Things to Do in Long Beach
Sitting on Rainbow Harbor you’ll find one of Long Beach’s top attractions: Aquarium of the Pacific. Home to more than 11,000 aquatic animals and approximately 500 species, there is much to see throughout their 32 exhibits. In fact, many people arrive at opening time and don’t leave until closing. Get up close to playful seals and sea lions, visit a lagoon with more than 150 sharks, see ultraviolet sea animals against a black light, take in otherworldly jellyfish of all shapes and sizes and roam the numerous indoor and outdoor exhibits.
Many of the exhibits are also interactive, allowing you to pet fish, manta rays and even small sharks; feed birds in the Lorikeet Forest; and partake in tropical reef feedings. Check the schedule when you arrive to see what shows and lectures are going on for the day. If you’re traveling as a family, stop at the desk to pick up special worksheets and scavenger hunt-like tasks for kids to fill out while exploring the museum.
Rainbow Harbor, which also includes Rainbow Marina, is located in downtown Long Beach and features 87 boat slips and a number of attractions and experiences. For those looking to park their boat, the marina has a dock and 250 feet (76 meters) of mooring for day guests. If you don’t own your own boat you can still spend time on the water through boat rentals, private charters, dinner cruises, fishing trips, whale and dolphin watching excursions, and sightseeing tours by ship.
Rainbow Harbor is where you’ll find the Aquarium of the Pacific, one of the country’s most impressive aquariums. Home to over 11,000 aquatic creatures from about 500 species, you’ll get to know the underwater world through exhibits, demonstrations, programs, live feedings, animal shows and events.
To see how Long Beach’s elite live, head to Naples. The neighborhood resides on three islands divided by canals, which are lined with beautiful million dollar homes. These canals open into Alamitos Bay and provide an array of fun water experiences. For a bit of romance, ride in an authentic Venetian gondola down the canals while sipping a glass or wine or beer (BYOB) and enjoying the scenery. For something a bit more adventurous, kayaking is also an option.
Naples is a great neighborhood for exploring Long Beach’s restaurant scene, as it’s filled with delicious options for local and ethnic dining. While Russo’s Neighborhood Ristorante & Bar serves up hearty Italian, Sushi of Naples can satiate your Japanese craving. And at the Naples Rib Company, you’ll savor fall-off-the-bone ribs, juicy sausage and tender chicken.
Located at Berth 87 in the Los Angeles Harbor in San Pedro, the Pacific Battleship Center allows visitors to explore a famous battleship, the USS Iowa. Serving the United States during WWII, Korean War and Cold War, the ship was once touted as the “World’s Greatest Naval Ship,” a nickname referencing her enormous guns, top speed, heavy armor and advanced fire control systems. Back in the late 1930’s/early 1940s the ship cost $110 million to build, which by today’s calculations would be about $1.8 billion.
Visitors to the museum can take a self-guided Tour Alpha, where you can board and explore the USS Iowa, getting to stroll around the same ship sailed by notable people like President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
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