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These Are the Top Sights in Long Beach
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These Are the Top Sights in Long Beach

Planning a trip to Long Beach, California? We've got the top sights and fun things to do all covered.

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5 min read

February 14, 2022

Allison Van Wig is an experienced realtor in Lakewood and a member of the California.com Recommended Business Program, which highlights only the best businesses in the Golden State. To be featured, each business must be highly regarded, have a unique California story, and make a positive impact in their community. 

No other place encapsulates the laid-back charm of SoCal as well as Long Beach, California. Boasting beautiful beaches, diverse neighborhoods, iconic attractions, and endless fun in the sun, this oceanside escape is an incredible getaway any time of year. Looking to get a taste of your own? Pick a date and add these Long Beach activities to your itinerary for a guaranteed good time.

Fun things to do in Long Beach on your Getaway

The Aquarium of the Pacific features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species.

1. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific 

The Golden State is home to a myriad of incredible aquariums, but the Aquarium of the Pacific might just take the cake for being the most impressive. Not only is it the largest aquarium in Southern California, but it’s also the fourth most-visited aquarium in the country. So, there isn’t really any debate on whether or not it belongs on your list of things to do in Long Beach.

Besides giving you the opportunity to view 12,000 animals and more than 100 exhibits, the aquarium also allows you to meet and feed the animals, go on behind-the-scenes tours, and even dive into an exhibit for a more up-close interaction.

2. Go on a Whale Watching Cruise

The best whale watching in California is experienced along the sandy beaches of Long Beach. Book a cruise in October and you’ll see orcas, blue whales, fin whales, Pacific gray whales, humpback whales, and more majestic creatures on their annual migration. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars—the sea giants look even more incredible. 

3. Ride the Aqualink or Aquabus

AquaLink and AquaBus are basically water taxis that take you to popular attractions, restaurants, and sights in Downtown Long Beach and beyond. All stops along the way have ramps and are wheelchair friendly—you’ll be able to get off at iconic Long Beach destinations like Alamitos Landing and Queen Mary. However, it is important to note that currently, the bright yellow boats only operate from Friday through Sunday, so you’ll only be able to catch the boats on a weekend getaway.

A gondola ride is a must-have experience in Long Beach, California. Just imagine how romantic the atmosphere will be!

4. Enjoy a Romantic Gondola Getaway

Is a romantic outdoor date on the cards? Consider booking a Gondola Getaway along the enchanting canals of Naples Islands in Long Beach, California. Combining Italian aesthetics with a Southern California setting, this fun thing to do in Long Beach gives you a memorable adventure with sights of bridges and million-dollar homes. Beautiful surroundings, good company, and well-trained gondoliers—what could be a better Long Beach activity? 

5. Pedal Bikes by the Bay Shore

There’s nothing quite as freeing as pedaling along the beautiful beaches in Long Beach. Whether you ride, glide, or stride along these scenic oceanside bike paths, you’ll feel the warm sun rays hug you. You'll feel the salty breeze giving you gentle pushes of support, and the crashing waves call your name. 

Is it your first time biking in Long Beach, California? You can’t go wrong with the easy 7.3-mile Long Beach shoreline bike path. This out-and-back trail is well-paved, accessible, and absolutely beautiful any time of day.

Naples is a good place to rent a paddleboard or a Duffy for a few hours and wander around the canals enjoying the California sunshine.

6. Rent a Duffy or Paddleboard And Go Around Naples

If you’re planning your getaway to Long Beach with a larger group, then a gondola getaway won’t suffice. Instead, opt to explore the Naples Canals and Alamitos Bay aboard a Duffy from London Boat Rentals. The company also allows you to add food, beverages, charcuterie boards, and other fun perks to your cruise for an additional fee. Celebrating a special occasion? Add a custom cake, flowers, and party decor to set the mood right!

Are you and your friends the more adventurous kind? Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also fun Long Beach activities to consider. All the SUP supplies you need can be found at Stand Up Rentals, while Kayak Rentals, as expected, can lend you the kayaking gear. Have fun adventuring in Long Beach, California!

7. Hike the Trails at the El Dorado Nature Center

Looking to add a bit more greenery to your Long Beach getaway palette? Hike the scenic trails at the 105-acre El Dorado Nature Center near Alamitos. This beautiful Long Beach park will give you incredible sights of lakes, woods, birds, and other friendly animals and make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. First-time visitors should consider starting with the El Dorado Park Nature Trail, which is an easy, 2.2-mile loop that packs in the views department—you’ll be stopping and staring a handful of times. 

8. Check out the Long Beach Museum of Art

The famous Long Beach Museum of Art will supply the necessary art and culture fix for your weekend getaway. Featuring a diverse display of more than 3,200 works, this museum in Long Beach, California exposes to you 300 years of American and European art in all media.

Once you’re done indulging in eye candy, head to Claire’s at the Museum to feed your stomach. Located in a beautiful oceanfront setting, this gorgeous dining spot surrounds Claire Falkenstein’s Structure and Flow sculpture, hence the name. You’ll be treated to seasonal produce with a twist on beloved brunch classics. 

9. Trek the West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail

Planning to head inland to Lakewood? Make sure to add the West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail to your list. Primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and road biking, this easy, out-and-back trail near Long Beach, California is as pretty as can be. What’s more? This tree-lined path is also dog-friendly, so you’ll be able to take your pooch along for the getaway!

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a Japanese garden encompassing 1.3 acres on the campus of California State University, Long Beach.

10. Visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a living museum located on the beautiful campus of California State University, Long Beach. Visit to feed the playful koi, stroll along the winding pathways, check out the Tea House, and meditate at the Zen Garden. Each season at this gorgeous garden unfolds with colorful blossoms, exposing you to captivating views unlike any other—don’t forget to snap pics!

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