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Watch the ships from Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, California

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Any trip to San Pedro, home of the busiest container port in the United States, is going to involve ocean gazing. Whether you are touring the port, visiting the lighthouse or spending quality time on Cabrillo Beach, water is everywhere.

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Technically, Cabrillo Beach is a tale of two beaches: one facing outward toward the ocean and the other facing inward at the ships leaving port. Both areas have beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of room to play. A jogging/biking path runs alongside the beach that faces inside the breakwater.

Picnic areas are close to both the beach and the park area, where it is not unusual to see people playing soccer on the weekends. The picnic areas are ideal for birthday parties, or other gatherings because not only is the area outfitted for the event, but the view is unbeatable.

A 1932 Mediterranean-style bathhouse sits off in a corner of the beach, overlooking the ocean. The restored building offers basic amenities and meeting rooms, and it often hosts youth programs and adult enrichment opportunities.

There is a paid parking lot quite close to the beach area, but free parking is also available up the hill prior to the park approach. Be warned that this area can get quite crowded on sunny weekends, so plan accordingly.

While the beach does have an overwhelmingly family vibe, it's a perfectly delightful retreat for single travelers. Take a wind surfing lesson, walk around the paved path, or just recline on the beach and watch the ships as they slip out to sea.

Be sure to click through the slideshow to get a feel for Cabrillo Beach.