Long Beach is a coastal city and port in Southern California. It’s famous as the home of the RMS Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner and museum ship and the waterfront Aquarium of the Pacific featuring touch tanks and a shark lagoon. Today it is also known as a culinary town and nightlife hotspot. If you are visiting Southern California, make sure to set aside some time to explore the many things to do in Long Beach.
Save Big on Your Long Beach Vacation
Check out the Top Tours & Day Trips from Long Beach
Read Reviews of the Best Hotels in Long Beach on TripAdvisor
52 Things To Do In Long Beach, California
Find our favorite 52 tips and places to visit in Long Beach. If you are planning a Southern California vacation, we hope this list will inspire you to see and do more in lovely Long Beach!
1. Immerse yourself with underwater life at the Aquarium of the Pacific with an interactive experience that has you swimming with the fishes and petting the sharks. This is one of the most popular things to do in Long Beach, California.
2. Channel all your senses during the Paranormal Shipwalk Tour aboard the Queen Mary.
3. Let art and culture enrapture you as you take a walking tour through the East Village Art’s District.
4. Hop on a Segway and swiftly see the sights of the picturesque Rainbow Harbor and waterfront.
5. From Irish pubs to multi-million dollar dance clubs, piano bars to a sexy after-hour lounge, dance your way through the many nightclubs and bars in downtown Long Beach.
6. Cruise the Naples Canals in style with romantic Italian Gondolas.
7. Celebrate with cocktails and take in the downtown skyline at The Sky Room.
8. Enjoy some beer tasting at Ballast Point Long Beach! With refreshing ocean breezes and incredible water views, this Long Beach location is a sprawling harborside spot with two stories, outdoor patios with fire pits, and 60+ beers on tap to enjoy while watching passing boats and gorgeous sunsets.
9. Keep steady doing stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking in Naples.
10. Visit the largest population of Cambodians outside of Phnom Penh at Cambodia Town.
11. Take a lesson in Kite Surfing at the beach.
12. First Fridays in Bixby Knolls offers a selection of art, entertainment and food.
13. Enjoy a scenic Sunday brunch at The Reef or The Queen Mary.
14. Hop aboard the London-style Big Red Bus for Saturday Sippers, which makes stops at notable wine tasting locations such as Morry’s of Naples and Tracht’s.
15. Walk the 8th Most Walkable City in the U.S. (Downtown, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights, Bixby Knolls and the East Side of Long Beach).
16. Witness Egyptian architecture at the Walter Pyramid at CSULB, 1 of 3 pyramids in the U.S. and the largest space-frame structure in North America.
17. See whales on the Long Beach Arena’s mural Wyland’s Planet Ocean, which the Guinness Book Records once recorded as the World’s Largest Mural.
18. Run, Forrest, Run! Not only can you enjoy a fun meal at Bubba Gump’s you can also participate in the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon.
19. Do a ‘tap dance’ at the Yard House, boasting one of the largest selections of beers on tap in the world.
20. Visit the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA), the only museum West of the Mississippi to feature art from Latin America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean.
21. Choose from more than 100 restaurants within an eight-block radius of downtown Long Beach; many of which are heavily accoladed by the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association.
22. For a little wind in your hair, rent an electric Duffy Boat and cruise through the Naples canals.
23. Laugh it up at one of the world’s largest comedy clubs, the Laugh Factory Long Beach.
24. Come out and be proud; our Gay Pride Festival is the 3rd largest celebration in the U.S.
25. Conduct an olive oil tasting at We Olive in Belmont Shore.
26. Delight in high tea at the Vintage Tea Leaf…no British accent needed.
27. Get pickled eggs at legendary Joe Jost’s– one of Long Beach’s oldest bars.
28. Satisfy, your, or your four-legged friends’, a sweet tooth at the Frosted Cupcakery-they make Pupcakes!
29. Have an All-Star meal at MVP Burger.
30. Drive ‘round and ‘round the Long Beach Traffic Circle.
31. Take a cruise around the Long Beach Harbor for less than $5 in an Aqualink catamaran.
32. Golf is par for the course in Long Beach. Enjoy the great outdoors with five public golf courses.
33. Enjoy a meal overlooking the bluffs at Claire’s at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
36. Get ‘inked’ at Outer Limits Tattoos, one of the country’s oldest tattoo parlors.
37. Watch the tug boats go by while sitting under the lighthouse at Shoreline Aquatic Park in Rainbow Harbor.
38. Place your bid during the Koi Fish Auction at the Miller JapaneseGardens at Cal State Long Beach.
39. Detach your earlobes from your shoulders and have your tension and stress melt away at La Dolce Vita Spa.
40. Explore the vibrancy of downtown Long Beach at night with its new, multi-colored LED lighting.
41. Take your favorite Fido to the dog beach, the only dog beach in Los Angeles County.
42. Taste the world (and leave your Passport at home) by savoring International eateries along Pine Avenue: Café Sevilla, George’s Greek Café, L’Opera, Alegria Cantina Cocina, Aladdin and Wokcano.
43. Experience ‘Best in Show’ first-hand at the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show.
44. Get empowered and inspired at the Governor and First Lady’s Conference on Women with Maria Shriver.
45. Hop on a four-person pedal surrey and cruise the 5.5-mile beachfront bike path.
46. Enjoy sumptuous seafood while overlooking the marina and Rainbow Harbor at Parker’s Lighthouse.
47. Take Salsa lessons and dance the night away at Café Sevilla.
48. Explore Southern California history at Rancho Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos.
49. Let your inner child soar freely with a Ferris wheel ride at the Pike at Rainbow Harbor.
50. Put the pedal to the metal and watch the checkered-flag soar at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
51. Buy some eclectic threads at the vintage shops or people-watch at a coffee shop along Retro Row.
52. At the end of the day, you want to slumber in style; choose from a wide selection of Long Beach hotels…from boutiques to brand names, extended stay to views of the bay.
Related Post: Long Beach: A Gentleman’s Night on the Town
Day Trips from Long Beach & Top Tours
I love to do a combination of exploring on my own as well as a few organized tours when I travel. I love to learn about the history and culture in a new location and tours with local experts are a great way to do this. I recommend Get Your Guide because you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start and their customer service is available 24/7 in multiple languages.
A few Top Tours in Long Beach, California
Recommended Travel Resources
- Travel Insurance: World Nomads.
- Transport: AirfareWatchDog and Skyscanner (Best Sites to Research Flight Prices)
- Accommodation: Hotels.com and Orbitz
- Airbnb, Sign up here for a $40 credit.
- Top Long Beach Hotel Reviews: TripAdvisor
As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulations, as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are a few recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute. I also suggest checking hotel reviews in my favorite site, TripAdvisor.
Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.
Travel has always been a part of her life; traveling to such places as Morocco, Tangiers and Spain as a young child as well as taking many road trips to Mexico with her grandparents as a young girl. Since then, she has traveled abroad to locations such as Russia, Taiwan and throughout Europe.
Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer; focusing on family and women’s adventure experiences.