Best Places to Live in Santa Monica

Situated along Santa Monica Bay, Santa Monica is part of a larger area known as “Silicon Beach” due to the area's fame for being the home of many startups and more than 500 tech companies. Santa Monica is located within Los Angeles County and is widely known as a fantastic place to live. While Santa Monica is a beach community, it also offers city amenities, making it one of our favorite Westside cities.

Our Favorite Neighborhoods, Communities, and Condos in Santa Monica

Santa Monica residents love the beachy feel of the area, combined with the convenience and access to jobs, dining, entertainment, and the convenience of the city. While many residents are younger professionals, the area is incredibly diverse and home to highly-rated schools. While it can be cost-prohibitive, a short visit to Santa Monica will show you why this is a desirable area that truly offers something for everyone.

Downtown

Downtown Santa Monica is the most densely populated community on this list and is popular due to the convenience and walkability of the area. Located between Colorado Ave & Wilshire and the beach & 14th St; the downtown area is the densest part of the city and offers an amazing variety of shopping, dining, & entertainment options in a very walkable area. From the 3rd Street Promenade to the Farmer's Market, residents love this friendly community's convenience and diversity. Downtown offers a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, just steps from the beach, making it popular with residents of all ages.

Downtown Santa Monica has few single-family homes, but there are a variety of condos throughout the area, including the Sea Colony Townhomes.

North of Montana

North of Montana stretches from Montana Ave northwest to the edge of Santa Monica Canyon & from the beach to 26th St. It's a sophisticated & exclusive Santa Monica neighborhood known for upscale homes, including many of Santa Monica's significant landmarked homes. The area offers a mix of historic and newly built homes and has its own privately funded 24-hour security patrol. The 90402 zip code is currently ranked as the 3rd most expensive zip code for home prices in the US. Along Montana Ave, you will find boutique shops and great dining options. The most exclusive portion of this neighborhood is known as Gillette Regent Square and is extremely desirable due to its extra-large lots. Gillette Regent Square goes from 17th St to 21st Pl & Montana Ave to San Vicente Blvd.

Northeast

The Northeast neighborhood starts at Wilshire Blvd to Montana Ave & 21st St to Centinela Ave. Primarily residential, this area offers a good amount of single-family homes, duplexes, and condo options, making it attractive to a variety of residents. The community is walkable, with the homes on Franklin Hill showcasing great city lights and distant ocean views. Franklin Hill includes Franklin & Berkeley Streets between Lipton Ave & Montana Ave with several convenient dining and shopping options for residents. Northeast is known for being a diverse, well-educated neighborhood with quality schools and a strong sense of community.

Ocean Park

One of Santa Monica’s top-rated neighborhoods, Ocean Park goes from the beach to Lincoln Blvd and from Pico Blvd down to the border Santa Monica shares with Venice. Offering an eclectic mix of private bungalows, condos, and apartments mixed with the area’s coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, the area has easy beach access as it is the only beach neighborhood of Santa Monica that has flat access to the beach and no cliff along this section of the coast. Ocean Park has one of the nation’s highest proportions of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom properties, which make up 85% of Ocean Park’s real estate.  

Pico District

Pico is the corridor along the 10 freeway that runs from Lincoln Blvd to Centinela Ave & Olympic to Pico. With its variety of shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreational activities for residents, as well as convenient access to the interstate, many young families love the Pico area. Due to many properties in this area being quite close to the freeway, it is one of the area’s most affordable neighborhoods.

Sunset Park

An urban neighborhood with a suburban feel, Sunset Park is often compared to Ocean Park due to its eclectic mix of housing options and architectural styles. Sunset Park runs from Lincoln Blvd to Centinela Ave & from Pico to Dewey St. This area contains a good number of single-family homes with a few condos/townhomes & apartments mixed in, boasting a diverse, above-average-income neighborhood with great schools and a welcoming community. Sunset Park is home to various shops, restaurants, and parks.

Wilshire Montana

Located in the stretch from Wilshire Blvd to Montana Ave & the beach to 21st St., the aptly named Wilshire Montana neighborhood is a very walkable area. This neighborhood is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods for condos/townhomes and also offers a mix of apartments & a small number of single-family homes.

Wilshire Montana is located near downtown but far enough away that residents enjoy a more chill environment. 

Mid-City

Located near Wilshire-Montana, Mid-City is an up-and-coming neighborhood that is often more affordable than many neighboring Santa Monica communities. Mid-City begins at 14th St & goes to Centinela and from Wilshire Blvd to Colorado Ave, and offers a combination of single-family homes and condominiums, with a great mix of dining and entertainment. The portion of this area that is east of 26th St is known as the College Streets, as all those streets are named after various colleges.

Living in Santa Monica

Whether you prefer the beauty of an oceanfront home, an oceanfront condo for sale, or the abundant amenities offered by Santa Monica’s luxury condos, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home in this charming beach community. Check out our blog for more info on moving to Santa Monica. If you are just moving across town or to a different Santa Monica neighborhood be sure to check out our Free Home Valuation Tool. It's fast, free, and done by our Santa Monica home value experts. 

And if you're wondering. "Is Santa Monica a good place to retire?" We've got a blog post outlining the top retirement communities in Santa Monica too.

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