A needed visit to the Apple Store was the reason for our first visit to Fourth Street. What a surprise! This redevelopment area is about three blocks long with some sidestreets to browse as well. A variety of interesting shops and eating establishments are located in a lovely, tree-lined setting. Benches placed along the streets afforded us an opportunity to sit for a bit and take in the scene. Eash venue is easily acessisble.
The area was originally intended to become an industrial park. After many years the industrial park idea was scrapped and a Building Design Center was proposed instead. It was conceived as a place catering to the home owner, with businesses specializing in furniture, stained glass, interior design, etc. By 1981 the area became a shopping neighborhood.
During the 1980s the nucleus of a shopping area was born. Slowly, the street started to move beyond crafts and services, while still keeping its focus on shops devoted to the environment of the home. In the last phases of development, the focus on design has broadened to include a number of independent shops devoted to fashion and food. (website) The philosophy of trying to attract retailers that provide unique, interesting and high quality merchanidise has been maintained (website). More than 60 shops are presently located here.
As we took a walk after our Apple visit we were happy to see that this area does not have the usual big name shops one finds in such locations. While there is a definite focus on the home environment, there is also a mix of small, interesting, fashion shops. We visited a few of them (well, I visited while my better half sat on a bench) . We heard some outdoor entertainment near Peet's Coffee. We got some coffe, found a seat and enjoyed the music.
Fourth street has an abundance of eating establishments, from Peet's Coffee and a tea shop to Bette's Oceanview Diner, a very popular place where folks line up for their weekend brunch (see separate listing for Bette's).
There seems to be ample parking, either on the street (limited), or in one of the free parking lots. Weekends present somewhat of a challenge for parking; you may have to go a block or two to find a spot.
Today we were back with our granddaughter to "Trick-or-Treat." All of the shops offer treats with many of the shop people in costume! There are a goo d number of kid actiities from face painting to giant bubble making. A wonderful experience for all!