Welcome to the vibrant and eclectic city of Long Beach, California! Known for its beautiful beaches, bustling waterfront, and rich cultural history, Long Beach is a must-visit destination for travelers looking for unique experiences. Whether you’re a foodie, art enthusiast, or adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone in this lively city. From exploring the iconic Queen Mary to strolling through the colorful Belmont Shore neighborhood, Long Beach offers an array of activities and attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression. Join us as we take a closer look at some of the top things to do in Long Beach, and discover why this city is a true gem of the Southern California coast.
Long Beach’s Top Attractions
Long Beach is home to some of the most iconic attractions in Southern California. The city’s most famous landmark is the Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner that is now a floating hotel and museum. The Queen Mary is open to visitors for tours, events, and overnight stays. Visitors can explore the ship’s historic interiors, including the grand ballroom, engine room, and captain’s quarters.
Another must-see attraction in Long Beach is the Aquarium of the Pacific. This world-class aquarium is home to over 11,000 animals and more than 500 species. Visitors can get up close and personal with sharks, sea lions, and other marine creatures, and learn about the ocean’s ecosystems and conservation efforts.
For a taste of Long Beach’s history and culture, visit the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA). This museum houses a collection of contemporary and modern art from Latin America and the U.S. Latino community. The museum also hosts a variety of cultural events and educational programs throughout the year.
Exploring Long Beach’s Beaches
Long Beach is known for its beautiful beaches, and there are plenty of options for sun, sand, and surf. The most popular beach in Long Beach is Belmont Shore Beach, a wide stretch of sand that is great for swimming, sunbathing, and people-watching. The beach is also home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Another great beach in Long Beach is Alamitos Beach, a family-friendly spot with plenty of amenities. The beach features a playground, volleyball courts, and a bike path, as well as a variety of snack bars and restaurants nearby. For a more secluded beach experience, head to Junipero Beach, a quiet and peaceful spot with stunning views of the Pacific.
Outdoor Activities in Long Beach
Long Beach is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and water sports. One of the most popular outdoor activities in Long Beach is kayaking in the Naples Canal. The Naples Canal is a series of man-made canals that run through the Naples neighborhood, and kayaking is a great way to explore the scenic waterways and waterfront homes.
Another popular activity in Long Beach is biking along the beachfront bike path. The path runs for several miles along the oceanfront, with stunning views of the Pacific and plenty of opportunities to stop for a picnic or a swim. For a more challenging hike, head to the El Dorado Nature Center, a 105-acre nature preserve with hiking trails, ponds, and wildlife viewing areas.
Best Places to Eat in Long Beach
Long Beach is a foodie’s paradise, with a diverse range of cuisines and dining options. For classic American fare, head to The Attic on Broadway, a cozy restaurant with a Southern-inspired menu. The restaurant’s signature dish is the Mac ‘n Cheetos, a decadent take on mac and cheese that is topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
For seafood, head to the Crab Pot, a casual spot with a nautical theme and plenty of fresh seafood options. The restaurant is known for its crab buckets, which are filled with crab, shrimp, clams, and other seafood delights.
For a taste of Asian cuisine, head to Roe Seafood, a trendy restaurant with a focus on sushi and seafood. The restaurant also has a great selection of sake and other Japanese spirits, making it a popular spot for happy hour and late-night dining.
Long Beach’s Nightlife Scene
Long Beach has a thriving nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from. One of the most popular spots in Long Beach is The Federal Bar, a historic building that has been converted into a trendy bar and restaurant. The bar serves up craft cocktails and a variety of pub-style fare, and there are often live music and comedy shows in the evenings.
Another popular spot for nightlife in Long Beach is The Blind Donkey, a gastropub with a focus on whiskey and craft beer. The bar has a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of outdoor seating, making it a great spot for a casual night out with friends.
For a more upscale experience, head to The Sky Room, a rooftop bar with stunning views of the city and the ocean. The bar serves up craft cocktails and small plates, and there is often live music and dancing in the evenings.
Shopping in Long Beach
Long Beach is home to a variety of shopping destinations, from trendy boutiques to vintage shops. One of the most popular spots for shopping in Long Beach is Retro Row, a stretch of shops and restaurants that specialize in vintage clothing and accessories. The area is also home to a variety of art galleries and theaters, making it a great spot for a day of culture and shopping.
Another popular shopping destination in Long Beach is the Pike Outlets, a waterfront shopping center with a variety of shops and restaurants. The center is located next to the Aquarium of the Pacific, making it a great spot for a day of shopping and sightseeing.
Long Beach’s Museums and Cultural Sites
Long Beach has a rich cultural history, and there are plenty of museums and cultural sites to explore in the city. One of the most popular spots for culture in Long Beach is the Long Beach Museum of Art, a stunning museum with a collection of modern and contemporary art. The museum is located in a historic mansion overlooking the ocean, making it a beautiful spot for a day of art and culture.
Another great cultural site in Long Beach is the Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens. The ranch is a historic landmark and working farm, with a variety of gardens and historic buildings to explore. Visitors can also learn about the history of the ranch and the indigenous people who lived there.
Day Trips from Long Beach
Long Beach is located in the heart of Southern California, making it a great base for exploring the surrounding area. Some popular day trip destinations from Long Beach include:
- Disneyland: Located in nearby Anaheim, Disneyland is a must-visit destination for families and Disney fans.
- Catalina Island: This scenic island is located off the coast of Long Beach and is a popular spot for hiking, snorkeling, and relaxing on the beach.
- Los Angeles: Just a short drive from Long Beach, Los Angeles offers a variety of attractions, from the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Getty Museum.
Tips for Traveling to Long Beach
- Long Beach is a relatively safe city, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling.
- The best time to visit Long Beach is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
- Long Beach is a popular destination, so it’s a good idea to book accommodations and activities in advance.
- Long Beach is a walkable city, but it’s also easy to get around by bike, car, or public transportation.
Long Beach is a vibrant and eclectic city with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or just some fun in the sun, Long Beach has it all. From exploring the iconic Queen Mary to shopping in the trendy Retro Row neighborhood, Long Beach offers an array of activities and attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Long Beach today!