Santa Monica (SaMo) is an upscale beach town. The city is a longtime stomping ground for professionals, retirees, artists and well-heeled residents who appreciate its beautiful surroundings, laid-back vibe, and countless amenities.
With multiple beaches, parks, and hiking trails, locals love the taking advantage of Southern California’s stunning vistas, access to nature, and perfect weather. Living here, you may find yourself spending a lot of time outdoors.
Newest Homes for Sale in Santa Monica
Santa Monica Neighborhoods
Santa Monica Real Estate
Home prices in Santa Monica are higher than the Los Angeles County average. So, if you want to live in this remarkable beach city, but do not have the financing to acquire a single family home, check out the extensive inventory of condos and townhomes; they help balance out SaMo’s affordability. Regrettably, for bargain hunters, most of the potential fixer uppers have already been rehabbed.
Residential architecture in Santa Monica runs the gamut; no single style dominates. Some of the earliest homes built in Santa Monica are Shotgun or Bungalow. Several Ranch homes were built at the turn of the early 20th century. If you like styles from the Postwar era, be sure to house hunt in the Sunset Park or Ocean Park neighborhoods. By the 1950s, Modern homes came on the scene, followed by Contemporary styles from the late 1970s onward.
Luxury condominium towers line Ocean Avenue while Contemporary condos are more evenly spread out across the city.
Mediterranean and Contemporary homes make up much of the real estate north of Montana Street. The lots in this part of town are also big enough for backyard pools. Many recently built homes include solar panel arrays and tech upgrades like electric vehicle charging stations and smart home capabilities.
Several office buildings and hotels Downtown are Art Deco and Beaux Art-style. The Sears store (built in 1947) is an excellent example of Late Moderne architecture. It sits at the junction of 4th Street and Colorado Avenue and is a registered historic landmark.
Santa Monica Neighborhoods
Each Santa Monica neighborhood has a unique vibe based on its history, architecture, terrain, and proximity to the ocean.
- Downtown Santa Monica is highly walkable (WalkScore 91) and has great public transportation options, including a Metro Expo Line stop. Metro will get you from Santa Monica to Culver City, Downtown Los Angeles and all the way out to Pasadena. A high concentration of Contemporary Luxury condominiums is found here.
- Ocean Park is just north of Venice in the southwest corner of Santa Monica. The district boasts a small town feel and abuts a popular stretch of beach. It is easy to navigate by bike (BikeScore 90) and is very pedestrian-friendly (WalkScore 91). Ocean Park contains bungalows and condominiums and is a favorite neighborhood with artists and working professionals, including those working in SoCal’s tech hub, known to some as “Silicon Beach.”
- Sunset Park is a peaceful residential neighborhood between Lincoln and South Centinela Boulevard just east of Ocean Park. The community is diverse. Most houses were built in the 1930s-1940s, but you will find Contemporary homes here, too.
- Northeast is located between Wilshire Boulevard and Montana Avenue, north of 21st Street and adjacent to Brentwood. This is an excellent spot to find Contemporary and Mediterranean homes. Lots here are big enough that dwellings are set back from the street; most have a front lawn, and many have backyard pools.
- Pico is one the most diverse communities in Santa Monica, situated between Pico and Olympic Boulevards. Virginia Avenue Park and Bergamot Station (art galleries) sit within its perimeter. The housing stock here is a broad mix of styles, but it is an excellent place to hunt for Craftsman, Shotgun, and California Bungalow homes.
- Mid-City West incorporates part of Downtown Santa Monica and runs between Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, including some areas stretching to Olympic. The 18th Street Arts Center is one of its gems, and there are dozens of eateries too. Townhomes, duplexes and luxury condominiums round out this neighborhood’s housing mix.
- Wilshire Montana (aka “North of Wilshire”) is an upscale palm-lined neighborhood made up of Craftsman homes and luxury condominiums. Residents love the proximity to the beach and Downtown Santa Monica while living in a quiet area of town.
- North of Montana is comprised of Ranch or Mediterranean homes, along with beautiful English cottages and townhomes. Residents enjoy their go-to spots on Montana and frequent the bi-weekly farmers market nearby.
