Explore one or all of Santa Monica’s eight neighborhoods, each boasting its own unique identity and experience. Downtown, pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade, four blocks east of the beach, offers big-name brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Old Navy, as well as galleries, movie theaters, and comedy shows. On the promenade’s south end is luxurious, open-air Santa Monica Place.
It’s not all about chains here. On Main Street, peruse handmade accessories and gifts by local artists at Mindfulnest, or shop for unique home goods at Lost and Found. Kids go crazy playing dress-up and just plain playing in the Acorn Store, specializing in wooden toys.
The promenade keeps things lively too, with entertaining street performers, especially on weekends (permits required, so the bar tends to be higher here than just your average street-corner act).
For another slice of heavenly shopping, stroll along Montana Avenue downtown. If you’re into flea markets, beeline to Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture. Get your skin “mapped” during a spoil-yourself facial at Dermalogica. And find ultra-hip outfits at Jill Roberts and a flurry of other designer boutiques.