I'm so fortunate to live in Santa Monica, CA! I love living by the ocean, yet still having all the amenities of a large city. Santa Monica is like a little satellite of LA proper, so it still has a suburban feel.
One thing that makes it so livable, is that its bike friendly! There are lots of designated bike lanes to use, as well as, a bike storage center downtown, so you can bike there and park without any hassle. It's super liberating when traffic is a pain, and actually cuts down on traffic and pollution. AND it's an easy and fun way to get some exercise and it makes me feel like a kid again! Not to mention, it's Clio's favorite mode of transportation!