If you are in Los Angeles for a longer stay or have visited LA before, you might want to take the time to discover the wonderful areas just outside the city. Great for day trips, these cities are fun and have a unique history all their own. Plus, you are still close enough to Los Angeles that you don’t feel like you are in the car all day. One of our favorite day trip cities is Long Beach.
Located about 24 miles from Downtown LA, Long Beach is still in LA County. This home to the famed Queen Mary is mainly known for its waterfront attractions, but it has so much more to offer than the famous ocean liner that is now a major tourist attraction and hotel that you should definitely visit. Although it is the 6th largest city in California, Long Beach still has more of a small town feel given its proximity to the beach, wonderful bike paths and neighborhoods with a mixture of large and small picturesque homes.
Long Beach is also known for its thriving entertainment scene — in fact it has more musical and cultural festivals than anywhere else in Southern California. Plus it has some fantastic dive bars (yes, we said dive bars — you should check them out) and live venues that have launched the music careers of Snoop Dogg, Jenni Rivera, Sublime, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many others. Additionally, if you visit in April, you should check out the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach that turns the downtown streets into a race track.
There are also a lot of family fun activities in Long Beach. First is the Aquarium of the Pacific which has over 12,000 pacific coast creatures from penguins, puffins and sea lions to a shark petting tank and a popular lorikeet forest where you can feed the colorful birds. Long Beach also has very family friendly beaches. Besides offering offer a variety of activities from biking, skating or walking along the paved beach path to taking kiteboarding lessons, the beaches are sheltered by a breakwater, which means there are no surfing waves, therefore popular for young families and people who are unable to swim. Another family fun activity is whale watching or taking a harbor cruise. They also have some great museums including the Long Beach Museum of Art, the museum of Latin American Art and many others.
Like everywhere in LA, Long Beach has been home to some notable celebrities including Snoop Dogg, Cameron Diaz, Frank Ocean, Jenni Rivera, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and No Doubt’s Adrian Young.
So after you visit the highlights in LA with US, then you should check out Long Beach. It’s definitely a day trip that will leave you with many memories.