Welcome to Santa Monica

The Community

A city of its own, Santa Monica is a resort town located on the Pacific Ocean that boasts some of Los Angeles’ finest cuisine and nightlife.

The iconic Santa Monica Pier is still one of the most popular destinations to visit when in Los Angeles and the city is a favorite for those looking to move to Los Angeles because of its subtropical Mediterranean climate. The city of Santa Monica boasts some of the greatest public schools in Los Angeles and is part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, rather than Los Angeles Unified School District.

Santa Monica Community Highlights + Fun Facts

City By the Sea
Surrounded by majestic mountains, picturesque canyons, rolling hills, valleys, and the sparkling ocean as well as blessed with amazing year-round weather, it’s no wonder that Santa Monica is described as the “Pearl of the Pacific.” It truly is a gem of a neighborhood.

Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry, the famed architect who designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA, built a beautiful residence right here in Santa Monica back in 1978 where him and his family called home.

Colonel Robert S. Baker
Santa Monica was established in 1875 by entrepreneur Colonel Robert S. Baker and Nevada senator John P. Jones. They initially envisioned it as a port city but those plans quickly failed and it became the gorgeous beach destination that we know and love today.

The Pacific Wheel
Pacific Wheel at the Santa Monica Pier is iconic to say the least. It’s been featured in numerous films and not to mention hundreds of thousands of Instagram snaps. In 1998, it became the world’s first ever solar-powered Ferris wheel. Today, the nine-story tall wheel dazzles above the ocean thanks to 174,000 LED lights.

Santa Monica Pier
The famous Santa Monica Pier opened in 1909 but it wasn’t until 1916 that Charles Looff, who designed Coney Island’s first carousel, began to transform it into a pleasure pier complete with merry-go-rounds and a wooden roller coaster. It was a wild success, but it was almost demolished in the 1970s. Luckily, Santa Monica locals fought and were able to save it.

The Carousel
The Santa Monica Pier carousel was created in 1922 featuring 44 whimsical hand-carved horses. It became a national historic landmark in 1975 and it is now housed inside the also iconic and historic Looff Hippodrome building.

Route 66
Santa Monica Pier marks the end of the famous Route 66, which was created in 1926 as a link between Chicago and Los Angeles.

Original Muscle Beach
Although today Venice Beach is known as Muscle Beach, Santa Monica is actually the original Muscle Beach in the city. Back in the 1930s, it was a popular destination for bodybuilders, gymnasts, and acrobats.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
Opened in 1958, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is an LA landmark designed by architect Welton Becket who also conceived iconic spots such as the Capitol Records building in Hollywood and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown LA. Fun fact: The Academy Awards were hosted here between 1961 and 1968.

Tongva Park
Named after the indigenous Tongva people who’ve called this area home for many years, Tongva Park is a lush, six-acre park filled with vibrant plant life, playgrounds, gardens, fountains, picnic areas, and more. We love spending an afternoon strolling through the grounds and enjoying the scenic overlooks of the glittering Pacific Ocean.

Why We Love Santa Monica — Our Pardee Picks!

 From tourist attractions to local hidden gems, Santa Monica has it all. The “unofficial capital of the Westside” boasts top-notch dining and shopping and world-class beaches. It’s the perfect combination of California living. There’s so much fun to be had around every corner in this sophisticated beachside city.

18th Street Art Center
The 18th Street Art Center was founded in 1988 and has since become one of LA’s best centers for art galleries complete with the biggest artist residency program in Southern California. We love that this is right in our backyard! Swing by to find pieces from Los Angeles artists as well as artists from around the world.

Big Dean’s Ocean Front Cafe
Situated on the Santa Monica boardwalk, this beloved oceanfront bar offers great beer and food in a comfortable yet lively atmosphere. We head here to eat burgers and buffalo wings before a beach day or watch a game on one of their 17 TVs.

Groundworks Coffee
In business for almost 30 years, this tiny yet charming coffee shop serves organic and sustainably sourced coffee and teas alongside freshly baked treats. We love starting our day with one of their pour-overs brewed by the cup.

This cool yoga studio was actually founded in Santa Monica in 1987. It offers a variety of classes for all levels including hatha, Pilates, and Kundalini. We recommend their vinyasa flow class with Calvin to kick off your morning.

