Discover San Pedro Car Free

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Fanfare Fountains at Gateway Plaza | Photo courtesy of LA Waterfront

While San Pedro is part of the city of Los Angeles, a trip there would convince a visitor otherwise, as the harbor-front community offers a truly distinctive experience. With San Pedro (pronounced “PEE-dro”) annexed to L.A. in 1909, the Port of Los Angeles was dredged shortly thereafter, creating a thriving community of about 80,000 people comprised of a fascinating mix of Greek-, Mexican-, Irish-, Italian- and Croatian-Americans. Much of the L.A. Waterfront can be explored on foot or via the 1.5-mile Waterfront Red Car Line. The truly adventurous can opt for an excellent side trip to Catalina Island.

This full-day itinerary takes approximately six to eight hours if all stops are visited. You may want to set aside an entire day to enjoy the optional trip to Catalina Island. Skip stops if you are running low on time, or want to spend more time enjoying a particular point of interest.

Recommended Methods of Travel: Walking, Water Front Red Car
Total Distance: 5 miles. Distance Walking: 1.5 miles.

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Downtown San Pedro

Starting from the West 3rd St. and South Pacific St. Metro Transit Center, head west towards Mesa St. The heart of Downtown San Pedro runs roughly west of Mesa St. to the water’s edge, and between 3rd and 7th Streets. Downtown San Pedro offers a lively and eclectic collection of shops and restaurants, all within walking distance of each other or a short jaunt on the Waterfront Red Car Line. Additionally, the 1st Thursday Art Walk celebrates the local arts community on the first Thursday of each month from 6-9 p.m.

Battleship IOWA

Battleship IOWA Museum

Walk to 3rd St. and take it east until it ends at Harbor Blvd., where you’ll find the Battleship USS Iowa across the street. The USS Iowa is the only battleship on the West Coast open to the public. Open daily (except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), the massive battleship, which has hosted three U.S. presidents, provides a fascinating U.S. maritime and military history lesson for adults and children alike.

Ports O' Call Village

After your stop at USS Iowa, head south about a mile by foot or via the Waterfront Red Car from the Downtown San Pedro Station. At Ports O'Call Village, you'll find an enticing selection of seafood offerings as well as an assortment of shops all lining the main channel of the Port of Los Angeles. For a bit of adventure hop on board a sport fishing boat and go deep sea diving. Special annual events held at Ports o' Call include the L.A. Wood car show in May, The Taste in San Pedro in August and the world famous Lobster Fest in October.

Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles

Located less than a mile from Ports o’ Call Village, Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles is a large-scale permanent craft marketplace open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. To get to Crafted from Ports O’ Call Village, hop back on the Waterfront Red Car and head south to the Marina Station stop. Then turn right on 22nd Street, and Crafted will be on your right. You can also walk by taking Sampson Way toward Timms Way, the ocean will be on your left. Then turn right on 22nd, Crafted will be on your right.

Looking for an adventure and have some extra time? See below for an exciting trip to Catalina Island.

Catalina Island 1


Recommended Methods of Travel: Walking, Water Front Red Car
Total Distance: 2 miles. Distance Walking: .75 miles.

For those with some extra time, and perhaps even an extra day, visit Catalina Island and experience the beautiful and historic City of Avalon, which offers great land and water activities along with excellent dining options.

Hop on the Waterfront Red Car at any station and take it all the way north to its last stop at the Waterfront Red Car Cruise Center Station. From there, head north on Harbor Blvd. towards Swindford St. You'll see the famous San Pedro Gateway Plaza Fountains on your right. Then take a right on Swindford, which will take you all the way to the Catalina Air-Sea Terminal. The Catalina Air-Sea Terminal is the closest departure point to Catalina Island. The terminal is served by Catalina Express and the Island Express Helicopter Service. San Pedro-Avalon trips are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by boat, or 15 minutes by helicopter.

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Photo courtesy of Catalina Express San Pedro Terminal, Facebook

Catalina Express

At Berth 95 of the Catalina Air-Sea Terminal, board the Catalina Express for the hour-long trip to Catalina Island. More than one million passengers set sail to Catalina Island each year on board the Catalina Express fleet. Catalina Express offers year-round service and up to 30 departures daily from ports in San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. Reservations are recommended and may be made in advance by phone, or online at Tickets may be purchased the day of departure, based on space availability. Please note that round-trip service is not provided daily. Contact Catalina Express for more information on schedules and tickets.