Although it started out slinging only Birkenstock sandals, Birkenstock of San Diego now fits shoppers with shoes by more than 30 style-, environment-, and comfort-conscious manufacturers. Birkenstock's Gizeh Birko-Flor sandal ($74.95) provides pronounced arch support and more to double as leisurely foot dens, and it comes in seven synthetic varieties. Vibram FiveFingers ($74.95–$124.95 for adults; $59.95 for kids) nestle each little piggy into its own home, spreading the foot naturally and reducing stress on the knees, hips, and lower back. The quest for 100% sustainable shoes is led by Simple, whose men's D-Solve sneakers ($64.95) rock organic cotton lining, footbeds, and laces, and include biodegradable soles and water-based glue to hold the shoe together.
Fantastic Sams is a full-service salon for the whole family that will sculpt wilted hair into a look-twice hot commodity. Cuts start with a complimentary shampoo using Fantastic Sam's signature line of products, followed by a three-minute scalp massage to blast away the dead-skin-cell-loving turtles. Whether you've got a secret style you've been saving in your panache pocket or you opt to trust the expert stylists at Fantastic Sams to get creatively awesome with your tresses, your hair will be snipped and primped to fit your desired identity.
For more than 30 years, the runner-owned Movin Shoes has been churning out fresh gear, kicks, and outerwear. Backed by industry leaders including Nike, Asics, New Balance, Adidas, Saucony, Brooks, and Mizuno, the store stocks shoes ($70–$140) fit for the ball or heel of any particular foot. Striding beyond footwear, the on-hand staffers also guide guests through a wide variety of apparel, including Adidas Glide shorts ($30), Brooks Equilibrium long sleeve shirts ($36), Nike High Impact sports bras ($40), and unbroken finish-line banners.
Master crafter Laura opened The Bouncing Bead in 2004 to provide a creative foster home for budding beaders and bling builders. Skilled instructors lead a variety of classes in disciplines including wire coiling, classic pearl knotting, and basic beading. Each class teaches proper techniques and builds the firm foundation jewelry enthusiasts need to build the sparkles that give well-worn garments the freshness of a coconut picked straight from the tree. Prices vary per course, but typically average between $25 and $50; students can register online, by mail, by phone, or in person. View a complete calendar listing of upcoming workshops here.
Youngsters who have outgrown their gear and adults picking up a new sport can outfit themselves with selections from Play It Again Sports, the largest sporting-goods resale franchise in North America. For the last 25 years, the Pacific Beach location set itself apart, garnering both the parent company's Store of the Year and Heritage award and is one of the top performers in the nation. As in all the stores nationwide, brand-name equipment—from popular makers such as Diamondback, Bodyglove, and Wilson—shines in San Diego's displays alongside gently used wares. This gear helps equip competitive athletes playing sports from soccer and golf to surfing and biking. Patrons can also trade in or receive cash for their equipment, provided that it is still in working condition, and put that money toward new or used gear.
Mr. Jingles Christmas Trees spreads holiday merriment with noble, douglas, and grand firs individually selected from forests in Oregon. On the lot, trees stand in water and receive additional watering from the staff each day to keep needles healthy and green. Trees vary in size from 2 feet up to 16 feet, ensuring customers can a perfect specimen no matter how high their ceilings or how modest their budget. Complimentary hot chocolate keeps patrons warm as they peruse the lot, and once customers have found their perfect tree, the crew will gladly grab a rope and secure it to a car or riding mower at no additional charge.