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Santa Monica has given us some of the most iconic images of Los Angeles. Thanks in large part to frequent representation in popular culture, it’s one of the most recognizable cities in the world. From its pristine beach and scenic sunsets by the Santa Monica Pier to the lively bustle of people soaking in the easy Southern California lifestyle, this coastal city epitomizes what it means to live and breathe LA.
But that’s not all that Santa Monica has to offer. Look beyond the vibrant nightlife scene and famous tourist attractions and you’ll discover several pockets of tranquility and calm, as well as a community that’s steeped in culture and a love of nature. For anyone looking at homes for sale here, whether it be a long-distance move or simply relocating from downtown LA, Santa Monica is a superb choice and plays to an array of lifestyle preferences.
When you look at homes for sale in Santa Monica, you're opening the options for a lifestyle that offers it all.
Table of Contents:
- Santa Monica
- How Old Is Santa Monica?
- What Does Santa Monica Real Estate Have to Offer?
- Top Attractions
- Learn More About Santa Monica With Sharona Alperin
- Homes for Sale in Santa Monica
Where is Santa Monica located?
Santa Monica is situated in the easternmost section of LA, along the South Coast of California.
With the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Santa Monica Mountains to the north, and the rest of LA to the east, Santa Monica’s residents are surrounded by natural wonders and have easy access to top-tier urban amenities.
For instance, Los Angeles National Airport is only about 15 minutes away by car. The same goes for Beverly Hills and Downtown LA (if you take the I-10), which are great spots to shop and dine. West Hollywood, which is 20 minutes away, is where you’ll find some of LA’s storied bars and nightlife attractions.
Santa Monica sits on mostly flat land which has a slight angle towards its three-mile coastline and the bay. Lying along the Southern California coastline gives Santa Monica great weather all-year round. Blessed with over 300 days of sunshine and zero chance of snowfall, the city is a haven for outdoor recreation. Due to its seaside location, summers in Santa Monica can be relatively cooler than other parts of LA when refreshing breezes sweep in from the sea.
What’s it like to live in Santa Monica?
Santa Monica has a way of attracting people who may have varying lifestyles, but desire the same thing: a casual and relaxed community where life revolves around the water and spectacular sunsets. Whether you prefer admiring a scenic location in solace or love mingling with people during festivities by the beach, there’s no one way to experience this fantastic seaside LA community.
It’s a laid-back city with several vibrant spots where locals and visitors can enjoy all the perks of beachfront living. If you look closer and spend a bit more time here, you’ll find a cultured community that’s passionate and creative. And while there’s no hiding the fact that many residents here are fairly wealthy, if not outright billionaires, there’s an air of understated luxury that’s noticeable almost everywhere you go.
How old is Santa Monica?
As a city, Santa Monica is over 130 years old. Its origins can be traced back to the time when it was known as Rancho Santa Vicente y Santa Monica (owned by the Sepúlveda
Family from 1839 to 1872). But the area where modern-day Santa Monica was built is much older and has witnessed millennia of human settlement. The Tongva or Gabrieliño people once inhabited the Los Angeles Basin, north Orange County, and the Southern Channel and San Clemente Islands in far larger numbers than today.
When Colonel Robert S. Baker purchased the rancho from Francisco Sepúlveda in 1872, he had big plans in mind. Baker envisioned a port town that would become a magnet for commerce, but he needed a partner to make it happen. In 1874, he was introduced to a like-minded visionary in Senator John P. Jones of Nevada. Although their shared-dream of a robust port city failed to materialize and commercial development wasn’t as rapid as they initially foresaw, the fledgling town increasingly became more appealing as a resort-like residential community.
What does Santa Monica real estate have to offer?
Expect premium real estate prices in Santa Monica, where homes go for sale anywhere from $530,000 (for a modest condominium) to over $60 million (for a spacious luxury estate). The northwestern section of the city is where you’ll find high-priced properties and some of the most affluent neighborhoods. The housing stock has a good mix of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, apartment complexes, as well as a very small selection of vacant land. Many sought-after homes have waterfront access and even rarer properties sit on half-acre to multi-acre estates.
