Contrary to what its name might lead you to expect, Long Beach is not about the beach – there’s better sand elsewhere in LA. Instead, step back in time aboard the Queen Mary ocean liner, now a floating hotel, and gape at the shark lagoon inside the gigantic Aquarium of the Pacific.
Long Beach is a value-conscious destination for a family vacation. If it’s sun and sand you’re after, skip the in-town beaches and drive a couple of miles east to Belmont Shores. More off-the-beaten-path sights around the city include art and maritime museums and the Point Fermin lighthouse, surrounded by a grassy park.
Pleasure cruises and sport fishing trips depart from Shoreline Village, crowded with casual seafood restaurants. After dark, downtown’s Pine Avenue district buzzes with a variety of restaurants and bars; it’s conveniently near the Metro Rail line to Downtown LA. For more beach time, surfable waves and plenty of sunshine, it’s less than a dozen miles south to the Orange County line.