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Long Beach Things to Do – Attractions & Must See

SmarterTravel

Long Beach Things to Do

Although Long Beach is the second largest city in the Los Angeles metro area, it’s more known as one of the world’s largest shipping ports. But it does make a worthwhile stop on any vacation as shown by the following list of Long Beach things to do.

Queen Mary

A beautiful and historic ocean liner that had her maiden voyage in 1936, the Queen Mary was registered and docked in Long Beach in 1967. You can experience it in multiple ways, as a hotel, boat tour spot, museum, haunted tour spot, nightclub, dining venue, and corporate meeting place. For the basics, an economical option is the First Class Passport, which gives access to much of the ship on designated tours. Also included is a 4D theater showing. Look for combo admissions if you also want to visit the USS Iowa and the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Aquarium of the Pacific

This is the best aquarium in SoCal but not so big that you have to spend the entire day. Some of the attractions include Shark Lagoon, a sting ray touch exhibit, penguins, a life-sized blue whale suspended from the ceiling, sea otters, and lorikeets. Its 550 species fill 17 major living habitats and 30 smaller exhibits, including Southern California/Baja, the Tropical Pacific, and the Northern Pacific. There are also special exhibits and shows, like with sea lions.

Museum of Latin American Art

A unique experience for the entire southern California area, this museum features various expressions on canvas and otherwise by artists from Latin America, including Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The thought-provoking, highly interpretative modern and contemporary pieces include works by Diego Rivera and Fernando Botero. Lectures, musical performances, art and dance workshops, and hard-to-find award-winning films are also offered.

Belmont Shore

A fab, cool local treasure, Belmont Shore is like the little Long Beach breakaway daughter who wants to shine in a light of her own. In this residential district, food and shopping cluster along 2nd St, between Livingston Dr. and Bay Shore Ave. So many casual cafes and restaurants make a dining decision difficult to reach. Shopping is fabulous, a kind of mini Beverly Hills or Brentwood by the bay. Look for cute upscale boutiques, midrange shops, and some decent mom-and-pops.

Long Beach Museum of Art

Get a little culture by going to this small museum, housed in a vintage old home and modern annex. The views of the shoreline and ocean are fantastic. You never know what you’re going to get because most of the galleries house traveling exhibits. If you have time, grab some coffee or lunch at the cafe. Sit outside, under the umbrellas, so you can enjoy vistas of the Pacific.

El Dorado Nature Center

Go natural with a visit to this nature center, which is home to the fox, weasel, turtle, and hawk. The natural surroundings let you forget you’re in a city and is the place to run to when the stress of touring becomes too much.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Long Beach.

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