San Pedro Historic Downtown Waterfront – The home of the USS Iowa (BB-61)
The historic heart of San Pedro is just steps away from the USS Iowa and the waterfront and features an amazing mix of architecture, shops, hotels, restaurants, art galleries, studios, theaters, entertainment and browsing. Several restaurants, pubs and coffee houses offer outdoor dining and nightly entertainment. Enjoy cuisine from the Caribbean, Japan, Mexico, Greece, Italy, the Continent, down-home and Southern-style–all in the space of a few blocks. San Pedro’s restaurants are known for excellent food and friendly service, featuring foods from all over the world. Dining in San Pedro is truly an international experience. See a map of the Downtown Restaurants near the USS Iowa.
Discover the charm of the delightful shops which pride themselves on customer service. Visit the many art galleries and studios that have made Old San Pedro a center for artists and art lovers. Find a book or a newspaper from around the world.Treat yourself to an item of clothing, jewelry, an unusual antique, or perhaps something handcrafted by one of our local artisans. With its small town atmosphere and many family-owned businesses, Downtown San Pedro reminds many people of the neighborhood of their youth. Visit in the evening,to see the many Tivoli Lights that are strung across the streets of downtown San Pedro.
Historic Downtown San Pedro, California, has been home to the United States Navy since the Mexican War. On August 6, 1846, Commodore Robert F. Stockton, on the frigate Congress, put ashore the ship’s Marines and they captured San Pedro. On August 11, a group of sailors and Marines marched from San Pedro and captured Los Angeles. In 1914, the US Navy placed the first US Submarines on the West Coast at San Pedro and developed a base in San Pedro. In 1919, President Wilson transfered 20 warships to the West Coast. On August 9, 1919, the ships moved north to what would become the new battleship anchorage, The new anchorage was San Pedro, the Port of Los Angeles Harbor, and the Port of Long Beach in San Pedro Bay, California.
From 1919 to 1940, many vessels of the Pacific Battle Fleet were based in San Pedro. Included were the Battleships Wyoming (BB-32), Arkansas (BB-33), New York (BB-34), Texas (BB-35), Nevada (BB-36), Oklahoma (BB-37), Pennsylvania (BB-38), Arizona (BB-39), New Mexico (BB-40), Mississippi (BB-41), Idaho (BB-42), Tennesse (BB-43), California (BB-44), Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46) and West Virginia (BB-48). There were also Aircraft Carriers and Repair Ships along with many Submarines, Destroyers and Submarine-Chasers. On April 1, 1940, the Pacific Fleet Battleships sailed to Hawaii for annual fleet exercises. The Battleships remained in the Hawaiian Islands to deter Japanese aggression until the attack on Pearl Harbor. They never returned to San Pedro. Today, the USS Iowa (BB-61) is home in San Pedro and open to the public.
A wonderful time to experience Downtown San Pedro is on the First Thursday of every month when many of the businesses, restaurants, and art galleries and studios stay open late. Every First Thursday is a unique event with free music, dancing, and performances right on the street and street corners. For more information visit 1stThursday.com.
The historic Warner Grand Theatre features a full schedule of movies and live entertainment. Please see our Local Entertainment Calendar for information on programs at the theater and other great entertainment in San Pedro.