The winding roads and steep canyon walls make it hard to believe you’re only a short drive away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.
The quiet countryside was once home to the Gabrieleno Indians and had been under both Spanish and Mexican control before ‘Alta California’ was ceded to the United States in 1847. It was under Mexican control when land grants were offered to the two gentlemen who started it all.
Francisco Marquez and Ysidro Reyes built the first homes in Santa Monica Canyon in 1834. In time, the canyon began to attract other Los Angeles natives who were looking for a peaceful getaway. Small tents and picnics quickly started to trail the mouth of The Canyon. By 1872, a hotel opened near the waterfront advertising, “Come and enjoy yourself- A week at the beach will add ten years to your life.”
As the popularity of The Canyon grew, the state began auctioning off pieces of the unsettled land. In July of 1875, one auction read: “On Wednesday afternoon at one o’clock we will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder, the Pacific Ocean draped with a sky of scarlet gold."
The promise of a “scarlet gold” sky and the appeal of having a rustic place to settle down brought herds of people, and soon businesses, to the newly booming town. In December of 1875, a railroad had been built to Shoofly Landing where Colorado Ave reaches the beach today.
With the railroad in place, people from across California now had access to the countryside. Popular activities included croquet, horseback riding, and, of course, swimming. As day turned to night, you could be promised the sound of live music as people danced and laughed.
Though the trains full of travelers have long stopped running, the appeal of The Canyon remains unaltered. To this day it is still a quaint and quiet place to call home.
The Canyon has both some of the highest priced and the most affordable real estate in the 90402 zip code and is home to an award-winning LAUSD Canyon Elementary school.
If you are looking for a place to raise your children outside of the bustling city lifestyle, then Santa Monica Canyon is the place for you.