Best of the Valley 2011

Best Shopping

Break out the plastic at these Valley merchants...

Shopping... For People and Pets

Best Children's Clothing

1. Target, valleywide. What are they asking for and where can you find it? Hit the shopping bull's eye at Target. There's one nearby, packed with fun for the sun, too cool for school and totally dress-up styles that are always first class. Toddlers to teens love to attack the racks so make an afternoon of it. 67-750 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City; (760) 321-7425. 42-625 Jackson St., Indio; (760) 863-3600. 78-935 Hwy 111, La Quinta; (760) 564-0492. 72-549 Hwy 111, Palm Desert; (760) 341-9307;

2. GapKids, Palm Desert

3. Old Navy, Palm Desert

Best Jewelry Store
Leeds & Son

1. Leeds & Son, Palm Desert. Experience a shopping adventure at Leeds & Son, spanning the decades with a breathtaking cavalcade of fine timepieces and one-of-a-kind jewelry designs, enhanced with the most glamorous gems and dazzling diamonds from around the world. Enjoy friendly, expert assistance with purchases and repairs in an atmosphere of sophistication and allure. 73-670 El Paseo, Palm Desert; (760) 568-5266;

2. El Paseo Jewelry, Palm Desert

3. Hephaestus, Palm Springs

Best Pet Store

1. Pet Luv, Cathedral City. The name says it all at this friendly, family-owned and operated shop. There's plenty of "luv" for every pet whether it's a visit to the grooming salon, or a stroll to watch exotic fish swim by, or frolicking hamsters ham-it-up on the wheel. Doc-recommended foods, grooming products, fanciful toys and rare one-on-one service make this place so easy to luv. 67-260 Ramon Rd., Cathedral City; (760) 322-1612.

2. PetSmart, valleywide

3. PETCO, valleywide

Best Thrift Shop

1. Revivals Resale Mart, valleywide. Seek and you shall find at Revivals, where everything is new again. Donate, come by to explore, or consider volunteering your time to help benefit client services at Desert AIDS Project. Discover a bounty of treasures down every aisle, from clothing to rare antiques to electronics and furnishings to suit any decor. 68-401 E. Hwy 111, Cathedral City; (760) 969-5747. 611 S. Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs; (760) 318-6430; 73-608 Hwy 111, Palm Desert;

2. Angel View Thrift Marts, valleywide

3. Collectors Corner, Rancho Mirage

Best Toy Store

1. Target, valleywide. What's the real toy story sequel? It's going on now at your nearby Target. There's Barbie and her newfound Ken, super heroes and all their gear, the latest video games, LEGO sets, board games, bikes and trikes, balls and bats, skates and scooters and more. Stop once and for all--every age is covered in the toy department at Target. 67-750 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City; (760) 321-7425. 42-625 Jackson St., Indio; (760) 863-3600. 78-935 Hwy 111, La Quinta; (760) 564-0492. 72-549 Hwy 111, Palm Desert; (760) 341-9307;

2. Partylab, Palm Springs

3. Wal-Mart, valleywide

Best Women's Shoe Store
DSW Shoe Warehouse

1. DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, La Quinta and Palm Desert. Take a walk on the style side at DSW and step out with the latest trend-right looks. For work, workout, dine and dance, find what's right - then the left - and combine to make your perfect pair(s)... after all, it's DSW. 79-150 Hwy 111, No. 102, La Quinta; (760) 564-4702. 72-399 Hwy 111, Palm Desert; (760) 340-3217;

2. E & J's Designer Shoe Outlet, Palm Desert

3. Macy's, Palm Desert


Shopping... For Foods and Wines

Best Chocolate Shop

1. See's Candies, valleywide. If you are a candy lover, "Bordeaux" does not mean a dark red wine; it means a heavenly rectangle-shape piece of candy starring brown sugar and butter cream and covered in chocolate. A perennial favorite, the Bordeaux is just one of more than 100 candies and chocolates - including sugar-free and kosher varieties - found at California's favorite candy store. 144 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; (760) 325-6211. Westfield Palm Desert, 72-840 Hwy 111, Palm Desert; (760) 340-1322;

2. Cafe Chocolat, Palm Springs

3. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Rancho Mirage

Best Grocery Chain

1. Stater Bros., valleywide. These mini-supermarkets have it all: a laid-back island theme, a focus on natural and healthy foods, a tidy array of prepared food for easy takeout lunches or dinners, and daily, freshly prepared free samples. 67720 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City (760) 202-0090; 44250 Town Center Way, Palm Desert (760) 340-2291; 46400 Washington St., La Quinta (760) 777-1553;

