The wind is seldom calm at San Pedro’s Angel’s Gate Park. High on this bluff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the panorama views from this 64-acre park are indeed breathtaking and awe-inspiring. Can you see Catalina Island? Usually. You may think you could see all the way across the ocean.
What makes this location a great way to spend an afternoon – or even a day – is not the small nearby playground with a few swings and slides. With no trees to buffer the wind and an almost constant off-shore breeze, Angel’s Gate Park is a perfect spot for kite-flying of the highest order. Tell Charlie Brown he’s more than welcomed here: no kite-eating trees, whatsoever.
When you visit the park for some aerial adventures, you may want to make that kite a dragon one; you’ll be keeping in tune with the landscape considering the beautiful Korean Friendship Bell that makes its home atop this lovely crest. This 17-ton majestic bell and intricately designed pavilion has been welcoming guests since it was dedicated in 1976. It was a gift from South Korea to honor the U.S. bicentennial and Korean War veterans and was patterned after the Bronze Bell of King Songdrok which was cast in 771 AD and is still on view in South Korea today.
The bell and pavilion have recently been renovated to its former glory. For many years, it didn’t even ring, but now the bell chimes four times a year. This year expect to hear the bell’s splendid tones on: July 4 (Independence Day), August 15 (Korean Independence Day), September 17 (Constitution Day) and December 31 (New Year’s Eve.)
Even if you visit and don’t hear the bell ring, take a walk around and closely examine it. It’s made out of copper and tin with gold, nickel, lead and phosphorus added for tone quality. See if you can find the four pairs of figures who are engraved on the bell. Each pair includes the Goddess of Liberty holding a torch and the Korean Spirit who holds different symbols: a Korean flag, a rose of Sharon (Korean’s national flower), a victory branch of laurel and a dove of peace.
When you walk around the pavilion, check out the 12 columns supporting the structure (representing the Oriental zodiac) and make sure to get a snap of the kids around their favorite animal images that stand guard at the base of each column.