Updated: Sep 16, 2019
We can’t wait to tell you about one of our new favorite places. Caleb and I just fell in love with Long Beach. We’d been to the aquarium before and LOVED every second of the time we spent there, but our latest trip to Long Beach took our love for the town to a whole new level.
I’m going to give you an in-depth look at just some of the special things about this coastal town. There is so much beautiful history and culture about this town. They love supporting their small business, so that all the uniqueness is celebrated and cherished. If you love pie, don’t forget to stop by The Pie Bar, and up a pie in a little jar for the perfect treat. They even have gluten free and it was SO delicious!! And Long Beach is one of the sunniest places around with many years over 300 sunny days per year!!
Long Beach will always have a special place in our hearts, we got to meet and get to know some of the best people as well!
On our last night in Long Beach, we visited The Alamitos bay and Naples Canal. They have amazing boat rides given by @londonboatrentals that we ended up taking for a romantic sunset cruise.
We sailed to the theme song of Gilligans Island, and even separated our crew into pirates and sailors. We all had grew close during our time exploring the city together, and that was the perfect way to spend our last night.
Seeing sunsets is our favorite thing to do together, and this was the perfect way to enjoy it. With beautiful colors shooting from all parts of the sky, and reflecting off the top of the water throughout the bay, it was a masterpiece of beauty all around. We definitely want make another trip down to take another sunset cruise.
There is so much culture in @visitlb Long Beach and we truly hope that if you make a trip to Los Angeles soon, that you will make a trip down to this beautiful city and spend some time enjoying all of its amazing experiences!
Neither Caleb or I could decide on our very favorite part because it all felt like a highlight reel, but on deck of @harborbreezecruises was one of many. After a delicious lunch with the prettiest view at @parkerslighthouse we got @honeybearrouse and sat on the top deck of the boat. We loved hearing the history of different things around Long Beach, looking at the my favorite ship the Queen Mary and hearing about the islands designed by the same people who made treasure island for Disney.
It was Honey Bear’s first time on a boat and it was super cute looking at sights with her, Caleb and our new friends. My Marilyn Monroe dress moment was embarrassing but memorable 😂 and we had an amazing time.
Another highlight was visiting the POW! WOW! murals.
One of the greatest thing about @visitlb is their amazing art and street art. We had so much fun touring throughout the city on our stay while we were there, looking at the different art pieces, and it really made the streets come alive! There truly is an explosion of art culture and history that we had no idea existed in this beautiful city.
POW! WOW! Long Beach @powwowlongbeach is a week-long, city-wide event that takes place in the summer throughout Long Beach and is part of the globally recognized POW! WOW! Worldwide series of street art events. The core of our mission is to bring art and culture to public spaces while beautifying the city of Long Beach and cultivating community pride. In the past 3 years, Pow! Wow! Long Beach has executed murals in over 40 square miles throughout the city, from South Street to Ocean Boulevard, creating a walkable, bikeable public art experience unlike anything else in the country. You can find them on the side of a building, under a bridge, in a parking lot, by some stairs, and even on a bus.
The cultural creativity in Long Beach is truly unmatched and is another reason why we were blown away by our experience there. Next year, a trip down to this amazing city for Pow Wow Long Beach is definitely needed. We can’t wait to see what artists have in store for next year!
One of our favorite murals was at: 335 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802. The Artist was Tristan Eaton @tristaneaton. This mural was so colorful, providing different shades, giving cultural insights, and truly was a masterpiece of beauty and splendor. You could find a million places to take a picture of this mural because every inch was wonderfully planned, beautifully done, and perfect for any type of image that you would want. We actually can’t wait to come back to this mural for another shoot that we have in mind!
Where to stay:
If you have a dog:
HILTON LONG BEACH
The 399 guest room AAA Award Winning Hilton Long Beach has been completely renovated!
Location: Recently completed a dramatic hotel transformation in a top to bottom renovation of all guestrooms, meeting rooms and public space. Conveniently situated in downtown Long Beach, the Hilton Long Beach is in walking distance to the Convention Center, as well as numerous restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and the beach. They offer complimentary shuttle service within the downtown area.
