There are a multitude of free events and fun things to see, eat and do during Labor Day weekend in San Pedro. Drive down to LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles beginning Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3 to see 6 historical naval ships. Afterwards enjoy the seaside town’s wonderful dining options, unique shopping experiences, and new craft beer scene.
Here’s my 10 favorite San Pedro activities:
- Take the free Red Trolley offered by the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District for residents and visitors. Park your car near Ports O’Call Village. The route runs along the waterfront making stops at the Maritime Museum and the Battleship Iowa. Other stops include Crafted, the Brouwerij West Brewery, Cabrillo Beach, and the Lane Victory. Passengers are encouraged to get off and on at their convenience.
- Start with coffee and breakfast dishes at Siren’s Java and Tea. Afterwards, walk down to the historic San Pedro Fish Market. This is the busiest fresh fish market and restaurant along the Los Angeles waterfront. They are known for their famous shrimp tray. Siren’s Java and Tea – 356 W 7th St. San Pedro Fish Market is located at Ports O’ Call Village 1190 Nagoya Way.
- Afterwards take a 45 minute Harbor Breeze Cruise for a fully-narrated cruise that takes passengers past many iconic sights along the Los Angeles Harbor. It’s a great way to experience Fleet Week on the water. See the Maritime Museum, USS IOWA Battleship, Lane Victory ship, and Mr. Steven – the sleek and fast SpaceX recovery boat. It’s wide net catches SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk’s rocket capsules before they hit seawater.On this harbor cruise you will see why San Pedro is one of the busiest harbors in the United States. Sit indoors and on the outdoor decks for unobstructed viewing. The boat also cruises by the Terminal Island Federal Prison, Coast Guard ships, dry docks, container terminals, the Vincent Thomas suspension bridge, Los Angeles fire boats, the cruise ship terminals, San Pedro Bay, and Angels Gate Lighthouse.
- Climb onboard the historical 1943 Battleship IOWA for a public ship tour. It’s now permanently docked at Port of Los Angeles as a living history museum. Also known as the Battleship of Presidents, USS IOWA was outfitted in WWII to be the flagship that carried President Franklin Roosevelt across the Atlantic in 1943 for meetings with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.
Fun Facts: During WWII and the Korean War, the battleship was the “Mighty I”. A bathtub was installed on the IOWA as a convenience for President Roosevelt, making it the only U.S. warship with a bathtub installed for an American President. During the 1980’s Cold War, it was the “Big Stick”, which referred to President Teddy Roosevelt’s advice: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” Admission for adults is $15 and $10 admission for age 6 to 11. Children 5 & under it’s free, and free for military & veterans with valid identification. These tickets are only good during 2018 LA Fleet Week. 250 S. Harbor Blvd, San Pedro, CA 90731. LAFleetWeek.com.
- Explore Crafted warehouse. Admission is free to enter this handmade shopping experience featuring some of LA’s best artisans and craftspeople. Each have their own studio include where visitors can meet the artist, sign up for a class, and purchase a few souvenirs. 112 E. 22nd St. Click here for more info on Crafted.
- Across the way visit Brouwerij West located in an old warehouse that was repurposed into a brewery. It’s family friendly and there is always a food truck out front for those who would like to enjoy a few bites with their beer flight. 110 E. 22nd. St. (310)833-9330.
- Afterwards get back on the trolley and enjoy a full lunch at Pappy’s Seafood for a California Cobb salad, fish and chips, seafood plate or ahi poke bowl. See the menu and address by clicking here.
- See the iconic Warner Grand Theatre that opened on January 20, 1931, and became the first sound-equipped theater in the South Bay. Jack Warner, Jr. dubbed the theater “The Castle of Your Dreams,” and the glamorous picture palace became the center of public life in the San Pedro area. Designed by a distinguished team, the architect B. Marcus Priteca and the artist Anthony Heinsbergen were the same team that designed the Hollywood Pantages. Priteca also designed Los Angeles City Hall. Of the three Warner Brothers theatres in southern California, in San Pedro, Beverly Hills and Huntington Park, the Warner Grand is only one intact. The theatre was purchased by the City of Los Angeles in 1996. The Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Los Angeles Cultural/Historic Landmark. 478 W 6th St.
- Be sure to see Angel’s Gate Park and the Korean Friendship Bell before sunset. This intricately-decorated large bell and pavilion was donated in 1976 to the people of Los Angeles by the people of the Republic of Korea. Not only was it given as a bicentennial of the U.S. independence gift, but also to honor veterans of the Korean War, and to consolidate traditional friendship between the two countries. The bell is patterned after the Bronze Bell of King Songdok, which was cast in 771 A.D. and is still on view in South Korea today. Weighing 17 tons, with a height of twelve feet and a diameter of 7-1/2 feet, the bell is made of copper and tin, with gold, nickel, lead and phosphorous added for tone quality. Four pairs of figures, each pair consisting of the Goddess of Liberty holding a torch, and a Korean spirit , are engraved in relief on the body of the bell. Each of the Korean spirits holds up a different symbol: a symbolic design of the Korean flag; a branch of the rose of Sharon, Korea’s national flower; a branch of laurel, symbol of victory; and a dove of peace. The bell is struck from the outside with a wooden log and is rung only four times each year – July 4, August 15 (Korean Independence Day), every September to coincide with bell ringings around the country to celebrate Constitution week and New Year’s Eve. 3601 S Gaffey St
- Before leaving have an Italian dinner at J. Trani’s. Dustin J. Trani, formerly of DOMA Restaurant in Beverly Hills, has returned to his family roots and is now the executive chef at J. Trani’s Ristorante. Opened in 1925 by family patriarch Filippo Trani, the restaurant now features elegant fish dishes, ceviches, savory pastas, flatbreads and local calamari. 584 W. Ninth St., San Pedro, (310)832-1220.
A special treat on Labor Day Weekend is the launch of the much-anticipated CIA thriller, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan by Amazon Prime Video. The North American premiere event with talent and creators is at LA Fleet Week. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, co-produced with Paramount Television and Skydance Television, is a reinvention with a modern sensibility of the unexpected Tom Clancy hero, Jack Ryan, portrayed by John Krasinski. An up-and-coming CIA analyst, Ryan is thrust into a dangerous field assignment involving a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale. The one-hour, eight-episode dramatic series also stars Wendell Pierce and is set to debut globally on August 31 on Prime Video. Tickets distributed by LA Fleet Week Foundation are limited for the evening premiere. For more information on the Prime Original series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Facebook: @JackRyanAmazon, Instagram: @JackRyanAmazon. Twitter: @JackRyanAmazon.
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