Santa Monica

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Santa Monica was once a sleepy beach town, However, has become a sophisticated, energetic community that offers all the amenities of a big city while maintaining much of its charm and laidback atmosphere. Historic buildings, world-famous beaches, community parks, world-class shopping and dining and eight square miles of pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods attract people from all over the world.

Known for its great weather, Santa Monica is beautiful, sunny and breezy about 340 days a year making an active lifestyle easily accessible. Biking and skating are fun ways to get some outdoor exercise and get around town. Surfing, windsurfing and kayaking are commonly seen from the beach and hiking and mountain biking are just a short drive away in the Santa Monica Mountains Topanga State Park.

There are several neighborhood districts that comprise Santa Monica each featuring its own unique character and qualities. The Ocean Park District is a favorite with its quaint and charming streets, historic Craftsman bungalows and proximity to the ocean and to Main Street — an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, cafes, & yoga studios. Main Street hosts one of Santa Monica’s four weekly Farmers Markets — a great way to spend a Sunday morning with its teeming tables of fresh fruits & veggies, flowers, crafts, jewelry, art, pony rides & pet adoptions — all just two blocks to the beach.

Nearby Ocean Avenue has a mix of high-rise condos with spectacular ocean views and smaller scale, charming buildings with historic architecture and garden courtyards. Ocean Ave. runs parallel to Palisades Park, a two mile stretch of walking paths, grassy rest areas, palm trees, & benches for sightseeing perched on the bluffs overlooking the Santa Monica Bay.
Across the street are several art galleries, hotels and high-end, ocean view restaurants all within walking distance of the famous Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd Street Promenade — a three-block, car-free, alfresco shopping experience with national stores, boutique shops, movie theatres and casual as well as fine dining. And of course the omni-present street performers that dot the landscape keep Santa Monica’s free spirit alive.

Adjacent to the Promenade is Santa Monica Place — a newly renovated two-story, outdoor mall with flagship retail and where top of the line restaurants inhabit. A wonderful open market place adorns this mall with fresh flowers, Cheese sores, Ice Cream stands, and a eclectic array of retail.
ll-santamonica-web3From here you can walk to the finish line of the famed Route 66, the Santa Monica Pier which features a historical carousel, free Thursday night concerts in summer, an amusement park complete with rollercoaster and ferriswheel, an arcade and an aquarium. In addition, you can enjoy fantastic views of the Santa Monica Bay from Point Dume in Malibu all the way to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. In fact, from almost anywhere in Santa Monica you are likely to enjoy ocean, mountain, canyon or city views.

Sunset Park is a quiet, hilly neighborhood tucked away on Santa Monica’s eastern border with Ocean Park Blvd. providing the community with its own neighborhood goods and services. In addition to its café’s & boutiques it has a yoga studio, a nursery, a corner grocery and some cozy restaurants. Nearby Santa Monica College is a highly-respected two-year community college that attracts accomplished professors from around the world. The incredibly diverse, international student body and rich academic program make for a thriving campus of 25,000 students.
It is also one of the most affordable institutions of higher education in the world.
www.SMC.edu

Other great shopping and dining can be found on Montana Avenue, Santa Monica’s north side of town.
There are upscale boutiques, great restaurants and cafes, a public library, more of Santa Monica’s ubiquitous yoga and massage studios and the quaint, historic Aero theatre with its art deco marquis recalling Santa Monica’s small town beginnings.

Arts and entertainment abound in our little city by the sea with Bergamot Station, Santa Monica Museum of Art, the 18th St. Arts Complex, the Santa Monica Civic Center and the S.M. Historical Society Museum and more.

Santa Monica also has its own regional airport where you can take flying lessons or charter your own private jet!

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