20 Things To Do In Long Beach

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Visitors often overlook Long Beach, despite being the seventh most populous city in California and second-most in the LA metro. Located on the outskirts of Los Angeles proper, it is far away enough to be a chore to get to but not far enough to be considered a rural destination.

It’s that combination that makes this a wonderful place to stay. With historic ranches, beautiful beaches and vibrant culture, there are plenty of things to do in Long Beach without being surrounded by crowds.

Long Beach, California

Top 3 Long Beach Tours

20 Things To Do In Long Beach

1- Hop Aboard The RMS Queen Mary

things to do in long beach california Queen Mary docked
Exploring the Queen Mary is one of the top things to do in Long Beach.

The RMS Queen Mary is a famous British ocean liner that was in service for more than 30 years, from 1936 to 1967.

Having served both military and commercial purposes, the vessel was retired on the 31st of October 1967 and permanently docked in the port of Long Beach.

Converted into a tourist attraction that features a hotel, museum, and multiple restaurants, fans of maritime history have the opportunity to learn about the iconic vessel while staying and dining in historic surroundings.

It joined the US National Register Of Historic Places list in 1993.

RMS Queen Mary is at 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, 90802. Book a self-guided audio tour of Long Beach to get your bearings.

2- Be Amazed In The Aquarium Of The Pacific

things to do in long beach with kids yellow estuary seahorse with black spots
Exploring the Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the things to do in Long Beach with kids.

The Aquarium Of The Pacific is a wonderful aquarium filled with an incredible collection of sea life, including sharks, sea otters, Pacific octopus, spider crabs, jellyfish, sea anemones, sea horses, sea dragons, sea snakes, turtles, a variety of fish, and even diving birds, like auklets and puffins.

With a range of different galleries, touch tanks to let you get up close and personal with the residents and displays and talks giving you all the information you could want, the Aquarium Of The Pacific is ideal for those interested in the wildlife of the world’s waters.

Aquarium of the Pacific is at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 90820. Skip the line and pre-book your tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific here.

3- Enjoy The Exhibits At MOLAA

Museum of Latin American Art rhino sculpture
Visiting the Museum of Latin American Art is one of the cool things to do in Long Beach.

The Museum Of Latin American Art (MOLAA) was established in 1996 to display Latin fine art and is considered the only museum in the United States that specialises exclusively in contemporary and modern Latino and Latin American art.

Its collection of more than 1,500 pieces includes drawings, paintings, photographs, videos, sculptures, and pieces of other media, displayed across four galleries, an exhibition space, and a sculpture garden.

They’re even affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, allowing them to borrow pieces while also displaying rotating exhibitions of independent art, making it an ideal stop for any fans of Latin art.

MOLAA is at 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, 90802.

4- Stroll Around Rancho Los Alamitos

The Los Alamitos Historic Ranch And Gardens was built in the first third of the 19th century as one of the region’s largest and most important ranches.

While ranching in the region began to dwindle in later years, the property remained one of the area’s most iconic landmarks.

Listed on the US National Register Of Historic Places since 1981, the ranch now houses a museum dedicated to teaching visitors about the area.

Combined with its incredible architecture and lush gardens, it is the ideal place to appreciate the history and style of this part of California.

Rancho Los Alamitos is at 6400 East Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, 90815.

5- Try Your Luck At The Crystal Casino

fun things to do in long beach Casino chips and cards on casino table, poker game concept
Placing a bet at the poker table or roulette wheel is one of the fun things to do in Long Beach.

Located on the outskirts of Long Beach, in neighbouring Compton, the Crystal Casino is one of the primary gaming establishments in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.

With over 35 tables hosting a selection of games, as well as an entire section dedicated to different types of poker, including Texas Hold ’em, it provides the perfect opportunity to let loose for a while, enjoy a drink and a spot of gambling, and hope to have enough luck to fund the rest of your trip.

The Crystal Casino is at 123 East Artesia Boulevard, Compton, 90220.

For more California ideas, see:

6- Visit The Long Beach Museum Of Art

things to do in long beach
Looking for things to do in Long Beach? Here are 20 ways to explore.

The Long Beach Museum Of Art is an art museum established in 1950 to display works by artists from southern California.

