The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.
Apostolos Giontzis/istockphoto

16 Cool Pedestrian Malls Across America

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The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.
Apostolos Giontzis/istockphoto

Shop Until You Drop

Outdoor pedestrian malls reached peak popularity during the '60s and '70s, but have become more of an oddity since then. One of the pandemic’s silver linings has been a renewed appreciation for visiting outdoor public spaces, leading to a revival in open-air shopping on car-free streets. Interested in finding one of those coveted shopping nirvanas? These are some of the best locations to check out.


Related: The Most Beautiful Main Streets in Every State

The Downtown Mall
The Downtown Mall by Bobak Ha'Eri (CC BY-SA)

Downtown Mall

Charlottesville, Virginia

Extending eight blocks, the Downtown Mall is one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the country. The brick-paved area features over 120 stores and 30 restaurants in historic buildings. Visitors can also enjoy live music and plays at one of the mall’s many performance venues.  


Related: Best 'Main Street' Shopping Districts in All 50 States

Strolling the outdoor mall
Kirkikis/istockphoto

Church Street Marketplace

Burlington, Vermont

Consisting of nearly 90 stores along with dozens of restaurants and cart vendors, Church Street Marketplace spans four city blocks. The shopping center includes some major retailers like Macy’s and LL Bean, along with dozens of specialty stores. 


Related: Big-Name Stores We've Lost in the Past Decade

Kalamazoo Mall
eBay

Kalamazoo Mall

Kalamazoo, Michigan

The pioneer outdoor pedestrian mall takes up a section on Burdick Street. In 1959, the Kalamazoo Mall was integrated into the downtown district and inspired other cities to create their own outdoor shopping centers. Today, the mall is home to trendy restaurants, unique stores, Art Deco buildings, cozy coffee shops, and bustling brewpubs. 


Related: Sam Goody, K-B Toys, and Other Mall Stores We Miss

Ithaca Commons
Ithaca Commons by Kenneth C. Zirkel (CC BY-SA)

Ithaca Commons

Ithaca, New York

Four-block Ithaca Commons is packed with upscale restaurants and stores. The eclectic mall serves as Ithaca’s cultural and economic center and is a popular destination for events and festivals.


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The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.
Apostolos Giontzis/istockphoto

3rd Street Promenade

Santa Monica, California

Located just blocks from the ocean, the 3rd Street Promenade is a popular tourist destination. The pedestrian mall is teeming with stores and restaurants and is also home to fresh farmers' market vendors. Complete with street performers and the Metro Expo Line that transports visitors by light rail between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, the open-air mall is truly one of a kind.

Ped Mall
Hayley B./Yelp

Ped Mall

Iowa City, Iowa

Ped Mall isn’t your average pedestrian mall. In addition to stores and restaurants, the district has a board game cafe, a splash pad, a compact outdoor theater, a playground, and a pool hall.

Pearl Street Mall in Boulder Colorado
RiverNorthPhotography/istockphoto

Pearl Street Mall

Boulder, Colorado

Situated in the heart of downtown Boulder, Pearl Street Mall offers dozens of stores and restaurants and even has a sandbox for children, fountains, and sculptures. The mall is also home to much of the city’s nightlife and welcomes street performers during the summer months.

Miami Beach, Lincoln Road - Florida (US)
Flavio Vallenari/istockphoto

Lincoln Road Mall

Miami

It doesn’t get much better for shopaholics than a pedestrian mall in sunny Miami that covers 10 city blocks. Right in the heart of South Beach, Lincoln Road Mall is a shopping haven complete with chain retailers, specialty stores, chic restaurants, and eclectic bars.

16th Street Mall Denver
16th Street Mall Denver by Dough4872 (CC BY-SA)

16th Street Mall

Denver

Complete with a shuttle system making everything easily accessible downtown, the mile-long 16th Street Mall boasts dozens of stores and restaurants, more than 40 cafes, and 12 movie theaters. But the real allure of the promenade emerges after dark, when visitors enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides beneath charming, twinkling lights that cover the trees that line the streets.

The Kay
Justin R./Foursquare

The Kay

Sacramento, California

The Kay district in downtown Sacramento offers a diverse collection of historic landmarks and modern buildings. During the day, pedestrians fill stores and restaurants, and after dark, the district’s nightlife scene comes alive.

People dining outside a restaurant on Nicollet Mall Minneapolis MN
csfotoimages/istockphoto

Nicollet Mall

Minneapolis

For more than 100 years, Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall has been the hub of entertainment in the city. Visitors flock to the Downtown Farmers Market and take advantage of the light rail to access various downtown destinations including the Loring Greenway, Orchestra Hall, and the Walker Art Center.

Los Angeles Farmer's Market and The Grove Shopping Mall
anouchka/istockphoto

The Grove

Los Angeles

What was once an orchard and nursery, The Grove in Los Angeles is now a bustling pedestrian mall. Widely regarded as the best place to shop in the city, the complex has also served as the site for several finale shows of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Fort Street Mall
Val Y./Yelp

Fort Street Mall

Honolulu

The historic Fort Street Mall was the first retail center in Honolulu. Aside from stores and restaurants, the mall also hosts an open market two days a week, hosting dozens of vendors selling everything from plants and produce to jewelry and accessories.


Related: 22 Unique Farmers Markets 

Downtown of Cumberland MD
aimintang/istockphoto

The Downtown Cumberland Mall

Cumberland, Maryland

Charming and unique stores fill the streets of the Downtown Cumberland Mall. The locally owned stores offer unique, specialty items perfect for shoppers with an affinity for one-of-a-kind items.

Washington Street Mall at Cape May, New Jersey
Jonathan W. Cohen/istockphoto

Washington Street Mall

Cape May, New Jersey

Lined with shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, the Washington Street Mall in Cape May is smack dab in the middle of America’s Original Seaside Resort. The town square is one of the most popular destinations in the southern part of the state, especially since it hosts several outdoor events throughout the year.


Related: 20 Beach Vacation Spots Where Time Stands Still

Long Wharf Mall
Jeff B./Yelp

Long Wharf Mall

Newport, Rhode Island

The Long Wharf Mall hosts several stores from souvenir shops and clothing retailers to specialty food stores. The historic district’s close proximity to the ocean and Washington Square makes it all the more enticing to local visitors and tourists alike.


Related: Stores and Brands You Thought Were Dead But Aren't