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Long Beach, CA

4 Amazing Places to Visit in Long Beach, California

Posted by 
Haris Mohammad
Haris Mohammad
Downtown Long Beach at dusk.Ed g2s/Wikipedia

Long Beach. Also known as The International City or the Aquatic Capital of America

Founded in 1897, Long Beach is among the largest and most populous cities in California. The city's great waterfront attractions, strong association with sports, and great cuisine make it a popular tourist destination, drawing millions of visitors every year.

If you plan to visit the city or are already there and thinking about exploring it, here are some of the best places to visit in Long Beach.

Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach.James Lee/Unsplash

Situated on a vast 5-acre site on Rainbow Harbor, the Aquarium of the Pacific is the largest aquarium in Southern California, boasting more than 50 exhibits and 11,000 marine creatures, 500 of which are on display.

It offers numerous exciting activities for both adults and kids to enjoy, including interactive encounters with some of these underwater animals (seals, sea otters, penguins, and more), tours that take visitors behind the scenes, and science lectures. 

One of the most popular sights is the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, where 20 Magellanic penguins live. Other major attractions include the Shark Lagoon, Moon Jelly Touch Lab, North Pacific Gallery, and Lorikeet Forest.

There’s also the Ocean Science Center that uses a spherical projection system (Science On a Sphere) to explain the different ocean phenomena and their impact.

El Dorado Nature Center

Located between the San Gabriel River and the 605 Freeway near downtown Long Beach, the El Dorado Nature Center — also known as El Dorado Regional Park — is a natural paradise and a great escape from the bustling city.

Visitors enjoy walking and cycling along the four-mile-long path connecting two stocked fishing lakes or other outdoor activities like golf, archery, and skating. There are also playgrounds and picnic spots.

The Visitor Center is located on a small island on the lake. There you’ll find some fascinating educational displays as well as a gallery filled with local artworks plus a gift shop for souvenirs. 

The park is a magnificent nature reserve and a sanctuary for both animals and plants.

Naples Island

Naples is a unique neighborhood in Long Beach overlooking the turquoise Pacific on Alamitos Bay. It’s made up of three separate islands lined with pretty canals. 

At the heart of the neighborhood is a central plaza with its decorative fountain and lined with fancy houses and picturesque streets that give the area its characteristic Neapolitan flavor. 

A popular activity is to take a gondola ride through the canals — reminiscent of a voyage through Venice’s famous canal — enjoying the captivating views of the narrow streets and colorful houses. People also love to explore the area on foot, stopping by the charming shops and eateries. Incredible Christmas lights and decorations make the place even more beautiful during the festive season.

Nearby is the Belmont Shore, a popular spot for both shopping and dining. You can shop from the many gorgeous fashion boutiques and souvenir shops before sitting down to enjoy a nice meal at any of the excellent restaurants. 

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Only about thirty minutes away from Long Beach is the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Spanning 1,300 acres, this exquisite ecological nature reserve comprises open water, a salt marsh, mudflats, coastal dunes, islands where seabirds nest, a freshwater marsh, and famous wetlands. 

The area is home to over 200 species of birds, including Ridgway’s rail, terns, the peregrine falcon, burrowing owl, and Cooper’s hawk, making it a wonderful place for bird lovers and photographers.

There are also numerous reptiles and animals — including the southern alligator lizard, Southern Pacific rattlesnake, more than 60 different marine animals — and various rare and endangered plants.

The Reserve also owes its popularity to its picturesque hiking trails.

So these were some of the places you must visit if you’re in Long Beach. I must add that due to the pandemic, some sections might not be open, or there could be certain restrictions. So make sure you do the necessary research before visiting.

Also, please follow the guideline. Have fun but stay safe.