Third Street Promenade
- Type: Shopping, Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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The Third Street Promenade, popular with shopaholics, has an eclectic vibe similar to its Santa Monica locale. This open-air shopping mall is filled with major chain stores like Nike and Banana Republic, as well as more unique shops like the Thunderbolt Spiritual Books shop. You'll also find that outdoor cafés—many of which use local ingredients—are plentiful. And if you're in the mood to cook your own meal, you can find fresh produce at the farmers' market every Wednesday and Saturday morning, from 8:30 a.m. to about 1 p.m.
Despite all the tempting spending options, the promenade's atmosphere is the main draw for many recent travelers. Unexpected extras like the sculptured shrubs and talented street performers are particularly popular with visitors. The pedestrian-friendly layout reminded some TripAdvisor users of shopping in Europe, though others were turned off by the name brands your can find in most American malls. Whether your visit is for shopping, entertainment, dining, or just strolling around, it's a good idea to set aside a large chunk of time to visit the Promenade.
Open daily, the promenade is located a few blocks from the Santa Monica Pier. There is plenty of parking but finding a spot can get competitive at peak hours. If you leave the car at home, you can always take a Big Blue Bus from downtown Los Angeles. Check out the promenade's website for more information.