Community Voices
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Korean Friendship Bell. Click to enlarge. (photo: John Mattera Photography)

The “Things to Do in San Pedro” edition has always been my favorite issue of San Pedro Today. 

It’s not just a guide for new people to explore and enjoy San Pedro. It’s also a great reminder to born-and-raised San Pedrans to visit some of our best locales more often. We have a lot of great historical spots like the Muller House Museum, the Point Fermin Lighthouse, and the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. When was the last time you visited? 

Folks new to San Pedro really enjoy our restaurants, visiting our parks, and the fact that we are recognized as a state-designated Cultural District due to our diverse, unique, and thriving artistic community. The San Pedro Waterfront Arts District does a great job of introducing people to the local artists who call San Pedro home, as well as bringing beautiful and vibrant murals to San Pedro. The music, art, theatre, and dance scenes will only improve as we invest more in our downtown and waterfront. 

It’s easy to take our town for granted the longer you live here. I lived a long time in San Francisco, and a friend and I invented “Tourist Tuesdays,” where we would try out and explore new sites around town every Tuesday. It became a great way to prepare for houseguests and show them the city’s best and most unique sides. 

What if we all scheduled something weekly or monthly to spend time with friends and family, really searching for new things to love about our town?

I like the idea of family nights where the whole crew can spend time together or, even better, one-on-one time with friends and family. It doesn’t have to be expensive — grabbing a sandwich from Sandwich Saloon or Busy Bee and picking a new spot from the hundreds highlighted here in this issue of San Pedro Today is a great way to spend a few hours.

Turning off the TV and putting on some walking shoes is another great way to see our town. You don’t have to walk every street like our beloved late historian Angela Romero, but you can learn much about the neighbors and the neighborhoods around us on foot. 

Would you be interested in a trolley tour of historic homes? How about a trolley tour of murals where you can meet the artist who created them and hear about their motivations? 

There’s so much to see and do in San Pedro. It’s important to commune with the folks who remember shopping on Pacific Avenue, the horses around Hernandez Ranch above Miraflores Canyon, Ports O’ Call Restaurant, the Drive-In Theater where Target is now, DiCarlo Bakery, the drive-thru Lochmann Dairy where Ponte Vista is now, and all the other bygone days of San Pedro with all of the new opportunities, experiences, and people in San Pedro.

I love hearing about old San Pedro when I visit the Dalmatian-American Club, the Italian-American Club, the Elks, and the Wigwam. I also love sharing my enthusiasm about all the new things San Pedro has to offer and everything to come. People stop me all the time, telling me how excited they are about the construction underway at the waterfront and letting me know who they would like to see at the amphitheater if and when it is approved. 

It’s important to mix new and old, to share history and aspirations, and to venture out and interact with different personalities. That’s what it means to be a community. 

Let’s get together more often to argue about who has the best pizza in San Pedro or grab a beer at San Pedro Brew Co. to watch a game. Let’s have wine nights at Compagnon Wine Bistro or grab a hotdog at Vicky’s Doghouse on the Battleship Iowa and watch the ships go by.  

The list of things to do in San Pedro is best when shared with others. Spending quality time interacting as humans, with our cellphones stowed and our eyes making contact, is a lost art. Friendly debate is a San Pedro pastime. I love that you can put four San Pedrans in a room, get five opinions, and all still be friends. 

San Pedro isn’t just a place; it’s a state of mind. The more we share, the time we spend together, and the connections we make are the heart of what makes San Pedro a great place to live. Don’t forget to say “hi” to all the folks you pass by on your adventures in San Pedro. It’s one way to keep San Pedro cozy. spt

Lee Williams

Lee Williams leads The Lee Williams Real Estate Group at REAL Broker and is a Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner. He also serves on the board of directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Connects, and the San Pedro Education Foundation. He can be reached at