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If you are planning a trip to Long Beach, California, you’re truly in for a treat. Long Beach is one of Southern California’s favorite waterfront playgrounds for both locals and tourists alike, offering a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities all year round. From arts & culture to recreational activities, shopping, city attractions, day trips, family vacations and so much more, there is never a shortage of activities to choose from.
With so many activities and sights to see in Long Beach California, the options can be overwhelming. But we have pulled together a complete guide of tried and true must-see attractions in Long Beach, California.
- Aquarium of the Pacific. The Aquarium of the Pacific is a non-profit public museum located on Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach California. This massive aquarium has around 1.5 million visitors a year and for good reason. They hold 11,000 different animals from over 500 species. They feature three major permanent galleries: Southern California & Baja Gallery, Northern Pacific Gallery, Tropical Pacific Gallery. In addition to these three permanent exhibits, they also feature the Explorer’s Cove which is the museum’s main outdoor area. Here, you can find the shark lagoon featuring over 150 different rays and shark species, the Lorikeet Forest with rainbow lorikeet birds, as well as the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, an exhibit for the Magellanic penguin.
- Whale Watching Cruises. One of the best ways to experience and witness amazing marine animals in their natural habitat is through whale watching tours. For decades, Harbor Breeze has been Long Beach’s top-trusted whale watching tour company, providing daily ocean adventures the entire family will love. On a whale watching excursion, you will get the opportunity to see different species of whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, marine birds, and so much more. Witnessing a whale breach the water in the ocean is a truly incredible experience we guarantee you will cherish and remember forever.
- Helicopter Tours. If you’re going to take a helicopter ride anywhere, let it be Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles. Helicopter tours in Long Beach will give you stunning aerial views of the city, beach, and terrain. One amazing helicopter tour is of the Catalina Island, located just south of Long Beach!
- El Dorado Park & Nature Center. Also located in the Long Beach neighborhood is El Dorado Nature Center, a playground for a multitude of recreational activities including basketball courts, soccer fields, picnic sites, trails, disc golf, playgrounds, and duck ponds. If you and the family are in the area, you should definitely check it out, because there is something each member of the family will enjoy.
- Long Beach Waterfront. If you are traveling to Long Beach, you shouldn’t miss out on seeing the Long Beach Waterfront. No trip to Southern California should be complete without it. This seaside city is full of different attractions, one being the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary is a British luxury liner (larger than the Titanic) that has been in Long Beach since 1967. This museum is well-known for its history and art deco design. The waterfront is also home to incredible restaurants and shops you can enjoy and explore all day long.
- Marine Park. Don’t you dare forget to spend a day in the sun and sand at Marine Park, Long Beach’s most popular beach! This public beach offers volleyball courts, playgrounds, picnic areas, and overall fun for the entire family.
- Pike Outlets. One of Long Beach’s most popular dining and shopping districts is the Pike Outlets located right next to Aquarium of the Pacific. Here you will find all different types of retailers, entertainment, restaurants, movie theaters and more. They even host different concerts and events so be sure to keep updated on upcoming specials!
- Museum of Latin American Art. Another one of our favorite Long Beach attractions is the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) located in the East Village Arts District. Founded in 1966 by Dr. Robert Gumbiner, MOLAA is the only museum in the United States that is solely dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art. Recognized as an affiliate of the Smithsonian institution, MOLAA holds over 1,500 works including paintings, drawings, photography, and mixed media pieces. Truly special to this museum is the Sculpture Garden, where you can find large installations and sculpture of vibrant colors, exemplary of many Latin American courtyard designs.