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Santa Monica, California

santa monica california heritage museum, santa monica california
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States The city is named after the Christian saint, Monica Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, Sawtelle on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south The Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736

Partly because of its agreeable climate, Santa Monica had become a famed resort town by the early 20th century The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism The Santa Monica Pier remains a popular and iconic destination


  • 1 History
  • 2 Attractions and cultural resources
  • 3 Geography
    • 31 Climate
    • 32 Environment
    • 33 Cityscape
  • 4 Demographics
    • 41 2010
    • 42 2000
    • 43 Crime
      • 431 Gang activity
  • 5 Education
    • 51 Elementary and secondary schools
      • 511 Elementary schools
      • 512 Middle schools
      • 513 High schools
      • 514 Private schools
      • 515 Miscellaneous education
    • 52 Post-secondary
    • 53 Public library system
  • 6 Transportation
    • 61 Bicycles
    • 62 Motorized vehicles
    • 63 Bus
    • 64 Light rail
    • 65 Subway
    • 66 Airport and ports
  • 7 Emergency services
  • 8 Government
  • 9 Economy
    • 91 Top employers
  • 10 Sport
  • 11 In popular culture
    • 111 Film and television
    • 112 Literature
    • 113 Music
    • 114 Video games
  • 12 See also
  • 13 References
  • 14 External links


Main article:History of Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica was long inhabited by the Tongva people Santa Monica was called Kecheek in the Tongva language The first non-indigenous group to set foot in the area was the party of explorer Gaspar de Portolà, who camped near the present day intersection of Barrington and Ohio Avenues on August 3, 1769 There are two different versions of the naming of the city One says that it was named in honor of the feast day of Saint Monica mother of Saint Augustine, but her feast day is actually May 4 Another version says that it was named by Juan Crespí on account of a pair of springs, the Kuruvungna Springs Serra Springs, that were reminiscent of the tears that Saint Monica shed over her son's early impiety

An 1840 Santa Monica adobe home photographed in 1890

In Los Angeles, several battles were fought by the Californios Following the Mexican–American War, Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which gave Mexicans and Californios living in state certain unalienable rights US government sovereignty in California began on February 2, 1848

A busy day on the beach, 1880

In the 1870s the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad, connected Santa Monica with Los Angeles, and a wharf out into the bay The first town hall was a modest 1873 brick building, later a beer hall, and now part of the Santa Monica Hostel It is Santa Monica's oldest extant structure By 1885, the town's first hotel, was the Santa Monica Hotel

Amusement piers became enormously popular in the first decades of the 20th century and the extensive Pacific Electric Railroad brought people to the city's beaches from across the Greater Los Angeles Area

Exterior view of the Bank Building at the corner of Third Street and Broadway, Santa Monica, ca1900

Around the start of the 20th century, a growing population of Asian Americans lived in or near Santa Monica and Venice A Japanese fishing village was located near the Long Wharf while small numbers of Chinese lived or worked in both Santa Monica and Venice The two ethnic minorities were often viewed differently by White Americans who were often well-disposed towards the Japanese but condescending towards the Chinese The Japanese village fishermen were an integral economic part of the Santa Monica Bay community

Ocean Park Bathhouse

Donald Wills Douglas, Sr built a plant in 1922 at Clover Field Santa Monica Airport for the Douglas Aircraft Company In 1924, four Douglas-built planes took off from Clover Field to attempt the first aerial circumnavigation of the world Two planes made it back, after having covered 27,553 miles 44,342 km in 175 days, and were greeted on their return September 23, 1924, by a crowd of 200,000 generously estimated The Douglas Company later McDonnell Douglas kept facilities in the city until the 1960s

The Great Depression hit Santa Monica deeply One report gives citywide employment in 1933 of just 1,000 Hotels and office building owners went bankrupt In the 1930s, corruption infected Santa Monica along with neighboring Los AngelesThe federal Works Project Administration helped build several buildings in the city, most notably City Hall The main Post Office and Barnum Hall Santa Monica High School auditorium were also among several other WPA projects

Douglas's business grew astronomically with the onset of World War II, employing as many as 44,000 people in 1943 To defend against air attack set designers from the Warner Brothers Studios prepared elaborate camouflage that disguised the factory and airfield The RAND Corporation began as a project of the Douglas Company in 1945, and spun off into an independent think tank on May 14, 1948 RAND eventually acquired a 15-acre 61,000 m² campus centrally located between the Civic Center and the pier entrance

