English (US)English (US)
California Now News
Local Tips
Visit Native California
Family Vacations
Road Trips

Travel Videos
Travel Guides
Welcome Centers


San Pedro

San Pedro

L.A.’s busiest port town is a haven for maritime enthusiasts and seafood lovers

  • Summary
  • Official Resources
  • Things to do
  • Gallery
  • Places to Eat & Drink
  • Podcasts

Located at the southern point of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, between Manhattan Beach and Long Beach, is San Pedro, home to the busiest port in the country: the Port of Los Angeles. Also known as America’s Port, this gateway with unmistakable nautical tones is much more than a transportation hub.

Things to Do in San Pedro

First off, take in the coast by way of the free San Pedro Downtown Trolley, which makes exploring simple. Popular destinations along the route include the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, showcasing hundreds of nautical vessels, the mile-long Cabrillo Beach, and the Frank Gehry–designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

Another maritime must: The Battleship Iowa Museum—the West Coast’s only battleship open to the public—offers the rare opportunity to see what it was like to live aboard this largest class of  WWII-era battleship. Choose between a self-guided tour or a more extensive guided one. Another way to explore this one-time floating city and get a serious adrenaline rush while you’re at it is to sign up for the Escape the Mothball Fleet experience, a two-hour adventure that blends elements of a scavenger hunt and an escape room challenge. While the clock ticks, participants have to gather clues and complete tasks to save the ship from being retired and relegated to the “mothball fleet.”

Three miles south of the Iowa, perched atop dramatic cliffs, is the historic Point Fermin Lighthouse, beckoning visitors to explore its storied past and sweeping ocean vistas. Built in 1874, this Victorian-style gem has beautifully restored grounds where visitors can peruse informative exhibits before hitting the hiking trails of Point Fermin Beach.

A major, non-nautical draw to San Pedro is the Korean Bell of Friendship, located in Angels Gate Park. The massive bronze bell sits atop a knoll offering some of the best views in L.A., highlighting the harbor and the Catalina Channel. The bell itself is a historic cultural monument, gifted to Los Angeles by the Republic of Korea to celebrate the United States Bicentennial and to honor Korean War vets. While some would say the siren song of San Pedro calls daily, the Bell of Friendship itself rings four times a year.

Where to Eat in San Pedro

Continuing further along the trolley route, stop for lunch at the San Pedro Fish Market & Restaurant, California’s largest seafood restaurant. With seating for almost 3,000, patrons come here for the famous shrimp trays—an Instagram-worthy pile of shrimp, potatoes, and grilled vegetables—and ocean liner views. Other popular food stops include Anchors, a casual eatery in San Pedro Square Market that’s earned a loyal following with its lobster rolls, cioppino, and fish and chips, and The Chori-Man, where the chorizo dishes (including breakfast burritos and tacos) have earned a cult-level status.

Arts and Shopping in San Pedro

While maritime attractions and seafood may be a given in San Pedro, there’s also an eclectic mix of arts and culture in this seaside town. San Pedro’s own First Thursday Art Walk in the downtown arts district features more than 40 open galleries and studios, dozens of restaurants, and a variety of live music.

Shoppers will delight at Crafted, a permanent craft marketplace located within a 1940s Port of Los Angeles warehouse, featuring wares by more than 100 independent artists and artisans. There are also special events and daily food-truck offerings.

Featured San Pedro

More Resources

Find More Things To Do