12 Best Long Beach Hotels - Jul 2019
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
Hyatt Centric the Pike Long Beach
Hyatt Centric the Pike Long Beach
Renaissance Long Beach Hotel
Courtyard Long Beach Airport
Hotel Maya - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Hilton Long Beach Long Beach
Best Western Plus Hotel at the Convention Center
BEST WESTERN PLUS Hotel at the Convention Center
The Varden Hotel
Your Travel Guide to Long Beach
Long Beach, California is a city in Los Angeles County, around 25 miles south from Los Angeles along the coast. But even though it’s so close, it doesn’t get lost in the glare of LA: there are still a lot of attractions that Long Beach has of its own. It has a very impressive aquarium--one of the largest in America--as well as some buildings that are preserved from the time of Spanish and Mexican occupation. There’s also lots of recreational things to do as well--both outdoors and indoors.
What are the Must-Do-s and See-s in Long Beach?
Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific is a surprisingly large and diverse collection of aquatic animals--and much more than just fish! There are also collections of rare aquatic birds and amphibians. The collections number 11,000 animals, distributed among 500 species. Some of the species exhibited include: penguins and their habitats, hands-on encounters with jellyfish, frogs, sharks, otters, and colorful lorikeets! The Queen Mary, the Rodeway Inn, the Travelodge, and Best Western Plus Hotel are all in the area.
We mentioned the Queen Mary Hotel--it’s actually much more than that. It’s a tourist attraction in its own right! Queen Mary is an English ocean liner that was first launched from England in 1936, and named after the wife of King George VI. It was used both for transporting civilians and military personnel, until it was retired in 1967. The ship has three restaurants on board, and gives you amazing views of Long Beach and the ocean. Besides entertainment on board the ship and a 4-D theatre, including performances dramatizing the lives of people who boarded the ship in the past, you’ll also learn how the ship was constructed and operated. Nearby, you’ll see the Scorpion, a Soviet-built submarine that used to be open to the public for tours, but has fallen into disrepair. Since the cost to repair the submarine is prohibitively high, you can just appreciate the size of the vessel from afar.
El Dorado Nature Center
The El Dorado Nature Center is a large, 105-acre park which serves as a nature reserve for many species of animals and plants. The park also includes lakes, a stream, and a forest. The Nature Center also has concerts in the summer, and educational programs and tours. The park also includes a golf course, and soon will include the El Dorado Frontier--a theme park with a train ride and live entertainment!
An interesting attraction in Long Beach is Naples Island, a piece of California that tries to recreate the atmosphere of Italy. It’s actually man-made 3 islands that were built in 1903, fashioned after the same plan as the Venice Canal section of Los Angeles. Naples Islands are also assigned street names that recall locations in Italy. There are even canals that have been constructed, so that you can go on a gondola ride around the island, much like in Venice! If you’re interested in other water fun, there are opportunities to rent kayaks, paddleboards, hydro bikes and more.
Rancho Los Cerritos
The Rancho Los Cerritos ( =“The Little Hills Ranch”) was constructed in 1844 by Jonathan Temple. The adobe house on the ranch is now used as a museum that chronicles the history of the people who inhabited the area: Native Americans, Spanish and Mexican settlers, and the Temple family themselves. The exhibits include over 1000 samples of textiles and clothing, and historical photographs.
Historical Society of Long Beach
Near the Rancho Los Cerritos, you’ll find the Historical Society of Long Beach, which charts the history of the area. It was originally housed in one of the buildings of the Rancho Los Cerritos, but later moved to the Long Beach Senior Center. The collection contains photographs and documents that are significant in Long Beach’s history.
Rancho Los Alamitos
Closer to Naples Island, you can find the Rancho Los Alamitos (“Cottonwood Ranch”). It is a 7.5-acre ranch house and adobe, developed by the Bixby family, who became wealthy from the movie industry, oil, and real estate ventures. The ranch includes 4 gardens and a barnyard with livestock.
Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a 1.3-acre garden which tries to recreate the serenity and beauty of a Japanese garden. The collection of flowers, bamboo and pine trees, and a lake with Japanese koi, all create a unique atmosphere in the middle of Long Beach.
The Long Beach Museum of Art has exhibitions of the works of California artists, most of them donations of private art collectors. There are exhibitions of ceramics and earthenware, as well as paintings and drawings by European Modernists.
The Museum of Latin American Art ( = MOLAA) is the only museum in the United States devoted to Latin American art and artists. There are exhibits on Latino tattoos and body art, as well as metal sculptures and paintings.
Getting around in Long Beach
Long Beach Airport
Long Beach has its own airport, which is served by American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest.
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport receives more flights from more destinations than the Long Beach Airport. And since it receives more traffic, the fares to Los Angeles Airport is typically cheaper. There are a number of choices to get from Los Angeles International Airport to Long Beach:
- FlyAway Buses: FlyAway Buses is a round-trip service from the airport to the neighboring cities (Hollywood, Downtown LA, San Fernando Valley, and more). One of the buses takes you to Long Beach for $8.
- Super Shuttle: There are shared ride vans from LA Airport to Long Beach, which get you there in around 1.5 hours. This is preferable to resorting to the Metro Rail, which involves changing trains (Green Line from the airport to midtown LA, and the Blue Line to Long Beach) and trying to find where to put your luggage.