Exploring the ruins of San Pedro’s Sunken City has been on my to do list for a while. I was a bit nervous about doing it on my own with my son, so I had to find a time when the whole family could go. Today was the day!
In 1929, this area of San Pedro began sliding into the ocean below. All that’s left now are ruins of roads and broken pipes covered in beautiful graffiti art. Artists (and visitors of all shapes and sizes) have been illegally entering this no man’s land for years.
The entire area is cordoned off by a tall metal fence with no trespassing signs spread all over. As you look through the metal fence you see families and adults out for a stroll, taggers and a whole host of people cruising around inside. How do they get there, you ask?
By jumping a concrete barrier, climbing down a hole (or carefully sliding down a little path on the hillside) and sliding under the metal fence! Sounds dangerous I know. And honestly I was nervous about it until we saw tons of people do it within minutes of us arriving. I figured if all these people, young and old can do it, so can we!
It was a bit nerve wracking. But upon reaching the other side of the fence, we were filled with relief and awe. We made it! Now off to explore.
There are lots of well worn paths criss-crossing around the area to explore. You choose your own way. The teenagers ahead of us chose to run down the long steep path while we opted for the longer gentler way down. The paths can be slippery, so choose what works best for your fitness and comfort levels.
“Is this a litter playground?” – said my 4.5 yr old in response the the sea of spray paint cans laying around.
The biggest caution here is the obscene amount of broken glass. Wear closed toe shoes (with good grips) for the best protection. Also be careful while climbing up on some of the rocks as there can be small glass fragments all around. We weren’t wearing closed toe shoes and climbed rocks without any problems, but it is better to be safe.
If you love street art, an adventure and a little hike, this is the place for you. Make a day out of it by visiting the nearby Korean Friendship Bell, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium or picnicking at the adjacent park/playground.
Address: Shepard Street, San Pedro CA ( You can also use this: 500 W Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro, CA, 90731 )
Parking: Park near the grassy area of the park
What to Bring: Sunblock, water, snacks and sturdy shoes with good tread. Wear clothes you can get dirty as you will be crawling through a hole in a fence, scrambling over rocks and walking in a dusty area.
Legality: Yes it is illegal to trespass. No, no one seems to be bothered. There is actually a proposal on the table to make it open to the public during the day because everyone goes in anyhow. Life is adventure.
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