Let’s face it, Los Angeles is HUGE.
Even as someone born and raised here, there is still so much of LA I have yet to explore. Half the time when someone mentions where they live I just nod and act like I know exactly where they’re talking about.
Yeah, it’s that bad.
But in my defense Los Angeles County has 88 incorporated cities ( plus MANY unincorporated ones) and is the most populous county in the entire United States.* So, can you really blame me?
So in an effort to get to know LA better, I figured why not get out and see all the individual cities, towns, and neighborhoods that make this massive metropolitan unique? My ultimate goal is to create a mini-guide of all the things to do, see and eat in all the areas throughout Los Angeles. All from a local’s perspective, of course. So to kick off this little series it only seems fitting that I introduce you to the one area I know like the back of my hand; my hometown of San Pedro.
SAN PEDRO HISTORY
When ever I’m asked where I am from I always answer “from a small town in LA.” Seems a little contradicting but that is exactly what San Pedro feels like. Unlike most towns and neighborhoods in Los Angeles, San Pedro has managed to stay a very tight-knit community. Most of the small business are family owned and have been for generations. Everyone just seems to know everyone. My family, for instance, has had three-generations graduate from San Pedro High School and soon enough it will be four!
Besides having multi-generational families still inhabiting it’s street, San Pedro has quite an extensive history.
Predating the founding of the Pueblo de Los Angeles in 1742, San Pedro was first discovered in 1542 by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo of Spain. A point of port from the beginning, Rancho San Pedro was the site of the first Spanish land grant in Alta California and was labeled officially labeled a township two years after being under United States control in 1860.*
Home to the Port of LA and the US Navy, San Pedro became such a valuable asset it was consolidated with the city of Los Angeles in 1909.
WHAT TO DO & SEE
Considering its rich history there is actually quite a lot of thing to do and see in this little community.
Here are a few sights and activities I recommend next time you find yourself in San Pedro:
- Cabrillo Aquarium — If you go any time from March through August try checking out the Grunion Run! Super fun for the kids.
- Harbor/Whale Watching Cruise– Free every third Saturday in May
- Port O’Call- Currently under construction but nice to see nonetheless.
- Walk along Paseo Del Mar
- Los Angeles Maritime Museum
- Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles– Local’s Hack: check out the artisans and craftsmen then go grab a craft beer at Brouwerji West next door.
- Marine Mammal Care Center– See and learn how this organization continues to care for LA County Seals and Sea Lions. If you’re in the area, join them June 22 for annual Seal Day! There is food, music, fun and more!
- Korean Friendship Bell– The perfect place to picnic and fly a kite with the kids.
- Point Fermin Lighthouse– (FYI: restrictions for children under 40 inches when taking a tour)
- Warner Grand Theatre– Experience this historic theatre in all its grandeur by attending a concert, show, or movie!
- Downtown San Pedro– There always seems to be something going on there nowadays. From the Farmer’s Market to street-fairs and even concerts, you’re sure to run into something fun.
- Battleship USS Iowa
WHERE TO EAT
- San Pedro Fish Market-One of the last restaurants left at Ports O’Call, this place continues to flourish thanks to their massive Instagram following.
- Niko’s Pizzeria– Great spot to stop if you’re in downtown SP and are craving some pizza. Try the calzone, you won’t regret it.
- Busy Bee Market–Local Hack: grab your sandwich and enjoy it by the coast
- Gaffey Street Diner– featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives!
- Brouwerji West– Located in a renovated warehouse this is a great spot to grab some craft beers. What makes it even better is that fact you can bring the kids and pups!
- Pappy’s Seafood– One of the newer establishments downtown, Pappy’s serves seafood, beer, and live entertainment.
- Chori-Man-If you’re a fan of SonoraTown than you need to check this place out. If you’re not familiar with the area, it may be a little hard to find but it is definitely worth it!
- Pacific Diner– This place gets PACKED so plan accordingly since there is usually minimal street parking.
So, what did you think??
There is really so much to do and experience in the small community of San Pedro. This mini-guide is just the tip of the iceberg! So next time you find yourself in the area, EXPLORE! I’m sure you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find and see.
Oh! And stay tuned for more local mini-guides. In the meantime make sure to check out my recommendations for DTLA.
*Stats and historical facts courtesy of Wikipedia