With new students rolling in after a heavy year of online classes and virtual classrooms, California State University of Long Beach (CSULB) is ready to welcome students for their first Cal State Long Beach tour. For those in Southern California looking for some of the top tiered colleges, this is surely one to be on the lookout for. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, CSULB is a public university in the top 1% of all public universities, and it’s a popular choice among students looking to attend school in Southern California.
Having close to forty thousand enrolled students for 2020, the university not only has some of the best rankings overall but also its campus offers everything for a student wanting to dedicate a full four years living in the dorms. The size of CSU Long Beach can be overwhelming at first. But once you learn the layout of the 322-acres of land and get to understand the cultural diversity that thrives here, you won’t think twice about applying. Looking for CSU Long Beach tours? The campus offers virtual or on-site tours, and you can access both on their website. But if you’re just looking for a quick Cal State Long Beach tour with an inside-scoop about some of the best landmarks the school has to offer, here’s where to start.
Parking and transportation
If you’re new, the first thing you’re going to do is get a good layout of the school by utilizing the Long Beach State campus map online. Print it out or have it on your phone ready to go, as you’re going to need it. The campus has multiple access points with available parking on all sides; depending on where your major is located, try to get familiarized with all parking close to your classes. The earlier you arrive, the better parking you’ll find. So if you’re commuting, make sure to leave early and beat rush hour to find a good spot.
If you’re without a car or choose not to pay for permit parking, campus life offers many other forms of transportation. From shuttles to buses, skateboards, electric scooters and bikes, people here are actively on the go. Known as one of the most bike-friendly cities in California, the biking community in Long Beach is huge for cyclists looking to get their exercise while fighting climate change at the same time.
Once you’ve figured out parking, the journey through campus begins. Starting at the biggest and most popular landmark – The Walter Pyramid is next to the most populated parking areas on campus. Here the school has been hosting highly anticipated volleyball games with audiences of 4,000 and basketball games that are as intense as the 192-foot blue pyramid itself. On the south side of the pyramid, you’ll be able to hear the smooth sounds of trumpeters playing on the grass of the University’s Music Center, known for its music, performing arts and dance halls. As you head toward the center of campus, you’ll hit the College of Business corner where business students are frantically prepping for upcoming presentations and fitness junkies are jogging from The Recreation and Wellness Center.
Keep strolling along the lower campus, and you’ll notice the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum to the left. Right next door is the Steve and Nini Horn Center, a computer lab and study area for students on the lower campus not wanting to go all the way up to the school’s library (the museum and Horn Center are both expected to reopen in 2022 due to renovations happening for expansion). Head up the path toward the upper campus and you’ll start to notice all the open greenery and trees crowded along the University’s Student Union. Located at the center of campus is a three-story glass building that houses everything from study lounges, a movie theater, bowling, billiards, or just places to hang out. This is the perfect place to entertain yourself for the three hours before your next class.
As you make your way further up the campus, you’ll smell the scent of food hovering in the air near the University Dining Plaza. The escalators are often under maintenance, and on the right-hand side you’ll find one of the nicer restaurants on campus, The Chartroom. Although closed until regulations and social distance protocols ease down for dine-in restaurants, when they do open back up, expect to dine in with friends to a buffet of all the essential fixes. Connected to this building is the main food court with eateries like The Beach Walk (fresh/healthy offerings), Japanese-inspired Hibachi San, Greek & Mediterranean style OPA! Greek & OLE and popular Chinese kitchen Panda Express. Looking for somewhere to get a freshly tapped beer after a long day of finals? The Nugget Grill & Pub is further into the hall and serves alcohol starting from 11 a.m., with the occasional open mic night on for entertainment.
Outside of the food hall begins upper campus. Here you’ll find everything from The Hall of Science (directly across from the food court), the Schools of Art and Liberal Arts, 300 seat lecture halls and the five story library located on the edge of campus. The upper parts of CSU Long Beach are more lively than the rest of the college due to the open grassy areas, active student protestors and campus attractions (like the bookstore, library and food services) nearby. If you don’t feel like studying indoors, the outdoor options for studying are plentiful. You’ll see students posted on the grass with an easel and paintbrush in hand or acting out scenes with their colleagues next to the Theatre Arts building.
Heading toward the east edge of the school, you’ll want to turn around and make your way down campus back to your car. You’ll find that the campus has a handful of different areas with pleasurable ambience like the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, where poets come to recite and listen to poetic masterpieces. End the day here by entering the Zen Garden, feeding the koi fish and strolling along the wood bridged pathways as you read your favorite anthology in-hand.
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