme Asian knickknacks; Japanese Village Plaza
The beautiful cherry blossom-lined area of Japanese Village Plaza opened in 1978, and is a great place to buy an abundance of original and wide-ranging Japanese goods. Go souvenir hunting among an iconic Yagura, a tower in old rural Japan, and wood-accented buildings inspired by architecture commonly found in the Japanese countryside. Wonderful finds like imported Japanese ceramics, lovely paper parasols and lanterns, and stacks of Manga comics, comic books created in Japan, are just a few of the things you’ll uncover at Japanese Village Plaza. There’s also a myriad of delicious eateries to enjoy after your shopping expedition.
Japanese Village Plaza
Address: 335 E. 2nd Street, Los Angeles, California
Website: Japanese Village Plaza
9. Film & theater buffs, this is the place; Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop
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Whether it’s on the silver screen or on the printed page, Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop is certain to have it. As the world’s leading and oldest publisher and licensor of film and theater plays, Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop probably has that obscure David Mamet play or Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, you’ve been looking for. A long-running bookstore, business began in 1830, Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop is also known for its selection of film and theater-related books and journals, specializing mainly on plays, books on film, and art books. Popular with actors, you may even get a glimpse of a famous face while perusing the aisles. With literally stacks of material to browse, and an expert staff to guide you, uncover many enchanting treasures at Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop.
Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop
Address: 7623 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Facebook page: Samuel French Theater & Film Bookshop
10. For the loony and demented, it's Soap Plant/Wacko all the way!
Soap Plant/Wacko, known to locals as just Wackos, is a sprawling offbeat shop that offers an eclectic range of pop-culture ornaments, novelties, housewares & gifts. Opening its doors in 1971, Soap Plant/Wacko began as a small family-run shop. Now, Soap Plant/Wacko boasts a massive collection of curios and merchandise that is colorful, cool, and, above all, wacky. How about a Hindu dashboard deity or sparkly unicorn floor mats? You could easily get lost exploring the aisles packed with Betty Page shower curtains, Japanese bobbleheads, Mexican death figurines and jalapeño string lights.
Address: 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Website: Soap Plant/Wacko
From ordinary to extraordinary; souvenir shopping in LA!
We’ve all heard the expression, “My (fill in the blank) went to (fill in the blank) and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!”. Well, they won’t be complaining about Los Angeles’s souvenirs. Sure, you’ll find the standard gifts, like a t-shirt or key chain, but Los Angeles makes souvenir shopping a rare delight with out-of-the-ordinary keepsakes that are sure to thrill. Don’t be surprised if you return home with a suitcase stuffed with remembrances from an unforgettable LA adventure.
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