At first, Santa Monica feels like a more luxurious version of your typical beachside city. There are endless strips of hot, sandy beaches, colorful buildings, and bike paths. But you’ll quickly find that this LA-adjacent city has much more to offer.

Home to an impressive array of ocean-front fine dining, designer stores, funky art shops, and art galleries, Santa Monica can cater to just about every lifestyle. Known as part of “Silicon Beach,” some of your neighbors might work for high-powered, trendy tech companies. But others might own a laidback yoga studio, or they may be artists with an affinity for surfing. It’s this diversity that makes Santa Monica so much more than your average, touristy beach town.


  • The residential crowd is made up of… A mix of modern, beachside mansions, super-luxe condos, and older homes with a charming, beachy feel.
  • The lifestyle offered is… Laidback, active, and upscale. There are all the world-class restaurants and amenities you could want, but the vibe is more relaxed and casual than other equally affluent areas. Sidewalks and bike paths are bustling with joggers, yogis, and cyclists.
  • The most popular building type you’ll find is… Mission Revival homes and commercial buildings.
  • The average home price is… $1.3 million.
  • The area’s greatest highlight is… The panoramas of the sparkling Pacific Ocean anywhere you are in the city! If you’re looking for oceanside living, Santa Monica can’t be beat.
  • The area’s best driving distance getaways are… The Ojai Valley is only an hour and a half drive north, home to the closest Southern California wineries. Venice’s iconic Abbot Kinney district is less than 15 minutes away.
  • The best spot to dine fancy is… Manchego. This Spanish restaurant offers tasty Spanish tapas, cheeses, and wine with a romantic ambiance.
  • The best spot to find entertainment is… The Santa Monica Pier. An old-school amusement park with 360-degree views of the ocean promises an evening of fun and games.
  • The best spot to go shopping is… Main Street for high-end, unique boutiques. Or, you can head to the Third Street Promenade for your favorite designer stores in a breezy, open-air mall.
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