Santa Monica, California


Palisades Park
Palisades Park
Open Market Shopping
Open Market Shopping
Beach Homes
Beach Homes
Memorial Park Softball
Memorial Park Softball



Sunny Days: 281
80100 Affordability
100100 Schools
54100 Diversity
65100 Safety

Edgy Art Scene Finds Inspiration by the Ocean

The Best Thing About Santa Monica?

There’s Always Something to Do

Do residents in Santa Monica get bored? We don’t think so. With 3.5 miles of beautiful beach bisected by the iconic Santa Monica Pier, a bustling cosmopolitan area highlighted by the 3rd Street Promenade and the hip art scene permeating everywhere from tasteful street graffiti to high-end art galleries, it’s your own fault if you can’t find something to do.

For those seeking entertainment with ocean views, you have options. Walk down the Santa Monica Pier, the terminus of historic route 66, and hop on the iconic ferris wheel or roller coaster jutting above the boardwalk. The busy area boasts people-watching opportunities galore, but you’re also free to head inside to the aquarium beneath the pier to watch the wildlife instead. And don’t forget the beach is right there. Surf, build a sand castle with the fam, or get a workout in at the original Muscle Beach.

If it’s the arts and culture scene you’re after, maybe one of the 120 museums, galleries and public art installations within the city will catch your eye. You can explore the city’s largest concentration of galleries at the Bergamot, or walk along the modern installations in Palisades Park, a 26-acre coastal bluff park with nonstop ocean views.

Shopping enthusiasts are obsessed with the 3rd Street Promenade, a pedestrian-only shopping space a few blocks from the waterfront. Here a diverse selection of restaurants, boutiques and entertainment draw many to this downtown hub. Or, mix work with pleasure by renting a bike and pedaling your way along the eclectic shops that line the boardwalk in Venice Beach just to the south of town.

Did we mention Santa Monica is only 15 miles from Hollywood? Yeah…we’ve made our point.

The Worst Thing About Santa Monica?

Let’s Talk Money

Yes, Santa Monica has a booming house market featuring everything from cozy traditional settler homes to updated open-floor-plan properties with ocean views. However, as prices continue to go up, some people who could once afford to live here feel like they’re being pushed out. The average price for a single-family home is $1.7 million, with plenty selling for over $10 million. And seeing as the majority (71%) of residents rent, it isn’t a surprise that they aren’t stoked about the median cost for rentals being $3,823, according to Zillow.

Those who have lived in Santa Monica for a while or who grew up here say the worst consequence of increasing living costs is the noticeable uptick in crime and the growing unhoused population, particularly since the pandemic.

Despite a popular sentiment of the city needing to enforce some rent control, Santa Monica is still seen as one of the best places to live outside LA.

Lifestyle of Santa Monica

If You Can Dream It, You Can Walk to It (Mostly)

Just 16 miles east of L.A., Santa Monica flaunts a well-rounded mix of urban and suburban living. Here, you get the plush side of art and entertainment in a lively downtown area plus the laid back vibe you’d expect of a SoCal beach city.

Rated L.A.’s #1 neighborhood to live in by, young professionals and families enjoy easy access to large parks, endless “going-out” options, top notch schools and good public transportation. The Metro E-Line southern terminus makes L.A. an hour train ride away, and for those who prefer to drive, the freeway access isn’t too bad either.

Prime weather and access to nature make outdoor activities like surfing, running, biking, skating and beach volleyball a common shared interest among residents. It is no surprise that this more liberal and environmentally conscious community highly values the city’s above-average walkability score of 82, which makes a day running from the beach to the mall to the movies all feasible on foot.

Schools in Santa Monica

Unique Offerings

The schools in Santa Monica are highly rated. According to, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has earned an “A+” rating, echoed by high ratings on Greatschools as well. As the name implies, this school district serves the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu. It includes ten elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools, an adult high school and an alternative school. Most are located within Santa Monica, meaning parents won’t need to drive to Malibu to drop their kiddos off.

