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Where Vintage L.A. Meets the Sea

Where Vintage L.A. Meets the Sea

How to turn a day in San Pedro into a journey back in time.

By Cole Ruth

Most people who visit L.A. go in search of Hollywood. They want to see the sign. They want to go to the Pantages Theatre and step on the handprints of the stars. Then they spend two hours on the freeway and can’t find parking, or spend outrageous sums to valet. And they can barely see the sign through the smog. What visitors don’t know is that there is a better way to see L.A.

When my parents’ cruise ship recently docked in the Los Angeles Harbor, I decided to show them. We met up at the singing fountains outside the terminal. While we waited for the performance, we watched kids play in the pools and bought ice cream-stuffed lemons from a peddler’s homemade cart.

Old Los Angeles

Welcome to Old Los Angeles — the one depicted in movies like Chinatownand Pearl Harbor. This is where the city really began. The beach, aquarium, and high school are all named after Juan Cabrillo, the Spanish explorer who landed here in 1542. The first East Coast traders who ventured around Cape Horn stopped here, too. Ever since, this working class town has weathered the ups and downs of the fishing and shipping trades of one of the busiest ports in the world.


This is an excerpt only. To read this article in its entirety, pick up the current issue of Porthole Cruise Magazine.

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