3rd street promenade structures offer 90 min free parking, if you plan to stay longer I would recommend reserving a parking spot in advance: http://www.parkme.com/santa-monica-parking/third-street-promenade
Third Street Promenade
Photograph: Courtesy Downtown Santa Monica
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Sep 18 2012
A four-block pedestrianized stretch that runs down Third Street from Wilshire Boulevard to Colorado Avenue, Third Street Promenade is a pleasant but bland parade of mostly familiar names (Gap, Starbucks et al). The restaurants are ordinary, but the Wednesday morning farmers' market makes up for it. At the Promenade's southern end is the revamped Santa Monica Place shopping center, which reopened in August 2010.