A Sailor’s Life For Me – Touring the Los Angeles Maritime Museum

Well ok, not really. I don’t really like sailing or boats for that matter. I prefer keeping my feet on solid ground. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate maritime activities. If you have a love for open water, hooray! I’ll be cheering you on from dry land.

Because I appreciate but don’t participate in all things nautical I was happy to recently visit the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro. I could view all the oceanic artifacts without leaving the safety of the harbor.

And that’s exactly where the maritime museum is – right on the harbor. In fact, it used to be the Municipal Ferry Terminal that would house the ferries that would transport people to Terminal Island. A wonderful example of adaptive reuse the building now houses the museum.

I visited the museum on a recent weekend and was surprised at how vast the collection was. Admission is only $3 (you can’t even get a latte for that price!). As such, I expected it to be a small space with a few artifacts. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It’s a large building with many, many treasures of the maritime history of Los Angeles. Check some of them out:

a handmade sailboat
a good luck trinket given to sailors in World War II
an actual photograph!
a sailor’s trunk of personal belongings
a masthead
and another masthead

Pretty cool huh! And those are only the pieces that I remembered to take photos of. Sometimes I got so immersed in an exhibit I completely forgot. Like the cannery exhibit. Did you know that San Pedro was once home to several canneries and had the largest fishing industry in the nation? Think of all your favorite tunas…at one time they were all canned right here in Southern California. Sadly, no more.

And lest you think that the museum is strictly indoors, check this out:

This tugboat, Angels Gate, also belongs to the museum. And this view.

Pretty sweet, huh? I spent almost as much time out here as I did inside.

So for $3 it’s an incredible bargain. I loved discovering this hidden gem of a museum and suggest that you all check it out and see for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed.

Los Angeles Maritime Museum
Berth 84, foot of 6th Street
(use 600 Sampson Way for direction)
San Pedro, CA 90731
open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm
admission $3

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