In terms architectural styles, you’ll find any of the following in Santa Monica:
- Tudor Revival
- Mediterranean Revival
- Modern farmhouse
A big draw for discerning buyers is Santa Monica’s rich real estate history. Guard-gated and exclusive neighborhoods typically contain generational homes, many of which were once the homes of famous actors, entertainment moguls, and titans of industry.
To say that there’s a wealth of attractions and activities in Santa Monica is an understatement. From performing arts theaters to swanky rooftop bars, here are a few must-visit places throughout the city:
Shopping and entertainment
- Farmers Market – Many Santa Monica residents consider a trip to the Farmers Market a mandatory weekly ritual. Here you’ll find an abundance of the freshest in-season produce and speciality food items. There are four weekly farmers markets that set-up shop in the downtown area, Pico District, and along Main Street.
- Third street Promenade – Located in the downtown heart of Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade is the go-to place for retail therapy. From contemporary chains and luxury brands to charming local boutiques, there’s something here for every type of shopper. There’s also an array of dining and entertainment options in the area that are perfect for a relaxed weekend out with friends and family.
- Santa Monica Pier – If any of the sights and attractions here look familiar, it’s because they’ve been depicted countless times in films, television, and video games (Beverly Hills Cop, Iron Man, Forest Gump ). Since its completion in 1909, the Santa Monica Pier is where residents and tourists alike enjoy the very best that the city has to offer. From carnival rides and games to music events and top notch restaurants.
Museums and the local art scene
- The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage – Opening its doors to the public in 2008, this modern 500-seater theater showcases opera, dance, film, jazz performances, musicals, and family-friendly plays. The likes of Bobby McFerrin, Helen Hunt, and André Watts have performed in the Broad Stage’s immense proscenium stage. The Edye, a more intimate 100-seat black box theater, offers audiences an even more splendid viewing experience.
- Santa Monica History Museum – For a deeper dive into the city’s origins and regional history, the Santa Monica History Museum is a must-visit. It has six permanent exhibits that explore the indigenous peoples’ way of life, the growth of Santa Monica’s artist community, and how early pioneers built the foundations of a beach-loving community. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy examining the museum’s 600,000+ prints, negatives, and glass-plate slides.
- Bergamot Station Arts Center – Whether you’re intro art, architecture or delicious eats, consider dropping by at Bergamot. A thought-provoking contemporary art collection showcases the diverse talent of local artists, while the gallery’s innovative re-purposing of what’s essentially railway infrastructure is a spark of inspiration. Grab a bite to eat at the Bergamot Cafe, which proudly describes itself as “school recess for adults, without the peanut butter and jelly.”
- Rusty’s Surf Ranch – Check out Rusty’s for the quintessential seaside restaurant experience in Santa Monica. This casual seafood joint exudes a dynamic ambiance while serving up scrumptious favorites like shrimp and chips, Rusty’s Burger, and its own take on the Philly Cheesesteak.
- Élephante – You might just mistake Santa Monica to be the southern coast of Italy while dining in scenic Élephante, a local restaurant serving authentic Southern Italian cuisine. A rooftop bar and restaurant offers some of the best views in the city. Élephante is owned and operated by renowned designer and restaurateur, Nicholas Mathers.
- Birdie G’s – If you’re craving for traditional American cooking done right, Birdie G’s is highly recommended. Housed in a barnhouse-style structure, this restaurant serves up delectable classics, from lamb and duck to cornbread and mushrooms.
- The Original Muscle Beach – This iconic public beach is a favorite playground of gymnasts, bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts in general. The “original” label helps to differentiate it from its counterpart in neighboring Venice. Equipped with ring swings, parallel bars, and pull-up bars, Muscle Beach is open to anyone who wants to get a quick workout done or showcase their impressive physique for everyone to see.
- Tongva Park – A verdant urban park just minutes away from the Santa Monica Pier. Filled with a variety of plants, trees, sculptures, and amenities, the six-acre Tongva Park is frequented by families looking for space to bask in nature and culture. A splash pad and playground are favorites among kids.
Learn more about Santa Monica with Sharona Alperin
If you want to find your dream home in Santa Monica, the best approach is to work with a top Realtor in the area. There’s no better professional to work with than LA-born and 30-year real estate veteran, Sharona Alperin. Get in touch with Sharona Alperin today by phone or via email and start your journey to a better place in the Caifornian sun.