A little luck and a whole lot of liveliness helped Santa Monica make Forbes Magazine’s list of the nation’s “most alluring” downtowns.
The magazine singled out the city by the sea in its report because of its beautiful beach setting, high-end shops and inventive restaurants that lure residents and visitors.
“But it’s not just the rich and famous that can enjoy Santa Monica’s Downtown — there are enough single-family homes and apartments spread out through the area to ensure that a lively mix of people can live and work near the downtown area,” the magazine wrote.
Forbes collaborated with experts from Frommer’s, one of the best selling travel guide companies in America, and Livability, a travel and analysis site that focuses on mid-sized or smaller towns. Forbes considered several factors including attractiveness, accessibility, diversity of offerings, shops, restaurants, proximity of parks and cultural options.
“We embraced the subjectivity that is inherent in a list like this, while still striving for benchmarks and criteria that we think make a great downtown,” John Hood, a Livability spokesman, told the magazine.
Among those criteria they considered: entertainment options, navigability, attractive architecture and a thriving downtown.
“You’ve got a great six blocks or so of shopping, with a mix of local stores, boutiques and chains,” Jason Clampet, senior online editor for Frommers.com, said about Santa Monica. “And unlike most of the rest of the region, you can really walk around and get by without a car.”
A varied mix of smaller but interesting museums, galleries, and a busy nightlife scene also contribute to the reasons why Santa Monica earns a place on the list.
Other cities on the list include Chicago, Portland, Ore., Indianapolis, and Greenville, S.C.