Home to some of California's greatest attractions and landmarks like the Knott's Berry Farm old-fashioned theme park, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach is one of the best places to visit in the Los Angeles area. Not only that, but Long Beach is home to stunning Pacific Coast beaches, perfect for couples and families.

1. Alamitos Beach

Alamitos Beach
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If you're in Long Beach and simply want the closest and most convenient beach, Alamitos Beach is the place to go. It's easily accessible by foot or car from the downtown streets of Long Beach and offers easy access to the various stores and eateries along the oceanfront. This is a sandy beach with pretty views all around and quite a lively vibe. It's not uncommon to see groups of friends hanging out and playing beach games together or families enjoying picnics, and you can snap some super photos of Long Beach landmarks like the Queen Mary from Alamitos Beach too. It's a great spot to watch the sunset and comes with a lot of good amenities like clean restrooms, showers, bike racks, and lifeguards.

2. Belmont Shore Beach

Belmont Shore Beach
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Belmont Shore Beach runs from the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier all the way down to the peninsula. It's a lovely spot, with most of the action tending to occur around the beach's fishing pier. Lots of special events and live entertainment can be enjoyed on and around the pier at different times of the year, and it's also a good spot to simply do some fishing as well. You'll find restrooms, showers, lifeguards, volleyball courts, and various benches dotted around at this beach, which is also just a few minutes away from some top class cafes and bars. There's a large outdoor pool at this beach too and it's a good spot for swimming, sunbathing, and eating picnics.

3. Junipero Beach

Junipero Beach
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Junipero Beach is actually located right by Alamitos Beach, so you can hop from one beach to the other on the same day if you like. Easily accessed from Long Beach, this beach is also sometimes known under the name 'Cherry Beach' due to the fact that it is located off Cherry Avenue. Whatever you decide to call it, this Long Beach beach is a welcoming, comfortable stretch of coastline with some super views and a lot going on. Yoga classes run here on a regular basis and are open to all and part of the beach allows dogs out on the sand, so it's a cool spot to bring a four-legged friend. There are plenty of good amenities at this beach as well, including restrooms, showers, on-duty lifeguards, a local playground for kids, a local outdoor exercise area, and some good eateries just a short walk away.

4. Peninsula Bayside

Peninsula Bayside
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As the name suggests, Peninsula Bayside is located on the Long Beach Peninsula, which is found at the far end of Belmont Shore Beach. It's only a small beach but it's definitely worth a visit for its uniquely beautiful and impressive views. Visitors to this beach will be able to admire the upscale residences along the local coastline and snap some photos of nearby Naples Island too. When the conditions are good, you can see a long way out to the horizon here and it's a nice spot to hop on board a kayak or paddleboard and explore the area by water. Amenities at this Long Beach include restrooms, lifeguards, a local cafe, concessions, rentals, and more.

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5. Beaches in Long Beach, California: Colorado Lagoon Park

Beaches in Long Beach, California: Colorado Lagoon Park
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Boasting long sandy beaches along both sides of the central lagoon, the Colorado Lagoon Park is a great spot to bring the family for some recreation and relaxation. In reality, this lagoon is an inland body of water and is surrounded by parks and golf courses which provide visitors with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. There is a dedicated swimming area and plenty of room to relax on the sand. People come here to cool down in summer, have a picnic, go walking or hiking in the surrounding parkland or to play a round of golf. Handy amenities include restrooms and showers, picnic tables and BBQ’s.

Colorado Lagoon Park, 5119 E. Colorado Street, Long Beach, CA 90814, 562 570 3215

6. Granada Beach and Rosie’s Dog Beach

Granada Beach and Rosie’s Dog Beach
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Officially called Belmont Shore Beach, Granada Beach is located at the end of Granada Avenue where it offers a long wide beach which is much loved by sun seekers and dog owners. At one end you will find a row of cones which separates the main beach from Rosie’s Dog Beach which is one of just a handful of beaches where unleashed dogs may romp and socialize. The main portion of Granada Beach is a popular event venue and there are several amenities open to the public including a boat launch, restrooms, showers and a bike path. There are lifeguards on duty to keep an eye on bathers and the beach is popular with windsurfers and kite-boarders.