The completion of the Santa Monica Freeway in 1966 brought the promise of new prosperity, though at the cost of decimating the Pico neighborhood that had been a leading African American enclave on the Westside

Beach volleyball is believed to have been developed by Duke Kahanamoku in Santa Monica during the 1920s

Attractions and cultural resources

Santa Monica Pier entranceA busy day on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California; the south end is the entrance to Frank Gehry's Santa Monica Place

The Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome carousel is a National Historic Landmark It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, which was built in 1909 The La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was an important music venue for several decades and hosted the Academy Awards in the 1960s McCabe's Guitar Shop is still a leading acoustic performance space as well as retail outlet Bergamot Station is a city-owned art gallery compound that includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art The city is also home to the California Heritage Museum and the Angels Attic dollhouse and toy museum

Santa Monica has three main 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 luxury 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

A common bird called the California gull found on the beach

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 not the same Broadway in downtown and south Los Angeles Third Street is closed to vehicles for those three blocks to allow people to stroll, congregate, shop and enjoy street performers Santa Monica Place, featuring Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom in a three-level outdoor environment, 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 and dining complex with more outdoor space

Santa Monica hosts the annual Santa Monica Film Festival

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 now operated by the American Cinematheque and Criterion Theater were built in the 1930s and still show movies The Santa Monica Promenade alone supports more than a dozen movie screens

Palisades Park stretches out along the crumbling bluffs overlooking the Pacific and is a favorite walking area to view the ocean It includes a totem pole, camera obscura, artwork, benches, picnic areas, pétanque courts, and restrooms

Tongva Park occupies 6 acres between Ocean Avenue and Main Street, just south of Colorado Avenue The park includes an overlook, amphitheater, playground, garden, fountains, picnic areas, and restrooms

The Santa Monica Stairs, 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

Santa Monica

Natives and tourists alike have enjoyed the Santa Monica Rugby Club since 1972 The club has been very successful since its conception, most recently winning back-to-back national championships in 2005 and 2006 Santa Monica defeated the Boston Irish Wolfhounds 57-19 in the Division 1 final, convincingly claiming its second consecutive American title on June 4, 2006, in San Diego They offer Men's, Women's and a thriving children's programs The club recently joined the Rugby Super League

Every fall the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosts The Taste of Santa Monica on the Santa Monica Pier Visitors can sample food and drinks from Santa Monica restaurants Other annual events include the Business and Consumer Expo, Sustainable Quality Awards, Santa Monica Cares Health and Wellness Festival, and the State of the City The swanky Shutters on the Beach Hotel offers a trip to the famous Santa Monica Farmers Market to select and influence the materials that will become that evening's special "Market Dinner"

Santa Monica has two hospitals:Saint John's Health Center and Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center Its cemetery is Woodlawn Memorial

Santa Monica has several newspapers and magazines, including the Santa Monica Star, Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Mirror, the Santa Monica Observer, Santa Monica Magazine, and the Santa Monica Sun


The city of Santa Monica 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 Santa Monica borders the LA neighborhoods of Pacific Palisades to the north and Venice to the south To the west, Santa Monica has the 3-mile coastline fronting the Santa Monica Bay, and to the east of the city borders are the Los Angeles communities of West Los Angeles and Brentwood


Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Santa Monica at twilight

Classified as a coastal Mediterranean climate Köppen Csb, Santa Monica enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year It is located in USDA plant hardiness zone 11a 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 Like other inhabitants of the greater Los Angeles area, residents have a particular terminology for this phenomenon:the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom" Overcast skies are common during June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon In the late winter/early summer, daily fog is a phenomenon too It happens suddenly and it may last some hours or past sunset time 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 As a general rule, the beach temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit 3 to 6 degrees Celsius cooler than it is inland during summer days, and 5–10 degrees warmer during winter nights

It is also in September that highest temperatures tend to be reached It is winter, however, when the hot, dry winds of the Santa Anas are most common In contrast, temperatures exceeding 10 degrees below average are rare

