HL Travel: Beach with Benefits - Fifty Things To Do In Long Beach, California

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Long Beach, California, a short drive from the bright lights and big city of Hollywood and the maze of streets and highways that make up the greater Los Angeles city limits, has changed its image from 'Where?' to 'Let's go there!'

For those embarking on a vacation, staycation or day trip here are 50 things to do, courtesy of the Long Beach Convention Bureau,  while you enjoy the new Long Beach, the jewel by the bay.

  1. Immerse yourself with underwater life at the Aquarium of the Pacific with an interactive experience that has you swimming with the fishes, ogling otters, petting sharks and promenading with penguins.
  1. Channel all your senses during the Paranormal Ship Walk Tour on The Queen Mary.
  1. Cruise the Naples Canals in style on romantic Italian Gondolas.
  1. From Irish pubs to multi-million dollar dance clubs, piano bars to a sexy after hour lounge, dance your way through the many nightclubs and bars in downtown Long Beach.
  1. Let art and culture enrapture you as you take a walking tour through the East Village Art's District.
  1. Celebrate with cocktails and take in the downtown skyline at The Sky Room.
  1. Keep steady doing stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking in Alamitos Bay.
  1. Visit the largest population of Cambodians outside of Phnom Penh at Cambodia Town.

Also - HL Travel: Long Beach, California - SoCal's Undiscovered Jewel

  1. Take a lesson in Kite Surfing along 5 ½ miles of sandy beachfront.
  1. First Fridays in Bixby Knolls offers a selection of art, entertainment and food.
  1. Enjoy a scenic Sunday brunch at the Queen Mary, the Reef, Fuego at Hotel Maya, or the Queensview Steakhouse.
  1. Stroll one of the Most Walkable Cities in the U.S. (Downtown, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, Bixby Knolls and the East Side of Long Beach).
  1. Marvel at the Egyptian architectural style of the Walter Pyramid at Cal State Long Beach. One of only three pyramids in the U.S., it is the largest space-frame structure in North America.
  1. See whales on the Long Beach Arena mural, "Planet Ocean," by Wyland, which the Guinness Book of Records recorded as the World's Largest Mural.
  1. Run, Forrest, Run! Not only can you enjoy a fun meal at Bubba Gump's, you can also participate in the JetBlue Long Beach Marathon.
  1. Do a 'tap dance' at Yard House in Shoreline Village, boasting one of the largest selections of beers on tap in the world.
  1. Visit the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), the only museum of its kind in the U.S., featuring art from Latin America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean.
  1. Choose from more than 125 restaurants within an eight block area of downtown Long Beach; many of which have won accolades from the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association.
  1. Rent and drive your own electric Duffy Boat and cruise through the Naples canals.
  1. Come out and be proud; our Gay Pride Festival is one of the largest in the country.
  1. Get pickled eggs at legendary Joe Jost's — one of Long Beach's oldest bars.
  1. Have an "All Star" meal at Legends Sports Bar.
  1. Drive 'round and 'round the Long Beach Traffic Circle.
  1. Take a refreshing water taxi cruise around the Long Beach Harbor and Alamitos Bay aboard the AquaBus or the high-speed Aqualink catamaran.

  1. Golf is par for the course in Long Beach. Enjoy the great outdoors with five public golf courses.
  1. Enjoy "Breakfast on the Bluffs," or lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Claire's patio at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
  1. Watch the boats go by while sitting under the lighthouse at Shoreline Aquatic Park in Rainbow Harbor.
  1. Place your bid during the Koi Fish Auction at the Miller Japanese Gardens at Cal State Long Beach.
  1. Explore the vibrancy of downtown Long Beach at night with its new, multi-colored LED lighting.
  1. Take your favorite Fido to Rosie's Dog Beach, the only off-leash dog beach in Los Angeles County.
  1. Taste the world (and leave your Passport at home) by savoring International eateries along Pine Avenue: George's Greek Café, L'Opera, Alegria, Gaucho Grill, and Wokcano.
  1. Enjoy sumptuous seafood while overlooking the marina and Rainbow Harbor at Parker's Lighthouse.
  1. Take Salsa lessons and dance the night away at Café Sevilla.
  1. Explore Southern California history at Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos.
  1. Let your inner child soar freely with a Ferris wheel ride at the Pike Outlets at Rainbow Harbor.
  1. Put the pedal to the metal and watch the checkered-flag soar at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
  1. Buy some new "old" threads at the vintage shops along Funky 4th Street's Retro Row.
  1. Explore the Pacific Ocean and enjoy Harbor Breeze whale watching cruises year-round off the coast of Long Beach.
  1. Stroll Shoreline Village's boardwalk and discover an array of waterfront restaurants, plus shops featuring gifts, souvenirs, collectibles, hats, gourmet chocolates and much more.
  1. Get acquainted with the abundant great green outdoors with the city's many parks and gardens that feature fishing lakes, picnic shelters and bike trails.
  1. Unleash your appetite at the many food festivals and tastings that occur throughout the year, including Belmont Shore's Stroll & Savor and Taste of Downtown.
  1. Explore the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM), showcasing sculptures, painting and carvings from across the Pacific.
  1. Rev up those muscle cars and take in the Belmont Shore Car Show, the largest one-day car show on the West Coast.
  1. Walk, run, bike or skate along a 5 ½ mile beachfront bike and pedestrian path right on the sand. Rent a bike, a pedal surrey or a Segway and explore our many downtown and shoreline bike paths.
  1. Stroll along downtown Long Beach's beautifully landscaped and brightly lit Promenade, which stretches from Rainbow Harbor to 6th Street. Stop and enjoy some of the great eateries along the way: SIP at the Renaissance Hotel, The Stave Wine Bar, Beachwood BBQ & Brewery and Michael's Pizzeria.
  1. Pedal across Alamitos Bay and through the Naples canals on your self-powered Hydro-Bike.
  1. Sail away to a "not so faraway" island. Catalina Express has daily high-speed catamaran service to the City of Avalon on Catalina Island. See where the film stars of yesteryears vacationed and where many celebrities of today still do.
  1. Join the fun on the first Friday of every month in Bixby Knolls. Shops and restaurants stay open late as folks stroll along Atlantic Avenue while being entertained by live bands and entertainers.
  1. Get "inked" at Outer Limits Tattoos, the oldest tattoo parlor in the U.S.
  1. Last but not least…just go outside and bask in Long Beach's near perfect climate. With 345 days of sunshine each year, seldom is any outdoor event ruined by bad weather, so have fun in the sun.

Image courtesy of The Queen Mary and used with permission.

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