If you aren’t traveling with a pet:
Hyatt Centric The Pike, a cosmopolitan-lifestyle hotel is located in the center of the Pike Outlet retail stores in downtown Long Beach, right near Rainbow Harbor. Steps away from the Pine Avenue restaurants, Shoreline Village, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the Convention Center you’ll be in the middle of the action! All 138 guest-rooms and suites have generous white marble bathrooms, roomy workspace, and complimentary internet access. The hotel features Bay Street Kitchen, the on-site restaurant, Bay Street Bar and a rooftop pool- the only one in Long Beach. With nearly 6,000 sq. ft. of convertible meeting space including a private outdoor courtyard, Hyatt Centric The Pike provides the perfect event space for any occasion.
The Queen Mary:
THE QUEEN MARY HOTEL
The Queen Mary is full of rich history and many say it’s haunted. Here’s a bit of the history from their website, but to get the full history you need to meet the Commodore and hear his stories!
From The Height Of Luxury To WWII
For three years after her maiden voyage, the Queen Mary was the grandest ocean liner in the world carrying Hollywood celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries like Winston Churchill. During this time she even set a new speed record, which she held for 14 years. But when the Queen Mary docked in New York in September 1939 that would be the last time she would carry civilian passengers for many years.
As World War II started, the Queen Mary's transformation into a troopship had begun. She was painted a camouflaged grey color and stripped of her luxurious amenities. Dubbed the "Grey Ghost" because of her stealth and stark color, the Queen Mary was the largest and fastest troopship to sail, capable of transporting as many as 16,000 troops at 30 knots. After the end of WWII, the Queen Mary began a 10-month retrofitting process, which would return the ship to her original glory. On July 21, 1947, the Queen Mary resumed regular passenger service across the Atlantic Ocean, and continued to do so for nearly two more decades.
The Last Great Cruise
The increasing popularity of air travel helped signal the end of an era for the Queen Mary. By 1965 the entire Cunard fleet was operating at a loss and they decided to retire and sell the legendary Queen Mary. On October 31, 1967, the Queen Mary departed on her final cruise, arriving in Long Beach, California, on December 9, 1967. She has called Southern California her home ever since. The Queen Mary is now a floating Hotel, Attraction and Event & Wedding Venue, home to three world-class restaurants and an icon in Southern California.
Meet the Commodore: Everette Hoard
I was amazed by the Commodore’s story: “I believe we’re born with a God given dream in our hearts.” Commodore Everette of The Queen Mary ship said as I sat across from him at dinner on the ship. My eyes swelled with tears as I hung on every word, “I remember sitting on my dad’s lap as a small boy & dad saying to me, son, the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth are the finest ships in the world.” The first time he saw their picture, he saw a small boy looking up at the ship and saw himself as that small boy. “I didn’t fit in with the other kids at school.” He didn’t have the same interests, while they talked about sports he talked about the ships. He had ‘learning disabilities’, when others were writing, he was drawing pictures of the Queen Mary and getting chastised for it from his teacher. But boy could he remember every last detail about those ships.
When everyone else doubted him, his parents believed in him, and his father, a postman from Alabama sold and sacrificed everything so they could travel to Long Beach, CA to see the Queen Mary. Everette got a basic job on the ship as they worked and clawed there way living in California . So many sacrifices were made, so many tiresome, difficult days and nights of barely getting by. But now his father can see him in his genius, what he was created for, living out his dream. Kids and teachers called him names, but now he’s respected and loved with a wealth of knowledge of the Queen Mary ship as Commodore. Helping others relive the ships history and reminding us of the beauty of sacrifice & dreams.
YOU and everyone is beautifully and wonderfully made for a unique and beautiful purpose on this earth to serve God and others in a tremendous way. I believe God’s given each of us our genius, even if others have tried to squash or judge your dream.
Caleb and I have been in the messy business of dream chasing. Us and our parents sacrificing so much to believe in us. We relate to the Commodore, and hope you get to meet this very inspiring man on the finest ship in the world some day too. “Each person is born with a God given dream in their heart,” what’s yours?