Granada Beach and Rosie’s Dog Beach, 5000 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90803

7. Mother’s Beach

Mother’s Beach
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If you are visiting the Lon g Beach area with your family, Mother’s Beach is the ideal place to spend a few hours. The beach is located on the north eastern shore of Naples Island and is protected inside Alamitos Bay, resulting in small waves and shallow waters ideal for children to enjoy while their parents relax on the sand. In addition, Mother’s Beach boasts a large modern playground with loads of playground equipment. When the sun gets a bit too hot you can take shelter under the shady tree canopy in the adjacent grassy area. The calm waters off the beach are also ideal for kayaking and SUP and there is a pier where you can tie up your craft.

Mother’s Beach, 5839 Appian Way, Long Beach, CA 90803

8. Marine Stadium Beach

Marine Stadium Beach
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This long strip of sandy beach runs along the edge of the south side of Marine Stadium. Although it is not very popular as a sunbathing beach, it is popular with water sport enthusiasts. Marine Stadium has hosted 2 Olympic rowing events and the man-made waterway is open to the public for rowing in the mornings, and for water skiing from 8am to sunset. As such, the beach attracts folk who would like to enjoy the water activities or just have a picnic and watch the passing parade. Although public swimming is not allowed, the waterway has been used for large open-water swimming events.

Marine Stadium Beach, 5255 E. Paoli Way, Long Beach, CA 90803

9. Best Beaches in Long Beach, California: Shoreline Aquatic Park

Best Beaches in Long Beach, California: Shoreline Aquatic Park
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Located on Queensway Bay, close to Downtown Long Beach, the Shoreline Aquatic Park is a popular local recreation area for Long Beach residents. The beach section of the park is located on Rainbow Harbor where it offers great views of some of the city’s prominent landmarks like the Queen Mary Ship and Hotel. Not many people venture into the water on this beach but it is popular for picnicking, relaxing and walking. You can take a stroll along the boardwalk, walk to the central lighthouse, visit the aquarium or sit on a shady bench and watch the world go by.

Shoreline Aquatic Park, 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

10. Long Beach City Beach

Long Beach City Beach
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The name says it all – Long Beach City Beach is everything you would expect from a long beach. The broad sandy beach stretches for 4 miles, all the way from Long Beach Harbor to Alamitos Bay. Before the Long Beach Breakwaters were installed in the 1940’s, people used to come from near and far to surf on this beach. These days the waves are much tamer and more suitable for swimming than surfing, although you can still have loads of fun with a boogie board or kite board. There is a wide paved path which follows the beach and is very popular with walkers, runners, cyclists and skateboarders.

Long Beach City Beach, 1 Junipero Ave, Long Beach, CA 90803

What are the 10 Best Beaches in Long Beach, California?

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Attraction Spotlight: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Located in California State University in Long Beach, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden aims to educate the university community and beyond about international culture and traditions. Visitors can expect to find a beautiful series of formally and traditionally landscaped Japanese gardens and interactive educational programs and events.


The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden was founded in 1981 as an extension of California State University. The funds were generously dedicated by Loraine Miller Collins in memory of her husband who had recently passed, Earl Burns Miller. Loraine wanted the garden to be a haven for visitors where they can exit the modern world and gain a sense of serenity and calm.

It took three years of extensive planning, organization, and landscaping, but the garden eventually came to be once renowned architect Edward Lovell stepped in to design the international garden. He was honored to design the picturesque outdoor classroom.

The university is proud to partner with the garden to better provide world-class educational opportunities, top-notch internships, and high-quality student engagement in international affairs for CSU students and the local community. The university and its surrounding community take great delight it not only the peaceful quality of the garden, but the educational aspects of the garden year-round.

The Garden:

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden features 1.3 acres and features a wide variety of traditional designs and cultural representations of Japanese formal gardens with a blend of Southern Californian flair. There is a reflecting pond, a picturesque wooden bridge, bamboo, solid rocks, and colorful blossoming trees.

Visitors can take a relaxed stroll along the pebbled paths through shady trees, colorfully planted lawns and a reflecting pond filled with native Japanese fish. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be taking a peaceful walk or learning more about Japanese culture, visitors of all ages will enjoy the garden.

