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The Neighborhood Of Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, situated on Santa Monica Bay. It is surrounded by the Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east and Venice on the southeast.

Santa Monica is home to executives and Hollywood celebrities amongst others and it is a mixture of affluent, single-family neighborhoods, renters, surfers, young professionals, and students. Santa Monica is named after Saint Monica of Hippo because the area in which the city is now located was first visited by Spaniards on her feast day.

The Area

Santa Monica has three shopping districts, Montana Avenue on the north side of the city, the Downtown District in the city's core, and Main Street on the south end of the city. Each of these districts has its own unique feel and personality. Montana Avenue is a stretch of boutique stores, restaurants, and small offices that generally features more upscale shopping. The Main Street district offers an eclectic mix of clothing, restaurants, and other specialty retail.

The Downtown District is the home of the Third Street Promenade, a major outdoor pedestrian-only shopping district that stretches for three blocks between Wilshire Blvd. and Broadway. Third Street is closed to vehicles for those three blocks to allow people to stroll, congregate, shop and enjoy street performers. Santa Monica Place, the indoor mall designed by Frank Gehry, is located at the south end of the Promenade. After a period of redevelopment, the mall reopened in the fall of 2010 as a modern shopping-entertainment complex with more outdoor space.

The oldest movie theater in the city is the Majestic. Also known as the Mayfair Theatre, the theater which opened in 1912 has been closed since the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The Aero Theater and Criterion Theater were built in the 1930s and still show movies.

The Santa Monica Steps, a long, steep staircase that leads from north of San Vicente down into Santa Monica Canyon, is a popular spot for all-natural outdoor workouts. Some area residents have complained that the stairs have become too popular, and attract too many exercisers to the wealthy neighborhood of multimillion-dollar properties.

 
Ocean Avenue at sunset.

The city rests on a mostly flat slope that angles down towards Ocean Avenue and towards the south. High bluffs separate the north side of the city from the beaches.

 
Wilshire Boulevard in Downtown Santa Monica at twilight.

Classified as a moderate Mediterranean climate, Santa Monica enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year. Because of its location, nestled on the vast and open Santa Monica Bay, morning fog is a common phenomenon in May, June and early July (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents). Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon. Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun can be shining east of 20th Street, while the beach area is overcast.

Santa Monica usually enjoys a cool breeze blowing in from the ocean, keeping the air fresh and clean. Therefore, smog is less of a problem for Santa Monica than elsewhere around Los Angeles.

 

Santa Monica beach and pier viewed from the end of Santa Monica Pier.

Neighborhoods

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