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.


01Aquarium 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.


02Catalina 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.


03Naples Island

Naples Island Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

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.


04Long 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.


05Downtown 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.


06El 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.


07The 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.


08Shoreline 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.


09Belmont 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.


10Rosie'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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