When they made the Port of Los Angeles the new home of the U.S.S. Iowa, I was very excited to see a part of history come to town.
They call it the Battleship of Presidents, as three United States presidents have been on board. In fact, they built a special bathtub, viewable on the tour, for President Roosevelt when he sailed on her. Had Roosevelt remained president, it was likely she, rather than the U.S.S. Missouri, whose deck would have been used to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. Instead, she served as escort. I feel fortunate that I have now been on both ships, as I visited the U.S.S. Missouri when I was in Hawaii a few years ago (and before she became known as the ship to battle aliens in the movie Battleship.)
When touring the ship, it shows evidence of its 50 years of service. Not a static relic of World War II, the Iowa actively served on and off for decades and her technology and defenses developed as time went on. This Iowa-class battleship is 887.3 feet long, only 5 feet longer than the Titanic, which was 882.75 feet long. The Queen Mary is 1,019.4 feet long.
If you visit, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets online. We experienced a long wait to purchase tickets, while those who purchased online breezed aboard. And ladies, a word of advice. Don’t wear heels and if you wear a dress, wear a slip/pantalettes as you will be climbing/descending ladders to get to the various levels. With the lines the way they are now, the next person will be three rungs behind you and there will be people below you as you climb up. Also, get all the pictures you need on the level you’re on while you are there. It is a one-way ticket. Once you get past certain points, it is near impossible to backtrack. Again, the crowds now make it impossible to maneuver as easily as one would like. With that said, please do visit, as it is a beautiful ship and an amazing piece of history you can board.
250 South Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, California