Long Beach seems relatively unknown for a city of half a million people. It does get somewhat overshadowed by neighboring Los Angeles and the surrounding metropolis. Nevertheless, Long Beach is definitely a worthwhile place to visit all on its own, in addition to being a great jumping-off point for exploring the rest of Southern California.
What to do:
One of the biggest unmissable attractions is the Aquarium of the Pacific. Reputed to be the best aquarium in the state, it focuses on the life of the marine environments closest to the west coast of North America, as well as the tropical waters of the South Pacific. It’s great for all ages, and some tours are available to take visitors behind the scenes.
Across the mouth of the Los Angeles river from Downtown, you can visit the R.M.S. Queen Mary at her permanent berth for tours and other attractions. It’s a famous landmark, but it may be less than interesting for some kids. But those visitors with a particular interest in the ship and its history will love it.
The Queen Mary also features the Observation Bar, which has an excellent view over the coast. Nearby, back downtown, The Sky Room is a famously romantic restaurant and bar atop the Breakers hotel.
Ocean Boulevard is the main road connecting Downtown with everything else along the beach. It runs the width of the city, and can take you to great places like the East Village Arts District. This area, located between Ocean Boulevard and Sixth Street, is a great place to go to experience art walks and street fairs, and check out various galleries and museums. From there, you can go all the way down to the Belmont Shore neighborhood and the Alamitos Peninsula.
In Belmont, there’s a wide variety of trendy boutiques and unique shops, mostly along Second Street. That same street will take you to the islands and canals of Naples, which is an absolutely excellent spot for a romantic gondola ride.
If you’re in town on the third Sunday of the month, and you like antiques and other collectibles, head up to Veterans Stadium, near the airport, for the Long Beach Antique Market. During the summer months, the city also hosts free concerts at various parks. Special Downtown Guides can help you find what you’re looking for in the core of the city – look for their distinctive red jackets. Make sure to take advantage of Long Beach Transit’s free shuttle, too!
Do you have any suggestions for things to do in Long Beach? Share them in the comments below!
Visit Long Beach for a taste of California outside the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Book an RV with Mighway, and let the journey unfold!