Long Beach:The Ultimate Waterfront Playground

Long Beach:The Ultimate Waterfront Playground

Long Beach inarguably is one of the most fun cities in California. Popular for its urban waterfront attractions, city has a thriving art and cultural scene. If you enjoy deep sea adventures or you want to take a historical tour of the city, Long Beach offers it all. Home to the famous Universal Studios and Disneyland, there is an edgy hipster side to the city that is unbeatable. With a thriving music and cultural scene, there will not be a moment where you’ll find yourself wondering what to do. Long Beach offers myriads of experiences to explore and you’ll find yourself entrapped in the contagious vibe of the Southern California.

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Long Beach:The Ultimate Waterfront Playground

1. El Dorado Nature Center

One of the most scenic spots of Long Beach, El Dorado Nature Center is a great weekend getaway. Center offers lot of information on the local flora and fauna, for children there are educational guides providing more information. There is a nature trail for two miles that can be undertaken, hikes are simple and most people like to go on El Dorado Nature Trail exploring the region. From the city’s metropolitan vibes to this oasis of nature is a pleasant, relaxing experience. Definitely a place to visit for nature lovers looking for a place of solace away from the hustle bustle of the city life.

2. Naples Island

Consisting of 3 islands in Long Beach, full of bridges, docks and boats, Naples Island is a beautiful sight. If you like taking long walks absorbing the city life and admiring great architecture, Naples Island is a perfect spot for you. You can take a walk around the paved canals, compliment the homeowners on their magnificent homes, maybe strike a conversation with locals to know more about the history of Naples Island as most locals love to give a tour of their home. There are some beautiful restaurants and shops where you can spend time and purchase some local art. Definitely a place where you would like to come for brunch or see the sunset. During festival time, locals compete with each other when it comes to decorating their homes, a great time to visit Naples Island to admire its beauty even more.

3. Museum of Latin American Art

Photo by mark6mauno

Founded in 1996, Museum of Latin American Art is the only museum in the United States that id dedicated to contemporary Latin American and Latino art. It houses a beautiful Sculpture Garden in the courtyard and has a great collection of curated art. Frida Kahlo’s photo exhibit is among the most popular section in the museum. On Sundays, you can visit the museum for free. It also has a small gift shop for those interested in buying souvenirs. The staff is friendly and helpful. You can easily spend hours learning about ethnic art as well as about modern Latin American art. Once or twice a year, museum organises festivals for the locals that have paintings and art related workshops, a great initiative to garner interest in contemporary art.

4. Long Beach Museum of Art

Photo by Tom Ipri

Founded in 1950, Long Beach Museum of Art is home to over 3000 works of Art including paintings, drawings, sculptures mostly reflecting European Art, modernism and contemporary California art. Its a small museum in size that keeps changing its exhibits to provide exposure to contemporary artists. Spread over 3 floors, the museum has a lot of greatly curated art objects. The restaurant in the museum named Claire’s has an ocean-side view and is a popular spot among the tourists for brunching. If you’re visiting the museum, don’t forget to visit this nice outdoor cafe for a breathtaking view.

5. Aquarium of the Pacific

One of the largest aquariums in America, Aquarium of the Pacific is home to over 11,000 animals ranging from penguins to sea lions and over 500 different species. You can get close with penguins, or feed birds in the Lorikeet Forest within the aquarium or just take a guided educational tour of the place. In some of the spots, you’re allowed to feed the animals. It is a great place to learn about animals and behind the scene tour is highly recommended. Museum has an interactive learning environment which gives detailed information on the marine life.

6. The Queen Mary

Photo by GagliardiImages/shutterstock.com

Docked in Long Beach’s harbor, is the legendary Queen Mary, a World War II cruise ship. You can learn about the history of the ship, admire its art deco design or simply learn about the paranormal rumours aboard this ship. From a guided audio tour to a haunted encounters tour to Winston Churchill exhibition, the museum offers several kind of tour experiences to the visitors.

7. Long Beach Antique Market

If you love shopping the local art, than Long Beach Antique Market with its collection of over 800 sellers of antiques and collectibles is a must-visit spot for you. Every 3rd Sunday of the month, the local traders and vendors set up their shop in the flea market and you can explore and buy collectibles of your choice. From mid-century modern to art deco, there is something from everyone specially a paradise for vintage lovers. Definitely it is a trip down memory lane.

8. Pine Avenue

If you’re wondering about the nightlife at Long Beach, it is at the Pine Avenue where you will find the best options. Considered to be the hub of downtown Long Beach, Pine Avenue has a range of options for pub-hopping as well as classic dining. This is also the location where food and music festivals are organised. The atmosphere is great and it is a great place to walk around and explore the city.

9. Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Built in 1981 within the California State University premises, Earn Burns Miller is a beautiful garden that houses a gorgeous koi pond. One of the most serene places in Long Beach to spend time observing nature. You can also feed the fish or just simply take a walk or sit around observing the well maintained retreat. You will find this as an excellent place to meditate thanks to the tranquil surroundings.

10. Rancho Los Alamitos

Founded in 1784, Rancho Los Alamitos is a living history museum and for those interested in California history, it provides a great guided tour. Well maintained museum with gorgeous gardens, this place has an exhibit center, a ranch built in 1800 along with a gift shop. The staff is very helpful and well informed. You can learn so much about the history of Long Beach just going through the exhibits, highly recommended spot for history lovers.

◎ Closing

There is so much that Long Beach offers that one may feel they’re running out of time. From outside the city looks so contemporary and modern but you dig deeper and one realises how rooted it is to its past. From museums to its art and cultural scene, Long Beach continues to charm travellers with its ageless appeal. This is a place for all seasons and even more a reason to visit during the music festivals, so plan your trip to get the best out of the Southern California hospitality.