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3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

Los Angeles, California, USA


3rd Street Promenade is a sight to see and something you should do while in Santa Monica! It's fun to take a stroll along the three-block pedestrian-only street and watch the talented street performers do the wildest tricks! There are also some great musicians who play live music here- some have gone on to fame later. As with all tourist places, the restaurants are mostly overpriced and mediocre, but on warm nights, it's great to sit outside at one of the sidewalk cafes. This is a pretty area, with historic buildings, large octagonal tiles on the road, many mesquite trees which are lit beautifully at night, flower baskets, and blue old-fashioned lampposts- and of course, plenty of Southern California sunshine! The stores are ritzy and the people are flashy. Kids will enjoy the ivy-covered dinosaur statues at either end of the promenade and the vibrant fountains. Give your kids money to hand to the musicians and you'll teach them to appreciate artistic people, who are generally underpaid in our society. This is also a fun place to come on a date, without kids. The AMC movie theatre has huge screens and it makes for a nice end to the evening. 
While here, don't miss out on gorgeous Santa Monica Pier and the pretty shoreline to the left of it. It's fun to ride the amusement park rides at night, and to look out over the sparkling ocean. If you're in Santa Monica in the daytime, you can rent bikes and ride along the beach all the way to Venice Beach, a wild, wacky place with great people-watching.
For a playground with rockclimbing grips built into a hill, check out Tongva Park.
Here's a really nice walk that takes about two hours: Park at the Santa Monica Place mall (see directions below). Walk through the mall to Third Street and Broadway. Walk through 3rd Street Promenade, stopping to listen to the fantastic musicians. Once you get to the end, at Wilshire, turn left and walk towards the ocean. Cross Ocean Ave and you will be at Palisades Park, a winding walkway above the clay-red Santa Monica cliffs, overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway, the cool beachhouses, and the wide Santa Monica Beach. Stroll happily along! It's GORGEOUS! There are lots of homeless here, but on busy days there will be plenty of tourists as well. Walk over the Colorado Ave bridge to Santa Monica Pier and past the carousel, down to the beach on the left of the pier. Walk along the boardwalk or the shoreline. Sit in the sand and listen to the ocean. Turn around and walk back along Palisades Park, until you get to Broadway, where you can return to the mall and your car. 
Photo of 3rd Street Promenade by Thomas Carlsson.

Photo Gallery

Brick building at 3rd Street and Broadway.

Strolling along 3rd Street Promenade...

Abe Quigley performs a number on 3rd Street Promenade.

A leafy dinosaur- aaaaaah!

Buy your child a twisty balloon on 3rd Street Promenade!

An historical theater playing the latest blockbusters- the details on the old buildings are nice to admire as you stroll along.

Bellagio Cafe in the center of 3rd Street Promenade.

Attractive red and cream building.

Bruxie Cafe offering waffle sandwiches.

Flags on 3rd Street Promenade.

Tilly's Surf Shop.

Urban Outfitters is always fun.

Pacsun- there's a good selection of stores here!

Multi-colored bluish stripes on a building.

The outdoor mall called Santa Monica Place, at the south end of 3rd Street Promenade.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

3rd Street, between Broadway and Wilshire. From the Santa Monica 10 Freeway westbound, exit at 4th Street. Turn right on 4th Street and then immediately turn left on Colorado Ave. The Santa Monica Place Mall will be on your right; the covered parking lot is on the corner of Colorado and 2nd Street. You can park in the mall parking for three hours for free. Walk through the mall to 3rd Street Promenade.
If you need an address to find a parking structure, try parking in Lot 4 at 1321 2nd St, Santa Monica CA 90401. Parking in this lot is $8.
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