Welcome to Santa Monica
Los Angeles’ premiere oceanfront city on a stretch of California’s most famous beach.
There are few cities in California more famous than Santa Monica, the oceanside haven for creatives, executives, actors, and lovers of the sun. Between its bustling nightlife scene and a gorgeous stretch of sand, people who move to Santa Monica often never leave. And with an environment of mountains, canyons, valleys, and beaches that are blessed with the perfect climate all year long, who could really blame them?
Throughout its history, Santa Monica has been described by many endearing phrases, among them “City by the Sea,” “Pearl of the Pacific,” “City of Inspiration” and “Jewel of the Sunset Bay.” In 1542, Spanish conquistador Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo dropped anchor in what is thought to be Santa Monica Bay. The day happened to be the religious holiday St. Monica’s Day (May 4), and so Santa Monica was born.
Nowadays, both Santa Monica’s lively downtown and sprawling residential areas are filled with Hollywood executives, actors, finance power players and, of course, devout yogis and surfers. Real estate opportunities here are the jewel of Los Angeles and are consistently a top-performing investment piece.
What to Love
- A world-class coastal city
- Trendy and stylish with a bustling nightlife scene
- Close proximity to top-rated schools and Silicon Beach
- Walkable, peaceful, and laid-back
Most residents of Santa Monica move to the area for the proximity to the beach and are lovers of the surf and sand. Many stay active by surfing, swimming, running on the sand, or by attending the many beachside workout classes. It’s an affluent section of Los Angeles, and many residents work locally or nearby in downtown or Beverly Hills.
Residents love taking full advantage of the plethora of social activities, festivals, and events in Santa Monica and love trying the new restaurants that come to Main Street or Third Street Promenade. It’s a family-friendly city with lots of top-rated schools, making it a favorite of parents with young children.
Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping
There is no shortage of fantastic places to eat and shop in Santa Monica. The first place to mention would be the city’s most prominent fixture: Third Street Promenade. This multi-block stretch features gastropubs like The Misfit, world-class sushi at Sugarfish, and upscale steakhouses like BOA, all set among world-class shopping at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lululemon, and Brandy Melville.
Over on Montana Avenue, La La Land Coffee is the most Instagrammable spot you can find in the area and serves up delicious cold brew and lattes. Montana Avenue also hosts a number of cute boutiques and salons as well as a Kreation Juice Bar to get your juice fix.
For nightlife, The Chestnut Club is a dimly lit lounge with lots of personality, while the rooftop at Shangri-La Hotel remains a favorite for the young and old. Main Street has plenty of lively joints like Jameson’s, Library Ale House, and 41 Ocean.
Things To Do
It’s impossible to run out of things to do in Santa Monica — there is always something happening! The Santa Monica Pier is the perfect way to spend a weekend day with kids. They’ll love the rollercoaster, the enormous Ferris wheel’s sweeping views, and the carnival-style food.
First Fridays on Abbot Kinney bring in a large crowd for shopping, restaurant pop-ups, and live music. In the summer, Santa Monica hosts Twilight Concerts off the pier.
The locally beloved Farmers Market in Downtown Santa Monica is hosted on Wednesdays and Saturdays and features an extensive list of local farms, artisanal bakeries, craft goods, and holistic items.
There’s great public golfing at Penmar Golf Course and private golfing and tennis at The Riviera Country Club. The city also offers an abundance of workout studios ranging from SoulCycle to Orange Theory, and many residents love to stay active and fit.
There’s a fantastic mix of public and private schools in the area, so the area is evenly split in terms of which institutions their children attend. If education is important to you, do plenty of research on the local offerings.
For instance, Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences is a private school that focuses heavily on the arts, whereas Pacifica Christian School is more focused on college preparation. Santa Monica High School is the local public high school, while Lincoln Middle and Franklin Elementary School operate as the other local schools for younger kids.
Santa Monica High School (Samohi)
Lincoln Middle School
Franklin Elementary School
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences (Private, K-12) — Top Rated
New Roads School (Private)
Pacifica Christian (Private
Wildwood School (Private, K-12)