Enjoy retail therapy in Walnut Creek, California

Get a jump on seasonal shopping in the chic North Main boutique district
Kate Washington

The oh-so-appropriate strains of Madonna's "Material Girl" float out of a shop. While you wait for a cappuccino, a pretty fashionista asks who designed your handbag.

That's downtown Walnut Creek, where North Main Street overflows with designer threads, deluxe consignment shops, and diverse eats.

Go to score gifts for friends or the perfect party frock for you, and enjoy a stroll and a glass of wine amid the preholiday bustle.

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