2. Trader Joe's, valleywide

3. Jensen's Finest Foods, valleywide

Best Kitchen Shop
Kitchen Kitchen

1. Kitchen Kitchen Inc., Indian Wells. You'll find kitchen goodies here that you need to stock your kitchen, plus dozens of tempting fun do-dads you might use once in a blue moon. Owner Jan Boydstun has added a test kitchen and runs a series of cooking classes and demonstrations. 74-921 Hwy 111, Indian Wells (760) 773-9464;

2. Bed, Bath & Beyond, valleywide

3. Williams-Sonoma, Palm Desert

Best Specialty Food Store
Trader Joe's

1. Trader Joe's, valleywide. If the smorgasbord of breads, cheeses and an extensive wine and beer collection doesn't pull you in, then the aromatic fresh flowers and free samples just might. With a range of fresh, canned, packaged and frozen grocery items with a gourmet tilt, shopping here is simply yum. 67-720 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City; (760) 202-0090. 44-250 Town Center Way, Palm Desert; (760) 340-2991. 46-400 Washington St., La Quinta; (760) 777-1553;

2. Bristol Farms, Palm Desert

3. Clark's Nutritional Center, Rancho Mirage

Best Wine Shop

1. Trader Joe's, valleywide. It's one of the most user-friendly places to buy wine, with easy to understand descriptions plus knowledgeable and helpful employees. Got a budget for your upcoming dinner party? Tell them what you're serving, and they'll be ready with a recommendation. Also, be grateful; apparently in New York City, they've gotten used to "Three-buck Chuck." 67-720 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Cathedral City; (760) 202-0090. 44-250 Town Center Way, Palm Desert; (760) 340-2991. 46-400 Washington St., La Quinta; (760) 777-1553;

2. BevMo, La Quinta

3. Dan's Wine Shop, Palm Desert


Shopping... For Home and Garden

Best Art Gallery

1. Imago Galleries, Palm Desert. The gallery's beacon, a massive Dale Chihuly suspended glass chandelier, immediately tells the viewer Imago means serious art. Renowned for its exhibits of the top contemporary artists, Imago is the perfect world for art lovers with big budgets but welcomes the casual browser as well. 45-450 Hwy 74, Palm Desert; (760) 776-9890;

2. Images By Gideon Fine Art Gallery, Palm Springs

3. Coda Gallery, Palm Desert

Best Florist
Palm Springs Florist

1. Palm Springs Florist, Palm Springs. This florist has thrived at the same location since its founding in 1947. The magic must be in its claim to service, quality and satisfaction as the shop has been a multiple Best of the Valley winner. 894 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; (760) 325-7441;

2. Rancho Mirage Florist, Rancho Mirage

3. Bristol Farms, Palm Desert

Best Furniture Store
Mathis Brothers

1. Mathis Brothers Furniture, Indio. It's easy to get overwhelmed at Mathis Brothers because the place is so huge. The selection covers the spectrum from cheap-but-sturdy to designer luxury, along with every kind of home accessory imaginable. Don't miss the bargain room on the second floor, where you can score some major deals; the selection changes almost daily. The salespeople are knowledgeable and experienced--most will ask good questions about your decor and room set-up to make sure you're buying the right piece. And then there are the guys in the warehouse, who can do some amazing contortions to get your purchase loaded if you're picking it up yourself. The delivery people are friendly and efficient. 81-410 Hwy 111, Indio; (760) 863-3500;

2. Marc Russell Interiors, Palm Springs

3. Ashley Furniture, Palm Desert

Best Home Accessory Store
Home Goods

1. Home Goods, Bermuda Dunes. Whether you are starting anew or refreshing the look of your home, HomeGoods offers decor items - many handcrafted - for every room at moderate prices, which are less than those at department or specialty stores. 42-400 Washington St., Bermuda Dunes; (760) 772-2047;

2. The Alley, valleywide

3. Bed Bath & Beyond, valleywide

Best of the Rest: The Alley, valleywide; Target, valleywide; Cost Plus World Market, Palm Springs; Pottery Barn, Palm Desert; Tchotchkes, Palm Springs; Between the Sheets, Palm Desert; Kirkland's, La Quinta

Best Nursery
Aunt Effie's Gardens

1. Aunt Effie's Gardens, Palm Springs. One of the newest garden shops in the Coachella Valley, Aunt Effie's offers annuals, perennials and succulents for desert gardens, plus a sculpture garden perfect for browsing on the first Sunday of the month when Aunt Effie's serves mimosas. 2393 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; (760) 778-6030;

2. Moller's Garden Center, Palm Desert

3. Bob Williams Nursery, Indio


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