If you’ve followed me for very long, hopefully, you know that I have a love for local. Whether it’s a hotel, restaurant, or shop, I adore supporting those who own their own businesses. Such is the case with a recent trip to downtown Burlingame in California. There are so many good things going on there, including several long-standing businesses (many female-owned, which makes my heart sing!). So, if you are headed to California – or even just have time to spare when going through the San Francisco Airport – be sure to take a peek at some of what downtown Burlingame has to offer!
I visited downtown Burlingame with SMCCVB. As always, opinions are genuinely mine.
first, here is a peek at downtown Burlingame
No matter your interests, there are shops in downtown Burlingame to tempt your tastes. Take a peek at a few of my personal recommendations.
for the booklover
Honestly, I don’t know what it is about a bookstore, but I love them! I like to read, but I’ll admit that I’m a summer reader. It’s when I have the most time and am spending time laying by the water. Heading into a shop where bound pages are lined up shelf upon shelf just opens up a world of opportunity for the mind. And Books, Inc fits the bill in a beautiful way.
If you crave history, you will adore this store’s story! It had humble beginnings back in 1851 and has gone through several transitions, such as multiple owners, being burned, bankruptcy, and surviving the influx of “big box” bookstores. The employees are helpful, and Books Inc also stocks cards and book related items. My favorite part is the section of recommendations – I love ones that are tried and true!
for the child or child-at-heart
Shopping for children, or just want to satiate your inner child? I have to admit that part of the reason I went in to Amiko Boutique was that my 13 year old former self wouldn’t let me walk by. The colorful exterior and plethora of things inside made my heart sing! Their tagline of “cuteness starts here” is so appropriate.
Whether you want a little something for yourself, need a gift, or forgot something for the child who is with you (think nursing covers and sippy cups!), this small shop is big on items. Be sure to stop in – it will bring a smile to your face.
for the fashion lover
Here’s another shop with a story…and lovely clothes, which is a win-win in my book. Morning Glory is a female-owned boutique that got its start in 1967. In 1972, the store went through a bit of turmoil and was about to close. Two sisters – then 18 and 19 – purchased the store with the help of their father, and they STILL own it after all this time. What an asset to downtown Burlingame!
So, if you want to wear a little something that is stylish and lovely, be sure to support this long standing shop. P.S. I can never resist a sale rack!
for the paper lover
I still love paper. Forget an iCal and phone alerts. I’d much rather open my planner and be able to write, circle, cross out, and jot. A hand written note is also much appreciated in my book – well over an email. Are you the same way? If so, Paper Caper is a great place to frequent.
Filled with stationery, cards, and gift items, this store also has a longstanding history since its beginnings in 1978. I love that there are so many shops “on the avenue” that are locally owned and have stood the test of time.
for the foodie
Do you know the difference between good olive oils and ones that aren’t up to snuff? Trust me, that if you head to Del’Oliva you will get an education while being able to taste flavorful oils and vinegars. A big bonus is that they can ship their oils (I purchased several!), and Eddie, the owner, is more than happy to let you sample the day away. It’s a fun experience! Bonus: it’s right next door to Paper Caper.
for the fleurista
Ok, I know it’s not typical for a traveler to end up in a flower shop, but what attracted me to Fiori was the beauty of the outside. And the inside was just as lovely. It wasn’t until I talked with the store’s employee that I began to realize exactly what WAS different about this florist. There wasn’t a flower cooler in sight!
Refusing to sell anything but the absolute freshest flowers, blooms are purchased at market 3 days a week, so no refrigeration is needed. Oh, the beauty of living in California! As a sidebar, the inside of Fiori smelled so fragrant, which was a delight.
for the style icon
We all know that personal style doesn’t just relate to clothing. Hair and makeup comes into play, too! A little backstory – I was enamored by the art on the outside of Reconnect Hair Design, and I started taking photos. The co-owner, Paul, came out to chat with me, and I couldn’t resist going inside.
Both the energy of the salon and the kindness of the staff were huge pluses in my book. Take a peek at how adorable Paul and co-owner, Lang, are below. They just exude stylish vibes!
for those who’ve had a long day
Whether you are stiff from a long flight or just want to treat yourself, time will be well spent having a Thai massage at Shama Traditional Thai Massage. I had never experienced this particular style of massage before, but it was both relaxing and invigorating as muscles were stretched and tight areas were loosened. Plus, there are so many fun touches from Thailand throughout both in decor and treatment. The door to the massage rooms is from Thailand, and I loved the slippers and the post-massage hot tea.
Downtown Burlingame is a great place to explore! Oh, and if you are looking for a bite to eat while you are there, be sure to check out my other post here.