A neighborhood staple, Michael’s Santa Monica has been around for 40 years serving up California cuisine. The ever-evolving menu never ceases to impress the palates of locals. We love dining in their dreamy outdoor patio.

Bay Cities Italian Deli
No picnic is complete without a stop to this Italian deli/grocery store on Lincoln Boulevard. Established in 1925, the deli serves freshly made signature sandwiches like “The Godmother” as well pasta, gourmet cheese, and imported wine.

Main Street Farmers Market
In addition to drawing in lots of locals every Sunday, the Main Street Farmers Market is also where chefs from all over the city go to stock up on fresh, locally sourced produce. We love that there is always Groundwork Coffee on hand to start the day off right as well as live music and face painting to entertain the kids.

Rize Thai & Sushi Infusion
This not-so-traditional sushi restaurant brings creativity and innovation with a modern blend of sushi and traditional Thai dishes. Artfully plated, the dishes here are almost too pretty to eat. Options include Pad Thai with jumbo shrimp, drunken udon, and poke bowls. Whatever you order, we recommend washing it down with a Thai michelada cocktail.

Father’s Office
If you’re in the mood for a good burger, there’s no better spot in the neighborhood to satisfy that craving than Father’s Office. The casual gastropub, founded by chef Sang Yoon, serves one of the most famous burgers in all of Los Angeles alongside an excellent selection of craft beers. 

Love cheese and pasta? Then this contemporary Italian restaurant nestled on Montana Avenue is the place! It hits all the staple items (think freshly made fettuccine Bolognese and cacio e pepe), but what’s unique here is that their pastas are finished off in huge cheese wheels before they’re served.

There is so much love oozing out of this charming bakery. Owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan are Santa Monica natives and focus on serving delicious comfort food unlike anywhere else. Everything is organic, non-GMO, and made fresh on site. Their fried egg sandwich is a must try!

The Museum of Flying
Opened in 1989, the Museum of Flying is an aviation-lover’s happy place. It’s filled with vintage aircrafts including ones flown in World War II as well as exhibits, replicas, artwork, rare artifacts, a flight simulator, and more.

Pacific Park
It’s safe to say that Pacific Park is one of Los Angeles’ most iconic spots. You can spend the entire day there strolling through the pier, playing games, shopping, eating, riding the Pacific Wheel, and taking in the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

Annenberg Community Beach House
Located right on Santa Monica State Beach just steps away from the sand, the Annenberg Community Beach House is the ultimate hangout spot year-round. There’s a swimming pool, splash pad, and playground as well as classes, art exhibits, beach rentals, and tours of movie star Marion Davies’ guest house. The best part? No membership required. 

Santa Monica Stairs
Often referred to as one of LA’s best outdoor workouts by fitness enthusiasts, the Santa Monica stairs will definitely get your heart racing! There are actually two sets of stairs: one wooden and one concrete. Both are located on Adelaide Drive near the ocean.

DK Donuts & Bakery
This delightful donut shop is a neighborhood hotspot thanks to their delicious pastries. Swing by anytime (seriously, they’re open 24 hours) to indulge in one of their famous donut/croissant creations or an ice cream sandwich.

McCabe’s Guitar Shop
Opened in 1958, McCabe’s Guitar Shop is a music aficionado’s paradise. Find a great selection of acoustic and folk instruments including guitars banjos, and ukuleles. The cool thing about this shop is that it also doubles as a concert venue and you can take lessons here too if you want to learn how to play a new instrument or just hone your skills.

Third Street Promenade
The beloved Third Street Promenade in Downtown Santa Monica goes was back to the 1960s. Three blocks of Third Street were converted into the pedestrian-friendly, open-air shopping destination we know and love today. Dozens of amazing stores and great restaurants and its close proximity to the beach (just two blocks away!), make this one of our favorite places to hang out on the Westside.

Community Stats

Percentage of households earning over $125,000/yr.

Percentage of residents 25 years old & older with a 4 year college degree.

Percentage of residents who own their homes in the area.

84,084 people U.S. Census, 2000
9,817 people per sq mile
Median Income
8.57 sq miles

The Neighborhoods