Long Beach travel guide

Long Beach Tourism | Long Beach Guide

You're Going to Love Long Beach

Long Beach is a port city located in Southern California, popular for its many white sand beaches, artistic neighborhoods, and rich cultural activities and performances.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Long Beach

1. Surfing

Visitors will enjoy surfing at the world-famous main stretch along Long Beach Downtown or at the nearby Seal Beach.

2. RMS Queen Mary

Visit this historic 1930s cruise liner (and one-time troop transport ship) that now serves as a restaurant and seafront hotel.

3. Aquarium of the Pacific

This Aquarium, consisting of 1,000 species, is one of the biggest in the United States and tells the ecological history of the Pacific region through interactive exhibits.

4. Knott's Berry Farm

Visit one of the most popular amusement parks in Southern California with roller-coasters, arcades, and swimming opportunities.

5. El Dorado Nature Center

Here you can enjoy many trails, natural wildlife, and a museum holding special monthly events.

What to do in Long Beach

1. Aquarium of the Pacific: An Under-the-Sea Experience

A 5-acre vivarium on Rainbow Harbor with more than 500 species, the Aquarium of the Pacific features three galleries showcasing the marine life of Southern California and Baja, the Northern Pacific and the Tropical Pacific. Other attractions include Shark Lagoon with 150 sharks and rays, Lorikeet Forest with five subspecies of rainbow lorikeet, and June Keyes Penguin, an underwater space dedicated to penguins.

2. RMS Queen Mary: The Famous Luxury Liner

A retired ocean liner dating back to 1936, the RMS Queen Mary, built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland, operated as a weekly express between Southampton, Cherbourg and New York. The ship, retired in 1967, survives as a local attraction with a hotel, restaurants and a museum which features a collection of Princess Diana's gowns, dresses, personal accessories, photographs and family heirlooms. Voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America, the liner also offers tours of its "off-limits" areas.

3. Naples: Experience Some Italian Flavor on your California Vacation

The Italian-inspired Naples is set on three islands in Alamitos Bay. Divided by canals, the islands offer gondola rides as well as a marine park and beach. The neighborhood hosts the Christmas Boat Parade and watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and hydro biking. La Bella Fontana di Napoli is a quaint spot for picnics and the Los Alamitos Bay features a boardwalk with views of the water. 2nd Street is a local hotspot for shopping and dining.

4. Shoreline Village: Fun for Everyone...Really!

Shoreline Village features shopping, dining and more. From fine dining to funnel cake, the village has something for everyone. Retail shops range from the latest fashions to the work of local artists. Kids can entertain themselves on the carousel or at the arcade. Explore the beauty of Long Beach by Segway or have your picture taken with exotic birds at Smile for the Birdie. You can also rent a powerboat or charter as well as take a narrated harbor cruise or sunset dinner cruise.

5. Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden: Discover a Garden Paradise

A Japanese garden covering 1.3 acres on the California State University campus, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden was inspired by the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. Annual events include a Koi auction and a chrysanthemum show. The garden also hosts a summer jazz picnic with live music and catered bento boxes. The spectacular gardens can be rented for weddings, photo sessions and special events.

6. Hollywood: The One and Only

Hollywood is hard to miss, what with its name plastered famously across the hillside, and missed it should be not. Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most well-known streets in the world, home to the Walk of Fame. Huge Hollywood theaters host high profile movie premieres along this stretch, and the history of movie making is referenced at every turn. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!

7. Universal Studios Hollywood: Movie-making Madness

The greatest behind-the-scenes-look-at-Hollywood is found at Universal Studios, a theme park dedicated to movie-making magic. Besides boasting awesome thrill rides and over the top parades, the park offers views into the actual back-lots where sets are built. The Studio Tour puts visitors right in the middle of recreated movie sets from famous films like King Kong and Jaws.

