Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Travel Tales: Shopping around the East San Fernando Valley area

For the last ten years, I have been staying in Burbank or Los Angeles when I vacation in California, so I have done a lot of shopping in the eastern San Fernando Valley area. Other travelers always ask me where to shop to save money, so I thought I would provide a quick guide.

I shop at three places for groceries. First is Trader Joe's on Riverside in Toluca Lake. The parking lot is small, so I park on Forman, which is the next street to the west. This grocery store is within walking distance of the hotel where I stay and I get most of my food here. Another place where I buy groceries is Sam's Club. The best Sam's Club is located in Santa Clarita which is north of Burbank. It is right next to a WalMart SuperCenter. (Go north on the 5 and then take the 14. Get off on Golden Valley and turn left. Eventually it will be on the left.) The final place I get groceries is Target. The selection of groceries at the Targets in this area is much better than what we have in some of the  Targets in Ohio.

Santa Clarita (Photo Credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)

My main place to shop for most things I need is Target. Many locations are available in this area, but the one with the most beautiful view is located in Santa Clarita. (Use the same directions given above, but turn right at the Golden Valley exit. Target is in the shopping complex to the left.) The view of the mountains from the Target parking lot is amazing and benches are provided. The above photo was taken in that parking area. This is one of two Targets in the Santa Clarita area. In Burbank the Target is located in the Empire Center. This one is convenient, but also the most expensive one. A triple decker Target is located in the Glendale Galleria mall. Another store that is located at Victory and Vineland is not as crowded as some of the other Targets. Finally, a double decker Target is located on Van Nuys just north of the Burbank Blvd. exit on the 405.

Our favorite place for clothes is Nordstrom Rack, which is the outlet for Nordstrom. One is located at the Empire Center. Target, Lowe's, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Best Buy, Ulta and Michael's are all located at the Empire Center and that is very convenient. One word of caution for this center is to expect problems with parking. Finding a spot can be nearly impossible on the weekends. Also the traffic in and around the area is heavy and slow on Saturday and Sunday.

Those in the mood for shopping at a mall should head for the Glendale Galleria. This mall has been recently renovated and is home to Bloomingdales, Macy's, Penny's and the triple decker Target. Across the street from the mall is the Americana. This upscale shopping area has a beautiful fountain with water that dances to the music and a trolley car that runs on a track around the area. Kate Spade, Nordstrom and Tiffany's are some of the stores in this beautiful complex. Shoppers pay for parking at the Americana, but parking is free at the Galleria which is just across the street.

I always make sure I check directions before I go shopping in any large city and travel at a time when I can avoid the heaviest traffic. I like to keep shopping as stress-free as possible, so I am willing to research the situation ahead of time.

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