The Paseo Maritimo - the seafront promenade in Marbella - was set up in its present form the 80's, when the then Mayor, Jesus Gil, spent millions of (allegedly stolen) money on beautifying Marbella. It was he that set up, for example, the two (now alas only one) large arches over the main road at the west and east entrances to the town.
He spent an enormous amount of money on having the central part of the paseo paved in marble. Ten thousand bathrooms' worth of it, it was said at the time.
Since then the Town Council has kept up the maintenance, and has also extended it (but not in marble!) so that you now have a very long walk all the way to Puerto Banus, and even further to San Pedro. This is a great walk to do when it's not too hot. It's about 1.5 to 2 hours to Banus, another 1.5 hours to San Pedro. You can then get the bus back to Marbella from either of these places - you'll be too hot, tired and thirsty to want to walk back!
The downside of the paseo maritimo in Marbella is the enormous number of itinerant sellers of sunglasses, CDs, bags etc all the way along the promenade.
You start off feeling sorry for them - they have probably spent several months walking or hitch-hiking through several countries in Africa, then risking their lives on a dangerous sea-crossing to reach Spain or the Canaries.
But after a while they just become a pest. You can't walk along without being accosted, or sit down in a bar without them coming round from table to table hawking their wares.
The moment the police car is spotted they up and run, jumping over the wall onto the sand and crouching down to hide. You feel sorry for them again.
But it doesn't make for a good holiday experience, I'm afraid.