Santa Monica Place is a modern outdoor mall in downtown Santa Monica housing many high-end stores and excellent restaurants. It's at the southern end of the Third Street Promenade shopping area and is also conveniently near the iconic Santa Monica Pier and beach.

The original mall opened in 1980 and underwent a massive reconstruction process in 2008. It later reopened in 2010, with the more contemporary design and expanded store range that it has today. 

Anchor tenants include Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, plus internationally renowned brands, restaurants, a large food court, and a movie theater. The open-air complex has beautiful pedestrian walkways with views of the surrounding landscape.

Santa Monica Place in Los Angeles - one of the highlights of 10 Best Shopping Malls in Los Angeles (Read all about Los Angeles here)

photo by Macerich (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

What are the highlights of Santa Monica Place?

Santa Monica Place covers an impressive 475,000 sq ft across 3 floors. The stunning, contemporary complex was redesigned by architect Jon Jerde in 2008. It is known for its enjoyable shopping experience aligned with the coastal lifestyle, due to the large open walkways lined with palm trees.

Santa Monica Place houses over 90 stores and services that are predominantly high-end brands. You can find well-known clothing stores such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Nike, Zara and Uniqlo, as well as lifestyle stores like Apple and Foot Locker.

The mall is also a popular after-dark venue, thanks to the ArcLight Movie Theater. This chain movie theater has an onsite bar, reserved seating, and modern screens showing new releases.

photo by Kevin Labianco (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

Where to eat at Santa Monica Place?

Santa Monica Place has a variety of restaurants, bars and takeout options. Whether you're looking for a mid-shopping lunch break or a special dinner occasion, you can find something to suit everyone at the open-air mall. For a more sophisticated meal, you can try Sonoma Wine Garden on the 3rd level with ocean views, or The Curious Palate with their artisan and farm-to-table food.

For quick bites and more casual eating, you can find all your favorite fast-food options, from kebabs at Charlie Kabob to burritos at Pinches Tacos. If you have a sweet tooth, Santa Monica Place has traditional options such as The Cheesecake Factory. You can even join cooking classes at The Gourmandise School if you’re keen to learn a new skill.

Good to know about Santa Monica Place

Santa Monica Place's location makes it one of the most convenient shopping malls to visit in California. It's a short walk from the beach and Santa Monica Pier, as well as major hotels and the Third Street Promenade in downtown. In terms of transportation, the mall has onsite paid parking and valet services. You can simply take a local bus or cycle to get to the shopping mall. 

Santa Monica Place has many incentives for new visitors, with great savings on selected stores. If you're from out of town, your ID can earn you a Visitor Savings Pass with special offers. Overseas shoppers can receive gift cards after spending over a certain amount. Anyone can purchase a package that combines shopping and dining experiences at discounted rates.

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Santa Monica Place in Los Angeles

Location: 395 Santa Monica Pl, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA

Open: Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday–Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm

Phone: +1 310-260-8333

Elisha Donkin | Contributing Writer