Welcome to Santa Monica
Walkable beachy city with first-class shopping and dining
Santa Monica is a beachy and very walkable city nestled between Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. Third Street Promenade offers three blocks of great shopping and dining close to the beachfront, while the Santa Monica Pier juts out into the ocean and features an iconic Ferris wheel and amusement park. Residents of this blissful city enjoy beautiful sunsets and first-class urban amenities.
Santa Monica has a diverse real estate mix. Stylish condominiums along the oceanfront offer breathtaking views, while the surrounding hillsides feature spectacular private compounds. Other neighborhoods in Santa Monica have a mix of charming Californian bungalows and attractive single-family homes.
What to Love
- Beachfront city
- Third Street Promenade shopping
- Santa Monica Pier
- Food and wine festivals
People & Lifestyle
Santa Monica is a beautiful and vibrant city with lots to offer. Its beachy lifestyle and Los Angeles-style upscale shopping and dining have made this city a beacon for A-list celebrities since the early 20th century. Santa Monica is also a thriving tech hub offering many employment opportunities with game development studios and Silicon Beach start-ups.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Third Street Promenade is a premier shopping and dining area that runs for three blocks just east of the Santa Monica Pier. The open-air Santa Monica Place shopping center at Third Street Promenade features scores of upscale retailers and restaurants anchored by Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom department stores. Other brands here include AllSaints, Coach, Forever 21, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Nike, and Tiffany & Co. Santa Monica Place also features an ArcLight movie theater alongside sit-down restaurants such as Sonoma Wine Garden for Californian cuisine and wines, farm-to-table eatery The Curious Palate, nutrition-focused True Food Kitchen, and craft beer pub The Dudes’ Brewing Company. The Gallery Food Hall at Third Street Promenade is a gourmet foodie destination featuring diverse global eats from celebrity chefs. Highlights include super spicy fried chicken at David Chang’s Fuku, Top Chef-winning brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio’s killer seafood sandwich spot STRFSH, and David Lespron’s Pan-Asian noodle house Street Noods. Many more businesses can be found along Wilshire Boulevard, which runs all the way from the beachfront to Downtown Los Angeles. Wally’s combines a stylish bistro with an outstanding food market and wine store, offering more than 100 wines by the glass alongside a similarly impressive array of rare spirits, cheeses, meats, caviar, chocolates, and truffles. Erewhon Market is a luxury grocery store on Wilshire Boulevard that pioneered the trend toward macrobiotic and organic whole foods. Montana Avenue features a ten-block commercial strip with more than 150 restaurants and retailers. Forma is a sophisticated Italian restaurant and cheese bar that pairs elegant small plates, entrées, and cheese platters with wine, beer, and cocktails. Their house specialty is pasta served Dalla Forma, a process that sees freshly-cooked pasta finished in large cheese wheels before being brought to the table. Sweet Lady Jane Bakery on Montana Avenue serves light lunch fare and delicious cakes and pastries. Their signature dessert is a decadent triple berry cake that pairs perfectly with French-pressed coffee.
Things to Do
Santa Monica Pier is an instantly recognizable landmark that has been the symbol of Santa Monica since 1909. Pacific Park is an amusement park on the pier featuring a famous Ferris wheel and the West Coast’s only oceanfront steel roller coaster alongside other rides and attractions. Santa Monica Pier also has a popular fishing area, lots of street entertainers, and numerous shops, pubs, and restaurants. Douglas Park is an inland green space covering two acres on Wilshire Boulevard. Amenities here include two lighted tennis courts, three reflecting pools, a fly fishing area, a children’s playground, and a lawn bowling green. The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center is an intimate and innovative performance space staging an eclectic lineup of theatrical performances, musicals, operas, dance shows, and symphony and chamber orchestra recitals. Santa Monica hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including wine and food tastings as part of August’s five-day Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival and the two-day Santa Monica Wine Fest in February.
Several weekly farmers’ markets take place in Santa Monica, which includes a Downtown Farmers’ Market with over 75 vendors on Wednesday mornings, an Organic Market with food from downtown restaurants and the Pico Farmers’ Market with wild local seafood on Saturday mornings, and the lively Main Street Farmers’ Market on Sundays.
Santa Monica is served by the Los Angeles Unified School District.
- Franklin Elementary School, Public, K-5
- Canyon Charter Elementary School, Public, Charter, K-5
- Lincoln Middle School, Public, 6-8
- Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, Private, K-12