Just west of Los Angeles is the beachfront city of Santa Monica. With 90,000 residents, it’s a bustling right on the ocean that gets millions of visitors per year. The city has a huge variety of activities, cultures, and lifestyles. It’s no wonder that so many tourists come every year, due to its renowned cuisine, nice beaches, fun attractions, and great weather.
SANTA MONICA REAL ESTATE INSIGHTS
As a growing city, real estate in Santa Monica is highly desired. Most homes sell for at least $2 million, and you can expect to pay around $1300 per square foot
THE PEOPLE AND LIFESTYLE
Santa Monica residents live an outdoor lifestyle, taking advantage of the year round sunshine and accessible transportation that the area has to offer. Some residents like to travel to any of the major farmers markets throughout the city. Others like to explore the town by bike (which is easy since there are bike valets everywhere).
Another deep part of Santa Monica history is the Santa Monica Pier. What started as a water outlet for city waste has gone through many phases, making it the cultural hub it is today. The pier has served as a place to fish, home for Navy Warships, the birthplace of “Popeye the Sailor Man”, and entertainment venue. Today, it serves as a popular concert venue, with other attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
Just under the Pier, you’ll find the original “Muscle Beach”. Have you ever been to a coastal town and spotted an area full of climbing bars, athletic beachgoers, and tanning spray? Believe it or not, that trend started in Santa Monica, dating back at least 80 years. It’s just another example of fitness’s major role in local culture.
Santa Monica is full of many outdoor activities and places to recreate. These include:
Memorial Park - A beautiful lush park which includes a 20,000 square foot square park for skateboarding, biking, and rollerblading.
Tongva Park - This park is large and welcoming, the perfect haven from the loudness of inner city life (without being inconvenient or out of walking distance). Have a picnic at one of the picnic tables or cool off in the splash pad. This park also has a generously sized playground, perfect for families.
Virginia Avenue Park - In this 10 acre oasis, you’ll be able to cool down under some trees, visit the farmers market, or stop by at the Pico Branch Library. You’ll also find a splash pad, two playgrounds, and some designated sporting areas.
Apart from all of the tourist trap areas of the city, Santa Monica has some of the best dining in LA. Here are some of our favorites:
Cassia - Some people say that there’s more italian restaurants in Santa Monica than in Italy. So it’s nice to switch it up with something more exotic. The restaurant, which features French-Southeast Asian food, is open, modern, and inviting. It’s the perfect place for an easy date.
Father’s Office - This legendary burger joint is a classic and authentic taste of 1950s Americana. Here, you can impress your visitor friends and romantic interests with one of the best tasting hamburgers in the city.
Bay Cities - For a quick New York sub at a cheap price, hit up this deli. You’ll love the classic italian american atmosphere, easygoing vibe, and sandwiches that are known to pretty much everyone in LA county.
R&D Kitchen - This is where Santa Monicans go to eat. Imagine the nicest public house you’ve ever been to, with fresh produce and menu items to fit a healthy mixture of preferences and dietary needs.
Tar & Roses - For a quick way to impress a first date, head over to Tar & Roses. The staff will spoil you, the beautifully arranged food will leave you in awe, and the atmosphere is refreshing.
Milo & Olive - Rustic italian food has never been so comforting! We recommend the garlic knots.
Santa Monica is a city with endless shopping options. There’s so many different shopping centers in the city to choose from! One of the biggest attractions is the Promenade on Third Street. Only accessible on foot, this street offers some of the biggest names in clothing like Old Navy, H&M, and more. It’s only a couple blocks from the beach, plus it has multiple theatres and comedy clubs.
For a more “local” sense of shopping, head down to Main Street. Here, you’ll find artisanal goods and handmade items. It’s also got a massive toy store making it perfect for kids.
Another great shop spot is Montana Avenue downtown. A perfect spot for flea market lovers and adventurers of all types. You can also head down to Dermalogica, or find the newest designs in fashion at Jill Roberts (or any of the countless other designer clothing stores).
The city is big, and it can get overwhelming. For starters, stick to these gems:
Burro - This cute store has everything you need to brighten your life. It’s got stationary, it’s got clothing, it’s got everything!
The Westside - A California boutique that combines a relaxed vibe with ultimate luxury,
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has nine elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools, with an assortment of other K-12 options.
Click here to visit the school district and link here