Santa Monica is a fashionable community on the Pacific that combines the charm and relaxed style of an upscale beach town with the sophistication of a bustling city. Its history and architecture reflect the best of old and new Los Angeles. The famous Route 66 ends at The Santa Monica Pier, which also features a lively carnival and carousel loved for generations. Beautiful deco buildings line the boardwalk, and the mansion built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst for film star Marion Davies lies close to the Santa Monica Place mall, designed by Frank Gehry. The open-air Third Street Promenade has become a destination for people all over Los Angeles to stroll, shop, listen to music and take in the fresh ocean breezes. Bike trails and beaches are maintained immaculately, giving cyclists, runners, roller bladers and walkers long stretches of beachfront to enjoy during the 340 days of sunshine a year. The Mediterranean climate and evocative landscapes make Santa Monica a favorite backdrop for film, television, and artists.
Located centrally between the northern and southern beach communities, the city enjoys easy access to Westwood, Beverly Hills, Melrose, LAX and freeways to Downtown. Some of Los Angeles' most prestigious private schools are located here, along with high-ranked public schools. Santa Monica Community College is one of the biggest employers in town and draws a diverse student population. Hiking and outdoor activities are minutes away in the local canyons, Malibu, and beyond. The music and art scene is renowned, with large and small venues, impressive public art and private galleries, and the Venice creative hub to the immediate south.