13 incredible things to do in Long Beach, USA

The top 30 things to do in Long Beach, Calif.

Long Beach, California (locals call it “LBC”) is a city of about half a million people in Los Angeles County, Louisiana, located just south of downtown Los Angeles.

Long Beach is known for its urban waterfront attractions such as the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific, but despite being the sixth largest city in California, it has a provincial character, with bike-friendly streets and active neighborhoods.

Long Beach hosts more music and cultural festivals every year than anywhere else in Southern California. Its thriving dining and entertainment scene includes renowned dive bars and live music venues that have produced a number of well-known bands. The city also hosts the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which turns the streets of downtown into a racetrack every April.

01 of 30

Advice to Queen Mary

The Queen Mary is a luxury ocean liner now permanently docked at LBC. Rumor has it that the ship is frequented by tours, as well as nightly ghost tours for those who aren’t afraid of the dark.

Overnight stays are available in the ship’s cabins, and packages including breakfast, an excursion or a tour of Catalina Island are also available. Even if you don’t stay the night, you can still have drinks and dinner on board at Sir Winston’s Lounge, Chauley House or the Lookout Bar.

02 of 30.

Check out the fish at the Pacific Aquarium

The Pacific Aquarium is located in Rainbow Harbor in downtown Long Beach and has more than 12,000 Pacific Coast creatures, including penguins, sea otters, puffins, sea lions and seals.

The Lorikeet Forest is a very popular exhibit, and guests are given the opportunity to feed the cute, colorful birds. Visitors also have the opportunity to touch a moon jellyfish, a stingray, or a nurse shark if you dare.

Hit the Beach

The beaches in Long Beach offer a variety of activities such as biking, skating and kiteboarding. However, because the beaches are protected by a breakwater, there are no big waves, so don’t hang ten here. Although it’s frustrating for surfers, the calm waters make LBC beaches popular for families or novice swimmers.

04 of 30

Picnic at Bluff Park.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean without walking on the sand, you should definitely visit Bluff Grass Park. The paved bluff sidewalk makes it a favorite spot for romantic sunset walks and picnics to enjoy on the green.

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Take a stroll along the waterfront at Shoreline Village

Shoreline Village’s waterfront is dotted with quaint stores, family-friendly attractions, restaurants and bars along the Shoreline Marina waterfront. It offers a carousel, an arcade and rentals for motorboats, jet skis, electric boats, kayaks, sailboats and more right by the marina. The village also hosts live music on most summer weekends and during the Christmas season.

06 of 30.

Bicycle and segway rentals

Wheel Fun Rentals offers surrezes, pedal cards, bikes, tandems, tag-alongs and baby carriages at Shoreline Village, and table-top kayaks at Rainbow Harbour Dock 10. You can also book a Segway tour of Shoreline Marina and Rainbow Harbor. plaza, as well as an extended tour that goes past Queen Mary.

07 of 30.

Take a whale-watching cruise

A wide variety of boat tours and harbor cruises depart from Long Beach, but whale-watching tours are most popular with visitors. Depending on the time of year, you may see any of the following whale species: gray, blue, fin, humpback, minke or killer whale (killer whale).

Many other creatures are also often found when looking for whales and may include common dolphins, rissos or Pacific white-horned dolphins, rays and pinnipeds.

08 of 30

Explore Naples Island

Naples Island consists of three islands in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach. When most people talk about visiting Naples Island, they are referring to an inner island that can be reached by car. The island has a lane that winds past million-dollar mansions, picturesque bridges and grand yachts, creating the perfect setting for a sunset stroll.

During the Christmas season, visitors flock to the island to see the decorated homes along the water and take part in the holiday boat parade that passes by the outer and inner islands.

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Jump on the gondola

Tours and Activities 4.6

Gondola Escape offers the most authentic gondola rides outside of Venice, Italy. With tours of Alamitos Bay and the canals around the island of Naples, you can enjoy the experience on a relaxing ride or add a little romance by booking a decadent brunch cruise served with a bellini.

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10 out of 30.

Visit the Museum of Latin American Art

Visit the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to contemporary Latin American art. The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) has an outstanding collection of contemporary paintings and a permanent collection of sculptures on display in the museum’s courtyard.

11 of 30.

Discover Belmont Shore.

Every beach town has a main road, and in Long Beach it’s Second Street in Belmont Shore. On this busy stretch, you’ll find cafes, restaurants and small boutiques overlooking the beach.

Belmont Shore hosts a number of events throughout the year, including a chocolate festival, sidewalk chalk art festival, pre-Grand Prix event, Haute Dog Howl’oween pet parade and Christmas parade.

12 of 30.

Shop along Retro Row.

Retro Row gets its name from the many charity stores packed just a few blocks away. Hollywood costume and set designers have been known to raid these stores to outfit movies and TV shows, so the vintage items sold here are of the highest quality.

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Take in the shows at Lighthouse Park

You can’t go up to Lighthouse Park (also known as ShoreLine Waterpark), but this tiny peninsula that protrudes into Rainbow Harbor is a popular spot for skateboarding, exploring views of the Queen Mary and Rainbow Harbor, and picnics.

This park is one of the best viewing areas for the Queen Mary Independence Day fireworks show, so every year the park fills up with people starting at sunset.

14 of 30.

Learn the history behind Rancho Los Alamitos

Rancho Los Alamitos is near California State University, Long Beach, and is the last remaining corner of a Spanish land grant issued in 1784. Today it serves as a living history museum that includes six farm buildings, a working blacksmith store, an Adobe ranch, an exhibition center, a gift store and gardens.

