7812 Girard Avenue
Photo by Amanda Friedman, AFAR Media
Warwick'sThe nation’s oldest continuously family-owned and -operated bookstore is Warwick’s in La Jolla. That’s thanks to one William T. Warwick, who entered the book business in 1896 in Iowa. Life soon led him to this dreamy stretch of the Pacific coast, where he bought an existing bookstore, then married the widowed former owner, Genevieve Redding. The business—now run by their great-granddaughters—has become not just a local institution, but also a must-stop on any prominent national book tour. So check Warwick’s events listings whenever you’re in town, because chances are, so is an actor, politician, or celebrity chef who’ll be reading from a newly released book. And even on event-free days, a trip to this sprawling store is bibliophile heaven, with passionate staff recommendations for every genre. The San Diego–themed section is particularly good, with helpful hiking guides, gorgeous photography collections, and fascinating lessons on locals. (Leaf through Remarkable Women of San Diego: Pioneers, Visionaries and Innovators by Hannah Cohen and Gloria Harris.) On the second Tuesday morning each month, the shop hosts “coffee with a bookseller,” a free event where customers can talk books new and old over breakfast.