When compared with downtown LA or Hollywood, Santa Monica is a peaceful reprieve from the fast pulse of progress. A beachy vibe, a vibrant arts community, and a strong focus on health and wellness make Santa Monica a relaxed and inspiring place to live.
Located on the Westside of LA, Santa Monica’s neighboring communities are Brentwood, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Sawtelle, and Venice. With about 10,000 people per square of mile on the 9 square miles it occupies, Santa Monica is average in population density for the area.
As a city that is not overly crowded which plays such an influential role in the cultural life of Southern California, Santa Monica real estate is typically in higher demand than other areas, with median home listing prices falling just under $2 million. Top-rated schools add to the value of buying a Santa Monica home.
What makes this city such a desirable place to live? A great selection of neighborhoods, incredible shopping, a vibrant arts community, beachside eateries boasting top-rated chefs, and a culture focused on health and wellness attract many to make a home here. Add to that one of Southern California’s most-loved soft sand beaches, and you may fall in love with a Santa Monica home, too.
Choose from 8 Unique Neighborhoods
The neighborhoods of Santa Monica are diverse and different, each with a personality and style all their own. When buying a Santa Monica home, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods to see which one suits your lifestyle. Here’s a brief overview:
- Downtown Santa Monica/Third Street Promenade: home to the two largest shopping areas in Santa Monica.
- Main Street: laid-back artsy area with galleries and international cuisine
- Mid-City: home to the entertainment industry; furthest inland
- Montana Avenue: largest residential area; high-end local shopping
- Ocean Park Boulevard/Santa Monica Airport area: independent coffee shops; boutique shopping; artsy
- Pico Boulevard: ethnically diverse; college students from Santa Monica College; small farmers’ market
- Santa Monica Pier Area/Ocean Avenue: tourist area with hotels, open-air restaurants and bars, and oceanfront views.
- Wilshire Boulevard: most well-known street running through Beverly Hills to downtown LA; bordered by parks, playing fields, impressive landscaping.
Endless Shopping Right Outside Your Front Door
When it comes to shopping, Santa Monica is distinct in its range of offerings, all within walkable distance. You can find high-end clothing, artsy one-of-a-kind boutiques, and casual hip beachwear all in a shopping atmosphere that accepts jean-clad buyers equally with those decked to the nines. Santa Monica’s shopping areas have a down-to-earth, go-with-the-flow feel that invites you to browse and buy at your leisure.
While living in Santa Monica, you will have no shortage of inspiration to deck out your home with interesting art and home goods from local and global artisans. Try Lost and Found Shop for beautiful finds that range from pillows, rugs, baskets, and candles to make your house a home.
Find A Foodie Heaven
Even if you’re not a true foodie, there are few of us who don’t appreciate a delicious meal prepared by talented chefs. To unwind and enjoy time alone or with a companion, visit the popular Urth Café. For a romantic date night, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen has a wine selection that is second-to-none, with small farm-to-table plates perfectly combining fresh ingredients.
Speaking of fresh, Santa Monica has three farmers’ markets bringing you the highest-quality produce and locally-made food items to stock the kitchen of your new home. The first market in 1981 was the Wednesday Market, recognized as one of the largest and most diverse grower-only CFM’s in the nation. Some of LA’s best known chefs and restaurants are part of this market. Santa Monica has added Saturday and Sunday markets at different locations, each with its own character in different locations around the city.
Be Well in a City that Supports Health
Being health-conscious in Santa Monica is easy, and you’ll find yourself in the company of like-minded residents who seek out trendy ways to get fit, nourishing food, and other ways to feel good while managing stress.
If you’re bored with the gym routine, try something different like aerial fitness at Aerial Physique, a 5-star rated studio for aspiring and professional aerial performers, or just beginners looking for a new way to move their bodies. Cadio Barre is another popular way to work on obtaining a dancer body alongside celebs who swear by its effectiveness. For a not-so-run-of-the-mill yoga studio, Create Yoga offers events and workshops like sound baths, art social nights, along with hikes and outdoor adventures. After your workout, you can stop in for some gourmet healthy fast casual food at Beaming.
Surround Yourself with Art
With more than half of its population employed by the arts, Santa Monica’s arts scene is unrivaled in Southern California. With nationally acclaimed galleries, public art, leading museums, and state-of-the-art theatres hosting concerts, plays, and performing arts, you won’t fall short of things to capture your imagination.
Bergamot Station is Southern California’s largest art gallery complex and cultural center, located on eight acres in the heart of Santa Monica. It features contemporary art galleries, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, architecture and design firms, a cafe, and a frame shop. The 18th Street Arts Center is one of the top 20 artist residency programs in the U.S., supporting the creation of contemporary art from around the world.
Interested in taking classes in acting or the performing arts? Edgemar Center in Santa Monica has a variety of classes for children, teens, and adults.
Live by the Ocean in a Santa Monica Home
Santa Monica has much to offer homebuyers in search of a place to put down roots in the LA area, but what brings many who love calling it home is a dream to live on the beach. Santa Monica Beach is an iconic beach in Southern California, with a variety of activities and culture, a long stretch of soft sand providing a spot to land away from the busy pace of LA. If beach living is your dream, a Santa Monica home may be the perfect spot for you.