15 of 30

Rancho Los Cerritos Museum Tour

Built in 1844, Rancho Los Cerritos is one of the last surviving two-story earthen structures still in existence in Southern California and is now a museum. During the summer, the ranch hosts free outdoor concerts.

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16 of 30.

Check out the Art at the Long Beach Museum of Art

The Long Beach Art Museum is a bluff museum overlooking the beach. There are rotating exhibits as well as a permanent collection. Claire’s Restaurant offers an incredible view of the ocean. Admission to the museum is free on Thursday evenings and all day on Fridays.

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Visit the Pacific Island Museum of Ethnic Art

The Pacific Island Museum of Ethnic Art is based on the personal collection of the late Robert Gumbiner, who also founded the Museum of Latin American Art. The museum features exhibits from all of the Pacific Islands, but the focus is on Micronesian art.

18 of 30

Pine Avenue Party.

Pine Avenue is the center of restaurants and nightclubs in downtown Long Beach, with a concentration of mostly independent restaurants with casual and fine dining, live music venues and nightclubs.

Pine Avenue hosts numerous special events and festivals throughout the year, including Thunder Thursday, Long Beach Grand Prix opening ceremonies, culinary festivals and summer music events.

19 of 30

See shows at performing arts centers

There’s no shortage of live performances in Long Beach. Housed in the Long Beach Convention Center, the Long Beach Performing Arts Center includes the Terrace Theatre, which hosts Broadway musicals, concerts (including major children’s productions), and the Theater Center, home to the award-winning International City Theatre, which houses plays and musicals.

The Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts, located at California State University, Long Beach, is the home of Musical Theatre West and presents performances by their own musical theater company.

Long Beach Theatre is a community theater that allows locals to shine on stage with high-quality productions that are shown throughout the year on the main stage or in one of their coziest studio theaters.

20 of 30

Looking for crafts in the East Village Arts District

The East Village Arts District is a neighborhood of Long Beach stores, galleries and cafes. On the second Saturday of every month, the streets in the area are closed for an art walk featuring several art vendors, gallery openings and live musical entertainment.

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A stop at the Long Beach Navy Memorial

The Long Beach Navy Memorial, adjacent to Beacon Park, pays tribute to the city’s maritime past. Beginning in 1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt placed 16 Great White Fleet ships in the port, Long Beach served as a naval town for more than 100 years until the shipyard closed in 1997.

The memorial includes a flag mast from the Long Beach Naval Hospital, an anchor from a ship on the Great White Fleet and a replica compass rose from the Naval Station Administration Building.

22 of 30

Store at Pike Outlets

Pike Outlets at Rainbow Harbour is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex across from the Long Beach Convention Center. In addition to stores like Restoration Hardware and H & M, and restaurants like Auld Dubliner Irish Pub, this mall has plenty of other entertainment. There’s a movie theater, a giant Ferris wheel and a comedy club called the Long Beach Laugh Factory.

The Cyclone Bridge pays tribute to the former amusement park and connects Pike to Rainbow Harbor.

23 of 30

Riding the Aquabus and AquaLink

Long Beach Transit provides seasonal transportation between the waterfront attractions via Aquabus and the big Aqualink. It’s a fun way to get from the Pacific Aquarium or Shore Village to the Queen Mary, Belmont Pier or Alamitos Bay Marina.

Using public transportation is also an inexpensive way to ride the boat, even if you don’t plan to go out.

24 of 30.

Relax at Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at California State University, Long Beach is a beautiful 1.3-acre garden with a koi pond that is free and open to the public and relieves any stress.

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Catch an exhibit from the Long Beach Historical Society

If you’re interested in the history of the city by the sea, the Long Beach Historical Society operates a public gallery in Bixby Knolls, which is about five miles north of downtown. In addition to rotating exhibits from historical archives and special themed exhibits based on community exhibits, they have a large selection of books on Long Beach and historical photos and postcards for sale.

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If you’re attending Halloween, sign up for a cemetery tour where actors tell fascinating stories of real people buried in Sunnyside cemeteries.

26 of 30

Take a trip to Catalina Island

Although you’ll have to leave Long Beach, a day trip or weekend outing to Catalina Island is a popular excursion from the area. The Catalina Express runs a ferry from Long Beach and San Pedro, and when you land on the island, there are plenty of activities to do, including a hike along the Trans-Catalina Trail, a visit to the botanical gardens, and a thrilling underwater expedition in the semifinals. boat

27 of 30.

Book a flying lesson or air tour

If you’re serious about learning how to fly an airplane or just want to have fun, Pacific Air Flight School is a great place to take a flying lesson in a small plane or helicopter. Or, if you’d rather sit back and enjoy the ride, there are several different helicopter tour companies that offer tours flying out of Long Beach Airport, including those that fly over Hollywood.

28 of 30

Hike Around El Dorado Park Nature Center

Parks and Gardens 4.7

El Dorado Park Nature Center is a wildlife habitat that offers biking and hiking trails, fishing ponds, kayaking, an archery field, and the El Dorado Express train.

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Treasure Hunt at the Antique Market

The Long Beach Antique Market is a monthly outdoor flea market with more than 800 sellers of antiques and collectibles from around the country. It takes place on the third Sunday of the month with a bonus market on the fifth Sunday of the month.

30 of 30.

Appreciate Architecture at the Bembridge House.

Historic Attractions 4.3.

Bembridge House is a historic Victorian house in Drake Park. The house was built in 1906 and is operated by Long Beach Heritage, which gives tours about once a week. The house is significant for the architectural integrity of both the exterior and the interior, which includes many luxurious details.

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