Third Street Promenade Tours
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A commercial fixture in Santa Monica since the 1960s, this open-air, car-free three-block-long pedestrian mall (on Third Street between Wilshire Boulevard and Broadway) was re-designed in 1989 and officially named the Third Street Promenade. Only two blocks east of the amusements of the Santa Monica Pier, the promenade is one of the most popular tourist destinations on LA's Westside.
Guided day trips and cycling tours include Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade. Home to many large national chains, the upscale promenade is a magnet for street performers and is often clustered with crowds enjoying live music, puppet shows, and more. The area is also well known for its nightlife and has several movie theaters, a few music clubs, a handful of bars, and a slew of local eateries. Bordered at Broadway by the upscale and outdoor Santa Monica Place mall, the promenade's commercial influence has also spread a couple of blocks to the east and west of Third Street, creating the most condensed shopping and entertainment district in Santa Monica.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Third Street Promenade is also home to Roam, a rotating public art program featuring contemporary artists, so be on the lookout for installations as you stroll.
- The area is family friendly, with plenty of benches and a playground.
- Many Los Angeles chefs stop by the farmers market that takes place Wednesdays from 8am to 1pm on Arizona Avenue between Fourth Street and Ocean Avenue; bring cash if you’re planning to buy.
How to Get There
Jump on the LA Metro’s Expo Line, which runs between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles; it drops off passengers at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, two blocks from the Third Street Promenade. Within Santa Monica, you can use the city’s public bike-share program called Breeze. The promenade is surrounded by inexpensive public parking lots, but available spaces tend to become scarce as the day progresses, so keep that in mind if you drive.
When to Get There
Expect to encounter the biggest crowds on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when the popular organic farmers markets are set up. Overall, the most popular time to visit Santa Monica is during the summer months, especially on the weekends when locals and visitors flock to the beach. Also, the promenade typically experiences an increase in foot traffic during the holiday season, when shoppers are out and about.
Santa Monica Pier
Located a couple blocks from the promenade, the Santa Monica Pier is considered the main attraction in the city, with Pacific Park and its giant Ferris wheel and other popular attractions drawing visitors of all ages. The pier also has restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, and an arcade, plus live music and, of course, expansive views of the Pacific.
Address: Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
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