Hermosa Beach bears a hunk of Melbourne shoreline thanks to this Aussie-inspired boutique devised by Lori Ford and her husband Will. Their store brims with gifts inspired by the natural world, such as slices of agate that serve as coasters or earrings shaped like sand dollars. The attached café, meanwhile, grills authentic vegemite and cheddar sandwiches.
Other items include dining tables, slumber-aiding bedroom items, as well as wall art and wall sculptures to distract guests from the person-shaped hole in the wall. The Sofa Company also specializes in build-your-own sofas, for which you can choose from any size, fabric, or configuration and put together the couch that floats around the sky in your dreams (around $600+).
Sacks on the Beach serves up fresh breakfast and lunch dishes mere blocks from the Pacific Ocean, inviting diners to savor meals as they smell the ocean breeze. Visitors can lounge on the outdoor patio or inside the cozy café, where they can chew through sandwiches that teem with crisp veggies and fresh cheeses, or simply sip a cup of fragrant coffee.
Inside Deep Roots Garden Center's tidy shop, a team of knowledgeable green thumbs help customers select plants, flowers, shrubbery, and accessories to beautify gardens. Four-inch annuals and perennials ($1.99–$5.99) add pops of color to flowerbeds and 1- and 5-gallon-sized plants ($8.99–$49.99) provide shelter for rapidly expanding bunny families. Larger trees and shrubs ($100–$150) come in drought-tolerant varietals that require minimal maintenance, and hearty succulents and cacti make even the most forgetful plant parent proud with their hearty resilience. The garden center also offers floral-arrangement services, creating one-of-a-kind bouquets and outfitting gentlemen with single roses ($5 each) to gift to their fastest racehorses.
The florists at Boulevard Florist Wholesale Market outfit patrons with tropical flowers, hanging baskets, and floral equipment to beautify their dwellings. Their boston ferns and caladium plants impress visitors with their fecund green leaves, and purple chrysanthemums or roses add color to kitchens not already covered in tomato sauce. The staffers also deliver blooms, and impart their green-thumbing knowledge during floral-design classes held across two weekend days or 90 minutes.
New Zealand based Jucy Rentals? lauded in Cond? Nast Traveler, the L.A Times, and the New York Times ? proves the adage that great things come in small packages. Exported to the U.S. in 2012, their cheery green minivans hit the road in disguise, appearing as humble, standard passenger vehicles with some storage on top and great paint jobs. Once stopped, however, they transform into a cozy campervan that sleeps up to four. Pop the container atop the van and pull down the ladder to enter the Penthouse, a roomy pod-tent. Inside the main cabin, the passenger seats morph into a comfortable bed, or make way for the screw-in table stored beneath them. A refrigerator, sink, and two gas cookers fill the trunk, a TV and DVD player folds down from the ceiling, and blinds allow for privacy as passengers weep for joy.