San Pedro Outside the Box

How much does San Pedro care about putting an artistic face forward? Well, in this historic waterfront community,…

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How much does San Pedro care about putting an artistic face forward? Well, in this historic waterfront community, even the utility boxes are works of public art! Discover 10 of these decorated traffic signal power prisms (by 10 different local artists) on a 5.5-mile walk that also explores maritime history and culture.

Drop off your car at the park-and-ride lot just south of Harbor Boulevard and Swinford Street, catching your first two boxes on the southwest corner. The waterfront park across the street has water fountain shows throughout the day, against the backdrop of the cruise terminal and Vincent Thomas Bridge. Continue south parallel to Harbor through the park, passing a statue dedicated to multiculturalism and your next utility box at the intersection with O’Farrell Street. Two blocks later, you’ll reach a pair of utility boxes at the corner of Harbor and 1st. The battleship USS Iowa ($20 to enter) looms in the distance.

San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro
San Pedro

Your next block, Gibson Park, is home to two maritime memorials and the LA Maritime Museum. At 6th Street, turn right, passing two more boxes as you head inland toward the art district and a giant new art deco–influenced mural on the Warner Grand Theater by Kent Yoshimura. Go south a block on Pacific Avenue, turning left at 7th Street and a utility box stating “You are the key.” Head back to Harbor, passing several art studios and a utility box with two epic interpretations of rubber duckies. From here, go south on Harbor for 0.6 mile of port views as the street veers into a trail in 22nd Street Park. The left path here leads you to two giant warehouses, home to a local art market and Brouwerij West.

Head south along the marina to check out the boats, then north on Miner Street and right on 22nd (and your final utility box) before continuing east to Signal Place. Walk north along the waterfront for the next 0.4 mile until you reach Ghost Fish, a haunting piece about the plague of abandoned fishing gear that harms wildlife. Finally, enjoy Ports O’ Call village, full of seafood joints and mariachi bands. The road, Sampson Way, reconnects with 6th after half a mile. Then it’s only another 0.7 mile back to your car, those first two utility boxes, and the end of your San Pedro less traveled.

To get to the Harbor/Swinford park-and-ride lot, take the I-110 south to exit 1A for CA-47, continuing to the first exit for Harbor Blvd. Take a right onto Harbor Blvd, followed by an immediate right onto Beacon St. The lot will be on your right. Dog-friendly! And be sure to check out San Pedro’s First Thursday Art Walk.

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