One of the things that make this school district unique is its Dual Immersion Program available beginning in PreK at Edison Language Academy and continuing through the middle school years before finishing in grade 12 at Santa Monica High School. This program allows students to realize a higher proficiency level in a second language than in more traditional school language programs.

Parents in Santa Monica prioritize education and benefit from the unique variety of schools available in the area. In addition to public options, there is a long list of well regarded private schools in neighboring areas, including the Harvard-Westlake School, Windward School and Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences, amongst many others.

Why You Should Move Here Now

Unleash Your Creative Potential

Santa Monica is quintessential L.A. living. Simple as that. There’s so much happening around you that at times you simply won’t know where to look. Or, you can block it all out and spend a whole day meditatively watching the waves. Whatever fills your cup. They say you tend to reflect your environment. So, if you’re living immersed in envelope-pushing artwork, entrancing vistas, novel cuisine and more, what do you think you’ll be inspired to create? Whether you’re in the finance business or show business, Santa Monica can inspire you.

Neighborhoods in Santa Monica

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Young Professionals/DINKS

Downtown residents are never bored. With immediate access to the 3rd Street Promenade’s plethora of entertainment offerings and regular events like the farmers market, there’s always something to do here.

Downtown living is dense living. You won’t find single-family homes nestled amongst the shops and restaurants. Instead, residents enjoy high-rise condo living, most popular on Ocean Avenue and Main Street, for prices ranging from $1.5 million for a studio to upwards of $5 million. This neighborhood also enjoys close proximity to the metro line and is home to one of the city’s most diverse populations as business people from around the world flock to L.A.



Between Wilshire Boulevard and Montana Avenue lies a more traditional-style neighborhood full of attractive architecture and manicured landscaping. More often than not, the three- to five-bedroom homes have driveways and lawns. The less frequent and smaller two-bedroom homes are older and can be found for as low as $1.5 million, but more commonly prices range from $3 to $5 million here. About 40 blocks inland from Santa Monica’s beachfront, residents enjoy a quieter lifestyle without losing convenient access to the city’s lively downtown area.


Families, DINKS

Attracting the city’s most elite and affluent residents, Palisades Beach Road is located right alongside the Santa Monica beachfront. If you live here, you and your neighbors are likely high-powered executives, owners of large chain corporations or in the entertainment industry.

Unlike some other beachfront neighborhoods in Santa Monica Bay, homes in the Palisades are on large lots and spread out from one another, offering a fair amount of privacy. You can find a large four-bedroom home here between $5 and $11 million. Or, you can rent in one of the area’s smaller apartment complexes, apartment buildings or high-rises.

Mid City


Adjacent to the Wilshire-Montana neighborhood lies Mid-City. Offering a mixture of single-family homes, apartment buildings and condos, this neighborhood attracts those who want to live in Santa Monica at a more reasonable price. You can find a one-bedroom condo here for about $600,000, according to a local real estate agent. While some complain that Mid-City feels isolated and at times, “off in the middle of nowhere,” there are many galleries, eateries and some decent transit options for residents. The benefit of a less competitive housing market is that you can get more bang for your buck.

Ocean Park

Young Professionals, DINKS

This might be the top neighborhood to live in in Santa Monica. At least, it is according to Close enough to kiss the sands of Santa Monica State Beach and Venice Beach and conveniently located just off the 10 Freeway, Ocean Park isn’t lacking in “access.” Its authentic and artsy vibe is underpinned by its popular restaurants and boutiques, and highlighted by Clover Park where awards shows like the People’s Choice Awards have been previously held.

The area offers an eclectic mix of apartments, condos and Craftsman-style bungalows that range anywhere from $600,000 to over $2 million, depending on size. While some price tags seem fairly reasonable in this neighborhood, residents have more access to parks than most others in Santa Monica, and like downtown, also enjoy a vibrant patchwork of coffee shops, restaurants and bars.