Local handicrafts and artisanal items on your trip
Every year, Los Angeles’ renowned art schools inject talented graduates into a dynamic—and often affordable—marketplace. Look for interesting, upstart galleries grouped together in districts in Chinatown, Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station (a defunct trolley station whose warehouses have been converted into galleries), the Mid-Wilshire area, Culver City, and Gallery Row in downtown L.A. www.galleryrow.org
At the marketplace on Olvera Street, Mexicans make and sell hand-tooled leather belts and purses, homemade artwork, jewelry, and candy. Find these handicrafts and more at the center of the El Pueblo Historical Monument; tel. 1 213 485 8437.
Built by expert luthiers, custom-designed acoustic and electric guitars are sold throughout the area. Musicians like Peter Frampton, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, and more have bought electrics from craftsman Bill Asher’s Asher Guitars & Lap Steels; tel. 1 877 466 9524; www.asherguitars.com. Buy a uniquely authentic acoustic or glossy arch top from Tad Brown’s Brown Guitars; tel. 1 949 463 2270. http://www.theguitarshoppe.com/
Hand-shaped by local surf aficionados like Jeffrey Jay Smith, owner of Midget Smith Surfboards (http://midgetsmithsurf.com/), these boards are one-of-a-kind and custom-created for each wave rider; tel. 1 949 361 1301.
Fess Parker Wine
Famous for his TV roles as Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in the mid-1950s, Hollywood’s Fess Parker owns and operates a winery with his family in the Santa Ynez Valley just north of L.A. Varietals include his popular Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. 6200 Foxen Canyon Rd., Los Olivos; tel. 1 805 688 1545; www.fessparker.com
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