Brookdale Santa Monica Gardens

$ Call for Rates

851 Second Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403


Care Types: Assisted Living

The Gardens of Santa Monica, a concrete U-shaped building, sits on a quiet residential street just a block away from the beach. Apartment buildings occupy the surrounding land where there were once single-family homes. The entrance looms behind a wrought-iron gate and beyond the stately fountain surrounded by tile seating. Large palm trees, flowering ferns and other lush plants lead to the front door. The garden encompasses space for barbecues. The landscaping is so well maintained that one might mistake the building for an expensive resort. In the back of the building, a patio contains umbrella-topped tables and chairs.

The lobby is spacious, with comfortable seating nooks and a fireplace. One female resident appeared pretty cozy napping in front of it! A small, book-filled lounge to the right of the lobby features a second working fireplace and overlooks the front gardens. We found some folks sitting here reading as well as a lively bunch of women playing a card game. The minimal media room is set up with chairs for lectures, often conducted by professors from Loyola Marymount University. The main dining room, on the other side of the lobby, is lovely and modern, with fine tablecloths, china and window swags. The talented chef always prepares food fresh—residents rave about the soups. On the day of our visit, the menu offered turkey and rice soup, navy bean soup, turkey burgers, stuffed manicotti, carrot raisin salad, garlic bread and fruit. Wine is served with dinner for those who can imbibe, and every Sunday there’s a champagne brunch with entertainment.

Activities include tai chi, religious services, movies, bingo, computer time and birthday dinners. Every Thursday, there are outings to museums, movies, restaurants and the race track. Our tour guide, the activity director, knew every resident we saw by name—impressive for such a large population! As we walked through the halls, we saw several doors covered by pictures of smiling grandchildren. The second-floor halls have many scattered seating nooks with overstuffed chairs, tables and flowers. Carpeted resident rooms vary in size from small studios to one-bedroom, two-bathroom suites. Larger studios have enough room for a couch and other seating. All rooms have balconies, some with lovely views of the ocean.

The secure dementia unit features several memory-stimulating displays such as a tool table and other areas set up with baby items and wedding paraphernalia. Like resident rooms on the other floors, shadow boxes hold mementos and photographs. Bright yellow china in the dining room is eye-catching. We found many residents enjoying time in the living room, either watching TV or dozing off in comfortable chairs. Third-floor activities include daily exercise, multisensory experiences, and intergenerational and pet therapies. The facility has two house pets, a cat and a dog.


  • Diabetes Care
  • Adults 55 and over accepted
  • Special Diet: Low Fat
  • Renal Care
  • Rooms Wired w/ Cable
  • Rooms Wired w/ Internet
  • Arts and crafts area
  • Bistro dining area
  • Book discussion club
  • Common Areas with TVs
  • Computer area
  • Cooking club
  • English Language
  • Free High-Speed WiFi access
  • Free Transportation Services
  • Full-size kitchen
  • Grounds Secured
  • Guests Allowed at Meal Time
  • Gym
  • Hospice Services
  • Housekeeping Services Available
  • In-house Laundry and Drycleaning
  • In-House Religious Services
  • In-house Skilled Nursing
  • Kitchenette in resident rooms
  • Lectures/educational programs
  • Community Dining Available
  • Low or No Sodium Dietary Restrictions
  • Medication Administration
  • Parking for Guests
  • VA Benefits Assistance
  • Financial Advice
  • Laundry Services for Linens
  • Private Cleaning Service Available
  • Game Nights
  • Story Time
  • Offsite Activities Available
  • On-site haircuts/barber services
  • On-site Resident Parking
  • Outdoor Patios and Gardens
  • Outdoor walking areas
  • Physical Therapist Services
  • Resident musical group
  • Room service available
  • Licensed by the State
  • Semi-Private Apartments/Rooms
  • Some Pets Are Allowed
  • Studio Apartments Available
  • Tai Chi Classes
  • Yoga/chair yoga classes

Contact for available floor plans

Contact for available Payment Options