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Long Beach Vacation Guide
Aquarium, Rainbow Harbor, The Queen Mary And More

Hotels, Attractions and Waterfront Dining!

boats in Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach California

Some of the Long Beach vacation things you can do are visit the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, the art museum or dine on the water at Rainbow Harbor. Long Beach California is home to a wide variety of ocean related sights and activities, both on the beach and in the harbors. 

April 2018 Festivals and Events in Long Beach California

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - April 13-15, 2018

Long Beach Attractions

Major local attractions include the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, Shoreline Village and Naples Island, where you can paddle a kayak or ride a gondola along mini picturesque canals.

Rainbow Harbor is a fun place to start, with shops and a range of dining options in Shoreline Village. From here you an charter cruises, rent sailboats, take a speedboat ride or pick up a water taxi (Aquabus) to other points around the harbor. Scenic Rainbow Lagoon Park offers paddle boats to ride.

The Queen Mary is a dry-docked historic ship. You can take tours on it, and there's also a nice restaurant and bar on board. To stay overnight on the Queen Mary, call 562-435-3511. 

Queen Mary and water taxi in Long BeachThe Queen Mary

The historic tall ship "Californian" is docked here and takes people out on cruises.

A Long Beach vacation could also include a boat trip over to Catalina Island, the ferry can take you there and leaves from this harbor. 

A major attraction in the area is the Aquarium of the Pacific, which is located is located on 100 Aquarium Way. It's really a must-see if you are on a Long Beach vacation with kids. 

Across the street from the Long Beach Aquarium is "The Pike", an outdoor shopping center with restaurants, some shops, a carousel and a ferris wheel.

Your Long Beach vacation should also include a visit to neighboring San Pedro, which is also included in the larger Los Angeles Harbor. San Pedro boasts the nautical Ports O’Call Village and Whaler Wharf with more shopping and dining. There is also a maritime museum there.

Cruises from Los Angeles leave from either San Pedro or Long Beach.

The Long Beach Art Museum sits on a scenic bluff called Bluff Park above the beach. There is an outdoor restaurant/café in back of the museum which overlooks the ocean view. Offshore oil rigs are disguised to look like islands bearing tall hotels. The museum is at 2300 E. Ocean Boulevard. Call 562-439-2119 for more info.

The Beaches Around Long Beach

There are about seven miles of beaches in Long Beach California.

Long Beach City Beach is about 5 and a half miles long. The water is flat, so no surfing here, but you can swim and there is plenty of white sand to play or relax on.

Belmont Shore stretches out at the southern end of this beach. There is a pier and a bike path as well. Shops and restaurants are located along Second Street, between Bay Shore Avenue and Livingston Drive.

Rosie's Dog Beach is one of the few places you can let your dog run around free of the leash. Only one dog per person is allowed, and they must stay within the orange traffic cones. It's found in Belmont Shore between Roycroft and Argonne Avenues. There's even a doggie drinking fountain.

Alamitos Bay Beach near Naples Island is a good place to lazily sit and watch pleasure craft go in and out of the bay. The Aqualink Catamaran can take you from here to Rainbow Harbor for three dollars each way.

Boats in Little Naples canals of Long BeachLittle Naples

Cherry Beach is found near the end of Cherry Street.

Granada Beach is in the Belmont Shore neighborhood near Grenada Avenue.

Seal Beach is in the neighboring town to the south. Seal Beach California has a cute, small town beach feel, complete with pier, small shops on it's main street, and a beach with good swimming and body surfing. 

windsurfing rigging area sign in Seal Beach

Where To Stay On Your
Long Beach Vacation

Click here for Special Deals in Long Beach

There is a vast amount of hotels to choose from, some downtown and others by the airport. Some of the more popular ones include The Varden, the AVIA Long Beach, the Comfort Inn & Suites, Hotel Maya and the Best Western Plus at the Convention Center. See our Long Beach hotels page. 

For longer stays, see these vacation rentals on TripAdvisor.

Long Beach Festivals And Events

Planning a Long Beach vacation around a fun event will take some planning ahead so that you can get a room in the hotel you want. Some of the popular annual events and festivals include:

  • Long Beach Jazz Festival -- Listen to live jazz on a grassy knoll by the water. Happens in August. 
  • Scottish Festival & Games -- Happens at the Queen Mary in February. Enjoy authentic Scottish food, scotch whiskey, ale, dancing, a sheepdog herding demo, music and much more.
  • Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach -- Happens in April on the streets all around the Long Beach Convention Center.
  • Imua Festival -- In June, at Granada Beach, this festival celebrates with Polynesian entertainment.
  • Long Beach Bayou Festival & Mardis Gras
  • Rainbow Lagoon Park Long Beach
  • Long Beach Crawfish Festival -- Happens in July at Rainbow Lagoon. Enjoy Zydeco, New Orleans and Cajun music, food and dance.
  • Pacific Islander Festival -- In June at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Enjoy crafts, food, music and dance from Pacific Island cultures such as Hawaiian, Maori, Fijian, Samoan, Tahitian and more.
  • Pirate Invasion of the Belmont Pier
  • -- Battles, theatre, a pirate market, music, a pirate pub and more fun than a pirate deserves! Happens in June at the Belmont Memorial Veterans Pier.
  • Moonlight Movies on the Beach
  • -- Enjoy free movies on the beach throughout the summer. Happens at the Marina Green, Cherry Beach and Granada Beach on various weeknights.
  • Tiki Beach Festival
  • -- Happens in August at Granada Beach. Enjoy an Aloha Food Court and Island dancing and entertainment.

So you see, there is no shortage of fun things to do and see for the whole family in Long Beach California. 

Long Beach Weather

What is the typical weather here? Much like the rest of Southern California beach towns, it tends to be really nice year round.

The temperatures average from the high 50s in winter to the mid 70s in summer. Coastal fog on summer mornings usually burns off by mid day. Annual rainfall is around 11 inches spread out over 32 days or so. According to, there are approximately 119 partly cloudy days and 87 cloudy days per year. 

Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on this page may go to the TripAdvisor website, where I will gain a small commission if you click certain links within their website. However, I wouldn't link to that site if I didn't think it would be useful and interesting as a supplement to this site.

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