Eat at SIR WINSTON’S when you’re on the Queen Mary! (more details in the food section:
THE AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC: The Aquarium of the Pacific is the fourth most-attended aquarium in the nation. It displays over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits that represent the diversity of the Pacific Ocean. Each year more than 1.5 million people visit the Aquarium. Beyond its world-class animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages from hands-on activities to lectures by leading scientists. Through these programs and a variety of multimedia experiences, the Aquarium provides opportunities to delve deeper into ocean science and learn more about our planet. The Aquarium of the Pacific has redefined the modern aquarium. It is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and a place where important topics facing our planet and our ocean are explored by scientists, policymakers and stakeholders in the search for sustainable solutions.
Another amazing highlight was the behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium
Animals are the best!! Am I right? We absolutely love to see new animals, learn about them, and always hope to find ways that we can interact and engage with them. One of the perfect places to do this is at the @aquariumpacific in @visitlb.
The aquarium has always had a special place in our hearts because about three years ago, Caleb took me to the aquarium for a Sea Otter Encounter for my birthday! This was one of my favorite birthday presents because I love sea animals, and the Otters are definitely one of my favorites. After the experience (where I am pretty sure I cried out of happiness) we always said how much we wanted to come back for another encounter or just to explore the aquarium more.
But, upon arriving to Long Beach for our recent trip, we were given a behind the scenes tour of the aquarium where we go to feed fish in the huge water tanks above the aquarium, we got to touch sharks, and even some jellyfish! We had no idea what was about to happen, our guide told us that we were going to meet a special friend at the aquarium on our visit, and that was Charlie the SEA OTTER!!! I was in tears, I couldn’t believe that we were going to get to feed, hold hands, and interact with the sea otters again.
Our trip tot he aquarium was so special, it brought us back to our past experience, while also giving us a special new one that we had together. The staff at the aquarium are so knowledgeable, kind, and informative about how they are helping wildlife in the sea. And the staff member even remembered us from our last sea otter encounter, which blew us away.
We cannot wait to go back to the aquarium soon to visit Charlie again, and to see all of the mazing exhibits that they have to offer. This is truly a special place, and they are making such a great impact on the welfare of our ocean and the wonderful creatures that inhabit it.
STROLL THE RAINBOW HARBOR ESPLANADE
This area at Pine Avenue and Shoreline Drive wraps around Rainbow Harbor from Shoreline Park to The Promenade South Terminus. The Esplanade, completed in 1999, is a 30-wide walkway with paving and landscape area depicting native landscaping from habitats surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Up to 53 vendor carts have been approved on the Esplanade, but few have been installed. Historical markers for the Trans-Pacific Los Angeles to Honolulu races that originate from Rainbow Harbor were added in 2008.
HARBOR BREEZE SCENIC SKYLINE CRUISE ALONG THE LONG BEACH COASTLINE
100 Aquarium Way Dock 2, Long Beach, CA 90802 – (562) 432-4900
Explore Long Beach's coastline. You will learn history about the harbor as well as see the beautiful Long Beach skyline, California Sea Lions playing in the harbor,
the world-famous Queen Mary, large cargo and container ships from all over the world,
and much more! You can also cruise into the open Pacific Ocean in search of amazing
marine life including the migrating Pacific Gray Whales, along with Humpback Whales, Fin
Whales, Minke Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions, and much more!
EXPLORE THE PIKE OUTLETS AT RAINBOW HARBOR
The downtown Long Beach waterfront has become Southern California’s newest and
hottest shopping destination. The Pike Outlets is a shopping and dining destination located
in right on the waterfront. The center features over 344,000 square feet of great retailers
and entertainment options including Restoration Hardware, H&M clothing, Nike, Converse,
Hot Topic, GAP, Forever 21, Columbia, Cotton: On, Cinemark Theaters, and a diverse
mix of restaurants including Gladstone’s, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and much more.
