Maritime history runs deep in the waterside community of San Pedro, home to the heavily trafficked Port of Los Angeles. Seafaring is a central attraction theme, from an old battleship and lighthouse to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. With its uptick in shops and restaurants, the area is gaining popularity as a hip waterfront destination.
Although many visitors pass through the San Pedro port district on their way to a cruise or ferry to Catalina Island, there are plenty of family-friendly diversions shoreside. The USSIowa battleship offers a glimpse into naval warfare, while the Los Angeles Maritime Museum lets you explore life at sea. Get up close to marine life at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, or take the long view while relaxing on the sandy Cabrillo Beach.
Things to Know Before You Go
The renovated Ports O' Call retail complex is San Pedro's top destination for shopping and dining.
Cabrillo Beach is a popular spot for windsurfing and other water sports.
Find serenity away from the bustling port at the Korean Bell of Friendship, a gift from South Korea, which sits on a peaceful bluff.
Step inside the 19th-century Point Fermin Lighthouse, located at the neighborhood's southernmost tip.
How to Get There
Unless you arrive by cruise ship, the easiest way to get to San Pedro is by car. There is paid parking at most San Pedro attractions. Once you've parked, it's possible to access waterfront landmarks by catching a ride on the free, hop-on hop-off San Pedro Downtown Trolley (limited hours, weekends only).
When to Get There
On the first Thursday of each month, local galleries and restaurants open their doors for San Pedro's art walk. Another big draw for art lovers is Crafted, a permanent weekend art market inside a vintage warehouse. Look for weekend food trucks and live entertainment in a warehouse across the street.
Beckoning 22 miles off the Southern California coast, Santa Catalina Island makes an easy day trip or weekend getaway. The town of Avalon centers the idyllic resort community fringed by sandy beaches and calm bays—ideal for water sports. Tour the landmark Art Deco casino overlooking multi million-dollar yachts, or wander Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden. Ferry service runs daily from San Pedro to Catalina Island, and the one-way journey takes a little over an hour.
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- Los Angeles World Cruise Center
- Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
- The Queen Mary
- Manhattan Beach
- Los Angeles Opera (LA Opera)
- Watts Towers
- Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (LA Coliseum)
- Venice Canals (Venice Canal Historic District)
- California Science Center
- Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM)
- University of Southern California (USC)
- Venice Beach
- Citadel Outlets
- Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC)
- LA Fashion District