8. Santa Monica Pier: Palm Trees, and the Pacific

The Santa Monica State Beach is where the social life of Los Angeles shows its colors - from ocean blue to deep tan. Land to sea, the comings and goings make for a people-watching paradise under the sun. The iconic Santa Monica Ferris Wheel towers over the scene at the old-school pier down the way, a funfair for everyone to enjoy. An aquarium offers indoor exploration for rainy days, while Palisades Park provides oceanside glory away from the hot sand for a bit of variety.

9. Getty Center: The Gem of SoCal

Overlooking LA is the world renowned Getty Center, a beautiful complex for art, research and conservation. The buildings and gardens themselves are a sight to behold, with elegant architecture, water elements and landscaping. Inside the museum, there is even more to see - most notably "The Royal End" by Paul Gauguin and "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh.

10. Beverly Hills: The 90210

Beverly Hills is a neighborhood whose reputation precedes itself. Rodeo Drive is its famous thoroughfare, known for upscale shopping and celebrity sightings. The nearby Beverly Gardens Park offers gorgeous rose gardens and recreation. For dedicated fans, the more residential streets of Beverly Hills are host to self-guided celebrity residence tours.

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1. Aquarium of the Pacific: An Under-the-Sea Experience

A 5-acre vivarium on Rainbow Harbor with more than 500 species, the Aquarium of the Pacific features three galleries showcasing the marine life of Southern California and Baja, the Northern Pacific and the Tropical Pacific. Other attractions include Shark Lagoon with 150 sharks and rays, Lorikeet Forest with five subspecies of rainbow lorikeet, and June Keyes Penguin, an underwater space dedicated to penguins.

2. RMS Queen Mary: The Famous Luxury Liner

A retired ocean liner dating back to 1936, the RMS Queen Mary, built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland, operated as a weekly express between Southampton, Cherbourg and New York. The ship, retired in 1967, survives as a local attraction with a hotel, restaurants and a museum which features a collection of Princess Diana's gowns, dresses, personal accessories, photographs and family heirlooms. Voted one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America, the liner also offers tours of its "off-limits" areas.

3. Naples: Experience Some Italian Flavor on your California Vacation

The Italian-inspired Naples is set on three islands in Alamitos Bay. Divided by canals, the islands offer gondola rides as well as a marine park and beach. The neighborhood hosts the Christmas Boat Parade and watersports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and hydro biking. La Bella Fontana di Napoli is a quaint spot for picnics and the Los Alamitos Bay features a boardwalk with views of the water. 2nd Street is a local hotspot for shopping and dining.

4. Shoreline Village: Fun for Everyone...Really!

Shoreline Village features shopping, dining and more. From fine dining to funnel cake, the village has something for everyone. Retail shops range from the latest fashions to the work of local artists. Kids can entertain themselves on the carousel or at the arcade. Explore the beauty of Long Beach by Segway or have your picture taken with exotic birds at Smile for the Birdie. You can also rent a powerboat or charter as well as take a narrated harbor cruise or sunset dinner cruise.

5. Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden: Discover a Garden Paradise

A Japanese garden covering 1.3 acres on the California State University campus, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden was inspired by the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. Annual events include a Koi auction and a chrysanthemum show. The garden also hosts a summer jazz picnic with live music and catered bento boxes. The spectacular gardens can be rented for weddings, photo sessions and special events.

6. Hollywood: The One and Only

Hollywood is hard to miss, what with its name plastered famously across the hillside, and missed it should be not. Hollywood Boulevard is one of the most well-known streets in the world, home to the Walk of Fame. Huge Hollywood theaters host high profile movie premieres along this stretch, and the history of movie making is referenced at every turn. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings!

7. Universal Studios Hollywood: Movie-making Madness

The greatest behind-the-scenes-look-at-Hollywood is found at Universal Studios, a theme park dedicated to movie-making magic. Besides boasting awesome thrill rides and over the top parades, the park offers views into the actual back-lots where sets are built. The Studio Tour puts visitors right in the middle of recreated movie sets from famous films like King Kong and Jaws.

