March 17th, 2021 at 11:00 am

Santa Monica is Southern California at its most iconic. Thanks to its streets lined with palm trees and bougainvillea, the crash of the surf, and the bustle of downtown, Santa Monica embodies the best of sea and sky, city and small town.

If you’ve ever pictured yourself living in a Southern California paradise, you might just be dreaming of Santa Monica. But what is living in Santa Monica really like? This local’s guide will take you through the in’s and out’s of this West Coast jewel, including:

Quick facts about living in Santa Monica

The laidback California lifestyle meets world-class amenities and gorgeous scenery in Santa Monica. Ranked the best suburb of California, it’s no wonder so many flock to this stunning city by the sea. Here are some quick facts about Santa Monica sourced by Niche.

Real estate

Thanks to the recent spike in startups and tech companies moving their headquarters to Santa Monica, Silicon Beach has experienced a housing boom. While housing might be plenty, newcomers have a variety of neighborhoods to choose from if they decide to put down roots in this stunning suburb.

Local’s Tip: There’s truly something in Santa Monica for everyone. But to find your own piece of this Los Angeles county wonderland, you’ll need a local’s keen eye and expertise. The agents of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties can help you find your new home in Silicon Beach. Give our Santa Monica office a call any time and we’ll help you find your perfect neighborhood. 

Neighborhood culture

California’s laidback culture meets urban amenities in Santa Monica. From exquisite dining to sweet surfing excursions, the city offers something for everyone.

Fun & activities

While Santa Monica and surfing go hand in hand, there’s more to do in Santa Monica than catch a wave. 

Local’s Tip: With such an assortment of new and old in Santa Monica, a stroll through the local neighborhoods can be an adventure in itself. Residents discover something new in every exploration, from mosaic-covered houses to office-buildings shaped like binoculars.


Santa Monica is home to many hungry foodies. The Santa Monica food scene offers a diverse array of cuisines of impeccable quality. Here are just a few local favorites to check out: 

Night life

After watching the sun sink below the Pacific from Palisades Park, where do locals go to enjoy the night? Not far. The nightlife in Santa Monica is as busy and vibrant as its day life. Scores of bars and restaurants line the streets from Ocean Avenue to the edges of North of Montana and Sunset Park.

Here are just a few notable evening experiences: 

Local’s Tip: Not sure where to start your evening? Start with a happy hour. The city of Santa Monica offers a comprehensive list of local-approved happy hours. From there, ask your bartender what’s happening nearby for an authentic Santa Monica adventure.


Ranked among the top 20 best school districts in California, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School district is a boon to local families. Small classroom sizes and excellent teachers help build a strong academic future for young Santa Monicans. 

Here is the district’s report card (graded by Niche):

While the public school offerings at Santa Monica are stellar, families have plenty of private schools to choose from as well. They include:

Local’s Tip: If you’re thinking of moving your family to Santa Monica, looking for homes in the right school district is essential. It can help to have a local’s perspective on which neighborhoods lead to the right schools. And we know exactly where you can find friendly locals, knowledgeable in all things Santa Monica Unified—the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties Santa Monica office.

Give us a call and we can help guide you to an amazing neighborhood near the perfect school for your child. 

Catch a wave to Santa Monica with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

When it comes to Southern California cities, Santa Monica shines. Excellent schools, incredible beach access, Pacific Ocean views, exciting nightlife, and a mouth-watering food-scene set Santa Monica apart from others on the West Coast.

Let Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties help you and your family find your own little niche in this rich city. Whether you’re looking for a townhome in the heart of downtown or a quiet mid-century home tucked away in Ocean Park, a Santa Monica REALTOR® can help you find your dream home so you can become a Santa Monica local.   

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