Discover San Pedro and the Los Angeles Waterfront

San Pedro Gateway Fanfare Fountains
Fanfare Fountains at San Pedro Gateway | Photo: Port of Los Angeles

Located on the southern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, San Pedro is one of the most historic and picturesque regions in Los Angeles. San Pedro is a unique blend of small-town charm, superb cultural attractions, eclectic shopping, America’s Port® and a world class cruise center.

The 1st Thursday Art Walk in downtown San Pedro features open galleries and a variety of food and entertainment options, beginning at 5 p.m. Art galleries, shops and restaurants are open until 9 p.m. Most of the participants are located on 4th St. to 7th St., and from Pacific Ave. to Palos Verdes St.

One of the best ways to discover the waterfront is by riding one of San Pedro's propane-powered trolleys, a free service that operates Thursday through Sunday. To view the trolley schedule, click here.

Read our guide to San Pedro and begin your exploration of this hidden gem coastal destination.

NOTE: Hours and opening dates change frequently. Check individual websites for updated information.

Battleship IOWA | Photo: Michael Justice
Battleship IOWA | Photo: Michael Justice

Battleship Iowa

Built in 1940, the Battleship Iowa was designated the "World's Greatest Naval Ship" due to her big guns, heavy armor, fast speed, longevity and modernization. Having served her country for 50 years, Battleship Iowa nows call Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro her home. Battleship Iowa opened to the public on July 7, 2012, after being transformed into an interactive naval museum and living memorial.

Cabrillo Beach   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa
Cabrillo Beach  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Cabrillo Beach

The family-friendly Cabrillo Beach is one of the top beaches in Los Angeles. Located near Point Fermin Park, Cabrillo Beach has two separate areas. Inside the breakwater, the water is tranquil and calm, ideal for a relaxing picnic. Outside the breakwater, windsurfers and kayakers take on the ocean waves. The fishing pier is a favorite destination for whale-watching and especially during grunion season.

Moon jellies at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Moon jellies at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

With its spectacular natural setting adjacent to Cabrillo Beach and the Port of Los Angeles, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is uniquely suited to its leadership role in marine science education, aquaculture research and community recreation. The historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world.

Crafted Nagare Boutique Bohemian Wrapsody Bracelet
Bohemian Wrap-Sody Bracelet by Nagare Boutique at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles | Photo: CRAFTED


CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles is a large-scale permanent craft marketplace, located in classic World War II-era waterside warehouses. Visitors are treated to a huge variety of one-of-a kind treasures as each artist presents unique, handcrafted goods in a vibrant patchwork of market stalls. CRAFTED eventually plans to house hundreds of individual craft-artists, designers and artisan food makers. The marketplace also showcases daily demonstrations, live music, special events, and delicious food from a variety of food trucks. CRAFTED is open Friday-Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Parking and admission are free.

Battery Osgood-Farley at Fort MacArthur Museum in San Pedro
Fort MacArthur Museum with Catalina Island in the background | Photo: @visionsbytombertolotti, Instagram

Fort Macarthur Museum

The Fort MacArthur Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of Fort MacArthur, a U.S. Army post that guarded the Los Angeles harbor from 1914 to 1974. The museum was established in 1985, and is housed in the corridors and galleries of the historic Battery Osgood-Farley. The museum’s exhibits and displays include the history of Los Angeles harbor defenses, home-front activities in the greater Los Angeles area during the World Wars, Civil Defense, American Pacific Theater military campaigns, early American Air Defenses and the important role of Los Angeles as a military port for both the Army and the Navy. Battery Osgood-Farley was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro
Korean Bell of Friendship  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Korean Bell Of Friendship

This massive, intricately-decorated bronze bell is housed in a stone pavilion in Angel’s Gate Park, on a knoll that overlooks the sea gate from which U.S. troops sailed into the Pacific. The Korean Bell of Friendship offers some of the best views in Los Angeles, including Los Angeles harbor, Catalina Channel and the sea terraces of San Pedro hill. The bell was presented to the people of Los Angeles in 1976 by the people of the Republic of Korea to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial, honor veterans of the Korean War, and to symbolize friendship between the two nations. It weighs 17 tons, with a height of 12 feet and a diameter of 7.5 feet. The bell is struck only five times a year: on New Year's Eve, Korean American Day (January 13), Independence Day (July 4), Korean Liberation Day (August 15), and every September in celebration of Constitution Week. The bell has no clapper, but is struck from the outside with a wooden log. The Korean Bell of Friendship was declared Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 187 in 1978.

