Long Beach is a great town to visit – at any time of the year! Its location and year-round climate in Southern California can’t be beaten. It’s not like you have to look too far for things to do in Long Beach. There’s the water, the sea, the sun, the beaches. What else do you need? Well, there’s plenty more than that in Long Beach. Here are 5 “off the beaten path” ideas to keep you busy when you need a break from the sun and the sand.
Hop Aboard the Queen Mary
The RMS Queen Mary is an ocean liner that sailed the seas during the years 1936 through 1967 when it was retired. The ship took three and a half years to build at a cost of 3.5 million pounds sterling. What began as “Hull Number 534” in 1930 was to have been named Victoria, in keeping with calling ships with names ending in “ia.” But King George V preferred that the new ship is named after his own wife, so Queen Mary it was. That’s how the story goes, anyway.
The Queen Mary was kept in active service up until 1967 when she finished her 1,000th crossing of the North Atlantic. Arriving from around Cape Horn, she entered the Long Beach, California port and that’s where she remains today. The ship now attracts visitors from around the world to its hotel, museum and event venue in Long Beach. While it’s not exactly a theme park, it is an extremely interesting tour and a look back at the past.
Dark Art Emporium
Ok, now this isn’t a run-of-the-mill tourist attraction, but it offers a unique opportunity to Long Beach’s visitors to step over into the “wild side.” You can call it a museum of sorts, but let’s just say it’s “different.” Instead of 19th-century impressionist paintings, you’ll find anything from human skulls to creepy dolls to unusual forms of taxidermy. Ok, it’s not for everyone, but some people will find the experience quite enjoyable! If you’re in the area, check out the events or classes they’re hosting and get ready for a memorable experience!
Long Beach Museum of Art
You might think you’ve been to some of the best art museums in the world, but wait until you visit the Long Beach Museum of Art. It is situated in a fantastic site on top of a bluff. The museum grounds overlook Catalina Island, the Queen Mary, the Long Beach harbor and the Pacific Ocean. On the site you will be able to visit the Elizabeth Milbank Anderson House from 1912, oceanfront gardens and two floors of gallery exhibits in the new two-story pavilion. Check the events calendar before you go, as the exhibits, musical programs and festivals are constantly changing. Before leaving, stop by the museum gift shop and then grab a bite at the beautiful ocean-view restaurant. The restaurant, “Claire’s at the Museum” surrounds an impressive water sculpture and overlooks the ocean.
Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific is a down-to-earth, old fashioned type of attraction that is as entertaining as it is educational. If you can believe it, they claim to have 11,000 animal exhibits! The kids will enjoy the hands-on and up close opportunities to see and be seen with animals. Enjoy such exhibits as “Frogs: Dazzling and Disappearing,” “Our Water Future,” “Harbor Terrace Vanishing,” and learn about penguins, sea otters and animal care at the shark lagoon. You can also take a tour of the harbor, enjoy a 4D film or join the educational programs. Check the events calendar for family festivals, camps all year and even sleepovers.
Gondola Rides Through Naples
While in Long Beach, pretend like you’re in Venice and book a gondola trip. The romantic canals winding through Naples will make you think you’re in a different country! Actually, in the Western US, there are eight places where visitors can ride in a gondola, and since 1984 Long Beach has been one of them. You may have seen the canals of Naples at Christmas when there is a colorful “Naples Island Christmas Boat Parade.” Since you’re in the area anyway, after your gondola ride you might consider renting a kayak, a paddleboard or hydro bikes just for fun.
Whatever you decide to do during your visit to Long Beach, make sure you have enough money! If you’re running short, contact Montana Car Title Loans in Long Beach for a quick loan so you don’t have to forgo any of the Long Beach attractions.