One of the most coveted places to live in all of Southern California, Santa Monica stands out for its seaside location, its hip, sophisticated downtown core just steps from the beach, its thriving social and cultural scenes and access to a wealth of recreational activities. The town has experienced major revitalization during the last two decades, resulting in job growth and increased tourism.
The modern-day history of Santa Monica began with its founding in 1875; the first year residential lots were sold. By 1886, the year of the town’s incorporation, it had a thriving business district fronting Santa Monica Bay, an expansive pier and a popular hotel. The following two decades brought prosperity to the town’s business community and tourism industry, with much of the action centered at the waterfront where five amusement piers had sprung up. The initial portion of what is now the world-famous Santa Monica Pier was constructed in 1909.
Over the years, the town has been the birthplace of many businesses, traditions and pastimes – from the Douglas Aircraft Company, to beach volleyball. Its rich history fills volumes and its approximately 88,000 residents are among the most highly educated in the country, with nearly one-quarter holding graduate degrees.
- Public schools are governed by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. There are 10 private elementary and secondary schools in addition to Santa Monica College, Frederick S. Pardee RAND Graduate School and The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles.
- Dozens of films and TV shows have been shot here since 1929.