Long Beach

Long Beach

The city of Long Beach is probably best known as being the final resting place of the legendary Queen Mary, and a port of entrance and exit for commercial and leisure boats, ferries, and cruise ships. This beachside city sits south of Redondo and Hermosa Beaches in the South Bay, and north of Orange County beach communities like Seal Beach and Huntington Beach.

Long Beach’s bustling harbors and lazy seaport villages offer a little bit of something for everyone. You can easily fill a day strolling the charming walkable streets on 2nd or 3rd in the Belmont Shore neighborhood, or taking in evening cocktails and dancing in the East Village area. This waterfront playground features a thriving college community centered around Cal State University Long Beach, and an eclectic array of art galleries lining streets near the Art Theater, which was built in 1924 and has been restored to its original grandeur. In less than 20 minutes, residents of Long Beach can enjoy magical days at Walt Disney theme parks in Anaheim and concerts at the Music Center in Los Angeles.

One of the most popular attractions in Long Beach is the Aquarium of the Pacific. Kids and families come from all over Southern California to learn about the largest ocean on the planet, and explore the waters that are home to more than 11,000 different types of animals and creatures. The aquarium features a shark touch tank, 3D documentaries on the ocean and its effect on our ecosystem, a children’s playground, and educational performances. You can even feed colorful Lorikeet birds. The Queen Mary ship attracts thousands of visitors each year. Constructed in Scotland in 1930, the Queen Mary served as a luxury ocean liner and a war troopship, before making her way to Long Beach to become a museum and hotel.

Long beach residents live in variety of housing structures, ranging from college-sized apartments and entry-level condos to luxury homes that sit steps from the beach. The Naples area of Long Beach is perhaps the most expensive collection of homes, sitting beautifully along quaint channels and islands that are reminiscent of Italy. Long Beach children attend Long Beach Unified School District campuses, including Long Beach Polytechnic High School. The city has its own police department and transit system that is both efficient and convenient.

Major attractions include the R.M.S. Queens Mary, now converted to a convention center and hotel, ‘Spruce Goose’, built by Howard Huges, the biggest aircraft in the world, attending the three-day annual festival of Toyota Grand Prix. Kid’s favorite destinations are the Aquarium of the Pacific with over 12,500 animals, Rainbow Harbor and exploring of the tallship Californian, Mother’s Beach ideal for toddlers, El Dorado Regional Park and Nature Center with fishing lakes, pedal boats and ducks, Rancho Los Alamitos with barns and farm animals. Visit the Museum of Latin American Art devoted to Latin American painting and arts, Long Beach Museum of Art with oceanfront gardens, and exhibitions spaces, Shoreline Village with trendy shops, restaurants, and bars, Tallship American Pride for educational trips, whale watching and tour to Catalina Island.