Locals Only offers the best of trendy

BEST BUYS

Locals Only is the Barneys New York equivalent of a vintage

clothing store. For 20 years owners Jim Olarte and Larry Craig have

preferred a minimalist display and carry what's in fashion in vintage

styles from the mid-1940s to mid-'70s. If peasant dresses are in,

turquoise or fur, you'll find them here. Surfwear designers from

Stussy, Billabong, Hang Ten Italy and Hollister Ranch shop here for

inspiration. An archive room in back serves as their resource; they

digitize hundreds of images of clothing. There's a selection of

Halston dresses, Hawaiian shirts, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and

Ferragamo accessories. Souvenir and rock 'n' roll T-shirts are

especially hot now. The store's display of vintage skin boards and

skateboards attracts a lot of attention. Even Bruce Weber

photographed them for an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog! Open from 11

a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 664 S. Coast Highway. (949) 494-0022.

Come in and get framed

Need a special picture framed? Stop by The Art of Framing. In

addition to beautiful moldings and mats to choose from, it has a

print library where you can select from more than 5,000 images.

Choose from classic works of art to movie posters; then have it

framed for that right look in your home or office. Owner Mac Meehan

has a great eye for matching frames with art. Open from 10 a.m. to 5

p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 1454

S. Coast Highway. (949) 464-0747

Rare shop offers rare fossils

Kristalle Natural History Gallery is one of Laguna's most unusual

stores specializing in minerals, rocks, fossils and rare shells.

"Most people have no idea what we have here," says manager

Stephanie Andrews. "About 10% of what we have upfront is polished

stone because most people can't relate to unpolished pieces."

Kristalle specializes in specimens in their natural state.

Minerals come from Pakistan, Poland, Peru, Spain, India, Peru and

Afghanistan. Rare pieces include: a 200-million-year-old dinosaur

track found in Massachusetts, and a 44-million- to

50-million-year-old sting ray fossil. Kristalle can accommodate all

budgets. Kids buy 50-cent tumbled stones, and collectors from all

over the world spend thousands on specimens. Open from 10:30 a.m. to

5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. 875 N

Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. (949) 494-7695.

Top bikes for all types of use

Owner Chuck Densford of Rainbow Bicycle Company says he probably

has the most popular bike shop in Orange County. People from all over

the world come here for sales, service and rentals. Top quality

mountain bikes rent for $20 to $35 a day, with free use of helmets.

Most people aren't aware that, thanks to Densford's involvement with

the Nature Conservancy, mountain biking wasn't banned at Crystal Cove

State Park and Laguna Coast Wilderness. Densford has a trail

assistance program, similar to a ski patrol, to help mountain bikers

who are lost or need repairs. Densford offers beginning mountain

biking rides too. Rainbow builds custom bikes and carries

high-quality beach cruisers, mountain bikes, tandems, BMX and

children's bikes, apparel, shoes and accessories. Open from 10 a.m.

to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and

from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 485 N. Coast Highway. (949)

494-5806.

Follow the scent

The Art of Living is a home accessories store that's known for its

extensive candle selection. Candles can be special ordered and come

in scents like coco hazelnut, fig, spruce, tuberose, spicy vanilla

and sandalwood. Owner Simah Zareh chooses appealing gift items from

all over the world that are fresh and exciting. The selections

includes: Asian cabinets, lamps, iron candelabras, mirrors, frames,

clocks, cards, jewelry and first-rate silk flowers. Open from 10 a.m.

to 6 p.m. daily at 477 Forest Ave. (949) 376-0142.

Accessories from

around the world

Megusta! is a mix of home accessories that owner Kim Ward is drawn

to. Ward favors reproductions and antique furniture from China, Asian

prints, Burmese rattan boxes, trays and plates, Pashmina shawls and

Italian pottery. Exclusives in town are its colorful hand-blown

martini glasses from the Czech Republic and "Jewels" ethnic jewelry

that's also sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday through Monday at 658 S. Coast Highway. (949) 497-8481.

* BEST BUYS is a weekly feature of the Coastline Pilot. Send

information to Greer Wylder at greerwylder@ yahoo.com or P.O. Box 248

Laguna Beach, CA 92652.

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