Skip to main content

See also:

Scan the seas from the Point Fermin Lighthouse

Built in 1874, the Point Fermin Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the west coast.
Built in 1874, the Point Fermin Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the west coast.Photo by Patricia Steffy

No trip to the San Pedro district of Los Angeles would be complete without a trip to the Point Fermin Lighthouse. Even if you don’t climb the narrow stairs to the top, the views from the grounds are amazing, and you will be awed by the history of this Victorian-style property.

The lighthouse, located at 807 W. Paseo del Mar in San Pedro, is claimed to have been the first navigational light in the San Pedro Bay. Did you know that the first lighthouse keepers here were women? It’s unusual, but it’s true. The first lighthouse keepers were Mary and Ella Smith. Not so unusual for them, as they came from a lighthouse family.

Not surprisingly, the views from the top of the tower are expansive and spectacular. Visitors can catch glimpses of marine life frolicking and migrating, and, of course, watch the ships head out to sea. While the lighthouse is quite a popular spot, there is sense of quiet and calm, particularly on a sunny day.

The park around Point Fermin Lighthouse is also a lovely spot to relax and picnic. For those traveling with children, there is a playground area for them. There’s also a café at one end of the park -- should that picnic idea occur to you a bit too late. There are built-in viewing points throughout the park. During California Gray Whale migration season, you will see groups congregating in hopes of catching them on their way.