Sierra Madre: Small Town So Cal

Shopping in the village of Sierra Madre, CA

Small town shopping less than a half hour from downtown L.A.? I have a few favorite districts and villages, but Sierra Madre probably is top on my list.

I lived there for awhile, up high in the foothills above the mad rush of the valley scene, and loved the experience, so I drop by often to soak up the small town vibe.

Sierra Madre is a wonderful getaway when you don't have the option to go much further, or want to take a mini-trip outside the usual route. It's a historical little town, located on what was once the end terminal for the 'Red Car' trolley line up to the base of the Mt. Wilson trail. This village has fought hard to maintain its independence from the local bigger cities like Pasadena and Arcadia.

Amazingly, there is a freeway off ramp (Baldwin) that transports us up the steep mountain grade and into the center of town at Sierra Madre Blvd and Baldwin. Here is Kersting Court, a tiny island 'turn around' where cyclists gather on the weekends to sit and have a cuppa before riding back down the valley. I drive up and park in the little city lot, then wander down the street to see what's new. It's nice to sit for a spell at one of the side walk cafe's and get my journal caught up to date.

Shopping at Belle's Nest in Sierra Madre, CA
The shops here cater to the crowd, offering unique merchandise and fun gift items:

ATTITUDE is a cute, contemporary sister store to another great shop in Monrovia. Here are the cute fashion finds that make a small business fun to shop. At 90 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.,find out more HERE.

BELLE'S NEST at 55 N. Baldwin is nearly at the top of the street. It is owned by sisters who are crafty women with a great talent in finding unique items and hand made trinkets. They also offer craft classes out in the little patio behind the shop. You'll find their website HERE

B LA, is probably the ultimate girly gift boutique, located tucked away in an arcade of shops at 24 W. Sierra Madre, store B, you can find out more HERE

LEONORA MOSS combines a wonderful floral shop with a gift boutique that carries a well edited selection of merchandise that is unique and often one of a kind. Like Belle's Nest, this is a family affair with both mother and daughter owners, you'll find it at 9 Kersting Ct and their website is HERE

SAVOR THE FLAVOR has a gourmet food bent, and is fun to visit to see what they have found. There is always new items here for the cook as well as gifts of great 'eats'. Their shop is also on Kersting Ct (#11). You'll find more on their website HERE

If you plan to stop for coffee or something to eat, this village offers so many options on both Sierra Madre Blvd and along Baldwin. This is a short list of a few popular spots along the brief stretch between Kersting Ct. and the upper reaches of Baldwin. As you wander this village, you'll find so much more (including the usual Starbucks)!

BEANTOWN: Everyone's favorite coffee and ice cream cafe at 55 N. Baldwin
STARBUCKS: 1 Kersting Ct
LUCKY BALDWINS: Beer and food, 21 Kersting Ct.
WISTERIA: serious dining, with sidewalk tables if you want an upscale lunch. Their website is HERE

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