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The Best of Long Beach: Favorite Summer Activities

The Best of Long Beach CA: Favorite Summer Activities

Long Beach is Southern California’s jewel and host to vast numbers of tourists every year. Located on the beautiful beaches of CA, this trendy destination has something in store for everyone. Whether are after a luxury vacation or are an urban soul seeking vibrant atmospheres and adventurous experiences, Long Beach has you covered.

The Best of Long Beach: Favorite Summer Activities

With warm temperatures all year long, Long Beach CA is the perfect holiday destination for the sun lovers. Regardless of what time of year you choose for your vacation, chances are that you can experience a beautiful summertime, gaze at the Californian sunsets and sunrises along the area of beaches and get that tan!

To make the most of your Long Beach CA vacation, we have prepared a few of our favorite summer activities for you to try. Enjoy!

Visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific

Dive into the memorable experience of exploring the underwater world by visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific located in Long Beach, CA. A trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the fourth most attended aquarium in the United States, will surely leave you breathless.

A popular attraction that deserves its recognition, the Aquarium offers a range of fun activities that you can enjoy, along with more than fifty exhibits to see. The aquarium is especially interesting for kids as there is a colorful palette of events, interactive activities, and games that can be played. Make sure to check the aquarium’s website for any upcoming events prior to your visit to make the most of your journey.

Exploring El Dorado Nature Center

For those that seek to escape the busy and dynamic city life and spend some time in nature, the El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach CA is the perfect place to go! Located in the middle of the city, the nature center is like a hidden piece of paradise, with rich natural surroundings and habitats. Between the San Gabriel River and the 605 Freeway, the El Dorado Nature Center offers activities and nature programs that are worth exploring!

Experience nature at night by signing up for a family night walk or test your knowledge on surviving in nature through a Stayin’ Alive workshop. You could also try the organized drawing classes outdoors or go on a butterfly count with a group! The options are endless.

Touring Queen Mary

Queen Mary has turned into a tourist destination since she made her way to Long Beach’s port half a century ago. Find out what it feels like to go back in time by seeing what the captain saw from this enormous ship or visiting all the rooms and halls inside. Lean against the rail and let the wind brush against your hair! Queen Mary carries a lot of its history and your tour could be extremely educational and fun at the same time. The displays and history lessons inside will enrich you with interesting information on the methods used to operate the ship.

Watching Whales

The Best of Long Beach: Favorite Summer Activities

It is common to spot a whale in the waters surrounding Long Beach CA, especially during the summer months. Enthusiasts can take a whale watching cruise and spend time in the waters of the Pacific on a lookout for the mesmerizing animals. Hop on a boat with friendly staff that will provide information on marine life and experience the adrenaline boost of seeing a gigantic whale a few feet away! Enjoying the sun on a boat while waiting for a whale to pop up is definitely a memorable adventure to have on your trip to Long Beach. Worry not, the guides and staff on your whale watching tour will keep you safe!

Under an hour away from Los Angeles, Long Beach CA is a beautiful place to go for your next holiday. These activities are a mere preview of what you can explore in the area. Whether you are traveling alone, with your other half or with the whole family, there are many ways of having fun in Long Beach!

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Long Beach CA Tips for Visitors

If you are planning a trip to California, make sure to include the city of Long Beach in your itinerary. This coastal jewel has a lot to offer to its visitors. Enjoy the great atmosphere of the city at any time of the year and participate in different sports or cultural events held regularly at Long Beach CA.

Long Beach CA Tips for Visitors

1. When to visit Long Beach CA

The best times to visit Long Beach CA are in spring and fall when the city offers its best weather and a lot of attractions. In summer, the onshore marine layer can make the days gray and misty and that’s why the locals named the period “June Gloom”. Be aware that Long Beach is overcrowded in April during the annual Toyota Grand Prix. If you plan to visit the event, book your stay well in advance. If you want to avoid the crowd, plan your trip before or after the event.

2. What to see in Long Beach CA

Long Beach CA offers many attractions to please visitors with different tastes.

  • No doubt, first on your list should be the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is the largest aquarium in southern California, and the ocean liner Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach since 1967 when it stopped cruising the seas. Now it offers a great view and one of the most romantic restaurants in the USA – Sir Winston. As an added bonus, you can also sleep aboard.
  • You can also enjoy several walking tours downtown Long Beach. One great option is the Art Tour, which also features the Museum of Latin American Art. There is also a Food Walking Tour, which allows you try several restaurants and cafés or you can simply go shopping.
  • Don’t miss the Naples Gondola Ride – a cruise that is offered from mid-day to midnight and you can even request a gondolier who can sing to make the journey even more romantic.