The rainy season is from late October through late March Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland There is very little rain during the rest of the year Yearly rainfall totals are unpredictable as rainy years are occasionally followed by droughts There has never been any snow or frost, but there has been hail

Santa Monica usually enjoys cool breezes blowing in from the ocean, which tend to keep the air fresh and clean Therefore, smog is less of a problem for Santa Monica than elsewhere around Los Angeles However, in the autumn months of September through November, the Santa Ana winds will sometimes blow from the east, bringing smoggy and hot inland air to the beaches


Santa Monica is one of the most environmentally activist municipalities in the nation The city first proposed its Sustainable City Plan in 1992 and in 1994, was one of the first cities in the nation to formally adopt a comprehensive sustainability plan, setting waste reduction and water conservation policies for both public and private sector through its Office of Sustainability and the Environment Eighty-two percent of the city's public works vehicles now run on alternative fuels, including nearly 100% of the municipal bus system, making it among the largest such fleets in the country Santa Monica fleet vehicles and Buses now source their natural gas from Redeem, a Southern California-based supplier of renewable and sustainable natural gas obtained from non-fracked methane biogas generated from organic landfill waste

Santa Monica has adopted a Community Energy Independence Initiative, with a goal of achieving complete energy independence by 2020 vs California's already ambitious 33% renewables goal In the last 15 years, greenhouse gas emissions have been cut citywide by nearly 10% relative to 1990 levels, with further reductions being planned by the Office of Sustainability

An urban runoff facility SMURFF, the first of its kind in the US, catches and treats 35 million US gallons 13,000 m3 of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay via storm-drains and sells it back to end-users within the city for reuse as gray-water, while bio-swales throughout the city allow rainwater to percolate into and replenish the groundwater supply The groundwater supply in turn plays an important role in the city's Sustainable Water Master Plan, whereby Santa Monica has set a goal of attaining 100% water independence by 2020 The city has numerous programs designed to promote water conservation among residents, including a rebate of $150 per square foot for those who convert water intensive lawns to more local drought-tolerant gardens that require less water

Santa Monica has also instituted a green building-code whereby merely constructing to code automatically renders a building equivalent to the US Green Building Council's LEED Silver standards The city's Main Library, for example, is one of many LEED certified or LEED equivalent buildings in the city It is built over a 200,000 gallon cistern that collects filtered storm water from the roof The water is used for landscape irrigation

Since 2009, Santa Monica has been developing the Zero Waste Strategic Operations Plan by which the city will set a goal of diverting at least 95% of all waste away from landfills, and toward recycling and composting, by 2030 The plan includes a food waste composting program, which diverts 3 million pounds of restaurant food waste away from landfills annually Currently, 77% of all solid waste produced citywide is diverted from landfills

The city is also in the process of implementing a 5-year and 20 year Bike Action Plan with a goal of attaining 14 to 35% bicycle transportation mode share by 2030 through the installation of enhanced bicycle infrastructure throughout the city Other environmentally focused initiatives include curbside recycling, curbside composting bins in addition to trash, yard-waste, and recycle bins, farmers' markets, community gardens, garden-share, an urban forest initiative, a hazardous materials home-collection service, green business certification, and a municipal bus system which is currently being revamped to integrate with the soon-to-open Expo Line


Santa Monica beach and pier viewed from the end of Santa Monica Pier Note that the bluff is highest at the north end, to the left of the image


Historical population
Est 201593,22039%
US Decennial Census
Santa Monica City Hall, designed by Donald Parkinson, with terrazo mosaics by Stanton MacDonald-Wright

Santa Monica's population has grown from 417 in 1880 to 89,736 in 2010


The 2010 United States Census reported that Santa Monica had a population of 89,736 The population density was 10,6626 people per square mile 4,1169/km² The racial makeup of Santa Monica was 69,663 776% White 701% Non-Hispanic White, 3,526 39% African American, 338 04% Native American, 8,053 90% Asian, 124 01% Pacific Islander, 4,047 45% from other races, and 3,985 44% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,716 persons 131%

The Census reported that 87,610 people 976% of the population lived in households, 1,299 14% lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 827 09% were institutionalized

There were 46,917 households, out of which 7,835 167% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,092 279% were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,510 75% had a female householder with no husband present, 1,327 28% had a male householder with no wife present There were 2,867 61% unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 416 09% same-sex married couples or partnerships 22,716 households 484% were made up of individuals and 5,551 118% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 187 There were 17,929 families 382% of all households; the average family size was 279

