We get it; it’s way easier to swipe through pictures of generic gadgets online and wait for holiday gifts to show up on your front porch.

But this season especially, in the wake of a pandemic that throttled small businesses, we recommend getting off the couch, putting your phone down, and shopping local. From plants to clothes to art to services, Long Beach has a lot to offer.

The following list is by no means exhaustive; it was compiled through staff and reader recommendations, as well as scientific (sort of) polling from the Post’s 2021 Best of Long Beach readers’ choice guide. (And if you’d like to support the Post, we just launched our very own merch store with hats, sweatshirts, T-shirts and more—all unique to Long Beach.)

Gift and clothing shops
Blue Windows in Belmont Shore. Courtesy photo.

There are a few stores in Long Beach where you can find a little bit of everything: candles, jewelry, purses, cookbooks, clothes and home goods. If you’re not sure what to get someone, try these shops:

Vintage and antique 
Mike Colon, 43, right, a Redondo Beach resident, checks out the find of Ted Gomez, 48, a Los Angeles resident, at Third Eye Records on Retro Row in Long Beach, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

If you’re looking for vintage, Long Beach has a whole area devoted to relics of the past: Retro Row, Fourth Street between Cherry and Temple avenues. You’ll find everything here from clothing to vintage cameras to the saltier variety of gifts. For a full directory of stores, go here. We especially recommend Songbird, The Hangout and the Assistance League of Long Beach thrift store. Here’s some other stores in further reaches of the city:

Food and wine 
Pan de Muerto a traditional bread for Dia De Los Muertos baked at Gusto Bread in Long Beach Friday, October 23, 2020. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Find the perfect gift to bring to someone’s home for a holiday gathering or meal at these unique shops:

A customer gets her nails done at the Pro Spa Nail & Hair salon on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Photo by Crystal Niebla.

Trying to find a gift for that person who has everything? Think about a gift certificate (even better if they invite you to come with).

Melissa Evans is the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal. Reach her at melissa@lbpost.com, @melissaevansLBP or 562-512-6354.