LA Maritime Museum Angels Gate Tugboat
Angels Gate tugboat at the LA Maritime Museum | Photo: LA Maritime Museum

Los Angeles Maritime Museum

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is the largest maritime museum in California and features more than 700 ship and boat models, a variety of navigational equipment and a fully operational ham radio station. Exhibits include Native American artifacts relating to the sea, ship figureheads, maritime arts and crafts, and an 18-foot scale model of the Titanic. There are also historical exhibits of the whaling industry, tall ships, commercial shipping, the Navy, the Merchant Marine and recreational sailing. The 75,000 square-foot museum is housed in the former San Pedro Municipal Ferry Building, a Works Progress Administration (WPA) building that was designed in the Streamline Moderne style and built in 1941. The building was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 146 in 1975, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro
Point Fermin Lighthouse | Photo: C Hanchey, Flickr

Point Fermin Lighthouse

Built in 1874, the Point Fermin Lighthouse was the first navigational light that guided ships into the San Pedro Bay. Paul J. Pelz, a draftsman for the U.S. Lighthouse Board, designed the Stick Style Victorian lighthouse. The Stick Style is an early Victorian architectural style and is simpler in design and decoration than the later High Victorian period. In 1972, the Point Fermin Lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse was restored, retrofitted, and rehabilitated for public access in 2002, and opened to the public in 2003 under the management of the Department of Recreation and Parks for the City of Los Angeles. Movie fans will recognize the Point Fermin Lighthouse from the wedding scene in the 2009 film (500) Days of Summer.

San Pedro Gateway Fanfare Fountains
Fanfare Fountains at San Pedro Gateway | Photo: Port of Los Angeles

Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles — America’s Port® and the premier gateway for international commerce — is the busiest cargo terminal in the United States and a leader in international trade. The Port of Los Angeles is home to the World Cruise Center, the busiest passenger port-of-call on the West Coast, with most major cruise lines offering vacation cruises to Baja California, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Alaska, the Panama Canal and other destinations. The famous Vincent Thomas Bridge crosses Los Angeles Harbor, linking San Pedro with Terminal Island. In 1996, the 1,500-foot long suspension bridge was declared the official welcoming monument of the City of Los Angeles. Every night, the bridge is brilliantly illuminated by thousands of solar-powered blue LEDs. Located at the port entrance near the bridge, Fanfare at San Pedro Gateway features 58 choreographed water jets that build a dramatic waterfront entryway for visitors and residents alike.

Primary image for Warner Grand Theatre

Warner Grand Theatre

The Warner Grand Theatre is a lavish, Art Deco theatre that opened to the public in 1931. The theatre was designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca and interior designer A.T. Heinsbergen. Priteca later designed the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The Warner Grand Theatre currently hosts a variety of classic, family and foreign films, as well as live performances. The theatre anchors the San Pedro Arts, Culture and Entertainment District, which is home to over 90 visual artists, as well as restaurants, performing arts venues and art galleries. The Warner Grand Theatre was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 251 in 1982, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Crowne Plaza San Pedro
Crowne Plaza San Pedro | Photo: IHG/Crowne Plaza

Where to Stay: Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor

The Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor is ideally located for exploring San Pedro on foot. The 244-room contemporary hotel overlooks historic downtown San Pedro as well as the entire Port of Los Angeles, and the World Cruise Center is just four blocks away.

DoubleTree Hilton San Pedro
DoubleTree by Hilton San Pedro | Photo: DoubleTree by Hilton

Where to Stay: DoubleTree by Hilton San Pedro - Port of Los Angeles

The 226-room DoubleTree by Hilton San Pedro - Port of Los Angeles is nestled among hundreds of pleasure boats with miles of nearby beaches. Its proximity to the ocean features spectacular views, and the hotel offers a convenient shuttle service for visitors who want to explore Old Town San Pedro.

Primary image for Best Western Plus San Pedro Hotel & Suites
Best Western Plus San Pedro Hotel and Suites | Photo: Best Western

Where to Stay: Best Western Plus San Pedro Inn & Suites

This 60-room, Victorian style hotel captures the flavor of a unique, romantic European hotel. The centrally-located property features spacious guestrooms with panoramic views of Los Angeles Harbor and Vincent Thomas Bridge, as well as numerous amenities such as complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi and Business Center, and complimentary guest indoor parking.

Vagabond Inn San Pedro
Vagabond Inn San Pedro | Photo: Vagabond Inn

Where to Stay: Vagabond Inn San Pedro

Located near the 110 Freeway, the San Pedro Harbor, cruise ships, flights and boats to Catalina, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and the World Cruise Center. Amenities include daily complimentary continental breakfast, free parking and free WiFi.