The population was spread out with 12,580 people 140% under the age of 18, 6,442 people 72% aged 18 to 24, 32,552 people 363% aged 25 to 44, 24,746 people 276% aged 45 to 64, and 13,416 people 150% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 404 years For every 100 females there were 932 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 912 males

There were 50,912 housing units at an average density of 6,0495 per square mile 2,3357/km², of which 13,315 284% were owner-occupied, and 33,602 716% were occupied by renters The homeowner vacancy rate was 11%; the rental vacancy rate was 51% 30,067 people 335% of the population lived in owner-occupied housing units and 57,543 people 641% lived in rental housing units

According to the 2010 United States Census, Santa Monica had a median household income of $73,649, with 112% of the population living below the federal poverty line


As of the census of 2000, there are 84,084 people, 44,497 households, and 16,775 families in the city The population density is 10,1787 inhabitants per square mile 3,9304/km² There are 47,863 housing units at an average density of 5,7940 per square mile 2,2373/km² The racial makeup of the city is 7829% White, 725% Asian, 378% African American, 047% Native American, 010% Pacific Islander, 597% from other races, and 413% from two or more races 1344% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race There are 44,497 households, out of which 158% have children under the age of 18, 275% are married couples living together, 75% have a female householder with no husband present, and 623% are non-families 512% of all households are made up of individuals and 106% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older The average household size is 183 and the average family size is 280

The city of Santa Monica is consistently among the most educated cities in the United States, with 238 percent of all residents holding graduate degrees

The population is diverse in age, with 146% under 18, 61% from 18 to 24, 401% from 25 to 44, 248% from 45 to 64, and 144% 65 years or older The median age is 39 years For every 100 females, there are 930 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 913 males

According to a 2009 estimate, the median income for a household in the city is $71,095, and the median income for a family is $109,410 Males have a median income of $55,689 versus $42,948 for females The per capita income for the city is $42,874 104% of the population and 54% of families are below the poverty line Out of the total population, 99% of those under the age of 18 and 102% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line


In 2006, crime in Santa Monica affected 441% of the population, slightly lower than the national average crime rate that year of 448% The majority of this was property crime, which affected 374% of Santa Monica's population in 2006; this was higher than the rates for Los Angeles County 276% and California 317%, but lower than the national average 391% These per-capita crime rates are computed based on Santa Monica's full-time population of about 85,000 However, the Santa Monica Police Department has suggested the actual per-capita crime rate is much lower, as tourists, workers, and beachgoers can increase the city's daytime population to between 250,000 and 450,000 people

Violent crimes affected 067% of the population in Santa Monica in 2006, in line with Los Angeles County 065%, but higher than the averages for California 053% and the nation 055%

Hate crime has typically been minimal in Santa Monica, with only one reported incident in 2007 However, the city experienced a spike of anti-Islamic hate crime in 2001, following the attacks of September 11 Hate crime levels returned to their minimal 2000 levels by 2002

In 2006, Santa Monica voters passed "Measure Y" with a 65% majority, which moved the issuance of citations for marijuana smoking to the bottom of the police priority list A 2009 study by the Santa Monica Daily Press showed that since the law took effect in 2007, the Santa Monica Police had "not issued any citations for offenses involving the adult, personal use of marijuana inside private residences"

In June 2011, the infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica after being a fugitive for 16 years He had been living in the area for 15 years

A shooting in Santa Monica in 2013 left six including the perpetrator dead and five more injured

Gang activity

The Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica south of the Santa Monica Freeway experiences some gang activity The city estimates that there are about 50 gang members based in Santa Monica, although some community organizers dispute this claim Gang activity has been prevalent for decades in the Pico neighborhood

In October 1998, alleged Culver City 13 gang member Omar Sevilla, 21, of Culver City was killed A couple of hours after the shooting of Sevilla, German tourist Horst Fietze was killed Several days later Juan Martin Campos, age 23, a Santa Monica city employee, was shot and killed Police believe this was a retaliatory killing in response to the death of Omar Sevilla Less than twenty-four hours later, Javier Cruz was wounded in a drive-by shooting outside his home on 17th and Michigan

