The best places to visit in Long Beach, California
Southern California is home to some beautiful cities, so if you find yourself in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, be on the lookout for these inviting places to visit in Long Beach. The city sits oceanside, and because the city is home to one of the busiest shipping ports in California, you’ll see everything from cargo ships and mini yachts to sail boats and wave runners consistently out at sea.
Aside from the many attractions near the water, the community is known for their thriving diverse cultural demographic, not to mention the growing LGBTQ community that’s reflected throughout the city. You’ll find the liveliness of street art spread across the city’s buildings and some of the latest fashion trends held at thrift and clothing stores around every block. So the next time you’re deciding on some fun things to do in Long Beach, be on the lookout for these attractions.
Extending a couple miles along the coast of Ocean Boulevard lies a popular seaside spot for locals going about their daily outdoor routines. Offering anything from running, biking, boating, meditating, slack-lining and juggling, Bluff Park is home to a very diverse community to say the least. With the land reaching about 13 acres by the sea, it is known to be one of the most destined parks to visit in Long Beach.
The Pacific Ocean view never sleeps and the ocean stretch is perfect for running or strolling along the route on a bike or roller-skates. Sundays are by far the most active and lively days to visit. Be on the lookout for a class of yoga enthusiasts in the park for a free one-hour session of meditation overlooking the ocean or a community of tight ropers riding their lines in between the palm trees.
Don’t own a boat but want to experience what it’s like to be out at sea with your friends? Not to worry, boat rentals are available in Long Beach near the Naples Canals and Los Alamitos for you to enjoy hourly. Most rentals have about an eight person limit with the option of food and drinks.
Save money by bringing your own cooler full of all your favorite drinks and boat snacks, and prepare a playlist because the boat is usually installed with its own speaker system. On a day when the sky is clear and you’re feeling a casual cruise through the canals of Long Beach, rent a duffy and enjoy life out at sea for a couple of hours.
The Queen Mary
What was known to be the largest transporting ship during the 1930s is now one of the most iconic Long Beach attractions. Floating on a dock in Long Beach Harbor is a 1000-foot ship that has been transformed into an internationally recognized hotel and (haunted) museum.
The Queen Mary is known for hosting different seasonal events depending on the holiday as well as having three world class restaurants on board. Although The Queen Mary is not able to set sail again, people from all over the world come to experience a little bit of the traditional atmosphere it radiates.
California State University of Long Beach
One of Southern California’s top tiered public universities, Cal State Long Beach has a campus that many locals go to for some fresh air. The school sprawls across 322 acres of land overlooking the ocean, so the campus is full of college kids as well as people just there to take advantage of the lovely vista. With bike routes, quick food bites and attractions like the 192-foot blue pyramid, Cal State Long Beach is great if you’re looking for a quick place to walk around and kill time.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific is one of Southern California’s closest and most popular aquariums. Located across from Long Beach Convention Center, the aquarium boasts a collection of more than 11,000 animals. Aquarium of the Pacific highlights three major galleries representing the Pacific Ocean: Southern California and Baja, the reefs of the Tropical Pacific and some of the inhabitants living in the Northern Pacific. Know that because this is one of the only major aquariums to visit in the area, traffic is to be expected and you may have to reserve tickets in advance.
Retro Row East Village
One of the more unique villages radiating different aspects of Long Beach’s diversity is Retro Row East Village, located on 4th street of Long Beach. The buildings here are splattered with different color waved artwork, and the whole area is full of small shops for thrifting, antiquing, fashion and food. With 100 independently-owned shops scattered across 4th street to explore, be prepared to discover plenty of hidden treasures. Every store screams authenticity – once you discover just how vintage each one is, you may be coming home with a whole new wardrobe from a different era.
Trying to enjoy a list of 60 freshly tapped beers while overlooking the incredible ocean views of Long Beach? Ballast Point Brewery is serving a variety of wild ales, sours and IPAs, plus quick bites to pair with any of the beers on the menu. The brewery has wide-open spaces with two levels for dining, meaning there are multiple bar locations in case the line at the main bar is too long. Make a reservation or walk-in to find the next open available seat by the water. It’s an ambience you won’t want to miss out on.
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