Website: http://www.powwowlongbeach.com/ Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Museum-of-Latin-American-Art-MOLAA Twitter: @powwowlongbeach Instagram: @powwowlongbeach
POW! WOW! Long Beach is a week-long, city-wide event that takes place in the summer throughout Long Beach and is part of the globally recognized POW! WOW! Worldwide series of street art events, which since 2010 has brought murals to public spaces in cities like Honolulu, Seoul, Washington DC, Taipei and Tokyo. The core of our mission is to bring art and culture to public spaces while beautifying the city of Long Beach and cultivating community pride. In the past 3 years, Pow! Wow! Long Beach has executed murals in over 40 square miles throughout the city, from South Street to Ocean Boulevard, creating a walkable, bikeable public art experience unlike anything else in the country.
RETRO ROW ON 4TH STREET
Shopping mavens can go back in time with a visit to 4th Street, dubbed Retro Row, a specialty shopping and dining district with vintage-inspired clothing and furnishings, record stores, and 50s-style barbershop. The area also features many locally-owned restaurants and coffee shops. Still mourning since the final episode of Mad Men? Head back to Sterling Cooper in the shops along Retro Row which were frequented by the show's set designers!
This is from such a chill spot called the @_thehangout, which has the perfect name and I want to decorate my house or future backyard like it. You should def check it out when you get to visit Long Beach.
4601, 186 N Marina Dr, Long Beach, CA 90803 – (562) 598-2628
Take a splendid boat ride on Alamitos Bay. Enjoy the beautiful sunsets in Alamitos Bay and in the Naples Canals all while captaining your own private electric boat! Come enjoy a warm cozy boat ride with your family and friends as you glide through Alamitos Bay and
the beautiful Naples Canals.
Where to go for breakfast:
Breakfast Bar serves breakfast and lunch, along with an assortment of wines and beers,
in the heart of downtown Long Beach. Family owned,
Josh and Pamela Beadel have both
worked and lived in downtown Long Beach for the past eleven years. Most dishes are
recipes that come from their family traditions and family cookbooks.
Located in downtown Long Beach, James Republic is a casual yet upscale eatery honoring the best of California living in food, culture and style.
Where to go for Lunch:
PARKER’S LIGHTHOUSE: A proud recipient of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, Parkers’ Lighthouse is known for its mesquite grilled fresh seafood and spectacular views, and is home to a brand new, two-story wine cellar.
Where to go for Dinner:
When Michael Dene decided to open his restaurant in December 2007, he was told that it wasn't in his best interest. Statistics, location and timing were all stacked against him - it was a risky undertaking where very few others had seen success. Today Michael's on Naples is rated the #1 restaurant in Long Beach and the #2 Italian restaurant in all of Los Angeles, making it one of the highest Zagat-rated Italian restaurants in Southern California. Pizza tastes best when it is wood-fired, that mozzarella should always be freshly made, and that meals are enhanced when paired with the perfect Italian wines. From the service to our atmosphere, our flour to our sauce, this is our tradition-passed down from generation to generation-of Napoli-style pizza. At Michael's Pizzeria, food is heritage.
Dinner on the Queen Mary at Sir Winston’s
Sir Winston’s is a Long Beach restaurant that boasts impeccable service, a gourmet menu, an extensive wine list, and an unmatched ambience. With stunning seaside views from nearly every seat, Sir Winston’s Restaurant & Lounge is perfect for special occasions and everyday enjoyment. At Sir Winston’s you don’t just eat, you dine. Their award-winning menu includes creative culinary cuisine such as traditional favorites like Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand Rack of Lamb, each prepared with a contemporary twist. Sir Winston’s also offers the finest seafood, like Dover Sole or Seared Ahi, and has an array of Vegetarian options.
BOATHOUSE ON THE BAY
190 N Marina Dr, Long Beach, CA 90803 – (562) 493-1100
The Boathouse on the Bay is a steak and seafood restaurant situated on Alamitos Bay in Long Beach and serves an array of fresh seafood, steak, sushi, sashimi, oysters.
Long Beach is so a special place for all these reason an more! I hope you get to visit very soon, please let us know if you try any of our travel advice! We love hearing what you enjoy from your travels as well!