In 1999, there was a double homicide in the Westside Clothing store on Lincoln Boulevard During the incident, Culver City gang members David "Puppet" Robles and Jesse "Psycho" Garcia entered the store masked and began opening fire, killing Anthony and Michael Juarez They then ran outside to a getaway vehicle driven by a third Culver City gang member, who is now also in custody The clothing store was believed to be a local hang out for Santa Monica gang members The dead included two men from Northern California who had merely been visiting the store's owner, their cousin, to see if they could open a similar store in their area Police say the incident was in retaliation for a shooting committed by the Santa Monica 13 gang days before the Juarez brothers were gunned down

Aside from the rivalry with the Culver City gang, gang members also feud with the Venice and West Los Angeles gangs The main rivals in these regions include Venice 13, Graveyard Gangster Crips, and Venice Shoreline Crips gangs located in the Oakwood area of Venice, California


Elementary and secondary schools

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District provides public education at the elementary and secondary levels In addition to the traditional model of early education school houses, SMASH Santa Monica Alternative School House is "a K-8 public school of choice with team teachers and multi-aged classrooms"

Elementary schools

The district maintains eight public elementary schools in Santa Monica:

  • Edison Language Academy
  • Franklin Elementary School
  • Grant Elementary School
  • John Muir Elementary School
  • McKinley Elementary School
  • Santa Monica Alternative School House
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Will Rogers Learning Community

Middle schools

The district maintains three public middle schools in Santa Monica:John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and SMASH

High schools

The district maintains two high schools in Santa Monica:Olympic High School and Santa Monica High School

Private schools

Private schools in the city include:

  • Carlthorp School
  • Santa Monica Montessori School
  • Crossroads School
  • Saint Monica Catholic Elementary School
  • Concord High School
  • Pacifica Christian High School
  • St Anne Catholic School
  • Saint Monica Catholic High School
  • New Roads School
  • PS1 Pluralistic School

Miscellaneous education

Asahi Gakuen, a weekend Japanese supplementary school system, operates its Santa Monica campus サンタモニカ校・高等部 Santamonika-kō kōtōbu at Webster Middle in the Sawtelle neighborhood of Los Angeles All high school classes in the Asahi Gakuen system are held at the Santa Monica campus As of 1986 students take buses from as far away as Orange County to go to the high school classes of the Santa Monica campus


Santa Monica College is a junior college originally founded in 1929 Many SMC graduates transfer to the University of California system It occupies 35 acres 14 hectares and enrolls 30,000 students annually The Frederick S Pardee RAND Graduate School, associated with the RAND Corporation, is the US's largest producer of public policy PhDs The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles is also located in Santa Monica near the Santa Monica Airport Universities and colleges within a 22-mile 35 km radius from Santa Monica include Santa Monica College, Antioch University Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Mount St Mary's College, Pepperdine University, California State University, Northridge, California State University, Los Angeles, UCLA, USC, West Los Angeles College, California Institute of Technology Caltech, Occidental College Oxy, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Valley College, and Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine

Public library system

The Santa Monica Public Library consists of a Main Library in the downtown area, plus four neighborhood branches:Fairview, Montana Avenue, Ocean Park, and Pico Boulevard



Santa Monica has a bike action plan and recently launched a bicycle sharing system in November 2015 The city is traversed by the Marvin Braude Bike Trail Santa Monica has received the Bicycle Friendly Community Award Bronze in 2009, Silver in 2013 by the League of American Bicyclists Local bicycle advocacy organizations include Santa Monica Spoke, a local chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Santa Monica is thought to be one of the leaders for bicycle infrastructure and programming in Los Angeles County

In terms of number of bicycle accidents, Santa Monica ranks as one of the worst #2 out of 102 California cities with population 50,000–100,000, a ranking that is consistent with the composite ranking for the city In 2007 and 2008, local police cracked down on Santa Monica Critical Mass rides that had become controversial, putting a damper on the tradition

