Santa Monica Ranked Among Top 5 Beach Towns in the U.S.

By Jack Simon

Santa Monica may not be as renowned as Hollywood and Beverly Hills but a report from Stacker has revealed the home to Third Street Promenade, the Pier and a sun-drenched coastline was one of the top 5 beach town in the United States in 2020.

Santa Monica placed fifth in the survey, just one ranking below Newport Beach. In fact, it was ranked higher that all the beach cities in the South Bay and most of the coastal towns in Southern California.

Stacker – a news organization committed to telling engaging, research-driven stories – consulted 2020 data from Wallethub that compares American beach towns and details how living near the ocean makes people happy and healthy. Ratings were based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life.

"People who live near rivers, lakes, and oceans are also happier and healthier than those who live away from water," Stacker said in a press release, released last week. "When you think of it that way, maybe that waterfront view is worth spending extra money on rent."

Here's how Santa Monica ranked:

- Total score: 59.9

- Affordability rank: #122

- Weather rank: #26

- Safety rank: #108

- Economy rank: #15

- Education & health rank: #29

- Quality of life rank: #3

According to Stacker, "Santa Monica is a coastal city 16 miles west of Los Angeles. Santa Monica State Beach is a favorite local hangout perfect for swimming, surfing, or biking along the stunning Marvin Braude Bike Trail."

As expected, California and Florida have many coastal towns featured in the 2021 Stacker report. The Golden State has 21 beach towns in the top 50 list. They included Carlsbad at No. 8, Encinitas at No. 9, Santa Barbara at No. 11, Laguna Beach at No. 14, San Clemente at No. 16, Hermosa Beach at No. 18, Seal Beach at No. 19. Dana Point at 28, Redondo Beach at No. 33, Manhattan Beach at No. 39, and Ventura at No. 40.

The top 10 beach towns in the U.S are as follows: 1) Naples, Florida; 2) Lahaina, Hawaii; 3) Boca Raton, Florida; 4) Newport Beach, California; 5) Santa Monica, California; 6) Sarasota Florida; 7) Kailua, Hawaii; 8) Carlsbad, California; 9) Encinitas, California; and 10) Vero Beach, Florida.

To check out the full list, go to


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