There are so many things to do in Long Beach, California any time of year. With summer temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 and winter temperatures ranging from upper 60s to low 70s this is the perfect summer destination year round. Pack your bags and escape to this sunny destination for a relaxing getaway.
10. Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
The Japanese garden covers 1.3 acres, and was opened in 1981. The garden is located on the campus of California State University Long Beach. It has a relaxing koi pond and a small waterfall. They have a feeding station where you can buy fish food for a quarter. Kids love to feed the koi fish, and if you are patient sometimes they will even eat out of your hand. This is a wonderful location for the entire family, and has many great picture opportunities. The garden is free to visit. They are closed on Saturdays and Mondays.
9. Museum of Latin American Art
This is the only museum in the United States solely dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. Their extensive collection serves to educate visitors on Latin American art. You won’t want to miss the unique exhibits here. The permanent collection contains 1,300 works of art as well as an outdoor sculpture garden. The museum has several temporary exhibits that change throughout the year, and all exhibits highlight the cultural significance of Latin America. There is a small admission charge, except on Sundays admission is free. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
8. California State University Long Beach
The school was established in 1949 as Los Angeles-Orange County State College. It has about 37,000 students. It is the third largest campus within the California State University system. While visiting campus make sure to see the pyramid. The Walter Pyramid is the most recognizable building on campus; it is used as a sports complex. The University Art Museum, the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, and the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden are also notable sites on campus. This beautiful campus is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon exploring the lush grounds with family and friends.
7. Rancho Los Alamitos
The Rancho Los Alamitos is a historic site. Originally it was part of the ancestral village of Povuu’ngna; later it became a working farm. Today it is a living history museum. It has six agricultural buildings, a blacksmith shop, gorgeous gardens, and a ranch home. This is a spectacular place for the whole family to learn the history of California. Explore the buildings on your own time or take a guided tour. The kids love to look at the different animals on the farm. They are open Wednesday through Sunday in the afternoon, and admission is free.
6. The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary was a luxury passenger steamship from the 1930’s to the 1960’s; except for when she was used as a troopship during WWII. As air travel became more and more popular, she was sold and moved to her final dock at Long Beach. Today she is a hotel and entertainment venue. They offer several different tours aboard the Queen Mary including: a ghost tour, a historical tour, a self-guided audio tour, and a Princess Diana showcase. This steamship is also a unique place to stay for the weekend. Gorgeous staterooms are available aboard the historic steamship as part of an active hotel.
5. El Dorado Nature Center
The El Dorado Nature Center is an oasis in the city’s center. This small park has two miles of nature trails, two lakes with an island and a visitor center, a river, and a forested area. There is tons of wildlife to spot around the nature center; turtles and birds are a favorite and the most populous. El Dorado Nature Center is among the best and most relaxing places to visit in Long Beach, California. They are closed on Mondays. Vehicles must pay an entrance fee, but if you enter on foot there is not a fee.
4. Long Beach Waterfront
This waterfront is a relaxing place to spend a day with family, or a great place for a romantic sunset stroll. There are several tourist shops and restaurants along the water front. The historical Queen Mary and a lighthouse can be seen from the waterfront. The lighthouse is a great family photo opportunity. The Aquarium is also located along this waterfront. The pathway is perfect for bicycling or walking. You won’t want to miss picturesque views of the blue water dotted with colorful sailboats. The lone sailor statue here is a small monument to U.S. Navy personnel, and a replica of the one in Washington D.C.
3. Naples Island
Naples Island is actually three islands separated by canals. This relaxing area was built to be the “Venice of America,” and the quaint streets do make you feel as though you have stepped into an Italian village. The large majestic houses are built in a Mediterranean style and the street names are all Italian themed. The best way to experience this island is to rent a kayak and travel through the canals by water, or you can take a classic gondola ride through the waterways. There are also several shops and delicious eateries when you are ready to get out from under the sun and cool off.
2. Catalina Express
Catalina is known as the Island of Romance. The Catalina Express is a ferry boat that will take you from Long Beach to Catalina Island in less than an hour. There are several things to do on the Island. Visit the town of Avalon for water or land activities. Avalon on Catalina Island is a great place for adventurers to visit. Activities range from zip lines to glass bottom boat tours and everything in between. The village of Two Harbors is more relaxing and remote; it is a spectacular place to sit on the beach and watch the boats. The village is a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
1. Aquarium of the Pacific
This aquarium’s main focus is on the body of water right outside its doors, the Pacific Ocean. It houses 19 different habitats, over 11,000 ocean animals, and almost 500 different species! Their outdoor shark lagoon has over 150 sharks, and you can even touch some of them! They have fish, penguins, sea otters, sea lions, turtles, birds, and much more. The Aquarium of the Pacific is a fun place for the whole family to learn about the importance of ocean conservation. They offer several different admission packages that you can combine with different tours and cruises with other exhibits in the area.
This waterfront city has a wide variety of attractions and activities for every visitor. There are a remarkable number of tourist attractions in Long Beach, California. With so many museums, art galleries, water sports, world class shopping, and exceptional dining this is an excellent place to visit for any level adventurer.