3. Best Long Beach CA events

  • The annual Toyota Grand Prix held in April. Make sure to book your stay and event tickets well in advance, as this is the most visited event.
  • The Belmont Shore Christmas Parade is held during the first weekend at December. It is quite old-fashioned and much loved by both locals and visitors. The Naples Boat Parade is held a week later.
  • During the summertime, there are numerous festivals that celebrate local art and culture. Visitors can enjoy performances by local artists and taste local food. An example is the First Fridays Street Fair.

4. How to travel to and around Long Beach CA

  • The Long Beach Airport (LGB) is the closest airport to the city. You can also drive to Long Beach. If you want to visit the city from Los Angeles, though, it is better to take the metro, since getting around Long Beach is pretty easy without a car.
  • The Passport buses offer free rides in Long Beach downtown to most of the attractions located there and can take you to other parts of the city at a very affordable price.
  • There are also two options to travel by water – the Aquabus and the Aqualink, which are also price-worthy.
  • There are Uber services and taxis in Long Beach CA that are easy and convenient to use and won’t cost you much.

5. Where to stay in Long Beach CA

There are plenty of places in Long Beach CA, where you can stay. The city offers different types of accommodations – from small boutique hotels to large international hotel chains, renowned for their services. The city is known as pet-friendly, so many places allow pets – just check in advance. If you want a romantic weekend getaway, then it is better to book a hotel near the shore or why not in the Queen Mary itself?

 

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Getting Around in Long Beach CA | Transport Options

Getting around in Long Beach CA

Long Beach is the sixth largest city in California and is well organized. It’s relatively easy to get around.

Whether you live in Long Beach CA, are moving here or simply coming for a visit, it is good to know what options you have for getting around the city.

Getting Around in Long Beach CA

Public transport in Long Beach CA

Long Beach CA offers excellent public transport options and there is even a free service for those who are staying Downtown and want to visit some of the attractions: You can use:

  • Long Beach Transit Passport bus – a free service that takes you to several attractions Downtown. The Passport C line goes to the Queen Mary. Passport A goes to Los Alamitos Bay and Passport D goes to Cal State, starting from Catalina Terminal. Note that once the bus leaves Downtown, the service is paid  90 cents per ride.
  • The Pine Line shuttle also operates for free from Long Beach Plaza to Shoreline Village
  • Long Beach Transit offers a ride for $1.25 or a daily pass for $2.50
  • The Metro Blue Line train is yet another option for $1.75

During the summer months, you can enjoy water rides. Just note that the daily pass is not valid for them:

  • Aqualink with $5.00 for one-way trips to or from Alamitos Bay Landing
  • Aquabus charges $1.00 each time you board

There are no discounts for the water taxis and only kids under 2 ride for free.

Uber services in Long Beach CA

As elsewhere in the country, Uber services in Long Beach are very dependable and comfortable. All you need to do is determine the size of your group and the luggage you have and thus select the best option that suits you. You can choose between:

  • UberLUX– luxury service for 4 people. The initial fee is $20, the fee per minute is $0.60, the fee per mile is $5.06 and cancellation fee is $10. There is no service fee.
  • UberSUV– high-end SUVs that seat 6. The initial fee is $15, the fee per minute is $0.55, the fee per mile is $4.31 and cancellation fee is $10. There is no service fee.
  • UberBLACK– high-end cars for 4 people. The initial fee is $8, the fee per minute is $0.45, the fee per mile is $3.61 and cancellation fee is $10. There is no service fee.
  • UberSELECT– excellent cars at good rates that seat 4 people. The initial fee is $5, the fee per minute is $0.40, the fee per mile is $2.41 and cancellation fee is $10. The service fee is $2.35.
  • UberXL– suitable for groups of up to 6 people. The initial fee is $1, the fee per minute is $0.30, the fee per mile is $1.61, and cancellation fee is $5. The service fee is $2.35.
  • WAV – seats four people. There is no initial fee, the fee per minute is $0.15, the fee per mile is $0.96, and cancellation fee is $5. The service fee is $2.10.
  • UberASSISST– same service as UberX with additional assistance for 4 people. There is no initial fee, the fee per minute is $0.15, the fee per mile is $0.96, and cancellation fee is $5. The service fee is $2.10.
  • UberX – everyday rides at great prices, for 4 people. There is no initial fee, the fee per minute is $0.15, the fee per mile is $0.96, and cancellation fee is $5. The service fee is $2.10. The same service is also available in Spanish as UberEspanol.