Santa Monica REALTORS®
Looking to buy or sell a home in Santa Monica? RubyHome’s licensed real estate agents are your SaMo neighborhood experts, and we’d love to help! If you are buying, contact us to schedule private showings of the homes that pique your interest. For sellers, we’ll arrange a convenient time to meet, create a custom market report, and formulate a fair asking price for your home.
We can provide up-to-the-minute Santa Monica real estate statistics: average area home prices; house sales history; and information about the broader L.A. real estate market so that you can make a well-informed decision.
What’s more, our agents work full-time – you’ll be partnering with a dedicated expert whose only aim is to help negotiate the quickest home sale possible.
About Santa Monica
Santa Monica’s quality of life ranks high, making it one of Southern California’s most coveted places to live. People live here to be close to the beach, to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, and to take advantage of all its first-rate amenities.
It is regarded as one of the ten most sustainable cities in the country. City buses run on natural gas, government vehicles run on alternative fuels, and all buildings must comply with green building codes. Bike paths are plentiful, and they crisscross every part of the city.
Santa Monica, nearby Venice, and Alsace have collectively earned the nickname Silicon Beach. The favorable weather and SoCal lifestyle draw many tech firms to the area, from startups to large internet companies wanting to locate their regional offices here. The upward swing demand for workers has been a driver of housing growth in recent years, both in the pace of construction and upward pressure on home prices.
The City of Santa Monica provides law enforcement services separate from the City of Los Angeles. There are two hospitals and top-notch public transportation services (The Blue Bus and Metro Trains). The Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) is convenient for aviation enthusiasts and aircraft owners.
Santa Monica has a mild weather, revitalizing ocean breezes and sunshine on most days. Beware the marine layer; summer temperatures are usually chilly compared to inland communities, say 72 degrees. That’s the small price one pays to live near the water. Winter temperatures average between 53 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Purportedly named after Saint Monica by Spanish explorers in the late 1700s, Santa Monica has been fondly called “City of Inspiration” or “City by the Sea” over the years. Founded in 1875 by mining tycoon Senator Jones, Santa Monica was then incorporated in 1886. It experienced a boom in the 1920s and another in the 1960s when the Santa Monica Freeway opened. Today, the city is home to more than 90,000 people.
Santa Monica Amenities
Santa Monicans frequent casual neighborhood restaurants and farmer’s markets and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Maintaining an active lifestyle here is easy. The beach is an obvious recreational choice for many. But dig in a little deeper, and you will find several jogging/cycling paths and pocket parks, too.
Santa Monica State Beach
State Monica State Beach stretches 3.5 miles north and south of the Santa Monica Pier. It has a paved path for biking and running and a beautiful beach for surfing, volleyball and picnics at the beach.
Annenberg Community Beach House, along with several private clubs, are also located here. South of the pier, Venice’s Muscle Beach has been fixture since the 1930s with its extensive outdoor gym and boardwalk lined with eclectic stores.
North of Santa Monica, Will Rogers Beach provides the locals with a less crowded option. If you’re not biking there, expect to pay a nominal parking fee for the day.
Santa Monica Farmers Markets
Santa Monica boasts four weekly farmers markets including Downtown Santa Monica’s Wednesday and Saturday markets, Pico Farmers Market and Ocean Park Sunday Market. These markets have received high praise for their fresh produce and flowers. In fact, they’ve been rated the best in the country by Travel+Leisure.
Santa Monica Public Library
SaMo’s main branch is located in the center of Downtown, and four other branches reside in the Pico, Montana, Ocean Park and Fairview neighborhoods. You’ll never be far from a quiet place to study, take a class, join a book discussion, or check out a book.
Parks & Recreation
Palisades Park is the 26.4-acre park situated atop the bluffs along Ocean Avenue. Visitors love the view and locals a come here for a daily run, bike ride, yoga session, or to enjoy sunset view.
Situated at Ocean Park and 25th Street, Clover Park has a plethora of activities for kids and adults alike. With a baseball field, basketball court, tennis courts and two playgrounds, you can stay all day. And it’s a relaxing spot for a picnic or BBQ.
Douglas Park has lawn bowling, tennis, and a grassy knoll nestled above a duck pond. Located at Wilshire and 25th Street, this park even has a clubhouse available to rent for private events.
