The Brit List: The 10 Most British Towns in America

Santa Monica, California

Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The angry red suntans are an unmistakable sign that Santa Monica is Brit-by-the-sea, although it is usually the holidaymakers who have to slap on the Factor 50 because they are not used to the heat. When they make the obligatory pilgrimage to the King’s Head pub, they find themselves competing with the resident Brits for a foaming pint of not-cold beer.

Around 5,000 British migrants are reckoned to live in Santa Monica. While the high-flown Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden were among the early settlers, nowadays it attracts the media and showbiz crowd looking for a convenient base from which to attack Hollywood.

Several stores sell British biscuits, Frank Cooper marmalade and Cadbury’s Fruit ‘n’ Nut bars, but it is possible to escape the Union Flags and stroll by the U.S. bars and bookshops on the Third Street Promenade.

But if you want to catch the serious local Brits at play, get to one of the British pubs at 5 o’clock in the morning on a winter weekend. That’s when they’ll be cheering on their favorite soccer teams in a match beamed live from the U.K.

NEXT: San Francisco, California

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William Kay

William Kay

Bill Kay was a London business journalist until he emigrated to Pasadena, ten miles north of Los Angeles, from where he writes a financial advice column for the London Sunday Times. He was City Editor of The Times and the Mail on Sunday and has written a dozen books, including a Pasadena murder-mystery novel, as well as dipping into screenwriting and stand-up comedy. He attended Westminster City School and The Queen's College, Oxford, and still manages to follow Chelsea Football Club. He has two adult sons, Andrew and Ben - and two grandchildren, Jackson and Indiana - all in London.
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