You can request Uber to pick you up at Long Beach Airport as well and get you to your final destination at a very affordable price.

Cab services in Long Beach CA

Cab services in Long Beach CA are most often used by those traveling to and from the airport. There are several companies that you can choose from and the rates to popular destinations are as follows:

The fares between the companies may differ and the final amount can also depend on the traffic. The initial fare is around $3.00 and there is a 15% tip included in the final price. There is one other option – to get a taxi for a flat fare.

  • Low-Cost Taxi offers a flat fare service of $100, which also includes any stops if you need to go to a shop or you want to see something (as long as you don’t take too long). There is an option to get this as a deal for $89 using a voucher.

There are various shuttle and limo options as well, depending on the type of service you need.

No matter which of the options you will choose, you can be sure that your travel around Long Beach CA will be safe and pleasant.

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weekend getaway long beach ca

5 Unusual Weekend Getaways in Long Beach CA

Long Beach is a coastal California city, which is becoming more popular among tourists for its interesting attractions and mild weather. Its proximity to LA is also a plus and makes it a great option for a weekend getaway. No matter if you are a visitor in Long Beach CA or you live there, there are several ways to spend the weekend in the city, from walking in the parks to a family day on the beach. However, there are a few unusual getaways, that you need to consider if you are staying in Long Beach for the weekend. Here are five of the best weekend getaways that you can choose from:

Weekend Getaways in Long Beach CA

A Gondola Ride at the Canals of Naples Island

A Gondola Ride at the Canals of Naples Island

If you are looking for a romantic way to spend the weekend, think about sunset, gondolas, and serenades. Venice, Italy is the city usually associated with this type of experience; however, Long Beach, California offers a serene gondola ride that will make you feel you are hundreds of miles away from the hectic city. The cruise is offered from mid-day to midnight. One of the best times, however, is around sunset. It is perfect for those who are considering a marriage proposal. Rumor has it that the acceptance rate is almost 100%. On top of that, most of the gondoliers sing, but make sure to request for one in advance. The Gondola ride is fun for kids and teenagers as well, so you can make this a lovely family trip for an unforgettable weekend getaway. You can also bring snacks and drinks on board. A cruise with a gondola is especially popular during the holidays, so if you are planning one, make sure to book it in advance!

An Art Weekend

Long Beach CA is the East Village Arts District

If you love art, then spend the weekend surrounded by it. Give your friends or family a lovely gift in the form of an art walk getaway for the weekend. The best place for this kind of experience in Long Beach CA is the East Village Arts District. Here you can enjoy galleries, free events, and a true art walk. In addition to that, every first Friday of the month there is a First Fridays street fair. It is an event running from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, held at Atlantic Avenue from Bixby Road to San Antonio Dr. The aim of the fair is to support local artists and musicians. As part of your art weekend, you can also visit the Museum of Latin American Art, which allows you to enjoy contemporary art reflecting the culture of Latin America. It is worth visiting, especially given the fact that the museum has been open since 1945. So, if you are an art lover, here is your best weekend getaway in Long Beach!

A Day at the Aquarium

A Day at the Aquarium Long Beach CA

Spending even a few hours in the serene environment of sea life can help you relax and recharge after a busy week. Long Beach CA can offer you this experience at the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is considered the best in California. It is also the largest in Southern California and presents species from the north American Shore of the Pacific and the tropical South Pacific. It is fun both for kids and adults, as it offers a lot of interactive exhibits and the option to touch some of the animals. But if you want a truly unique and unusual experience, we recommend behind-the-scenes tour. It is intended for a small group of up to 10 people and offers a sneak peek into the everyday operations of the facilities. The tour takes you to places that are normally closed for the public and you can even feed the fish from the top of the Tropical Reef. The tour is perfect for anyone, kids of 7 years and up inclusive, who loves sea life and biology.