Its collection of more than 4,000 pieces includes decorative arts objects, drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other works on paper.

While primarily dedicated to both California Modernism and Contemporary Californian Art, there are also early 20th-century European pieces.

With education programs teaching guests about the art and a café to relax in when you are done admiring art, the Long Beach Museum Of Art is a perfect day out for art fans.

Long Beach Museum Of Art is at 2300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, 90803.

7- Learn About The Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum

The Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum is an early 19th-century ranch and adobe located on the very first Spanish land grant in California.

Listed on the US National Register Of Historic Places since 1976, the ranch has been well preserved and even contains most of its original furniture.

Having been converted into a museum, visitors can enjoy educational guided tours around the property, learning about the history of ranching in the area while seeing how life would have looked for a California rancher during the early days with their own eyes.

Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum is at 18127 Alameda Street, Compton, 90220.

8- Stop At The Rancho Los Cerritos

An early Californian ranch, the Rancho Los Cerritos was considered the largest and most impressive adobe style ranch built in southern California during the Mexican era.

Built in 1844, it was converted into a museum in 1955 and listed on the US National Register Of Historic Places in 1970.

It has exhibits, tours and a research library dedicated to teaching visitors about California’s rancho era.

The lush, sprawling gardens allow you to combine history and serenity for a relaxing yet informative afternoon out.

Rancho Los Cerritos is at 4600 Virginia Road, Long Beach, 90807.

9- Embark On A Cruise

things to do in long beach island Aerial view of Avalon Bay with sailboat in Santa Catalina Island
Going on a cruise or a sailing trip to Santa Catalina Island is one of the cool things to do in Long Beach CA.

The Los Angeles World Cruise Center is a major cruise terminal on the border between the Long Beach and San Pedro neighbourhoods.

With multiple daily cruises setting out for Santa Catalina Island, just off the coast of mainland California, it is a great opportunity to explore the open sea.

On Santa Catalina Island, you can book an educational underwater cruise aboard the Nautilus and view fish, coral and marine life through a submarine porthole.

Enjoy unobstructed, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and experience a more natural, less built-up part of California.

Los Angeles World Cruise Center is at 100 Swinford Street, San Pedro, 90731. Book a private sailing boat (with a licensed captain) here.

10- Uncover History At The Los Angeles Maritime Museum

Los Angeles Maritime Museum historic building
Exploring the Los Angeles Maritime Museum is another thing to do when visiting Long Beach.

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is dedicated to educating visitors on the history of the Los Angeles Harbor.

Located in the historic San Pedro Municipal Ferry Terminal Building, the museum opened in 1979 to preserve the building and is the largest such museum on the west coast.

Guided tours will take you around a building listed on the US National Register Of Historic Places, showing you exhibits including models of ships, historic maritime equipment, and displays dedicated to the region’s fishing industry.

Los Angeles Maritime Museum is at 600 Sampson Way, Berth 84, San Pedro, 90731.

11- Explore Battleship USS Iowa Museum

things to do in long beach Battleship USS Iowa
One of the top things to do in Long Beach is to explore the Battleship USS Iowa, which was the only ship of her class to have served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.

The Battleship USS Iowa Museum is located inside the storied Navy warship, which, having served between 1942 and 1990, was permanently docked here in 2012 on its 70th birthday.

The battleship has been used for numerous events and in films and TV shows.

Family-friendly tours will guide you around its most important areas and show you historical exhibits, helping you understand the entire lifespan of this legendary vessel.

USS Iowa is at 250 South Harbor Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90731. Skip the line and book tickets to the USS Iowa here.

12- Roam Around El Dorado Nature Center

Lighthouse in Long Beach surrounded by palms and green lawn
The Lions Lighthouse in Long Beach, California.

El Dorado Nature Center is a 105-acre (42 ha) park and garden in the heart of Long Beach.

With numerous walking trails, streams, lakes, and plants, all filled with vibrant wildlife, it is a wonderful place to get out of the urban press of the city without having to go too far.

There is a visitor centre filled with souvenirs and educational displays for anyone who wants more information on what is to see and do here.

The El Dorado Nature Center is at 7550 East Spring Street, Long Beach, 90815.

