August 22, 2005
For the tourist, San Pedro's Ports o' Call Village is the major attraction, along with its neighbor, the cruise ship docks. From here, you can catch a 3- to 7-day cruise ship down to Cabo San Lucas or Mazatlan.
Ports o' Call Village is a cute shopping/strolling/dining area, modeled after a New England fishing village. There are both casual and formal restaurants, a variety of wares--from trinket shops to fine art galleries, and even a chance to cruise! Well, it's just a one-hour tour of the port of LA, but it costs a lot less than the cruise liner to Mexico! I need to warn you about this tour, though. If you want to see ritzy yachts moored in an attractive marina, or high-end, waterfront homes, this isn't the tour for you. (For scenes like that, I recommend the Newport Harbor tour in Newport Beach down in Orange County.) THIS tour shows you the gritty scenes around the port of Los Angeles. You'll see boats arriving from Asia, laden with boxcar-shaped loads of merchandise. You'll see tall cranes, used to unload the ships. You'll see the San Pedro waterfront...which is in the middle of a 30 year re-development plan, but that doesn't mean it's the world's most scenic waterfront YET. I enjoyed the tour myself, though. It was like a "factory tour" but on the water---you'll learn how the nuts and bolts of international trade really happen. A real plus about the tour is that it's all behind the giant breakwaters used to eliminate waves (to make it safe for all the cargo ships coming and going.) Even those who get seasick easily (like me!) won't have that trouble here. As far as the restaurants go, other than to grab a soda or an ice cream cone, I've only eaten in one of them. That was "Acapulco", a Mexican restaurant. The entrees were in the $9--$15 dollar range. I had the shrimp enchiladas. I was afraid all the sauces would hide the shrimp flavor, but they didn't--I could really taste the seafood. I was pleased and would order it again. The Ports O' Call Restaurants is one of the ritziest restaurants in this area, with elegant decor and place settings, along with a Continental and seafood menu. Conversly, the Fish Market Restaurant is one of the most casual. You eat your food on outside tables while staring at lobster tanks and sniffing the decidedly fishy odor of the seafood market.
From journal Beach Cities of Southern Los Angeles County