Pacific Coast Highway running through Santa Monica

Motorized vehicles

The Santa Monica Freeway Interstate 10 begins in Santa Monica near the Pacific Ocean and heads east The Santa Monica Freeway between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles has the distinction of being one of the busiest highways in all of North America After traversing Los Angeles County, I-10 crosses seven more states, terminating at Jacksonville, Florida In Santa Monica, there is a road sign designating this route as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway State Route 2 Santa Monica Boulevard begins in Santa Monica, barely grazing State Route 1 at Lincoln Boulevard, and continues northeast across Los Angeles County, through the Angeles National Forest, crossing the San Gabriel Mountains as the Angeles Crest Highway, ending in Wrightwood Santa Monica is also the western Pacific terminus of historic US Route 66 Close to the eastern boundary of Santa Monica, Sepulveda Boulevard reaches from Long Beach at the south, to the northern end of the San Fernando Valley Just east of Santa Monica is Interstate 405, the "San Diego Freeway", a major north-south route in Los Angeles County and Orange County, California

The City of Santa Monica has purchased the first ZeroTruck all-electric medium-duty truck The vehicle will be equipped with a Scelzi utility body, it is based on the Isuzu N series chassis, a UQM PowerPhase 100 advanced electric motor and is the only US built electric truck offered for sale in the United States in 2009


The city of Santa Monica runs its own bus service, the Big Blue Bus, which also serves much of West Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles UCLA A Big Blue Bus was featured prominently in the action movie Speed

The city of Santa Monica is also served by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro bus lines Metro also complements Big Blue service, as when Big Blue routes are not operational overnight, Metro buses make many Big Blue Bus stops, in addition to MTA stops

Light rail

Design and construction on the 66-mile extension 106 km of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica started in September 2011, with service beginning on May 20, 2016 Santa Monica Metro stations include 26th Street/Bergamot, 17th Street/Santa Monica College, and Downtown Santa Monica Travel time between the downtown Santa Monica and the downtown Los Angeles termini is approximately 47 minutes

Historical aspects of the Expo line route are noteworthy It uses the right-of-way for the Santa Monica Air Line that provided electric-powered freight and passenger service between Los Angeles and Santa Monica beginning in the 1920s Service was discontinued in 1953 but diesel-powered freight deliveries to warehouses along the route continued until March 11, 1988 The abandonment of the line spurred concerns within the community and the entire right-of-way was purchased from Southern Pacific by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority The line was built in 1875 as the steam-powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad to bring mining ore to ships in Santa Monica harbor and as a passenger excursion train to the beach


Since the mid-1980s, various proposals have been made to extend the Purple Line subway to Santa Monica under Wilshire Boulevard There are no current plans to complete the "subway to the sea," an estimated $5 billion project

Airport and ports

The city owns and operates a general aviation airport, Santa Monica Airport, which has been the site of several important aviation achievements Commercial flights are available for residents at Los Angeles International Airport, a few miles south of Santa Monica

Like other cities in Los Angeles County, Santa Monica is dependent upon the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles for international ship cargo In the 1890s, Santa Monica was once in competition with Wilmington, California, and San Pedro for recognition as the "Port of Los Angeles" see History of Santa Monica, California

Emergency services

Two major hospitals are within the Santa Monica city limits, UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and St John's Hospital There are four fire stations providing medical and fire response within the city staffed with 6 Paramedic Engines, 1 Truck company, 1 Hazardous Materials team and 1 Urban Search & Rescue team Santa Monica Fire Department has its own Dispatch Center Ambulance transportation is provided by AmeriCare Ambulance Services

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica The Department's West Area Health Office is in the Simms/Mann Center


Santa Monica is governed by the Santa Monica City Council, a Council-Manager governing body with seven members elected at-large The current mayor is Tony Vazquez

In the California State Legislature, Santa Monica is in the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Allen, and in the 50th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Richard Bloom

In the United States House of Representatives, Santa Monica is in California's 33rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu


Headquarters of ActivisionHeadquarters of Universal Music Group

Santa Monica is home to the headquarters of many notable businesses, including Hulu, Universal Music Group, Lionsgate Films, the RAND Corporation, Beachbody, and Macerich Supermarine now Atlantic Aviation is at the Santa Monica Airport National Public Radio member station KCRW is located at the Santa Monica College campus

A number of game development studios are based in Santa Monica, making it a major location for the industry These include:

