Great Group Tours Around San Pedro, the Harbor, and Peninsula
Whatever the interest, there’s a tour available of the San Pedro area and beyond. Here is a sample of some of the tours we offer for groups of 10 and more. (Advance arrangements and pre-payment are required.)
Historic Los Angeles Harbor
Hundreds of visitors and reunion attendees have taken this popular tour.
Discover the fascinating history of Los Angeles Harbor with the guidance of an area expert. Sights include the Vincent Thomas Bridge, Point Fermin Lighthouse, Angel’s Gate Park, the Marine Mammal Care Center, and historic Downtown San Pedro.
The tour begins with an orientation and drive across Vincent Thomas Bridge, a graceful span connecting San Pedro with Terminal Island with the opportunity to snap a bird’s eye view of the vast harbor complex (weather permitting).
Make your first stop at Angel’s Gate Park, at the top of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A part of Fort MacArthur Army Base until the 1970s, the park offers excellent views of the Pacific. Have a look at the Korean Friendship Bell, a huge 17-ton replica of the Bronze Bell of Korean King Songdok, originally cast in 771 AD. The park is also home to the Mairne Mammal Care Center and Oiled Bird Care Center, where injured aquatic creatures are nursed back to health and returned to the sea. We will make a short visit to the sea lions and other ocean life recovering at the Marine Mammal Care Center
Drive on to nearby Point Fermin Lighthouse, the oldest navigational aid in San Pedro Bay. Put in operation in 1874, the handsome gabled building and lighthouse tower were first operated by two sisters, Mary and Ella Smith. A walk around the grounds provides very good photo ops.
Then it’s onward to the SS Lane Victory, a functioning World War II era Victory steamship that was built in San Pedro. Learn about the history of these vessels and the heroic commitment of merchant seafarers, who suffered more casualties in WWII than any other service element.
Make your way closeby to the harbor’s main channel for a visit to the current fishing fleet and learn about the history of commercial fishing in San Pedro from your expert guide.
Next, pay a visit to the heart of the Historic District for lunch, a snack, shopping, and strolling in the Arts Culture Entertainment District, home to dozens of art galleries, fine and funky shops, and much more.
Harbor Area Military History Tour
The Los Angeles Harbor area has a military history dating back to before the Civil War and we’ll explore much of it in this tour.
We start at Drum Barracks in Wilmington, home of the western Camel Corps during the Civil War. You’ll see the restored junior officers’ quarters and learn about California during the Civil War.
Then we’ll head up Banning Boulevard to the Banning House Museum, the restored home of Phinneas Banning, founder of the port at Wilmington and a brigadier general in the Union Army during the Civil War. He built this mansion to show his confidence that the Union would be preserved after the war.
Then we’ll go to the Outer Harbor for a visit to SS Lane Victory, an operating World War II era Victory ship that was built in San Pedro and served through the Vietnam war. We’ll get a special tour of this vessel and learn about military ship construction in Los Angeles Harbor.
The tour then goes past Ft. MacArthur's Lower Reservation, today part of Los Angeles Air Force Base, but built as a coastal defense installation, and on to its former Upper Reservation. Now Angels Gate Park, the Upper Reservation still has many vintage military buildings from its days as an army fort. And we’ll see where the big coastal guns were located. (Weekend tours include a stop at the Ft. MacArthur Museum, built into the cliffs in the former arsenal of the fort.) Then we’ll travel next door to the Korean Bell of Friendship for great photo opportunities and to learn about the connections between San Pedro and Korea.
The tour can optionally include lunch in the middle of the tour or at the end. Or it can include dinner and a speaker at the end if the tour starts later in the day.
San Pedro Arts Tour
2 ½ hours
Available Friday, Saturday, Sunday only
San Pedro is a town of the arts and a town of artists. This tour is a broad survey of the art and artists of the town.
We start at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles, the year-round craft marketplace, where we’ll see the works of scores of artisan works and try some hands-on activities. A representative of the San Pedro Art Association will give us an overview of the working artists’ scene in the area.
The tour will then proceed to Angel’s Gate Cultural Center, a working community of studios with galleries and performance space, where we’ll see the current exhibition and talk to one or more artists from the center.
Then we’ll travel next door to the Korean Bell of Friendship for great photo opportunities overlooking the Pacific Ocean and to learn about the Korean artisans who traveled to San Pedro to construct and decorate the bell and its pavilion—and how they recently restored the decoration by hand.
The tour will then head to Downtown San Pedro, the heart of the Waterfront Arts District, for a visit to the Original Parkhurst Gallery. Founded by the renowned late portrait and landscape painter Violet Parkhurst, this gallery is a vibrant place with lessons from painting masters, as well as paintings for sale. We’ll get some tips on buying art—what to look for and how to judge it.
Depending on the season, we may have the opportunity to walk across the street and view the latest exhibition in Marymount California University’s Klaus Center for the Arts. And there will be time to stroll through the arts district and find some of the many galleries.
Lunch during or after the tour or dinner and a speaker or discussion after the tour can be arranged.
Los Angeles Harbor Wildlife Tour
2 ½ hours
This tour focuses on the many forms of wildlife, especially sea life, in and around the Los Angeles Harbor area.
The tour starts at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium with an orientation and overview by a trained naturalist from the aquarium. We’ll have a chance to see the exhibits, then we’ll take a tidepool walk to learn about the life near the shore.
We’ll then head up to the Marine Mammal Care Center in Angels Gate Park, a facility that cares for sick and injured pinnipeds, and see the work that goes on there, especially with sea lions.
The tour will then go next door to the Korean Bell of Friendship for great photo opportunities over the Pacific Ocean and a talk by a naturalist about the kinds of wildlife that roam the coastal area, including fox, raccoons, coyotes, and opossum, that are not often seen.
As an option between the end of December and the middle of April, the tour can include a whale watching voyage. (This extends the tour time to about 5 hours.)
We can create customized special interest tours for any group of 10 or more. Visit San Pedro can arrange, for example, culinary and gourmet tours with an opportunity to look behind the scenes, beer and brewing tours with stops at San Pedro’s vibrant, innovative, and growing craft breweries, or a tour especially designed for any interest your group might have.
For more information and to book a tour for your group, call Visit San Pedro at 310-729-9828 or email us at email@example.com