Tongva Park is located on Ocean Avenue only minutes from the beach and Santa Monica Pier. It has multiple climbing structures and a splash pad for kids, with stunning overlooks of the beach to enjoy at sunset.
Santa Monica Stairs
The Santa Monica Stairs draw folks looking for a cardio workout that is guaranteed to make you “feel the burn.” Two sets of stairs are available, a metal set at 4th Street and Adelaide Drive and a wooden set 500 feet up Adelaide between 4th and 7th.
Will Rogers State Park
Just north of Santa Monica in Pacific Palisades, 186-acre Will Rogers Park is a prime spot for hiking, with a 2-mile loop to Inspiration Point or longer hikes along the Backbone Trail. You can also ride horses here, which is how the park’s namesake Will Rogers preferred to experience it. And if you bring your dog, make sure it is on a leash or risk getting a fine.
Shopping & Dining
Third Street Promenade
Since the late 1800s, Third Street Promenade has been the main shopping district in the city. Through this bustling open-air shopping center, you will find national clothing, sporting goods, and homeware brands. Charming cafes, restaurants, gourmet coffee shops, and bakeries also line the walkway. There are three movie theaters and an arthouse theater on 2nd Street.
Adjacent to Abbot Kinney, the Main Street district offers an array of boutique stores and restaurants. There are also some luxury hotels nearby, including Casa Del Mar and Shutters on the Beach, both of which offer gorgeous terraces and beachside dining experiences.
Montana Avenue houses upscale boutiques and mainstay restaurants, including several Italian classics and the neighborhood favorite, Father’s Office. Yoga and Pilates studios also line this street.
With ample free parking just off the 1-10 and 26th Street, Bergamot Station offers the SaMo community more than 40 art galleries to peruse. Weekly events include receptions, screenings, talks and pop-up events.
Adjacent to Santa Monica, Venice’s famous Abbot Kinney enclave caters to both the Silicon Beach and artist communities. The street is full of funky cafes and pop-up shops mixed with fine dining and high-end boutiques. It also hosts First Fridays each month, with food trucks, happy hour specials and other special events.
Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier houses Pacific Park with the world’s first solar-powered Ferris wheel and other amusement park attractions. The pier also hosts summer concerts and open-air movie screenings, drawing the whole Westside community.
Harvelle’s Santa Monica
Harvelle’s is the oldest music venue on the Westside (est. 1931), famous not only for its blues and jazz shows but also for its weekly burlesque performances.
Santa Monica Playhouse
The community playhouse has been a part of the Downtown scene for over 50 years. It is a true gem, perfect for an intimate live theater experience. Its calendar of events ranges from musicals and plays to holiday specials and kid-friendly shows.
Santa Monica Schools
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) operates the public schools in the city and to communities north of town, up to and including Malibu. Not only does it cover a lot of ground, but it also serves over 11,000 students.
The district is recognized for its educational excellence and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Three schools have earned National Blue Ribbon Schools honors. SMMUSD has a handy map finder tool to look up schools by street address.
Santa Monica residents also have a choice to send their kids to any one of eleven local private schools.
There is one public junior college in town, Santa Monica College. It serves over 30,000 students and offers classes in 90 academic fields. It operates the main campus on Pico Boulevard and five satellite campuses. It is also home to the ever-popular KRCW radio station.
Santa Monica Statistics
- Estimated Population: 92,478
- Land Area: 8.57 square miles
- Population Density: 10,790 people per square mile (Average)
- Zip Code(s): 90401, 90402, 90403, 90404, 90405
- Elevation: 105 feet
- Rapp Saloon (1875) is Santa Monica’s oldest structure. This masonry building first opened its doors as a beer hall and later became the city’s first City Hall.
- In the 1930s, Santa Monica had a brief stint as the city’s prime location for filming. But directors looking for a perfect daytime shot found that waiting for the fog to burn off was a time waster, so they moved east to Hollywood.
- Initially designed to protect the sewage pipe dumping treated sewage into the Pacific, Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park is one of the city’s most popular attractions, with its 160,000 LED solar-powered Ferris wheel towering above.
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