Long Beach, California
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Long Beach Attractions
Prominent Long Beach attractions include the popular Aquarium of the Pacific, which includes a shark lagoon and sea otter habitat, as well as the Queen Mary, an ocean liner built for luxury cruises and converted to World War II troopship before retiring to Long Beach in 1967. The Long Beach Museum of Art and the Museum of Latin American Art anchor the city's art scene while Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos exhibit some of Long Beach's rich history. Long Beach residents looking for outdoor recreation may visit El Dorado Nature Center to explore the hiking trails. El Dorado East Regional Park offers even more trails as well as fishing lakes and an archery range while El Dorado Park West holds sport courts and a golf course. Of course, Long Beach also offers miles of beach where residents can soak up the sun. The Long Beach Airport is a historic landmark, in addition to a functioning airport. Its main terminal is a notable architectural accomplishment of the Streamline Moderne style and houses historical exhibits and pubic art. As a major hub for cruise ships, Long Beach is also the starting point for many oceanic adventures. Catalina Express regularly transports residents to nearby Santa Catalina Island for day trips and weekend getaways, while whale-watching cruises give passengers a chance to witness sea life.
Long Beach Restaurants & Nightlife
While Long Beach does have access to fresh seafood, this coastal city's culinary scene is better known for a diverse selection of cuisines that you might not expect to find. With both upscale waterfront restaurants and local neighborhood haunts, Long Beach offers everything from classic Italian and inspired Peruvian food to funky New American and down-home barbecue. Many of these restaurants are concentrated downtown and along Belmont Shore's East 2nd Street. Cambodia Town also offers some of the most authentic Cambodian and Thai cuisine in the U.S., with Cambodian Town Food and Music being the local favorite. Long Beach also has a rich nightlife. Whether you want to kick back at a dive bar or sip cocktails while watching the sunset, this city has something for you. Downtown Long Beach caters to both longtime locals and Cal State Long Beach students with a bevy of sports bars, pubs, and cocktail lounges. Vintage establishments serving a wide selection of wine and craft beer can be found on Retro Row, while dive bars abound further down 4th Street. In the Alamitos Beach neighborhood, Pike is a great spot to enjoy fish tacos and cocktails while listening to music from a live band or DJ. Further north, old-school tavern Joe Jost's serves beer to an unpretentious crowd. Waterfront institutions such as Ballast Point are also popular for their spectacular views.
Long Beach Culture
Long Beach marries an urban, big-city feel with a coastal lifestyle. Whether boarding fabulous boats or kicking back at waterfront restaurants, Long Beach residents embrace a culture based around the beauty of the Pacific. Beyond the beach, the city contains a thriving art scene that celebrates both widely acclaimed and local artists. Long Beach Museum of Art and the Museum of Latin American Art are popular destinations while several neighborhoods support their own vibrant art communities. East Village, known as the city's arts district, regularly holds events highlighting local art galleries and musicians. North Alamitos is home to Retro Row and the iconic Art Theatre of Long Beach, locally known as "The Art." Long Beach also hosts several music festivals as well as one of the nation's largest LGBTQ pride parades.
Long Beach Transportation
In true Southern California form, Long Beach is easiest to navigate by car if you want access to everything the city has to offer. For those who prefer public transportation, Long Beach Transit offers convenient bus routes that traverse the city, a Metro train to Los Angeles, and The Passport, a free bus that carries tourists and locals alike between some of Long Beach's notable attractions. Individual neighborhoods are becoming increasingly walkable as areas like Downtown Long Beach and Belmont Shores set an example pedestrian-friendly features. Long Beach is also a biker's haven with separated bike lanes, designated bike trails, and 60 bike-share stations dispersed throughout the city. Once residents reach the waterfront, they can even board a water taxi or rent a Duffy boat to traverse the water.