Anchoring the Westside of Los Angeles County, Santa Monica is a beachfront city popular with tourists for its expansive beach and its famous pier, which are among the most popular coastal attractions in Southern California. Within the city, visitors will find a number of urban shopping districts and plenty of restaurants and nightlife.
Santa Monica developed as a seaside retreat at the turn of the 20th century. The railroad owners built the first version of the amusement park on Santa Monica pier as an attraction to fill empty train seats on weekends. Santa Monica grew into an urban, eclectic, and prosperous beach city whose real estate values are amongst the most pricey in the world. Santa Monica is a very desirable city whose people are drawn to its accessibility and its progressiveness as a community. Today, Santa Monica is a mixture of very affluent, single-family neighborhoods, renters drawn by the high quality of life, lifelong surfers, young professionals and students.
Tourists visiting the Los Angeles region will find Santa Monica one of the best situated locations to base their trip. There are plenty of hotel, restaurant and entertainment options, as well as close accessibility to major sights like Venice Beach, Malibu and Beverly Hills. Visitors can also take advantage of the beach cities' moderate climate; during the summer and fall, as the mercury soars to 100 °F (38 °C) in the San Fernando Valley and 90 °F (32 °C) downtown, Santa Monica usually remains at a very comfortable 75 °F (24 °C).