8. Santa Monica Pier: Palm Trees, and the Pacific

The Santa Monica State Beach is where the social life of Los Angeles shows its colors - from ocean blue to deep tan. Land to sea, the comings and goings make for a people-watching paradise under the sun. The iconic Santa Monica Ferris Wheel towers over the scene at the old-school pier down the way, a funfair for everyone to enjoy. An aquarium offers indoor exploration for rainy days, while Palisades Park provides oceanside glory away from the hot sand for a bit of variety.

9. Getty Center: The Gem of SoCal

Overlooking LA is the world renowned Getty Center, a beautiful complex for art, research and conservation. The buildings and gardens themselves are a sight to behold, with elegant architecture, water elements and landscaping. Inside the museum, there is even more to see - most notably "The Royal End" by Paul Gauguin and "Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh.

10. Beverly Hills: The 90210

Beverly Hills is a neighborhood whose reputation precedes itself. Rodeo Drive is its famous thoroughfare, known for upscale shopping and celebrity sightings. The nearby Beverly Gardens Park offers gorgeous rose gardens and recreation. For dedicated fans, the more residential streets of Beverly Hills are host to self-guided celebrity residence tours.

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Where to Eat in Long Beach

Claire's at the Long Beach Museum of Art offers a unique dining experience on manicured lawns overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and serves sandwiches, seafood, and delicious breakfasts. A typical meal for two with drinks costs $70.

When to visit Long Beach

Long Beach in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 158
1 night at 3-star hotel
Long Beach in May
Estimated hotel price
C$ 158
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit is between May and September when there are many outdoor festivals, sports, and other cultural activities in the city.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Long Beach

Plane

Long Beach Airport (LGB) is a domestic airport located in Downtown. International visitors normally fly in to Los Angeles International Airport or San Diego International Airport and transfer by private car to Long Beach.

Train

Amtrak has regular service between San Diego and Los Angeles, passing near Long Beach along the way. One-way tickets cost $15.

Car

California's scenic Highway 1 will connect you to Long Beach from other notable cities along the coast, including San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and San Diego.

Bus

Greyhound buses will take you between US cities. A one-way ticket from Las Vegas, Nevada to Long Beach will cost $80.

Airlines serving Long Beach

United Airlines
Good (2,617 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (1,752 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,071 reviews)
KLM
Good (318 reviews)
Air France
Good (355 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,168 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,822 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,120 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,024 reviews)
SWISS
Good (409 reviews)
Iberia
Good (776 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (972 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (749 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (238 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (447 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (237 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (83 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (384 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (219 reviews)
Finnair
Good (580 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Long Beach

Catalina Island - take the Catalina Express boat service from Long Beach for a weekend getaway out of the city. Round-trip adult fares cost $70.

Popular Neighborhoods in Long Beach

Bixby Knolls - this upscale green neighborhood has many local festivals and performances, as well as numerous top notch places to eat and shop.

Naples - this quiet canal neighborhood on Alamitos Bay is a peaceful residential area.

Most popular hotel in Long Beach by neighborhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Long Beach

Most booked hotels in Long Beach

Hyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 365+
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 363+
Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 314+
The Westin Long Beach
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 273+
Hampton Inn Los Angeles/Carson
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 218+
Cali Inn
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 178+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Long Beach

Public Transportation

Long Beach is connected to downtown Los Angeles through the Metro Blue Line. Commuters should purchase a TAP card and pre-load credit before boarding the subway, which costs $1.50 per ride.

Taxi

There are many taxis around Long Beach, with tariffs starting at $3 and costing $20 for a journey between different neighborhoods.

Car

There are many rental car companies with pick up downtown or at one of the three nearby regional airports. Daily rentals start at $30 a day.

The Cost of Living in Long Beach

Shopping Streets

Belmont Shore is the most popular pedestrian place to shop for clothes, accessories, and hobby-related items.

Groceries and Other

Vons, Ralphs, and Costco are the three biggest grocery stores in Long Beach. A dozen eggs costs $3.50.

Cheap meal
C$ 17.14
A pair of jeans
C$ 62.57
Single public transport ticket
C$ 1.72
Cappuccino
C$ 5.45