  • Activision Blizzard
  • Treyarch
  • Cloud Imperium Games Creators of Star Citizen
  • Naughty Dog Creators of Crash Bandicoot 1996–1999, Jak & Daxter and Uncharted franchises
  • SCE Studios Santa Monica
  • Studio Santa Monica An in-house studio of SCE and creators of God of War
  • Riot Games, the creators of League of Legends is located just outside the eastern city limit

Fatburger's headquarters are in Santa Monica TOMS Shoes has its headquarters in Santa Monica

Former Santa Monica businesses include Douglas Aircraft now merged with Boeing, MySpace now headquartered in Beverly Hills, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer In December 1996, GeoCities was headquartered on the third floor of 1918 Main Street in Santa Monica

Santa Monica has a strong small business community; Fundera ranked the city the 6th best city for small business in a 2016 study

Recently, Santa Monica has emerged as the center of the Los Angeles region called Silicon Beach, and serves as the home of hundreds of venture-capital funded startup companies

Top employers

According to the City's 2012–2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

#Employer# of Employees
1City of Santa Monica2,528
2Santa Monica - UCLA Medical Center2,079
3Santa Monica College1,953
4Saint John's Health Center1,676
5Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District1,457
6RAND Corporation842
7Universal Music Group743
8Activision Blizzard692
9ET Whitehall Shutters and Casa del Mar568
10Lionsgate Entertainment555


See also:Sports in Los Angeles

The men's and women's marathon ran through parts of Santa Monica during the 1984 Summer Olympics The Santa Monica Track Club has many prominent track athletes, including many Olympic gold medalists Santa Monica is also home to the Santa Monica Rugby Club, a semi-professional team that competes in the Pacific Rugby Premiership, the highest-level rugby union club competition in the United States

In popular culture

Film and television

End of Route 66

Hundreds of movies have been shot or set in part within the city of Santa Monica One of the oldest exterior shots in Santa Monica is Buster Keaton's Spite Marriage 1929 which shows much of 2nd Street The comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963 included several scenes shot in Santa Monica, including those along the California Incline, which led to the movie's treasure spot, "The Big W" The Sylvester Stallone film Rocky III 1982 shows Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed training to fight Clubber Lang by running on the Santa Monica Beach, and Stallone's Demolition Man 1993 includes Santa Monica settings Henry Jaglom's indie Someone to Love 1987, the last film in which Orson Welles appeared, takes place in Santa Monica's venerable Mayfair Theatre Heathers 1989 used Santa Monica's John Adams Middle School for many exterior shots The Truth About Cats & Dogs 1996 is set entirely in Santa Monica, particularly the Palisades Park area, and features a radio station that resembles KCRW at Santa Monica College 17 Again 2009 was shot at Samohi Other films that show significant exterior shots of Santa Monica include Fletch 1985, Species 1995, Get Shorty 1995, and Ocean's Eleven 2001 Richard Rossi's biopic Aimee Semple McPherson opens and closes at the beach in Santa Monica Iron Man features the Santa Monica pier and surrounding communities as Tony Stark tests his experimental flight suit

The documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys 2001 and the related dramatic film Lords of Dogtown 2005 are both about the influential skateboarding culture of Santa Monica's Ocean Park neighborhood in the 1970s

The Santa Monica Pier is shown in many films, including They Shoot Horses, Don't They 1969, The Sting 1973, Ruthless People 1986, Beverly Hills Cop III 1994, Clean Slate 1994, Forrest Gump 1994, The Net 1995, Love Stinks 1999, Cellular 2004, The Cutting Edge:Going for the Gold 2006, Iron Man 2008 and Hannah Montana:The Movie 2009

A number of television series have been set in Santa Monica, including Baywatch, Three's Company, Pacific Blue, and Private Practice The Santa Monica pier is shown in the main theme of CBS series NCIS:Los Angeles In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the main exterior set of the town of Sunnydale, including the infamous "sun sign", was located in Santa Monica in a lot on Olympic Boulevard

The films The Doors 1991 and Speed 1994 featured vehicles from Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus line, relative to the eras depicted in the films

The city of Santa Monica and in particular the Santa Monica Airport was featured in Roland Emmerich's disaster film 2012 2009 A magnitude 109 earthquake destroys the airport and the surrounding area as a group of survivors escape in a personal plane The Santa Monica Pier and the whole city sinks into the Pacific Ocean after the earthquake


