Bordered to the north by Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, to the west by Los Angeles and Mar Vista, and to the south by Venice, Santa Monica has boomed since the 1980’s evolving into a leading tourist destination and one of the most desirable places to live in Los Angeles. Beyond the obvious appeal of living by the sea and enjoying abundant entertainment and dining options, Santa Monica is one of the most environmentally active communities in the United States. The city has adopted a comprehensive sustainability plan, more than 82% of city vehicles run on alternative fuels, there are numerous green initiatives and building codes, and the city has set a goal of 100% energy independence by 2020. More than 100,000 people live in and around the metropolitan area but only a select few enjoy Santa Monica luxury homes.
Santa Monica is loaded with educational institutions. Elementary and secondary public school education is facilitated by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. There are eight public elementary schools in Santa Monica including the Edison Language Academy, Franklin Elementary School, Grant Elementary School, John Muir Elementary School, McKinley Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School and Will Rogers Learning Community. The John Adams Middle School and Lincoln Middle School are the two district middle schools while Olympic High School and Santa Monica High School are destinations for high school students. Santa Monica private schools include Carlthorp School, Santa Monica Montessori School, Crossroads School, Saint Monica Catholic Elementary School, Concord High School, Pacifica Christian High School, St. Anne Catholic School, Saint Monica Catholic High School, and New Roads School. Santa Monica College is a junior college that often feeds into the University of California system.
While traffic plays a role throughout Los Angeles, residents of Santa Monica enjoy the benefits of a walking city. Clean LNG mass transit buses connect commuters from one end of the city to the other to fill in the gaps and the 10 Freeway runs East to connect with Staples Center for Lakers and Kings games and to the 405 Freeway which leads to San Francisco to the North and San Diego to the South. Route 1, known by locals as the “PCH”, (short for Pacific Coast Highway), runs along the coast and area beaches. There’s also a new subway line to connect the city with downtown Los Angeles and points in between
Dining and Shopping
There are many Santa Monica dining options including some of the very best restaurants in Los Angeles. The Lobster is fine dining with a view overlooking the Santa Monica Pier and sprawling public beach below. Melisse is a standard for fine dining and there are several solid choices along Ocean Avenue as well as around Third Street Promenade, (pictured). Third Street Promenade is closed to vehicular traffic and has become one of the most popular outdoor malls in the world. Today the Third Street Promenade is anchored by Santa Monica Place a completely remodeled high end boutique full of restaurants, bars, well known chic retailers and fun novelty shops. There’s even a natural market featuring natural and organic options. On the top floor of Santa Monica Place sits an outstanding open air plaza with bright sunlight and spectacular views. For Santa Monica luxury home owners there is no shortage of dining and shopping options.
Santa Monica nightlife abounds from craft breweries, to nightclubs, hotel lounges and nightclubs like the famous Harvelles’ Blues Club, the oldest live music venue in Los Angeles. Ocean Avenue and Third Street Promenade offer numerous options and there are many quality hotel lounges and bars but the most exclusive clubs have no sign out front and only a doorman and valet to alert guests where to pull up. While these clubs can be difficult to find those that are in the know can help introduce you to yet another great reason to live in Santa Monica. You can collect more ideas from SantaMonica.com.
Parks and Recreation
The “belle of the ball” when it comes to parks and recreation is the beach along the Pacific Ocean. Anchored by the iconic and tourist filled Santa Monica Pier, the beaches along Santa Monica are wide and busy with sunbathers, surfers, and an endless parade of cyclists, joggers, and rollerbladers and skaters that move along the meandering concrete bike path. Volleyball courts maintained by Los Angeles County dot the landscape and there’s no shortage of people watching especially as you drift toward Venice Beach to the South. Santa Monica also boasts about a dozen small community parks which are listed here.