8.4 out of 10

Wilshire / Montana

34.0283094123809 -118.495063913068
Great for
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Parking
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

5/5
2yrs+

"LA's best neighborhood"

This neighborhood is great for singles and couples. It's got the best of everything. Walking distance to the beach, the Third Street Promenade shopping, Montana shopping, the Santa Monica pier, and the beach! Living here you have easy access to the freeway via Hwy 1 or the 10 Freeway. Santa Monica is just 15 minutes away from Malibu which is great for surfing, and it's just a few miles from Venice beach too. This location is highly dense with apartments so it's fairly easy to find a rental but you will pay a premium for it.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Apartments and Retail Heaven by the Sea"

The Montana-Wilshire neighborhood of Santa Monica marks a distinct break from the upscale homes of North of Montana neighhood. Both Montana Ave. and Wilshire Boulevard are major commercial streets with restaurants and shops that cater to the affluent residents and visitors to the area. The streets in between are virtually all apartments and are numbered in ascending order from the coast inland, while the parallel streets have a state theme (Idaho, Washington and California slicing things up north to south).

From 6th Street to Ocean, Montana Avenue is, much like the rest of Santa Monica, a lovely tree-lined street made up of virtually all apartments, with each block adding to both the rents and quality of the digs. Starting at 7th street however, Montana is a highly commercial street filled with restaurants and boutiques. The assortment of restaurants ranges from mid-priced Italian joints like Rosti-Italian Kitchen to the Café Montana to Pradeep’s Indian restaurant. While the several idiosyncratic shops like Mom’s the Word and Step Shoes and Morgana le Faye’s offer residents lot’s of choices in terms of clothes, shoes and furniture. In fact, if you are looking for a street that likes to have punny names for establishments, you will have a hard time finding one with more such names than Montana—just sample these: a bar named Father’s Office; a shoe store named Footsie; and a bakery named Grateful Bread. At about 17th Street Montana becomes a more traditional residential neighborhood with a mix of squat apartments and more 50’s ranch style homes.

Wilshire Boulavard is in this neighborhood as it is throughout the LA area, a major palm lined artery filled with traffic at virtually all times of the day and night. As with Montana there are an assortment of eateries and specialty stores. Many of the eateries also have the kinds of tongue-cheek names of its northern neighbor, like the Aorta Restaurant (near the medical center). The selection is much more cosmopolitan here, having the expected Mexican restaurants, but also Indian food and even a vegetarian place. There are also night spots like Dakato’s Live Music lounge. Just about every kind of store that you might expect can be found on Wilshire, from automobile dealers to specialty lamp stores.

You can also find the Orthopedics Unit of UCLA. There are also Franklin Park and Christine Reed Park (with great tennis courts) and several private schools just off of Wilshire. The ritzy Fairmont Hotel occupies the corner of Ocean and Wilshire.

The Wilshire-Montana neighborhood is mostly a renter’s area unlike its neighbor to the north of Montana. As you might expect, the closer you get to the Ocean Avenue and its great views, the more expensive apartments become. A quick search of the rental aggregator Padmapper.com shows that a 2-bedroom apartment on 2nd street will cost you $2,500, while a three-bedroom home on 22nd street at the edge of Montana-Wilshire only runs about $1,200. Quite a drop.

This is a fairly safe area, although two Montana Avenue murders have good unsolved. One murder was of an 86 year old woman and the other of a 35 year old artist who was stabbed to death—possibly by an acquaintance (there was no sign of break-in). Most crime in the area is property crime—as you would expect in a busy commercial area close to other urban centers.
Pros
  • great shops
  • great restaurants
  • great apartments
Cons
  • property crime
  • a little noisy
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers

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