Approximately 22 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA has spent a lot of time in LA’s shadow—but it has a whole lot to offer in its own right. Here are 15 reasons to stay in Long Beach—instead of LA proper—on your next visit to the area:
1. has its own airport and is immediately surrounded by downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland, and many other attractions, but is less expensive and features an authentic taste of Southern California.
2. has something for kids and grownups with fun interactive displays and informative tours.
3. Hipster mixology bars on the .
Tip: You need a password to get into the basement bar under The Federal, and if you get it—don’t bother. It’s a poser bar where the bartenders take too long to make and serve drinks that taste like kamikaze shots, and then charge a buttload. Stick to the street-level bars.
4. is an adorable beach street flanked by canals and lined with affordable shopping and a great mix of eateries and pubs that have been around for decades.
5. is a hidden treasure. It sits on its own peninsula, is decorated with a unique modern art flair and will make you feel like you’re at a high-end resort in Cabo, yet with access to the fun social scene of a city.
6. The beautifully renovated and the are conveniently located in walking distance to sites, eateries and pubs.
7. The beach! Long Beach boasts walkways along a cliff with breathtaking views and a winding bike path on the beach. are readily available.
8. Great gastropubs and cutting-edge restaurants. Here are a few to check out: , , , , , .
9. It has an edge. Instead of the cookie-cutter feel of an amusement park resort, you have a real city feel with beachy outdoor options.
10. Free transportation. is convenient and free!
11. is a short boat ride away, which means a fun day out on an island is only an hour away. The boat terminal is conveniently located near the Aquarium of the Pacific.
12. All the good stuff in the OC is just up Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). is a charming old-fashioned beach town with a great independent theater. is a long-time mecca for surfing, sun and babes.
13. and its local-favorite Sunday brunch on the water with a fun crowd, diverse menu selection and champagne.
14. is just up PCH and offers a varied day out of art, food and combing the tide pools.
15. . This fascinating historic ship and hotel is also a destination for food, drinks, exhibits with festivals, and events throughout the year. Onboard, has a panoramic view and an elegant yesteryear feel.
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