10 Things You Didn’t Know About Long Beach
Long Beach, America’s most colorful city by the sea. Just 24 miles (ca. 39 km) from Los Angeles but a whole world away, this laid-back beach town is the perfect escape for anyone tired of immaculate sidewalks and tech millionaires. Here you can BBQ with your neighbors, eat tacos in the park before going to catch live music at one of our many festivals. You might even find locals walking their dogs while catching waves at sunrise on a Sunday morning—Long Beach truly rocks all day and night long!
A brief history of Long Beach
You may not be familiar with Long Beach, but you’ve probably heard of a few of the famous streets that form the geography of the city—especially those names you just can’t seem to forget. Long Beach Boulevard, of course, is synonymous with all things beautiful Long Beach. Bixby Knolls, a trendy area located on the northern edge of the city, is home to plenty of notable shops and restaurants, as well as the trendy Bixby Knolls Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Not far from there, you’ll find Queen Mary (the old World War I Victory Ship) Park, which is where you’ll find the Queen Mary Tiki Bar, another favorite among locals. Finally, you can’t forget Artesia Boulevard, which celebrates the love and all things Beach Life.
Beachwood Heights Go there if…You want to drink beers while sunbathing in one of the town’s tiny parks on a warm evening, stopping at a record store along the way. Splash in the ocean! Long Beach is home to one of the best beaches in the world, and also to a number of championship swimmers who live here year-round. The area is known for its frequent surf competitions, and your own best wave is never far away. Super Dudes Long Beach is the home of Bassano, a suburb of Los Angeles known for its super-cool burlesque. You’ll also find legendary bands like Social Distortion, Rancid, NOFX, and Suicidal Tendencies at one of our many music venues, including The Waterfront, Hollywood Vampires, The Viper Room, The Belmont, Club Vivid, and The Observatory.
What to do in Long Beach
Where do you go? How about the beach! The cool sand and the friendly people make Long Beach one of the best places to spend a day and nights in the sun. Don’t let your ocean waves ruin your beach day; visit the marine life exhibit at the Long Beach Aquarium. This waterfront museum is the largest harbor aquarium in Southern California, showcasing 3,500 marine animals and more than 200 species from around the world. Fun fact: Long Beach also boasts the oldest family-friendly beach on the West Coast. It’s called Seaside Lagoon, and it’s located at Palisades Park, across from the Aquarium. Grab a board and get ready to shred! If you’re looking for a fun day-trip, this Central Long Beach gem has many hotels, a zoo, and the legendary Long Beach Comic-Con.
Long Beach’s best restaurants
The Long Beach dining scene is always evolving. From the opening of Rip City Tavern (rgbtavern.com), a blue-lit speakeasy bar at the base of a movie theater; to the new rock-and-roll-inspired Andiron Steak & Sea House (andironsteak.com) on the water’s edge. But what’s a culinary fanatic to do? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite restaurants in Long Beach, as well as ideas for where to eat them. Click through for a list of eating choices, plus a couple of recommendations from our editors. Best Fresh Fish Grill Catch 1695 E. Broadway, Unit #144, (562) 433-2660 Catch is one of the few waterfront restaurants in town.
There’s no denying that Long Beach has a wealth of arts, culture, and parks, but it’s the best place in the world for enjoying live music at one of our many street festivals. Getting a chef to open up an outdoor restaurant—like Nathan Myhrvold at Le Pigeon. Packing up your surfboard and heading down the coast to take a hit on The Pier. Going on the classic Boardwalk Scavenger Hunt. And finding great surf, paddle-boarding, and kayaking spots. But wait, that’s not all! There’s so much more. The City of Long Beach was ranked one of the best in the world for fitness, too! Just three and a half hours from LAX, Long Beach offers an incredible number of outdoor activities from horseback riding to rock climbing.
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