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Explore eclectic Long Beach

Long Beach, the essence of the Southern California lifestyle, offers the relaxed atmosphere of a seaside resort with all the amenities of a big urban city.
The Belmont Shore area of Long Beach is just tucked behind the area’s most romantic destination

Long Beach, the essence of the Southern California lifestyle, offers the relaxed atmosphere of a seaside resort with all the amenities of a big urban city.

Located between the urban bustle of Los Angeles and the suburban expanses of Orange County, Long Beach takes you into sandy beaches and eclectic neighbourhoods.

With 325 days of sunshine each year seldom does a stroll, rollerblade or pedal down five miles of beachfront get ruined. It is the quintessential vacation getaway, boasting a dynamic range of oceanfront hotels, attractions, shopping, recreational activities, arts and culture, restaurants and nightly entertainment that make it an ideal destination for any time of the year.

Unique neighbourhoods can be found in Belmont Shore as well as Second Street, a shopper’s mecca and premier location for outdoor dining and people watching. Tucked behind Belmont Shore is one of the city’s most romantic destinations, Naples Island. Italian-style gondoliers cruise along the canals lined with picturesque, million-dollar homes. Waterfront dining and views of rows of sailboats is offered in Alamitos Bay just past the Belmont Shore.

Vintage clothing hounds can search through mid-town’s funky Fourth Street, dubbed as the retro-wear capital of Southern California. If you get lost, look for friendly downtown guides dressed in blue Long Beach shirts, blue caps and khaki pants. They are stationed in a 40-block area and help visitors find restaurants, shops and attractions.

Discover the city’s best-known attraction, the Queen Mary. This is one of the world’s most luxurious ships to sail the Atlantic Ocean, featuring a 308-stateroom hotel and several restaurants. Visitors can explore the ship before braving the current attraction, Ghosts and Legends. During the haunted tour, a guide leads you through parts of the ship that were previously off-limits while the attraction produces floods, flashing lights and ghostly experiences.

For a face-to-fish encounter visit the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, which is home to more than 12,500 inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean, and visitors can visit Lorkieet Forest where colourful and friendly miniature parrots can be hand-fed.

A short walk from the aquarium along Rainbow Harbor will take visitors to Shoreline Village and The Pike at Rainbow Harbor — a boardwalk of specialty and souvenir shops and restaurants.

When you are done exploring, pull up a stool at the Yale House where you will find the world’s largest selection of beer on tap. More than 250 tap handles of draft beer can be found at the pub located on Rainbow Harbor.

Of course there is also the amazing beaches and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean to be explored. Visitors can dive into a variety of watersports such as kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, sportfishing, scuba diving and jetskiing.

From late-December to mid-April, the migration of more than 15,000 Pacific grey whales can be seen passing through Long Beach on their way to Mexico. Whale watching excursions are available through several companies.

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About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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