SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Oct. 24, 2012 – Milder temperatures and smaller crowds make the fall and winter season a great time to explore the LA Waterfront in San Pedro and Wilmington. Set against the stunning backdrop of America’s Port®, the Port of Los Angeles — the LA Waterfront is quickly earning a reputation as a destination filled with all kinds of activities for visiting families, cruise-bound tourists or people looking for a fun night of dining, art and shopping.
With miles of newly renovated public promenades and walking paths, exciting landmarks like California’s largest fountain or the iconic Vincent Thomas Bridge, and a host of renowned attractions, historic landmarks and museums, the LA Waterfront has something to offer everyone. As the year-end holiday season approaches, the LA Waterfront has attractions and activities that families, foodies, history buffs, shoppers, or weekend explorers are sure to find of interest.
Explore the USS IOWA Battleship, the World War II icon known as the Battleship of Presidents. Opened in July as Los Angeles’ newest “floating” museum attraction, the 887-foot, 45,000-ton vessel – designated the “World’s Greatest Naval Ship” because of her power, speed, heavy armor, longevity and modern technology – holds tours daily. www.pacificbattleship.com
Catch a ride on the Waterfront Red Car Line, a vintage electric red car line that runs north to south along a 1.5 mile route connecting San Pedro’s World Cruise Center and the Gateway Fanfare Fountain to other attractions, shops and restaurants along the waterfront. Stop for a visit at the L.A. Maritime Museum or Ports O’ Call Village, or end the journey at the 22nd Street Landing, a great starting point for a stroll along Cabrillo Marina promenade, 22nd Street Park walking trails or the new CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles, a handmade artisan marketplace.
Visit the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium with its spectacular natural setting adjacent to Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles. It’s a great place to explore sea life, especially for kids. The historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
Probe the treasures of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, located in the historic 1941 Municipal Ferry Terminal. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this museum celebrates the history of Los Angeles Harbor and the ferry system that transported thousands of passengers to canneries and shipyards, as well as to military bases on historic Terminal Island. www.lamaritimemuseum.org
Shopping abounds throughout the LA Waterfront. Try CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles, a unique and vibrant marketplace housed in a historic Navy warehouse. CRAFTED buzzes each weekend with the hum of makers — from jewelers to bakers, woodworkers to leathersmiths, quilters to scrapbookers, and many more. Shoppers will find the perfect gift or something special to keep. The marketplace only features goods handmade in the USA, which you can often see being made right in the artist booths. http://craftedportla.com/
At Ports O’ Call Village, you’ll find an intriguing assortment of shops, restaurants and attractions waiting for discovery. Visitors can follow the brick pathway to explore the truly authentic, local shops and find just the right treasured trinket, treat or souvenir. Or they can swing by the renowned Ports O’ Call Restaurant to bid hello to the famous “Fisherman” statue in front, modeled after the legendary fisherman of Gloucester, Massachusetts. San Pedro Fish Market is also a popular gathering place, especially on the weekends.
Shopping generates an appetite, and the options on the LA Waterfront are endless.
Like a trip around the world, the restaurants in Historic Downtown San Pedro feature a wide range of cuisine, from Hungarian to Mexican, Mediterranean to Italian, Japanese to California Fresh and everything in between. There are more than three dozen full-service, family owned and operated restaurants. Owners are there daily including Raffaéllo Ristoránte, Niko’s Pizzeria, and Neil’s Pasta & Seafood Grill carefully planning their menus in their popular eateries.
San Pedro Brewing Company features great American fare, award-winning ales and offers free tours. The ambiance in Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Café, with homemade Hungarian-style pastries, feels like sitting in a café in Budapest. Then there’s Limani Taverna, a fun and thriving Greek restaurant. Think Café is a hidden gem, as well as Baramee Thai Restaurant whose owners greet patrons and offer an authentic menu that rivals the best in Los Angeles.
The ambiance and food at The Whale & Ale English Pub & Restaurant proves that the 17-year-old English Pub has patrons returning for something more (including live music) than just fresh fish and chips. The many dining opportunities combined with San Pedro’s lively 1st Thursday Art Walks are a great way to explore the local scene. The colorful mix of unique shops — you won’t find a franchise or chain store — makes a stop here a must.
Make sure to check out the Catalina Express Ferry Terminal at the end of the Cruise Ship Promenade. The new Catalina Sea and Air Terminal is not only popular with Catalina-bound tourists, its Catalina Bistro and Express Grill offer great food with an awesome view of the Port’s main channel.
Come to the Gateway Fanfare Fountain, a welcoming landmark and promenade located at Harbor Boulevard and Swinford Street in San Pedro. The largest water feature in California, the spectacular water display pumps 400,000 gallons of recycled water with streams as high as 100 feet. Worth a watch, the dramatic choreographed dancing water shows happen every 30 minutes throughout the day/evening and more frequently during peak hours.
Another option is Cabrillo Beach and Cabrillo Way Marina , The Cabrillo Beach area is a favorite among boaters, out-of-area day-trippers and schools on field trips because of beach access and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Visitors or vacationers staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in the outer harbor can also now enjoy a jog or leisurely stroll around the completely transformed 700-slip Cabrillo Marina Phase II, covering 87 acres of land and water, located just south of 22nd and Miner Streets. The area includes nearly a mile of public waterfront promenade, with sweeping views of the outer harbor, dining and fishing out of 22nd Street Landing, and one of the newest art installations at the Port – “Ship in a Bottle” public art by popular artist Mark Dion.
For more points of interest along the LA Waterfront, click here. Play, Dine, Shop, Explore. It’s all on the LA Waterfront.
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