Santa Monica, California

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Santa Monica, California

Introduction to Santa Monica, California

Incorporated in 1886, the California coastal city of Santa Monica has been renowned as a famed resort town since the early 20th century. Enclosed in an 8.3 square-mile area, the city is pedestrian-friendly, rich with beaches and bike trails, and replete with world-class restaurants and shops. Its location (only eight miles north of Los Angeles International Airport and a short drive from downtown Los Angeles) also makes it accessible by car to virtually every major visitor destination in Southern California.

Several major roads combine to define Santa Monica's transportation matrix. The Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10) originates in Santa Monica and proceeds eastward all the way across the USA, traversing seven states before terminating in Jacksonville, Florida. California State Highway 1 (also known as the Pacific Coast Highway) passes through Santa Monica on its way from California's southern to northern boundaries. California State Route 2 (Santa Monica Boulevard) begins in Santa Monica and continues northeast across Los Angeles County. Historic U.S. Route 66, an east-west highway originating in Chicago and spanning the western portion of the United States, terminates at the Santa Monica Pier.

Universities and colleges located within a 15-mile radius of Santa Monica include UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Valley College, West Los Angeles College, Los Angeles Southwest College, and West Valley Occupational Center.

Some interesting Santa Monica facts:

  • In 1921, Donald W. Douglas founded the Douglas Aircraft Company locating his first plant on Wilshire Boulevard.
  • A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Monica Canyon and the Santa Monica Pier known as the "Gold Coast" became fashionable in the 1930s for celebrity beach homes. Some of the film stars who resided here included Norma Talmadge, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks, and in later years, Peter Lawford.
  • The 3,000-seat Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was the host site of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annual Oscar awards ceremony during the years 1961 through 1968.
  • The rock and roll club The Cheetah, which closed its doors in 1968, had been home to early performances by such acts as The Doors, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, The Mothers of Invention, and others.
  • The popular sitcom Three's Company (late 1970s/early 1980s) was set in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica Arts and Entertainment:

Santa Monica is defined by eight easily approachable districts, each featuring its own mix of shopping, dining and entertainment options. The Santa Monica Pier is a bustling locale which evokes the atmosphere of an historic beach front carnival and houses a number of entertainment venues, including: The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome (carousel), a National Historic Landmark; Pacific Park, LA's only admission-free amusement park with rides, games, food, and retail shops; the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium; the La Monica Ballroom; and the Playland Arcade. Every fall the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosts The Taste of Santa Monica on the Pier, where visitors can sample food and drink from Santa Monica restaurants.

Art and culture are predominant in the city of Santa Monica, home to over 120 museums and art galleries. Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound that includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art and additionally houses the single largest concentration of galleries in Santa Monica. The Broadway Gallery Complex displays contemporary art originating both locally and internationally. The 18th Street Arts Complex exhibits the collective art of several organizations. Some of the city's museums include the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum, Angels Attic Museum, the California Heritage Museum, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

Santa Monica is also home to an array of Farmer's Markets, held regularly on various weekdays at various locations. The markets offer exhibitions by local chefs, samples of breads, cheeses, and other foodstuffs, fresh cut flowers, live music, and more. Pony rides and face painting are offered at the Sunday markets held on Main Street.

Other Los Angeles area and nearby Southern California attractions are located only a short drive away from Santa Monica. To name a few:

  • Beverly Hills: Includes the Rodeo Drive Shopping District
  • Hollywood: Includes historic Hollywood Blvd and the Hollywood Bowl
  • Malibu: A famous 27-mile stretch of beach, which many movie stars call home
  • Marina del Rey
  • Disneyland
  • Universal Studios
  • Sony Pictures Studio Tours: Locale where Spiderman and The Wizard of Oz were filmed
  • Knott's Berry Farm
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain

Serious fans of the sport of rugby will recognize Santa Monica as home to the Santa Monica Rugby Club. Founded in 1972, the club has had great success since its conception, most recently winning back-to-back SCRFU (Southern California Rugby Football Union) championships in 2005 and 2006. The Club has accepted an offer to join the Rugby Super League, which is the top level of club rugby in the United States, for its 2007 season.

Fans of other Major League professional sports can find plenty of action in the nearby Los Angeles area, home to several teams including the L.A. Dodgers (MLB), the L.A. Kings (NHL), the L.A. Clippers (NBA), the L.A. Lakers (NBA), the L.A. Galaxy (soccer), the L.A. Avengers (Arena football), and the L.A. Riptide (lacrosse).

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High Points

Santa Monica strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in California):

Category Trophy
Well-Paid Single Women
(vs. Peers)
Top 1% trophy Santa Monica Well-Paid Single Women
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Santa Monica Well-Paid Single Men
College Educated Adults
(vs. Peers)
Top 6% Santa Monica College Educated Adults
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 9% Santa Monica Walking and Biking to Work
Median Family Income
(vs. Peers)
Top 15% Santa Monica Median Family Income

Comparative Profile of Santa Monica, California

Comparing Santa Monica to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in California (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Well-Paid Single Women 10 10
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Age of the Population 9 8
Senior Citizens 7 8
Racial Diversity 7 5
Female Share of the Population 6 8
Male Share of the Population 5 3
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 1 1
Average Household Size 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 10 10
Median Family Income 9 9
People in Middle Class or Better 6 7
People Above Poverty 5 6

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Working at Home 10 10
Walking and Biking to Work 10 9
Public Transportation Use 8 8
Short Commute Times 5 7


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Living Alone 10 10
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 10 10
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 10 9
Housing Recently Built 4 3
Affordability of Rents 3 5
Affordability of Property Taxes 2 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Property Crime 5 4
Low Violent Crime 3 2

