About 12 miles west of Hollywood along the coast is the Third Street Promenade. Third Street Promenade is a street in Santa Monica closed to cars and open to pedestrians only that is two blocks inland from the coast and parallels Ocean Avenue. Bordered by Wilshire Blvd to the north and Broadway to the south the strip is about a half mile long and features a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities. Visitors to Hollywood should absolutely make an effort to see the beaches of LA and make a visit to 3rd Street.
Tour buses leaving Hollywood and Highland connect to other other tour buses in Beverly Hills that will take guests to 3rd Street. Visitors without a car can take 2 different metro bus lines there as well, one that leaves from La Brea and Hollywood Blvd and switching to a bus on Santa Monica and La Brea Blvds for direct service to 3rd Street.
In recent years the Third Street Promenade has become a premier shopping destination for both the local LA set and tourists alike. The strip features a selection of mostly brand name shops that represent all categories of style. Examples range from Banana Republic to Urban Outfitters. The strip itself is a cobblestone street with fountains and artistic sculptures in the center. During the weekends street performers come out and perform in the center of the strip with a range of acts from gymnastics to solo singing to pet tricks. On either side of 3rd Street are tall thin palm trees that give the whole experience a true Californian feel.
The stores along 3rd Street are very diverse and represent every price range and fashion taste. Stores range from Diesal, Banana Republic, J. Crew to Zara and Urban Outfitters. There is a huge selection of dining opportunities on 3rd street as well as several bars. The dining ranges from more upscale, relaxing venues serving prime ribs, steaks and Asian dishes like Houstons, PF Changs and Monsoon on the northern end of the strip to more casual delis, hamburgers and finger foods from places like Yankee Doodle and Goucho Grill on the southern end of the strip. If you are looking to take a break from the shopping, there is 2 major movie theatres on the promenade as well, AMC and MANN's. Both offer the latest movies as they are released.
On either side of 3rd street the shopping experience continues as there are additional stores, both brand named and boutique located on either side of 3rd street with easy walking and access. Out of all the shopping areas 3rd Street Promenade and vicinity are the easiest to access and take in all at once. In addition there are also many kiosks in the center of the promenade that sale products on the more economic side ranging from trinkets and jewlery to dance cds and clothing accessories such as belts, hats and shoes.
Although many of the stores on 3rd Street such as Diesal, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, Armani Exchange, Banana Republic and more also maintain locations in other LA shopping centers (Beverly Center, Melrose District, Century City), they maintain that they very their inventory from store to store so the each location has something unique and different to offer.
Some of the stores on 3rd Street Promenade include Club Monaco, J Crew, Famima! H&M, Zara, Addidas, The Apple Store, Abercrombie & Finch, American Eagle Outfitters, French Connection, Forever 21, Restoration Hardware, Barnes and Noble.
There are several parking garages that line the perimeter of 3rd Street on 2nd and 4th streets. These garages are free before 6pm and $3.00 after.