Santa Monica Place#7 in Best Things To Do in Santa Monica
Price & Hours
If one of your favorite pastimes is shopping, then you'll want to check out Santa Monica Place. Situated next to the Third Street Promenade, another shopping mecca, this modern outdoor mall is filled with high-end boutiques. Some of the retailers available here include Coach, L'Occitane, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and Tiffany & Co. Additionally, Santa Monica Place houses a movie theater and a variety of eateries, ranging from casual grab-and-go staples like Sbarro to classic sit-down restaurants like Johnny Rockets and The Cheesecake Factory to local options like The Dudes' Brewing Company and the Sonoma Wine Garden. There's even a cooking school that hosts classes, chef demonstrations and cookbook signings, should you find yourself looking for a fun foodie experience.
Overall, recent visitors praised this mall's diverse selection of shops and restaurants, as well as its prime location and clean facilities. However, a few reviewers enjoyed the ambiance at the Third Street Promenade more, so if you only have time to visit one shopping destination, consider skipping this one.
Several parking garages and Big Blue Bus stops are located within walking distance of the mall. Plus, the property sits kitty-corner to the LA Metro's Downtown Santa Monica Station and Tongva Park. It's also a couple of blocks north of Santa Monica's beach and pier, making it a good place to visit when your stomach starts to grumble or you need a change of scenery. The mall itself is free to visit 24 hours a day. However, fees apply for purchases made on-site, and exact hours for stores and restaurants vary by location. Expect most vendors to operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and between noon and 6 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit the Santa Monica Place website.
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#1 Santa Monica Pier and Beach
Santa Monica's 3 ½ miles of shoreline, known as Santa Monica State Beach, are renowned as some of the area's best thanks to the soft sands, ideal weather and bevy of attractions. In addition to the gorgeous stretch of sand, the beach is home to unique amenities like the Original Muscle Beach (a 1930s-era beach park with retro gym equipment) and the International Chess Park. What's more, the beach offers traditional facilities, such as the North Beach Playground and the Annenberg Community Beach House. But perhaps the beach's best-known attraction is its famous pier.
Stretching from the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Ocean Front Walk (the end of Route 66) to a spot above Santa Monica Bay, the Santa Monica Pier is the beach's most recognizable landmark. Not only will you see it in countless photos of the city, but you'll also catch a glimpse of it in several films, including "Forrest Gump." Some of its most popular amenities include a historic carousel, Heal the Bay Aquarium and Pacific Park, which boasts an assortment of arcade games, rides and food stalls.
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