Raymond Chandler's most famous character, private detective Philip Marlowe, frequently has a portion of his adventures in a place called "Bay City", which is modeled on depression-era Santa Monica In Marlowe's world, Bay City is "a wide-open town", where gambling and other crimes thrive due to a massively corrupt and ineffective police force

The setting on a certain portion of Mitch Albom's book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, has similarities to the Pacific Pier located along the Santa Monica beach In the book, it is named Ruby Pier Mitch Albom even acknowledged the Pacific Pier for its cooperation

The main character from Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Land That Time Forgot novel was a shipbuilder from Santa Monica

In Al Capone Does My Shirts, the Flanagans move to Alcatraz from Santa Monica

Tennessee Williams lived while working at MGM Studios in a hotel on Ocean Avenue in the 1940s At that location he wrote The Glass Menagerie His short story titled The mattress by the Tomato Patch was set near Santa Monica Beach, and mentions the clock visible in much of the city, high up on The Broadway Building, on Broadway near 2nd Street

Also featured in Rick Riordains "Percy Jackson" Novels, specifically the Santa Monica pier


  • Universal Music Group is based in Santa Monica Several of its labels such as Aftermath Entertainment started by Dr Dre, Interscope started by Jimmy Iovine, A&M Records, Geffen Records, Shady Records,and G-Unit Records created by 50 Cent & Sha Money XL are based in Santa Monica, CA
  • The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is based in Santa Monica on Olympic Boulevard
  • The modern rock band Theory of a Deadman's song titled "Santa Monica", is a first-person account about a girl leaving her significant other to start a new life in Santa Monica
  • The band Everclear released a song titled "Santa Monica" in 1995, which became their first mainstream hit
  • The band Savage Garden also released a song titled "Santa Monica" off their #3 US album Savage Garden 1997
  • John Mayer's song In Your Atmosphere mentions Wilshire Boulevard
  • The folk Australian duo, Angus and Julia Stone, released a single titled "Santa Monica Dream" in the album "Down the Way"
  • The ska/reggae band, Bedouin Soundclash has a song entitled "Santa Monica"
  • One of the few songs that musical satirist Tom Lehrer has recorded since the 1970s is a tribute to the holidays of the Jewish calendar entitled "I'm Spending Hanukkah in Santa Monica"
  • Santa Monica is referenced throughout Jack's Mannequin's debut album Everything In Transit
  • In 1968, British singer-songwriter Noel Harrison released a song and album titled Santa Monica Pier
  • In 1948, bandleader Kay Kyser released a 78 record of the novelty song "When Veronica Plays the Harmonica Down at the Pier in Santa Monica"
  • Kim Kibum, a member of the popular Korean boy band Super Junior attended Santa Monica High School
  • The System Of A Down song "Lost in Hollywood" mentions the city
  • The band Linkin Park is named in homage to Santa Monica's Lincoln Park
  • Richard Rossi released a song entitled "Santa Monica," celebrating the Santa Monica Pier, on his album "Seasons of My Heart"
  • Sheryl Crow's song All I Wanna Do mentions Santa Monica Boulevard

Video games

Santa Monica is featured in the video games True Crime:Streets of LA 2003, Vampire:The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2004, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas 2004 as a fictional district - Santa Maria Beach, Destroy All Humans! 2004, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland 2005, LA Rush 2005, Midnight Club:Los Angeles 2008, Cars Race-O-Rama 2009, Grand Theft Auto V 2013 as a fictional district – Del Perro, Call of Duty:Ghosts 2013 as a fictional US military base – Fort Santa Monica, The Crew 2014, Need for Speed 2015

See also

  • Greater Los Angeles portal
  • 2013 Santa Monica shooting
  • Aragon Ballroom Ocean Park, Santa Monica, California
  • List of cities and towns in California
  • List of City of Santa Monica Designated Historic Landmarks
  • List of people from Santa Monica, California
  • Muscle Beach
  • Santa Monica neighborhoods


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External links

  • Official website
  • Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce
  • Santa Monica Little League
  • Santa Monica Public Library
  • Santa Monica travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Santa Monica, California at DMOZ
  • A Weekend in Santa Monica – slideshow by The New York Times
  • City of Santa Monica at the Wayback Machine archived February 18, 1999

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