Nine Best Things To Do in Long Beach in 2022
Long Beach, California, is one of the undisputed jewels of SoCal. It’s sunny, inviting to newcomers, and has a wide range of attractions. Whether you prefer to spend your free time browsing museums or enjoying the outdoors, it’s a great place to visit.
That said, there’s so much to do it can be overwhelming if it’s your first trip. Let’s take a look at the nine best things to do in Long Beach in 2022 so you have the best possible experience during your visit.
1. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific is a five-acre wonder devoted to oceanic life. This public aquarium sees over two million visitors each year and is home to over 12,000 animals. Talk about variety!
This jaw-dropping aquarium has huge water tanks, lots of displays for colorful sea life, and even some opportunities for hands-on encounters with species like seals, sharks, jellyfish, and rays. If you’re an animal lover and want to learn more about the natural environment just off the coast of Long Beach, come here first.
2. Visit Naples
No, not Naples, Italy! We’re talking about Naples in Long Beach. True to its namesake, this Naples was constructed in 1903 as an Italian-inspired neighborhood.
It’s so Italian-inspired, in fact, that it will feel like you stepped across the globe. You’ll find canals, Italian street names, and houses designed in the same style like those you would find in the Mediterranean.
If you’ve brought your significant other to Long Beach, you can even ride in a romantic gondola, soaking up the SoCal sun in a way you could have never imagined!
3. Take the Catalina Express
Catalina Island is a nearby tourist town and wildlife reserve that’s definitely worth the visit. It’s just an hour’s ride away via the affordable high-speed ferry from Long Beach. There’s no reason not to take a few hours to enjoy this bastion of natural beauty.
Once you get the Catalina Island, you can find museums, oceanic excursions, and eco-tours. The waters surrounding the island are filled with dolphins and whales, and the island itself contains abundant species like buffalos, mule deer, bald eagles, and foxes — so there’s plenty of animal-watching to be done.
There are also lots of gift shops if you want to grab a souvenir or two to remember your time at this scenic location. Just remember that it’ll be much easier to walk around on foot — you’ll wish you had sold your car if you try to bring it with you!
4. Check Out the Pike Outlets
The Pike Outlets are Long Beach’s premier waterfront shopping center. Not only do they have tons of excellent places to shop for name-brand apparel and souvenirs, but they also offer an iconic carousel and Ferris wheel.
This is the perfect place to take your family if you’re looking for a daytime excursion not too far from Long Beach’s center.
However, the Pike Outlets are also a great place to check out at night. There are lots of lights and colorful banners, plus many restaurants and a movie theater if you want to catch dinner and a show.
5. See the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden
The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located on the Long Beach CSU campus. It’s 1.3 acres in total, and it’s inspired by the beautiful Imperial Gardens in Tokyo. Created by the university’s landscape architect, it’s a wonderful little slice of paradise in the middle of Long Beach — and quite different from what you’ll find anywhere else.
Take a stroll through this university, and you won’t forget it. The Japanese garden features a koi pond, bridges, pagodas, and plenty of other beautiful sights. The peaceful winding pathways will eventually lead you to the garden’s tea house: perfect for enjoying a refreshing cup in the afternoon.
6. See the Long Beach Museum of Art
Maybe you’re a traveler with an artistic side. In that case, you should check out the Long Beach Museum of Art. Located within Bluff Park, it’s been a major attraction since 1950.
The museum includes art pieces that span 300 years of combined American and European history, ranging from paintings and sculptures to ceramics and much more. Even better, you can take art classes when you visit (time permitting). Plus, you can use the Museum of Art as an opportunity to escape the heat if you visit Long Beach in the summer.
7. Explore the Queen Mary
The Queen Mary is a 1936 ocean liner that once crossed the Pacific Ocean back and forth. However, it’s now permanently anchored at Long Beach, where it operates as a rather unique hotel. But you don’t have to stay here overnight to check it out for yourself.
You can explore the ship without even making a reservation. In addition to being old and historic, it offers exhibits so you can see antiques that have been preserved from the ship’s originating time period.
If you do choose to book a room here, you won’t regret it. The Queen Mary’s hospitality experience is one-of-a-kind, offering romantic dinners, comfortable rooms, and unforgettable views of the ocean and coastline.
8. Explore the Shoreline Village
The Shoreline Village is a family-friendly destination that overlooks Rainbow Harbor, and it’s very popular thanks to its colorful shops. The boardwalk includes plenty of restaurants, souvenir gift shops, and places where you can buy artwork made by locals.
Shoreline Village is a top-tier choice for families and for couples. However, if you have a more adventurous side, you can also find opportunities to enjoy sailing, parasailing, or cruising at the Village. Be sure to walk all the way to the end to see everything it has to offer!
9. Stroll Through the El Dorado Nature Center
Last but not least is the El Dorado Nature Center. Spanning a whopping 105 acres in total, this Nature Center is one of the most beautiful parts of Long Beach. The green sanctuary hosts many natural species in the area, including both plant life and animals.
The Nature Center is expertly organized into a series of trails and streams so you can meander through the park while enjoying the fresh air, all without ever getting lost. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor center for souvenirs and artwork when you’re done!
Rent with Advantage Rent a Car Today
There is a lot to see and do in Long Beach, especially if you plan to spend a few days or more. Public transportation is limited here, so don’t forget to plan how you get to and from Long Beach.
It might be wiser to rent a car — especially if you and your friends are taking a joint trip. Advantage Rent-a-Car can help. Our diverse fleet of quality vehicles can get you to and from Long Beach in no time. Contact us today!
Catalina Island | Visitcatalinaisland.com
The Pike Outlets | thepikeoutlets.com
Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden | California State University, Long Beach
Aquarium of the Pacific | Aquariumofpacific.com