If you’re looking for a fun and relaxing weekend getaway, Long Beach should definitely be at the top of your list! Here, you can find plenty of attractions and activities to keep you busy, without having to spend a fortune. This guide will outline all the best things to do in Long Beach, from sightseeing to shopping to eating out. So be sure to bookmark this page and plan your next trip soon!
History of Long Beach
The city of Long Beach has a rich history that dates back to the late 1800s. Today, Long Beach is known for its beaches and beautiful coastline, as well as its thriving nightlife and diverse cultural scene. This guide will outline some of the key historical events and attractions in Long Beach that make it such a special place to live, work, and play.
Long Beach’s beginnings can be traced back to 1869 when the area was first settled by Native Americans. The town began to grow rapidly in the early 1900s due to its favorable location – just a few hours’ drive from Los Angeles – and its proximity to ports on the Pacific Ocean.
In 1917, Long Beach became a city after being incorporated from several smaller settlements. Throughout the years, Long Beach has seen many changes – from becoming a major military hub during World War II to becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in California today.
Some of the most important historical events in Long Beach include:
- The founding of Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (later renamed MCAS El Toro) in 1942
- The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941
- The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941
- The development of the aerospace industry in Long Beach
- The opening of the first pier in Long Beach in 1916
- The bombing of Los Angeles by the Japanese in 1942
- The building of the Long Beach Freeway in the 1950s
- The opening of the Aquarium of the Pacific in 1984
- The redevelopment of downtown Long Beach in the 1990s and 2000s
Some of the most important attractions in Long Beach include:
- The Aquarium of the Pacific (AOP) – is one of California’s top aquariums, with more than 2.5 million visitors annually
- Marine Corps Air Station El Toro (MCAS El Toro) – is home to the world’s largest air show and one of America’s busiest military bases
- Shoreline Village – a shopping complex along Ocean Boulevard that includes more than 100 retailers and restaurants, including Starbucks, KFC, and Chipotle
- The RMS Queen Mary – is a historic ocean liner that is now a museum ship and cruise ship terminal
What to see in Long Beach
If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the California sun, Long Beach is the perfect vacation destination. With miles of coastline and a diverse mix of neighborhoods, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this coastal city. Here are some of the best sights to see in Long Beach:
Located just minutes from downtown Long Beach, the Shoreline is a popular spot for beachgoers and cyclists. This public park offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and plenty of space to enjoy nature or simply relax.
The Aquarium of the Pacific:
With more than 25,000 animals representing over 1,500 species, the Aquarium of the Pacific is one of Long Beach’s most popular attractions. Visitors can explore exhibits ranging from sharks to stingrays, and learn about marine life at every turn.
The Queen Mary:
Once an ocean liner that sailed around the world, the Queen Mary now serves as a museum dedicated to maritime history. From its grand salons to its decks filled with memorabilia, this ship is a fascinating place to explore.
LB Arts District:
This lively district features galleries, restaurants, and bars overlooking Downtown Long Beach. Art lovers will love browsing through the selection of exhibitions on offer, while those looking for a night out can enjoy live music and drinks in the local hotspots.
Just an hour’s drive from Long Beach, Huntington Beach is a popular beach town with plenty of attractions to explore. From sandy beaches to amusement parks and attractions, this coastal city has something for everyone to enjoy.
Where to eat in Long Beach
Long Beach is known for its seafood and it’s definitely not a coincidence that there are so many great restaurants here. From fresh oysters at Pearl Oyster Bar to crispy calamari at Squid ‘N’ Ink, there’s something for everyone in this city. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Pearl Oyster Bar: This popular seafood spot is known for its fresh oysters from all over the world, as well as the best clam chowder in town.
2. The Rail: This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant offers delicious options like chicken shawarma and gyros. The ambiance is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
3. Rudy’s BBQ: If you’re craving some smoked meat, Rudy’s is the place to go. They have a variety of meats including beef, pork, and turkey along with sides such as macaroni and cheese and baked beans.
4. Squid ‘N’ Ink: This lively seafood restaurant is perfect for a casual night out with friends. They serve up everything from calamari to shrimp and grits.
5. Tony Roma’s Pizza: If you’re looking for an iconic pizza spot, Tony Roma’s is the place to go. They have a variety of toppings and pies to choose from, so there’s sure to be something you’ll love.
How to get around Long Beach
There are a lot of ways to get around Long Beach, California. Driving is definitely one way to get around, but there are also a lot of great public transportation options available.
If you’re looking for a way to avoid traffic, then consider taking the train or bus. There are multiple bus lines that run throughout Long Beach and they always have a schedule posted on the wall of the bus stop. The cost for a single ride on the bus is usually pretty affordable, so it’s a great option if you don’t want to spend your whole day stuck in traffic.
If you’re looking for an alternative to driving, then bike riding is definitely an option worth considering. Long Beach has some great bike lanes and trails that make biking an enjoyable experience. Plus, if you ever happen to get lost, there are usually people around who can help you find your way.
Lastly, if you just want to explore the city on your own without having to worry about getting lost or stuck in traffic, then walking is definitely your best option. Long Beach is a pretty walkable city, so it’s not too difficult to get around on foot.
Shopping in Long Beach
Shopping in Long Beach can be a fun and affordable experience. The city has plenty of trendy and affordable stores, as well as larger chain stores. Here are five of the best shopping spots in Long Beach:
1. The Outlets at Orange County: If you’re looking for high-end fashion, this is the place to be. The Outlets at Orange County feature labels such as Calvin Klein, Nike, and Lululemon. Prices start at around $50 for a pair of jeans.
2. Barnes & Noble: For a more laid-back shopping experience, head to Barnes & Noble. This bookstore has a wide variety of books, from fiction and nonfiction to children’s books. You can also find magazines, DVDs, and CDs here. Prices start at around $10 per item.
3. Pier 1 Imports: If you’re in the market for home goods or decor, Pier 1 Imports is a great place to go. This store has an extensive selection of furniture, art pieces, dishes, and other household items. Items start at around $20 per item.
4. Clothing stores: There are several clothing stores in Long Beach that offer both high- and low-quality items. Among these stores are American Apparel, Forever 21, and H&M. Prices start at around $10 per item.
5. Toys “R” Us: If you’re looking for a big box store that offers a wide variety of toys, Toys “R” Us is the place to go. This store has a wide selection of both new and used toys. Prices start at around $10 per item.
Recreation in Long Beach
One great way to enjoy Long Beach is by taking a leisurely walk or bike ride around its many neighborhoods. There are plenty of parks and beaches to explore, as well as cultural attractions such as the Long Beach Museum of Art. Visitors can also take in concerts, exhibits, and festivals at venues throughout the city. If you’re looking for something more active, there are plenty of options to choose from, including world-class golf courses and gyms.
Long Beach is a city with a lot to offer, and this guide will help you make the most of your stay. From attractions like the Queen Mary to stunning beaches, Long Beach has something for everyone. Whether you are looking to spend an afternoon on the pier or want to explore some of the city’s hidden gems, this guide has everything you need to get started. Thank you for reading!