When SoCal residents sweat out triple digit heat they flock to the coastline to Santa Monica or Malibu beaches. When the tourists come to town they follow the locals to the beaches, but the largest crowds head to the Third Street Promenade that’s walking distance from the beach. It is an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment complex in the downtown area of Santa Monica, California. (1351 3rd Street Promenade #201, Santa Monica, CA 90401).
The Promenade is known for great specialty, upscale stores from Nordstrom to Forever 21. It’s just walking distance from much to see and do like the like the Santa Monica Pier. But one of the best-kept secrets includes free, raw, street musical talent featuring blues, top 40 to Spanish guitar players that are show stoppers or in this case shopping grabbers. The Promenade offers unique features of the Downtown Santa Monica experience with a variety of street performers strumming, rapping, dancing, juggling and otherwise entertaining visitors. This large tourist attraction gives these performers a chance to showcase their musical acts in front of an audience of thousands. According to Downtown Santa Monica and 3rd Street Promenade, there is an average of 40,000-foot traffic daily.
You have tours of the historical downtown Santa Monica to some of the best restaurants in California. The Promenade even compliments the City of LA’s worst drought in 140 years with water saving imitative through a water drip system and plants that survive with very little water. In fact, there are dinosaurs sculptured out of green brushes with water coming out of the mouth. According to the City of Santa Monica, the watering system, and succulent plants are expected to save about 14,500 gallons of water per year.
For decades, Santa Monica has been “the go-to” beach for people living in or near the City of Los Angles. Tourists are often surprised to see so many activities going on in Santa Monica. Don’t be surprised if you see top-name stars in the movie and television industry. This energetic beach community throws out the red carpet to everyone and is very close to most of SoCal’s best, major attractions. So in between your itinerary – in trips to Universal Studios, Hollywood, Disneyland, and other top tourist sites be sure to check out the Third Street Promenade and enjoy free music, a natural beach breeze and a day well spent.
If you are visiting the promenade for the first time, you might notice after walking several blocks lined with stores, exhibits, cafes and a newly remodeled mall, that when you come back through the area, the musical talent has changed. The music continues long into the night, where solo artists and small bands take turns playing and singing their heart out. Just don’t forget to drop some money in the tip buckets or hats, because it is the only way these exceptional performers make money. After all, it cost them $37 a year for permits to play at the Third Street Promenade. And it’s free. Some highlights are published below. Enjoy!