Neighborhood Spotlight: Santa Monica, CA

With four miles of sandy beaches, a vibrant cultural scene, and a hopping nightlife, Santa Monica is one of the most desirable places to live in the Los Angeles area. It also boasts eclectic shopping, world-class dining, and the kind of laid-back vibe that can only be found in a California coastal city.

Santa Monica at a glance

Santa Monica is located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in western Los Angeles County on Santa Monica Bay. It has a current population of approximately 90,000. Santa Monica has five neighbors — Venice to the south, Mar Vista to the southeast, Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood to the northeast, and West Los Angeles to the east. The Pacific Coast Highway runs through Santa Monica, and it is well-known as a popular resort town. With 310 days of sunshine and a temperate Mediterranean climate, Santa Monica has some of the best year-round weather in California. It’s also been ranked as the #1 suburb in which to live in California by Niche.

Santa Monica real estate and neighborhoods

Santa Monica is home to several different neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality. Some of the most popular communities in Santa Monica include:

  • Downtown Santa Monica – This vibrant neighborhood is south of Wilshire Blvd. and includes the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place.
  • Mid-City – Mid-City is quieter than other parts of the city and features Craftsman homes, Victorians, and California Bungalows.
  • North of Montana – This neighborhood is where you’ll find family homes on large lots in a variety of styles. It’s one of the most expensive areas to live in on the Westside of Los Angeles.
  • Sunset Park – Sunset Park is a charming neighborhood with small one-story homes built in the 1940s.

Santa Monica is one of the more expensive communities in which to live in California. The median home price in Santa Monica is approximately $1.25 million.

Santa Monica history

The history of the city of Santa Monica began with Colonel Robert S. Baker and Senator John P. Jones of Nevada. They wanted to develop an industrial port along the coast and constructed a railroad and wharf. The development ultimately failed and in 1875 the first town lots were auctioned off, with an emphasis on their scenic beauty and environmental assets. In 1886, the city of Santa Monica was incorporated and a year later the city experienced a real estate boom. The city grew rapidly in the 1920s, but Santa Monica was hit hard during the Great Depression. The population surged again after World War II, and the Santa Monica Freeway was completed in 1966. Unfortunately, it directed consumers away from the downtown retail sector, and the area was redeveloped in the 1980s, including the Third Street Promenade. Today, Santa Monica is a model city and continues to evolve.

Santa Monica amenities

We could write a book about all the amenities available to residents and visitors of beautiful Santa Monica! Obviously, the beach is a big draw. Enjoy time in the surf and sand, or spend a playful afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier where you can ride the world’s only solar-powered Ferris Wheel. You can also rent a bike and take a ride down The Strand, a 22-mile long bike path that runs from the Pacific Palisades to Torrance.

Santa Monica has a number of world-class restaurants to enjoy and is well-known for its dining scene. Local chefs buy much of their produce at the Farmers Market, which takes place downtown on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You’ll find restaurants in Santa Monica that are helmed by celebrity chefs, and some have even been awarded Michelin stars.

Shopping is another favorite pastime in Santa Monica. Browse the shops on the Third Street Promenade, enjoy the open-air Santa Monica Place where you’ll find major brands, or stop in one of the many stylish boutiques located on Montana Avenue.

Of course, art and culture are a big part of the lifestyle in Santa Monica. Visit Bergamot Station Arts Center to browse 20 leading galleries, or take in a show at the Broad Stage or any one of the live performance venues around the city.

Santa Monica schools

Students in Santa Monica are served by the highly-rated Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Many schools in this district have received A+ ratings on Niche, including Santa Monica High School, Franklin Elementary School, Grant Elementary School, and Lincoln Middle School. There are also many excellent private schools in Santa Monica including Crossroads School, New Roads School, and Santa Monica Catholic High School. Santa Monica is home to Santa Monica College, a community college that ranks #1 in transfers to UCLA, USC, LMU, and the University of California system.

Explore Santa Monica today!

If you’re ready to enjoy beachfront living with access to everything that Los Angeles has to offer, then view available properties in Santa Monica and schedule your private showing today!

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