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25 Must-Visit Places In Long Beach, California

Some consider Long Beach to be the perfect microcosm of California because of its stunning shoreline and bustling downtown core. Savor the idyllic Californian sunshine while immersing yourself in the rich and unique local culture.

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01 Aquarium of the Pacific

Kids watching the aquarium full of sea creatures at the The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

This public aquarium sits on a 5-acre site on Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor. It is home to over 11,000 animals and represents around 500 different species. The Aquarium of the Pacific focuses on the seascapes of the Pacific Ocean. The displays are split into three parts: sunny Southern California and Baja, the reefs of the Tropical Pacific, and the icy waters of the Northern Pacific.

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02 Catalina Express

Catalina Express passenger ferry boat sits in Dana Harbor California on a winter morning

Since 1982, the Catalina Express has run a ferry service between Santa Catalina Island and mainland California. The Catalina Express today has a fleet of eight vessels, which can complete the 30-mile crossing in just under an hour. Catalina Express operates year-round and runs up to thirty trips a day in peak season.

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03 Naples Island

Named after the famous Italian city, Naples is a neighborhood built on three islands located in Alamitos Bay. As you might expect, this part of the city is particularly famous for its gondola rides through the various canals of the city. Such rides have been offered here since 1982.

04 Long Beach Waterfront

Long Beach Waterfront Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

While the Waterfront is home to some of the more famous Long Beach tourist attractions, it's worth taking a walk along in its own right. Rainbow Harbor is the starting point for those who want to engage in whale watching or even paddleboarding. Close by, Marine Park is the perfect place to soak up the sun with the family in the lifeguard protected, Mother's Beach.

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05 Downtown Long Beach (DTLB)

Known as DTLB, downtown Long Beach is made up of four main neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality.

  • East Village is a neighborhood with a distinctly indie atmosphere. It's home to unique boutiques and is the perfect spot for people who enjoy artisan coffee and riding bicycles.
  • North Pine is renowned for its restaurants, bars, and dessert cafes.
  • Pine ave & the Promenade is the activity and entertainment hub of DTLB. It's home to some of the country's most celebrated gastropubs.
  • West Gateway is the financial and civic center of DTLB, home to the World Trade Center and the Deukmejian Courthouse.

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06 El Dorado Nature Center

If you need a quiet, natural reprieve, then the El Dorado Nature Center is calling your name. Tucked between the 605 Freeway and the San Gabriel River, the El Dorado Nature Center stretches 105 acres and provides sanctuary for a wide range of animals. There you'll find two miles of dirt trails for hiking and a quarter-mile paved trail that you can follow to the lakes and streams.

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07 The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary Longbeach Photo by bradley on Unsplash

Built in 1936, the Queen Mary was a luxury cruise ship similar to the Titanic. She completed her 516th and final voyage to Long Beach, California, in December 1967. Today, this beautiful ship is a top tier hotel with suites that have been lovingly restored. Many of which still have their original art deco accents and wooden floors. Even if you're not looking to stay overnight, you can still visit the famous restaurant, British pub, sundeck tearoom, or the 1930s style cocktail bar.

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08 Shoreline Village

Shoreline Village Photo by Ameer Basheer on Unsplash

Shoreline Village, or the Village as it’s known, is a family-friendly place by day and a romantic date spot by night. Styled like a Cape Cod fishing village, Shoreline Village overlooks Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. There are plenty of activities to choose from, from harbor cruises to visiting the antique carousel or going to check out the views from Parkers Lighthouse.

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09 Belmont Shore

Photo by Michael Petrila on Unsplash

Only three miles from downtown Long Beach, Belmont Shore offers a wide range of shopping options. Not only that, but there are over 50 establishments to visit if you feel in need of food or drink. Many eateries come equipt with sidewalk patios if you’d like a spot of al fresco dining.

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10 Rosie's Dog Beach

Rosie's Dog Beach Photo by Meg Sanchez on Unsplash

Since 2001, Rosie's Dog Beach has been a designated off-leash place for dogs to run around in the sand and surf without getting into trouble. Located on the water between Granada and Roycroft avenues, the dog beach is closest to the Belmont Shore neighborhood. If you're a fan of famous dogs, then keep your eyes peeled as this is a popular place for Instagrammers and YouTubers to bring their furry companions!

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11 Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific

Mother with daughter looking at jellyfish aquaium Stanislaw Pytel / Getty Images

The Aquarium of the Pacific is a marine wonderland that sits on a 5-acre site in Long Beach's Rainbow Harbor. Home to over 11,000 animals from around 500 different species, the aquarium offers a fascinating exploration of the Pacific Ocean's seascapes. The exhibits are divided into three sections, each representing a different part of the Pacific: the sunny Southern California and Baja, the vibrant reefs of the Tropical Pacific, and the icy waters of the Northern Pacific. Visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse marine life, learn about conservation efforts, and even participate in interactive experiences. It's an underwater adventure that's not to be missed.

