A great pedestrian shopping street where you can find lots of big chains like Victoria's Secret and Sephora. In the afternoon you can also find street artists here. Some better than others :-)
And there's a great pancake restaurant on one of the corners!
Good idea, leaving the beach, said Fernanda. Let's move to a better place. And that was... shopping area, of course.
Do you believe that I supported the never ending series of malls, shops and boutiques without freezing completely? But I did.
Honestly, I survived!
Incredibly enough you can get away from the city vibe by walking a few blocks to the pier and all the way to the end of it. You will get to the fishermans zone and listen to the ocean to watch an incredible LA Sunset. On the way there you can enjoy a delicious icecream or a good cup of joe.
LA is notorious for being an unfriendly city for pedestrians. I'm not talking about crime or lack of pavement, but rather due to the simple practical problem of everything being so spread-out and far away from each other.
The 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica offers a remedy. It is located a few blocks off the ocean and with its many shops, restaurants and hotels you can spend a whole day and night here without having to jump into a car.
The area is lively and crowded with people who are shopping, sight-seeing, on their way to the restaurants, and also by the street artist performances. The performances are quite elaborate, with some of them coming with a group of 6-8 people with full props.
The only downside is there are a lot of homeless people in Santa Monica and it is a rather surreal sight, to see people shopping for $300 bag being asked for change just outside the shops they've just been into
The Third Street Promenade is a great area to walk around and sample the local shopping, views and cuisine. The Promenade offers lots of shops (from Banana Republic to Barnes and Noble) and a number of cute cafes (I recommend Broadway Deli, I Cugini, Il Fornaio and Gaucho Grill). You can also check out a movie (new releases on Third St., art house selections on Second St.), hang out at a British pub (Ye Old King's Head on Santa Monica Bl. at Second Street) or just watch the street performers.
Third Street is covered with hexagon-shaped tile, and at both ends of the avenue stand large, topiary dinosaur fountains. An ivy-covered triceratops stands at the Promenade's southern end (across from the mall), surrounded by flowers, spewing water into a pool below. A Tyrannosaurus Rex awaits visitors at the street's north end.
In the center of Third Street are free-standing pavilions (which resemble Victorian greenhouses), with aged brass roofs. No traffic is allowed on this part of Third Street, so the area is exclusively for pedestrians. Colorful pushcarts, kiosks and vendors abound, while assorted street performers entertain the passing crowd.
The Santa Monica Municipal Pier opened to the public on September 9, 1909, after sixteen months of construction. It is a 1,600-foot-long wooden pier which features restaurants, a Ferris Wheel, small roller coaster and carnival games-- not to mention sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline.
The Pier is open 365 days a year and admission is free. Parking can be difficult or expensive, however. You can park in the garages up on 2rd Street and walk down or park on the beach for a higher fee.
On the Pier, play some vintage PacMan at the local arcade. Eat some cotton candy, get a henna tattoo. Then take a ride on the Ferris Wheel for amazing views of the coast.
If you are looking for a pleasant beach destination while you are in Los Angeles then Santa Monica beach is a very good option. I would suggest heading out in time to get to the beach nice and early and then, after a day of sunbathing, grab a bite to eat in town. There town just off the beach consists of standard tourist fare, clothing stores, and animated street performers.
Our friend took us to Santa Monica to see the pier but we really enjoyed a stroll on the 3rd Street Promenade. Its a really quaint stretch of shops and restaurants with steet performers and people coming off the beach to grab a bite.
If you have time while you are in California all of Santa Monica is a must see! I highly recommend this place to any traveller, like I stated during this trip, it was a short trip and we were limited on time, but we went back here because it was that special and we both love the water. The pier was hopping both time we went and the views around the pier are to be remembered. There is a small amsuement park located on the pier along with great spots for fishing and a bar at both ends of the pier. There was alot of things to get into here. Take a trip down Wilshire as well.
Convenient to park at Macy's and walked a few blocks to this pedestrian mall of late night shops, restaurants and cafes.
There are street performers and the atmosphere is festive especially on weekends.
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