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Santa Monica Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 14 miles W of Los Angeles, California
County Los Angeles
Standard Zip Codes 90401, 90402, 90403, 90404, 90405
P.O. Box Zip Codes 90406, 90407, 90408, 90409, 90410, 90411
Phone Area Codes 310
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 34.019
Longitude -118.49

Santa Monica Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 1.5 miles
Jan Temp 50 to 64 F
Apr Temp 54 to 63 F
Jul Temp 62 to 69 F
Oct Temp 59 to 70 F
Annual Precip 13.2 inches
Station U C L A
Distance 4 miles
Jan Temp 49 to 66 F
Apr Temp 53 to 69 F
Jul Temp 62 to 77 F
Oct Temp 59 to 75 F
Annual Precip 18.6 inches
Distance 11 miles
Jan Temp 49 to 68 F
Apr Temp 54 to 73 F
Jul Temp 65 to 84 F
Oct Temp 60 to 79 F
Annual Precip 15.1 inches
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Santa Monica Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 84,084 100%
Male 40,517 48.2%
Female 43,567 51.8%
Under 18 12,314 14.6%
18+ 71,770 85.4%
65+ 12,078 14.4%
Median Age 39.3
Average Family Size 2.8
White 65,832 78.3%
African-American 3,176 3.8%
Asian 6,100 7.3%
American Indian & Alaskan 396 0.5%
Other 5,019 6%
Mixed Race 3,475 4.1%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 11,304 13.4%

Estimated Santa Monica Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 87,800
Growth 3,716
Growth % 4.4%

Santa Monica Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 29.8%
English 7.7%
German 7.4%
Irish 7.3%
Russian 6.2%
Italian 5.8%
US/American 3.7%
Iranian 3.4%
Polish 2.8%
French (except Basque) 2.1%
Scottish 2%
European 1.6%
Swedish 1.6%
British 1.3%
Scotch-Irish 1.2%
Norwegian 1.1%
Dutch 1%
Ukrainian 1%
Hungarian 0.9%
Lithuanian 0.8%
Greek 0.7%
Eastern European 0.7%
Austrian 0.7%
Danish 0.6%
Armenian 0.5%
French Canadian 0.5%
Welsh 0.5%
African 0.4%
Swiss 0.4%
Canadian 0.4%
Czech 0.4%
Romanian 0.4%
Israeli 0.3%
Lebanese 0.3%
Egyptian 0.3%
Portuguese 0.2%
Croatian 0.2%
Australian 0.2%
Turkish 0.2%
Yugoslavian 0.2%
Finnish 0.2%
South African 0.2%
Scandinavian 0.2%
Serbian 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Santa Monica 84,084 $75,989
Beverly Hills 33,784 $102,611
Culver City 38,816 $61,451
El Segundo 16,033 $74,007
Inglewood 112,580 $36,541
Manhattan Beach 33,852 $122,686
West Hollywood 35,716 $41,463

Santa Monica Public Libraries

Santa Monica Public Library
1343 SIXTH ST.
Santa Monica, California
(310) 458-8600

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Santa Monica Hospitals

(Government - State)
1250 16TH STREET
(310) 319-4000
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
1328 22ND ST
(310) 829-5511
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Santa Monica

(As of 2005)
15th & Montana
1426 Montana Avenue
3rd & Santa Monica, Santa Monica
1356 Third Street Promenade
7th & Montana Avenue
701 Montana Avenue
3105 Wilshire Blvd.
2627 Lincoln Blvd.
Colorado & Cloverfield
2200 Colorado Blvd.
Lincoln & Marine
3020 Lincoln Blvd
Main & Navy
3110 Main Street
2671 Main Street
2901 Ocean Park Blvd.
Third Street (B&N)
308 Wilshire Blvd.
Vons-Santa Monica
1311 Wilshire Blvd
Vons-Santa Monica
710 Broadway
2525 Wilshire Blvd.
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Santa Monica High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 3,449 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.9

A Non-traditional School
Serves 145 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18.1

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Seattle, Washington 92.4   40.8% 12% 47.2% 26 $62,195 4.7% 29.9% 563,374 11.8% 76 0.7% 6.7
2. San Francisco, California 90.8   38.6% 13.7% 45% 32 $63,545 4.1% 50.3% 776,733 11.3% 46.2 1.1% 7.4
3. Morristown, New Jersey 90.3   38.6% 12.4% 39.3% 25 $66,419 5.5% 32.9% 18,544 11.5% 39.5 1% 7.1
4. Beverly Hills, California 89.7   38.1% 17.6% 54.5% 25 $102,611 3.7% 14.9% 33,784 9.1% 33.8 0.9% 4.1
5. Capitola, California 88.5   36.7% 14.2% 34.6% 30 $59,473 4.9% 16.2% 10,033 7% 98.4 8% 7
6. Coral Gables, Florida 88.5   31.7% 15.8% 58.3% 24 $98,553 4.9% 8.2% 42,249 6.9% 59.1 1.7% 3.8
7. Hackensack, New Jersey 88.3   39.8% 12.5% 29.1% 29 $56,953 5.8% 47.4% 42,677 9.3% 27.3 0.6% 3.3
8. Red Bank, New Jersey 86.5   42.9% 18.3% 31.9% 31 $63,333 5.8% 31.8% 11,844 12% 24 0.5% 3.6
9. Jacksonville Beach, Florida 83.3   34.6% 13% 29.9% 25 $58,388 5% 9.1% 20,990 7.2% 65.7 3.4% 7.6
10. Altamonte Springs, Florida 82.7   36.7% 10.7% 31.2% 26 $49,082 5.9% 20.8% 41,200 7.4% 36 1% 3.4
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