Third Street Promenade

Mall in Santa Monica

Stretching for three long blocks sprawled between Broadway and Wilshire Blvd, 'the Promenade' is a case study in how to morph a dilapidated, dying main street into a dynamic and happening strip. It offers carefree and car-free strolling accompanied by the sound of flamenco guitar or hip-hop acrobatics courtesy of street performers.

You can grab a bite to eat, catch a movie and browse the (mostly) chain stores such as H&M, the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters and Zara. Every Wednesday and Saturday, hobby cooks and professional chefs jostle for the freshest foods at the farmers market in the middle, around 3rd St and Arizona Ave.

Municipal lots ring the Promenade, offering free parking for the first 1½ hours.