Visiting the Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica ferris wheel

Do you ever play tourist in your own city or town?

I have. Now, it takes little more effort than walking out the door for me, living in a new city—though there are some weeks when I don’t do anything aside from my apartment-to-school-and-back routine. (A reminder to all: daily monotony will creep in even in your dream locations.)

That said, for the most part, I’ve made adventure a regular part of my routine. John and I are even taking a trip up to San Francisco this weekend, which I’m giddily anticipating. This past weekend, however, it was all about Santa Monica. The Santa Monica Pier, in particular. Usually when we head to the beach, we head straight for the beach. But I wanted to go where the tourists go to people-watch and pretend like I was on vacation.

Santa Monica houses mannequin in window lifeguard

georgian hotel

santa monica memorial python

santa monica pier

under the boardwalkIt was fun splashing under the boardwalk and watching people happily take photos with exotic animals. The crowds are crazy, but the views are worth it.


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  1. Your pictures are so beautiful! Where did you take that one of the Ferris wheel? From the street? I like it!

  2. These pictures are beautiful! I live in Boston and I definitely played tourist in the city this weekend. It introduces you to new places and activities, and refreshes your enthusiasm for where you live!

  3. These photos are gorgeous! I love Santa Monica, it’s the one place where every time I go, I still get that giddy I-can’t-believe-I-live-here feeling.

  4. Suzanne Paton says:

    Pleeeeeeze keep the pictures coming! I love it! Ohhhhhh to be on the West Coast……..

  5. Man, your photos are gorgeous. What kind of camera do you have? I’m trying to get better at photography. My school has cameras we can borrow and I really want to borrow an SLR.

    • Cassie Paton says:

      It’s a Nikon D3200. I love it! You should definitely play around with them if you have them at your disposal. I’m still learning how to work mine!

  6. Sweet!! How beautiful 🙂 How far is Santa Monica from LA? I’m planning on visiting that area next year, would like to have some spots to “hit” 🙂 Happy Hump Day Cassie! -Iva

    • Cassie Paton says:

      L.A. is such a huge sprawl. Even though Santa Monica is technically its own city, it’s basically part of L.A. haha. But relative to downtown, as opposed to Hollywood or where I live, it’s probably about 20 minutes away with decent traffic! You’ll have to let me know when you visit. 🙂

  7. I know I’m the sixth person to say this, but THOSE PICTURES?! C’mon. Could I BE any more jealous!? (thinly veiled reference to an old Friends episode).

  8. I don’t care how touristy it is, I aaaalways love the SM pier. It’s really nice to go at night, too; the crowds disappear and you’re just left with a few people wandering, an open arcade, and a bunch of fisherman at the end of the pier. and DOLPHINS!

  9. I loove being a tourist anywhere! Haha. I do it so often ^-^ Your pictures of SM Pier are perfect! They pretty much capture all the fun and life there is to the pier 😀 I love it there. I hope you have a great time in SF this weekend! 🙂

  10. aww, this makes me so nostalgic for home – and sunshine 🙂 i love playing tourist in my own city – to see your home through the eyes of those who find it mesmerizing and exotic is just magical.

  11. These photos are absolutely gorgeous. We are doing an East Coast road trip next summer… I’m wondering if we can extend it just a little! xoxo

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