13- Stroll Along Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier

Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier at dusk with people fishing from the pier
Going fishing or just taking a stroll along Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier is one of the classic things to do in Long Beach.

First opened in 1908, the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier has been known by numerous names throughout its life.

Stretching out into the Pacific Ocean, it is a great place to enjoy panoramic vistas or do a spot of fishing, with bait and snack shops even located on the pier.

Each summer, the pier hosts a 4th Of July Party and the Pirate Invasion Of Belmont Pier festival, while it will also host the sailing events at the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier is at 35 39th Place, Long Beach, 90803.

14- Relax In The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

best things to do in long beach
Strolling around the Japanese Garden is one of the relaxing things to do in Long Beach CA.

Established in 1981 by architect Ed Lovell, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a scenic garden based on the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo.

With bonsai trees, stone carvings, a koi pond, a waterfall, and free entry, it is a great place to relax outdoors while appreciating a different culture.

It even hosts events like a koi auction and chrysanthemum show to enjoy throughout the year.

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is at Earl Warren Drive, Long Beach, 90840.

15- Marvel At Contemporary Art

The Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum is a gallery dedicated to contemporary art.

With a rotating selection of exhibits by local students and international artists housed in a uniquely styled building, it is a completely different yet exhilarating experience for art fans.

Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum is at 1250 North Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, 90840.

16- Attend An Event At The Entertainment Center

long beach
The night skyline of Long Beach reflects the city’s laidback lifestyle.

The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center consists of the Long Beach Arena, Long Beach Convention Center, and Long Beach Performing Arts Center.

With ballrooms, exhibition halls, plazas, and theatres, it hosts many of the best conventions and art, music, and sports events in Long Beach.

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is at 300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, 90802.

17- Unwind In Rainbow Lagoon Park

Rainbow Lagoon Park contemporary glass building reflected in the water
Unwinding at Rainbow Lagoon Park is a low-key thing to do in Long Beach.

Rainbow Lagoon Park is a Japanese style park opposite the City Of Long Beach Rainbow Harbor.

With bridges, lawns, and walkways over and around the lagoon itself, it is the perfect place to relax, swim, and enjoy the sea views without worrying about the powerful current of the Pacific Ocean.

Rent a swan boat here and glide around the lagoon. It’s an activity the kids will love.

Rainbow Lagoon Park is at 400 East Shoreline Drive, Long Beach, 90802.

18- Spend A Day On The Beach

things to do in long beach ca condos right on the beach
Condominiums on the beach at Long Beach, California.

Stretching for three miles (4.8 km), the beach in Long Beach is divided into sections known as Alamitos Beach, Junipero Beach, Long Beach City Beach and Rosie’s Dog Beach.

From lazing on the sand and topping up your tan to taking a dip in the ocean or a stroll with your four-legged friend, Long Beach’s beach is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day away from the urban press of the city.

Long Beach City Beach, Long Beach, 90803.

19- Have A Drink At Ballast Point Brewing

things to do in long beach at night
One of the fun things to do in Long Beach is to visit a microbrewery and taste the local craft beer.

Set in Alamitos Bay Marina, Ballast Point Brewing Long Beach is a fabulous, two-story microbrewery.

With tasting rooms, outdoor patios, fire pits, and more than 60 beers on tap, plus incredible ocean views, it is an excellent place for beer drinkers to relax, have a drink, and take in the scenery.

Ballast Point Brewing is at 110 North Marina Drive, Long Beach, 90803

20- Explore El Dorado Park

things to do in long beach from palm trees of port
Looking at the Long Beach skyline, you’ll know you’re in California from the palm trees.

El Dorado Park is the central park in Long Beach and is a destination with plenty to entertain and ways for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors.

You will find golf and disc golf courses, basketball, hockey, tennis courts, soccer and softball fields among the highlights.

There are dog parks, picnic areas, playgrounds, ponds, tree groves and lawns.

Nature and senior centres, a frontier train ride, a skate park and a library complete the scene.

El Dorado Park is at 2800 North Studebaker Road, Long Beach, 90815.

21- Photograph Seal Beach Pier

things to do in long beach today Seal Beach Pier long exposure
Taking photographs of Seal Beach Pier is one of the things to do near Long Beach for photographers.
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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.