Waterfront Walk in Shoreline Village

Waterfront Walk in Shoreline Village

Would you like to visit a village within the restless Long Beach CA? If you are thrilled about going to a quieter place while enjoying the beautiful view of Rainbow Harbor, then Shoreline Village is the best place for your weekend getaway. The place features live entertainment, casual and fine places to eat and a lot of activities for the children with a carousel and special kids’ fun zone. The panoramic view of the sunset is surely not to be missed. If you want a more interesting way of exploring Shoreline village, you can hire a surrey bike and enjoy the ride with your family or friends.

Spend the Weekend at a Hotel

Spend the Weekend at a Hotel

If you are a resident of Long Beach CA, we have quite an unusual idea for your weekend. Go to a hotel in your own city. There are million options where to stay depending on your budget. Allow yourself a luxury weekend at a fancy hotel, where you will feel pampered and can relax after a busy week. Get away from the routine without having to travel. This is a perfect option for families as well – most hotels offer additional attractions for kids – like playgrounds or pool parties and other fun stuff. Some of the businesses allow pets as well, so check that in advance if you are a pet owner. You should know that Long Beach was voted one of the most dog-friendly cities in the USA according to Dog Fancy magazine. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your suitcases and discover your hometown in a different way – like a tourist!

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Awesome hikes around Long Beach CA | Hiking Spots

8 Awesome hikes around Long Beach CA

Long Beach CA offers a number of beautiful hikes. Whether you live here or are just visiting, take some time to take in the sights.

Awesome hikes around Long Beach CA | Hiking Spots

Dominguez Gap Wetlands

The Wetlands are situated in Long Beach along the LA River. The trails are great for hiking, biking, bird watching, and horseback riding. If you want to bring your dog with, you can. You don’t have to go to the zoo when you can find animals such as red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures at Wetlands.

This Dominguez Gap Wetlands is actually a 2008 river project. $7 million were invested with the aim to restore the important ecological functions of water quality improvement, wildlife habitat, and aquifer recharge to the urban lower Los Angeles River.

Forrestal Ecological Reserve

32201 Forrestal Dr Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Forrestal Ecological Reserve is located about 12 miles away from Long Beach CA. It is a 25-minute drive to get to the reserve by car and it takes about an hour and a half by bike. Rocky hills on one side and the ocean on the other, it is a great place to go hiking, enjoy nature, and even take some cool pictures.

Ocean Trails by Trump National Golf Course

1 Ocean Trails Dr Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

As the name suggests, it is located just by Trump National Golf Course. It is a coastal hiking destination with a breathtaking view. Hiking is not the only great activity you can enjoy. Other activities include paragliding and enjoying the beautiful picnic spots on the trail. Spring would be a great time to visit this place to enjoy more greenery and even see the whales if you are lucky.

Gum Grove Park

Crestview Ave & Avalon Dr. Seal Beach, CA 90740

Gum Grove Park has a relatively flat landscape and is pretty small (about a mile in length) so it is a great place for an easy hike. If you plan on going there with your dog, watch it closely as there is a chance of coming across coyotes. There are even signs all around the park asking to not feed the coyotes.

Bandini Canyon Trail Park

N Bandini St Los Angeles, CA 90731

This Park is another coastal hiking destination, located about 7 miles away from Long Beach CA. The trail and views are amazing.You can enjoy the view of the sea and cliffs, while hiking the sandy trail. There are some cactuses on the sides, so be careful, especially if you are hiking with kids.

The park dates back to1931, when Mr. George Peck, real estate developer and benefactor, donated most of the Park’s 4.8 acres. The land has been designated as open space since this time.

Willow Springs Park

2745 Orange Ave, Long Beach, CA 90806, USA

If you do not have a way to get out of town or simply do not have the time to spare, this park is for you. The trails are great and the surroundings are rocky and sandy. Small animals such as rabbits can be seen. Plus, the park is open 24/7.

Admiral Kidd Park

2125 Santa Fe Ave, Long Beach, CA 90810, USA

If you are taking kids along on your hike, this is the perfect place. Admiral Kidd Park is situated between two schools. It offers sports fields & courts, a recreation center with youth programs and a playground.

The park is open everyday between 6AM-5PM.

Wrigley Heights Dog Park

3401 Golden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90806, USA

Bring your dog here for a run or simply let it play with other dogs.

Wrigley Heights is open every day between 6AM-10PM

If hiking isn’t your thing, there are lots to do and amazing places to visit in Long Beach, California.

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