My First Time
I remember my first trip to the Santa Monica Promenade and it was not a pleasant experience. The traffic was insane, the parking was daunting and almost nonexistent, and the lines at each store were at least 20+ minute waits. I swore to myself I would never come back again. I must be a sucker for punishment or dedicated to conquering obstacles but I went back a few weeks ago and it was a much more pleasant experience. It's still the Santa Monica Promenade and there are always going to be crowds of people around at all times but I wanted to share a few tips that will make your visit a much more pleasant experience.
Heels: Steve Madden
Bag: Cult Gaia
1. Get There Early
I think this tip is very self explanatory but I must reiterate the fact that the earlier you can get to the Santa Monica Promenade the better your experience will be. My husband and I arrived in Santa Monica around 9:30am on a Saturday and there was already traffic on the 405 and the 10 fwy. The shops on the promenade open at 10:00am so I thought we would be one of the first people there. Unfortunately we weren't but it was much less crowded than arriving later in the day. I must admit it was much easier to find parking this time around which was one less stressor we had to deal with.
2. Be Comfortable
I didn't follow this tip which is why I'm including it on the list. Wear light comfortable clothing because you will be walking a lot! I chose beauty over comfort when I put on my Steve Madden strappy sandals and I lasted a cool 2.5 hours before we had to make a beeline for the car. Thankfully I always carry a pair of flip-flops in the car but who wants to wear flip-flops with such a fabulous outfit. Needless to say that was the end of the road for us. Comfort is key in Santa Monica because its a pedestrian friendly walk everywhere type of city so wear some comfy flats and explore the city to your hearts content!
3. Plan Ahead
By plan ahead I mean know exactly what stores you want to visit because it can get a little overwhelming. There are over 200 stores to choose from and you don't have time to visit them all in one day. I would say select your top 10 stores so you have a game plan and add a few as you go.
Nasty Gals Do It Better
The main reason I came to the Santa Monica Promenade was to visit one of my favorite online stores ... Nasty Gal. I love the unique selection they have online and decided to check out what goodies they had available in store. If your going to the store with the notion you will find a certain piece you have been eyeing online than you might be sadly disappointed. I had that same misconception and found virtually nothing I was lusting over online in the store. Major key ... call the store and verify before you visit.
The Nasty Gal store is like a fashion feast for the eyes, every little corner is Instagram worthy and so unique it will leave you in a trance and wanting to shop more so you never have to leave! They even had a great husband resting area for those award winning husband's who still shop with their ladies!! You men are the real MVP!!! I must mention that the dressing rooms made me feel like I was in space or a Nasty Gal galaxy as you will see below.
Nasty Gal Santa Monica
1254 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401