Santa Monica, though a part of the Westside, is a city onto itself. Its diverse and growing population is reflected in its housing. There are apartments, condominiums, and townhomes with direct entrance from private garages. The single family homes run the gamut from smaller homes to larger, grander properties. Full service condominiums overlook the Pacific Ocean and for a lucky few there are homes right on the sand. Santa Monica is famous for its pier, its art community and active outdoor lifestyle.
Families also move to the area for the elementary schools and Santa Monica City College is an important institution to Angelinos of all ages. It provides the education and preparation that enable students to successfully transfer to a four year college at an affordable price.
For window shopping and relaxing afternoons, Montana Avenue located three blocks north of Wilshire Blvd., offers charming boutiques, nouveau restaurants and specialty stores for interior design furnishings. Between Olympic and Pico Blvds. there is the Bergamot Station, a historic train station that has been transformed into a dynamic art center with numerous art galleries, and unusual shops.
Whether strolling along the bluffs on Ocean Avenue, playing volleyball on the beach, or biking, jogging and rollerblading the length of the 22-mile bike path, persons of all ages take advantage of the chance to be outdoors. For many tourists Santa Monica’s beach is number one on their list of favorite destinations.
The development of shops and restaurants around the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place Mall and the upscale Shutters, Casa del Mar and Loews Hotels at the beach have contributed to the popularity of this area.