The beach-side city of Santa Monica has over 300 days of sunshine and nice weather, which paves way for many outdoor shopping districts in the area. Sunshine and retail therapy go hand in hand, so get ready to head out for a full day of window shopping and store-hopping in Santa Monica.
There are three main districts for shopping outside in Santa Monica: Downtown/Third Street Promenade, Main Street, and Montana Avenue.
Downtown Santa Monica/Third Street Promenade
Third Street Promenade, located in Downtown Santa Monica just three blocks east of the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Ocean, is a world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. The Promenade consists of three open-air, car-free blocks in between Santa Monica Place at Colorado Blvd. and Wilshire Blvd. In those three blocks, visitors can find a store to fit any and every need – from apparel to used bookstores to candy and toy stores. Most of the stores are well-known, commercial retailers. Sprinkled in between the retail shops are restaurants and entertainment experiences, such as a movie theater or virtual reality experiences at The Void.
The Promenade is also well-known for street performers – walk down each block and you’ll be greeted by a singer-songwriter serenading guests, a mind-blowing magic show, or dance show. These experiences are free, but those who watch for a while or take videos and photographs are encouraged to tip.
Santa Monica Place tailors to the luxury retail side, with stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, and more.
See the full list of shops in Downtown Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade.
Main Street Santa Monica is an eclectic neighborhood, located a few blocks southeast of the Santa Monica Pier. There you can find local eateries and retail shops to fill your closet or decorate your home with unique goods.
Main Street is a hub for locals to spend their days at. You can shop along 8 blocks, grab brunch, shop some more or walk down to the beach for sunset, and then head back out to Main Street to join in on the nightlife scene. Both sides of the street are filled with boutique stores including, Hiptique, Koko, Mohawk West and more.
Check out the directory for Main Street Santa Monica.
Montana Avenue is the third, well-known shopping district on the north side of Santa Monica. It has over 150 restaurants and retailers but seems a little quieter than the Promenade or Main Street with a low key vibe. Celebrities are often spotted walking along the street, shopping in one of the many exclusive stores or getting a bite to eat at a farm-to-table restaurant.
There’s specialty gift shops, cheese shops, jewelry stores and more. It’s a charming and quaint street to take a day to stroll along and discover some place new.
Overall, Santa Monica is one of the premier destinations for outdoor shopping in Los Angeles. Be sure to check out SantaMonica.com for an extensive list of all the places to shop in Santa Monica. Plan ahead of your shopping trip with our tips for parking in Santa Monica, as well as the best places to eat outdoors in Santa Monica.
Feature image courtesy of @01josehernandez.