When people visit California for either the first time or a short duration, they often want to see as many of the local sights as possible. Southern California has a plethora of unique locations for people to discover that may invoke feelings of awe and inspiration. Such common tourist spots include the Disneyland Resort, the Santa Monica Pier, the Queen Mary, Catalina Island, Hollywood, and much more. However, these represent the more impacted popular locations that thousands of people visit daily. What about the hidden spots that only true locals know about? How would out-of-town visitors discover the true hidden gems of Southern California? For that, they have to turn to the locals that grew up here in Southern California that had the time growing up to seek out these hidden gems. For this post, we turn out attention to San Pedro, the city at the southern tip of the city of Los Angeles.
San Pedro has gone through significant change over the past decade. They started as a small beach community, but turned into a working-class suburb with the inception of the Port of Los Angeles. Today, San Pedro has many maritime places to visit along the water’s edge, where most travelers often spend their time as opposed to the inner city centered on Gaffey Street. While San Pedro has all of these tourist places, San Pedro also houses many other sights that visitors tend to overlook. With their close proximity to the water, it comes with no surprise that San Pedro bears much for those interested in Marine Biology. Thankfully, San Pedro possesses a few inexpensive ways for visitors to explore and learn more about marine life.
Close to the southern end of San Pedro lies the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Unlike other popular aquariums in the greater Los Angeles area that require a hefty admission fee to enter, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium only asks for a $5 donation when you enter. While not as large as the other more-populated aquariums, this aquarium never has the crowds that those other aquariums do, so you can enjoy nature more peacefully. This aquarium also hosts the famous Grunion Run for those who want to experience a natural phenomenon.
If visiting during low tide, check out the Point Fermin Tide Pools nearby to see the marine life in real time. To get there, head due south from the aquarium, keeping an eye out for a sign and a gated walkway that leads out towards the rocky slope on the right side. After scaling a bit of rough terrain, you will have arrived at the tide pools. Basically, during high tide, the ocean completely engulfs this area, allowing all marine life to access this area. However, when the tide descends, access to the ocean cuts off, creating small tide pools of leftover water that act as safe havens for smaller creatures until the tide returns. During low tide, visitors often travel here to search for the small critters, which range from small fish to crustaceans to mollusks to anemones to abalones and more. It goes without saying to explore this area with durable shoes on because of the jagged rocks/shells and the anemones that perch on many of the rocks.
While San Pedro has lots of discover besides the typical tourist attractions, lots of other places have hidden gems like this that many do not know about. Get with locals to have them explain to you about things to see or check out locally that most often overlook.