What is so great about So Cal? For starters, everything. If you are looking for a city that embodies the essence of a Southern California lifestyle, Long Beach fits the bill. I was born in Long Beach and have spent most of my life in So Cal, so I can tell you, it is everything it’s cracked up to be. Perpetually warm, with miles of beautiful beaches and towering palm trees, So Cal is the place for fun in the sun. Long Beach, CA, is an iconic city. There are so many things to do in Long Beach, CA, that boredom isn’t an option.
Life in the LBC
As the name implies, Long Beach does have a long strip of scenic coastline. But surf and sand aren’t the only things this city has to offer. Making a trip to the beach while in the LBC is basically a requirement, so of course, if you are visiting Long Beach, it is something you can’t neglect to do. Sunbathing, swimming, surfing, kayaking and sailing are all great ways to spend an afternoon on the beach in Long Beach. Go whale watching (though in my experience you are likely to see way more dolphins than whales), charter a relaxing sunset cruise, or stop in to one of the watercraft rental agencies and treat yourself to a few hours on a jet ski.
Take a stroll down the boardwalk areas and grab a drink. There is no shortage of waterfront dining or bars in Long Beach. The Beachwood Brewery and Pub is synonymous with the city and has great beer, so stop in and enjoy a pint.
Long Beach seafood is in a league of its own, and during the spring, there is an entire festival dedicated to it. The Seafood Festival usually takes place in May and is a fantastic way to enjoy the ocean’s bounty, just make sure to show up hungry. And while you’re at the waterfront…
The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary is a world-famous luxury ship that is permanently docked in Long Beach Harbor and has become a popular tourist attraction. Part of The Queen Mary’s fame and appeal come with its reputation as one of the most haunted locations in the U.S Guests report experiencing paranormal activity aboard the ship, from EVPs to full bodied apparitions, making it a prime destination for ghost hunters everywhere. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to make contact with any of The Queen Mary’s resident spirits during my visit, but maybe you will have better luck. Even if you aren’t a believer, the ship is beautiful, historic, and has an operational bar, so it is still worthwhile to check it out.
The Queen Mary isn’t the only spot in the LBC reputed to house restless spirits. The Sunnyside Cemetery is another well-known haunt, and despite being labeled with a cheerful moniker, rumor has it the Sunnyside has another side that isn’t quite so sunny. For the adventurous, The Sunnyside cemetery hosts movie nights, during which guests can enjoy a film in an unconventional locale.
Use the Waterways
If you want to beat the heat and get around without spending too much time on your feet or stuck in traffic, take advantage of the AquaLink, Long Beach’s own public water cab. It’s fun, affordable, and a vast improvement over traveling in the back seat of a traditional taxi. Anyone living in Long Beach, CA can tell you that travel by water cab beats over ground traffic any day.
Art and Music
Fans of hip-hop will already be familiar with Long Beach from the lyrics of such rap and hip-hop legends as Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Warren G. Yes, the intersection at 21st and Lewis is a real place, and yes, you can go there. The neighborhood of Bixby Knolls is famed for its artistic side and is home to an annual Bixby Art Walk where you can view works by local artists and listen to live music. Cal State Long Beach also has a variety of student run events that are often open to the public.
Where there is a university, there is a night life. It would take more than one article to discuss the nightlife of the LBC. Suffice to say, it isn’t boring and there is an adventure around every corner. But play it safe and drink responsibly. Cheers!
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