San Pedro has never been a place I immediately think of visiting, but this southern corner of LA County has its fair share of fun features to explore and enjoy. Over the holiday break, Moondoggie and I spent a day down there, casually taking in the city and the sights. Here’s my quick rundown of cool places to check out the next time you’re down near the port of Los Angeles!
A landmark in San Pedro, this massive bronze bell is perched on a hill in Angel’s Gate Park. The park occupies part of the former Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur, and has a beautiful view of the coastline.
The bell, and the pavilion surrounding it, is incredibly intricate and detailed. Given to the US by the South Korean government in 1976 as a symbol of friendship, the bell is struck five times a year: on New Year’s Eve, Korean American Day (January 13), the Fourth of July, Korean Liberation Day (August 15), and Constitution Day (September 17).
All in all, a beautiful sight to see as you make your way into the city of San Pedro.
Built in 1874, the Point Fermin Lighthouse was the first navigational light into the San Pedro. It is a beautiful, Victorian house that’s simply darling and regularly decorated for the season. Admission to go inside the lighthouse is donation based and they even give guided tours three times a day!
This handmade marketplace is situated in a renovated warehouse and includes a patchwork of independent sellers booths. With over 100 makers represented, Crafted has everything from alcoholic cake pops, to shell-made jewelry, to custom T-shirts. It’s a great spot for finding one-of-a-kind treasures and the even have sewing stations and classes for visitors to try.
I personally love that dotted throughout the warehouse are cute “instagrammable” photo ops, as well as unusual art installations. And if you prefer to do your shopping after a little libation, local craft brewer Brouwerij West’s tasting room is situated just across from the marketplace in another warehouse.
Happening upon Crafted was a pleasant and unexpected surprise during our recent San Pedro excursion and I definitely recommend stopping in on this cute craft mall!
LA’s own maritime museum is right on the water next to the bustling San Pedro Warf. It’s a great little museum that you can get through in just over an hour or so, and it is brimming with all kinds of interesting facts about the port of LA’s history, along with plenty of details about the many ships that have made their ways through the port over the years.
Hands down my favorite thing about San Pedro is Utro’s Cafe – a little, family-run dive that’s been serving up burgers and beer since the 50s. After having to move from its original location in the late 80s when displaced by condominiums, the infamous bar has a new home just behind the wharf.
Now, one should be warned, this isn’t the kind of place where the service is amazing and the food is incredible. This is more of a hole-in-the-wall bar that lacks the finer things but has a sort of working-class charm. The burger may be less than average in any other setting, but sitting in Utro’s, amongst the cheesy nautical decor and a random melange of pictures on the walls, it was brilliant!
So that’s my quick collection of San Pedro suggestions. Give the Port of Los Angeles a visit and I’m sure you’ll stumble upon even more fun and unique sights.