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12 Explore the Queen Mary

Queen Mary ekash / Getty Images

Step aboard the Queen Mary, a historic ocean liner that now serves as a floating hotel and museum. Built-in 1936, the Queen Mary is a testament to the grandeur of the past. Visitors can explore the ship's art deco design, original wooden floors, and rich history. The ship completed its 516th and final voyage to Long Beach in December 1967 and has since been a major attraction. Whether you're staying overnight in one of the restored suites or just visiting for the day, the Queen Mary offers a unique glimpse into the golden age of travel.

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13 Enjoy the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden in Long Beach, CA Frank Lee / Getty Images

In the heart of Long Beach, you'll find a serene oasis - the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. This tranquil garden is a perfect place for a peaceful stroll or a moment of reflection by the koi pond. The meticulously maintained landscape features traditional Japanese elements, including stone lanterns, a tea house, and a moon bridge. Amid the city's hustle and bustle, the garden offers a quiet space where visitors can connect with nature and experience a sense of calm.

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14 Visit the Long Beach Museum of Art

Serious African man in brown pullover looking at painting shironosov / Getty Images

Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, the Long Beach Museum of Art is a cultural gem in the city. The museum houses a diverse collection of art that spans different periods and styles, from European to American contemporary art. Visitors can explore the rotating exhibits, participate in educational programs, or simply enjoy the stunning ocean views from the museum's café. It's a must-visit for art lovers and anyone seeking a dose of culture and creativity.

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15 Explore the Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens

Step into California's past at the Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens. This historic ranch offers a unique insight into the region's agricultural history, from its origins as a Tongva village to its role in the early 20th-century ranching era. Visitors can explore the restored ranch house, barns, and beautiful gardens, all while learning about the people who shaped the region's history.

16 Visit the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site

Another historic gem, the Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site offers a glimpse into life in the 19th century. The adobe home and lush gardens are a testament to California's rich history. Visitors can tour the house, explore the gardens, and learn about the site's history through interactive exhibits. It's a fascinating journey back in time.

17 Explore the El Dorado Nature Center

In the heart of Long Beach lies the El Dorado Nature Center, a haven for nature lovers. This nature center offers trails through forests and streams, providing a perfect escape from the urban hustle. Visitors can hike, bird watch, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings. It's a place where nature and city life coexist harmoniously.

18 Visit the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

People admiring art in gallery JGI/Tom Grill / Getty Images

Celebrate the vibrant art of Latin America at MOLAA, the only museum in the country dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. Visitors can explore a diverse collection of art, participate in educational programs, and attend cultural events. It's a unique cultural experience that showcases the creativity and diversity of Latin America.

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19 Explore the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich artistic traditions of the Pacific Islands at the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum. This museum offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the art and culture of this diverse region. From intricate carvings to vibrant textiles, each piece tells a story of the Pacific Islands' rich cultural heritage.

20 Visit the Long Beach Antique Market

Flea market ilbusca / Getty Images

Treasure hunters will love the Long Beach Antique Market. This bustling market offers a wide array of antiques and collectibles, from vintage furniture to rare books. Whether you're looking for a unique piece to add to your collection or simply enjoy the thrill of the hunt, it's the perfect place to find hidden gems.

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21 Explore the Naples Canals

Naples beach houses on canal in Long Beach, California Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

Experience a touch of Italy in California at the Naples Canals. These picturesque waterways offer gondola rides, providing a romantic and unique experience. Whether you're exploring the canals by day or enjoying a moonlit ride, it's a charming escape from the city.

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22 Visit the Long Beach Waterfront

Long Beach, CA Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

Enjoy the best of coastal living at the Long Beach Waterfront. With stunning views, recreational activities, and dining options, it's a must-visit for any traveler. From whale watching at Rainbow Harbor to soaking up the sun at Marine Park, there's something for everyone at the waterfront.

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23 Explore the Long Beach East Village Art District

Discover the city's creative side in the East Village Art District. This vibrant district is a haven for art enthusiasts, with a variety of galleries, murals, and boutiques. It's a place where creativity thrives, and visitors can immerse themselves in the local art scene.

24 Visit the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center

Long Beach skyline California (P) Ron and Patty Thomas / Getty Images

The Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is the heart of the city's entertainment scene. This bustling venue hosts a variety of events, from concerts to conventions. Whether you're attending a show or simply exploring the area, it's a vibrant part of the city that's worth a visit.

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25 Explore the Long Beach Pike Outlets

Overlooking the Pike area and other Long Beach attractions Patricia Elaine Thomas / Getty Images

Shop till you drop at the Long Beach Pike Outlets. This modern outdoor shopping center offers a variety of brands and dining options. Whether you're looking for the latest fashion trends or a bite to eat, it's a shopper's paradise in the heart of the city.

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