Third Street Promenade#2 in Best Things To Do in Santa Monica
Price & Hours
- 4.5Food Scene
The Third Street Promenade, which stretches from Broadway (by Santa Monica Place) to Wilshire Boulevard, is a popular shopping destination that has an eclectic vibe similar to its Santa Monica locale. This open-air shopping mall is filled with major chain stores like Urban Outfitters and H&M, as well as more unique boutiques like Kenneth Karmiole, Bookseller Inc., a rare, by-appointment bookshop, and the toys-focused Puzzle Zoo. You'll also find that outdoor dining options – 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, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Despite all of 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. Many said the pedestrian-friendly layout made it easy to navigate, though others wished there were fewer homeless residents in the area.
Open 24 hours a day and free to visit, the promenade sits a few blocks north of Tongva Park and the Santa Monica Pier. You'll find it within walking distance of several Big Blue Bus stops and the LA Metro's Downtown Santa Monica Station. There are plenty of parking garages, but finding a spot can be a challenge on nights and weekends, so plan accordingly. Restaurant and store hours vary by location. Check out Downtown Santa Monica's website for more information.
More Best Things To Do in Santa Monica
#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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