Guide to Long Beach: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. Highlights of Long Beach: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, signature entertainment and shopping.
Long Beach is a major coastal city in Southern California, right on the southeastern border of Los Angeles. Long Beach is known as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. There are Hispanics, African Americans, just plain Americans and Asians living here, and in general, Long Beach is much more like an East Coast or Midwestern city than any other in California. It also has a world-class aquarium and a floating museum/Queen Mary hotel. See citypopulationreview for state facts, symbols and history of Colorado.
Long Beach is famous for its street art. His most famous object is the “Planet of the Ocean” mural, which covers the entire surface of the indoor city sports stadium. The painting is included in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest street painting in the world.
How to get to Long Beach
Getting into the city is easy: any of the five airports in the Los Angeles County are suitable for this, ranging from the Los Angeles LAX to the small, private airport of Long Beach. From downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, you can take the blue metro line. In addition, Carnival Cruise ferries are assigned to the Long Beach Cruise Terminal and operate in Bahia California and the Mexican Riviera.
Entertainment and attractions in Long Beach
The Pacific Aquarium is one of the largest in the country. About 1000 inhabitants live here in 19 main aquariums and 32 specific expositions. Visitors can successively admire the flora and fauna of the three areas of the Pacific Ocean: Southern California (Baya), Tropical and Northern.
The Queen Mary is a historic ocean liner that served as a military transport during World War II. Today, the ship has been declared a national monument. Various tours have been developed to explore the ship, among them the Ghosts and Legends tour. A hotel, several restaurants and a shopping promenade are open on board. You can purchase combined tickets for visiting the liner and the aquarium or the liner and the B-427 submarine.
The B-427 Foxtrot class submarine, which is moored next to the Queen Mary, is a combat Soviet submarine from the Cold War. A retired Russian submarine officer works here as a guide.
3 things to do in Long Beach:
- Ride a gondola along the Knapples canals.
- Photograph the historic Riviera Villa, built in 1929 on Ocean Boulevard, “the city’s most elegant landmark.” An imposing building with a hint of French Gothic is unmistakable thanks to its central pointed turret.
- Swim to Catalina Island.
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the campus of the University of California Long Beach. It features a 1.3-acre classically designed garden with a traditional tea house and a koi pond. You can walk around the garden on your own for a small entrance fee.
The Long Beach Art Museum is located on East Ocean Boulevard and occupies the old mansion of Elizabeth Milbank Anderson. This is a small museum with a collection of works by authors of the 20th century and objects of arts and crafts. The main place in the expositions is given to Californian artists. And the Museum of Latin American Art, on Alamitos Avenue, is the only one in the western states that is dedicated exclusively to the contemporary art of Latin America. It occupies a place of honor in the newly renovated East Village art district. The University Museum of Art has gained national renown for its innovative programs. And the city’s newest museum is the Pacific Islands Folk Art Museum, which opened in 2010.
Los Cerritos Historic Ranch is located on Virginia Road. This is a two-story Monterey-style mansion built in 1844. The ranch is listed as a National Landmark, along with an old garden and a scientific library. Every hour from 13:00 to 16:00 there are organized tours of the building with an assistant professor, and it’s free (although donations are welcome).
Knapples Island is a specific area in the southeast part of Long Beach. It is pierced by many canals with pedestrian embankments and million-dollar mansions on them. On Christmas Eve, locals decorate their houses, competing with each other in extravagance, so the streets are filled with admiring spectators who come here specifically to gawk at this splendor.
In the past, Long Beach was sometimes referred to as “Seaside Iowa” for its predominantly white American population with food and culture to match.
Long Beach is famous for its street art. His most famous object is the “Planet of the Ocean” mural, which covers the entire surface of the indoor city sports stadium. The painting is included in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest street painting in the world. An image of 11,000 square meters. m was created by the famous eco-oriented street artist Richard Wyland as part of the series of works “Whale Walls”, in which the author depicts life-size whales, dolphins and other inhabitants of the sea.
The name of the project “Whale Walls” – Whaling walls is built on a play on words: it is consonant with the phrase Wailing wall – that is, “wailing wall”. The painting “Planet of the Ocean” became in 1992 the 33rd in a series of similar paintings by Wyland, the last of which, the hundredth, he painted in 2008 in Beijing.
Long Beach Events
The annual events that take place in Long Beach are distinguished by a clear imprint of extravagance and glamour. This is, for example, the April Long Beach Grand Prix, an indica race through the main streets, in which various celebrities take part. In May, the city hosts the parade of sexual minorities “Pride”. On Labor Day weekend, the city hosts a Greek festival and an open-air blues festival at the university stadium at the same time. The West Coast’s largest one-day auto show takes place in Long Beach in September. And throughout the summer, the Long Beach Sea Festival hosts a series of events across the city (many of which are free to attend). In addition, the city hosts the Ot Dog parade with a dog fashion show, as well as a sidewalk chalk art and poetry festival.
Neighborhood Long Beach
Catalina Island (officially Santa Catalina) is a popular day trip destination for locals and tourists alike. It is part of a group of islands and is located about 35 km from the mainland. It’s a small, enclosed world away from the usual hustle and bustle of Southern California. 88% of the island’s territory belongs to the protected area. In addition to it, there are two “cities” here – Avalon and Two Harbors.
Avalon received the status of a city in 1913, and about 4 thousand people live here permanently (in summer, due to vacationers, the number of inhabitants reaches 10 thousand). The city hosts several regular events throughout the year, including film festivals, marathons, golf tournaments, music festivals, and art events. Due to the narrow streets and the usual overcrowding, the most popular way to get around the city is by golf cart.
Avalon has some rather specific sights. In particular, this is the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden, which is 2.5 km from the city. The memorial is dedicated to William Wrigley, the founder of the famous gum corporation and a serious benefactor who played a key role in preserving the nature of Catalina Island for future generations. And in the botanical garden, you can see plants typical of the Californian islands, including those endemic specifically for Catalina.
Another notable place in Avalon is the Casino, an Art Deco building built in 1929 as a cinema and ballroom.
The elite of Los Angeles rested in this exclusive place, and today you can see it with a guided tour, not forgetting to look into the museum of the island located here. The latter introduces tourists to the history of Catalina, from the time when it was inhabited by the Tongva Indians, and until the middle of the 20th century, when the island became a hangout for the richest and most famous.
Two Harbors is nothing like Avalon. With a population of no more than 300, Two Harbors is a great place for sailing, kayaking, diving, cycling, hiking and relaxing in nature.
You can sail to the island on the Carnival cruise ship, a high-speed catamaran, a special Catalina Express, a charter yacht and even a helicopter. Traveling by boat will take you about an hour (and about 36 USD ), by helicopter – about 15 minutes (and four times more money).