Upcoming Events:

There are a wide variety unique, educational, and traditional events hosted year-round at the Japanese Gardens. Be sure to check out the website for more information and a detailed event calendar. Visitors can also host their wedding next special event at the Gardens! Some of the featured upcoming events include the following:

Summer Jazz Picnic: This event invites visitors to bring a picnic basket and some friends to enjoy an evening filled with beautiful live jazz music. Entertainers, Peggy Dunquesnel and Renee Grizzell, will perform their magical vocals accompanied by the sounds of a keyboard and a flute. The evening will be held under the stars in the garden as the event celebrates the Star Festival – Tanabata. There will be catered food if guests don’t feel like packing their own picnic and reservations are required. This event will be held on July 21, 2017 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Volunteer Docent Program: This activity is hosted year-round on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. This program allows certified guests to work side-by-side with students at CSU as they lead small group tours around the gardens. This will allow them to get more involved with the community and expand their knowledge of Japanese culture and traditions. Interested volunteers must set up an interview, check out the website for more information.


The garden features many educational opportunities for the university students and its surrounding community. Every year, more than 5,000 school children and thousands of CSU students and community members visit the garden. There are opportunities for field trips and special docent lead tours, and many other cultural and educational resources available year-round.

The garden and its dedicated staff aim to stick to their founder’s mission: “A place for learning, cultural exchange, and contemplation for all.”

Additional Information:

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower, Boulevard BAC Room-203, Long Beach, CA 90840, Phone: 562-985-8885

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Attraction Spotlight: Long Beach Museum of Art

Located in Long Beach, California, the Long Beach Museum of Art aims to collect, preserve, and display a wide variety of American and European works for future generations to enjoy. Visitors can expect to see unique exhibits, beautiful galleries, world-class educational programs, and many special events year-round.


Founded in 1950, the Long Beach Museum of Art was originally a small municipal art center dedicated to the local community. In 1957, the museum began to rapidly expand its permanent collection of fine arts and ceramics, therefore it officially moved to into the historic Anderson House. The museum is currently located in the historic district of Long Beach and now resides in the historic Anderson House

The museum now houses a permanent collection of approximately 3,200 works spanning more than 300 years of European and American art is a variety of mediums. Collection highlights include sculptures by Falkenstein, decorative furniture by Ray and Charles Eames, and Modernist paintings from early 20th century artists like Kandinsky and Jawlensky, and of course, a vast collection of ceramics.

The museum has undergone vast expansions and changes throughout the years. In early 2000, the museum completed a vast restoration of the entire building and even added a new exhibition pavilion. The two-story pavilion was later named the Hartman Pavilion in 2015.

Currently, thousands of guests visit the museum year-round. There are a variety of educational programs, exciting events, and compelling exhibits for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Permanent Exhibitions:

Ceramics: The museum’s permanent collection boasts a vast collection of ceramics encompassing more than 300 years of American and European history. The collection is on display at the museum’s restaurant – Claire’s. This exhibition is rotating and features more than 100 pieces donated by the Dornfelds family. The second floor features a collection of ceramics from the 20th century and contains pieces from around the world. It is not to be missed.

Current Exhibits:

Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic: This exhibit features the work of geometric abstraction master, Rafael Soriano. This exhibition displays approximately 100 of his drawings, paintings, and pastels from throughout his vast career. This exhibit is currently on display until October 1, 2017 and he museum is proud to proclaim that it is the only museum along the west coast to house this exhibition while it is on national tour.

Lun*na Menoh: A Ring Around the Collar: This exhibition features the multi-layered works on Japanese-born Los Angelse performance artist, Lun*na Menoh. Her work utilizes a variety of media to expose the interconnections between Haute Coutre and the visual arts. A brilliant combination of music, painting, sculpture, and fashion evokes a complex yet familiar array of emotions amongst viewers. This exhibition is currently on display until August 13th, 2017.


Art Auctions: The museum hosts an annual fundraising art auction, typically in the month of May. All proceeds from the auction go directly to supporting the vast variety of free educational programs at the museum. There will be an array of extraordinary works of art up for auction from some of Long Beach’s most up and coming artists. Tickets are available for sale online! This year’s event has already happened, but 2018 is already shaping up to be an art auction to remember!

Educational Programs:

There are a wide variety of educational programs and special events hosted year-round at the museum of art. Many of the programs, activities, and services are provided free of charge to members of the community. The museum simply wants to inspire life-long learning, self-expression, and creativity among Long Beach’s diverse communities for generations to come.

Specialized group tours and field trips can be reserved year-round, including one aimed solely at 5th-graders – KidsVisions. The program is free and features an interactive gallery tour, aligned lesson plans for teachers, and hands-on crafting activities. This program encourages discussion and free expression amongst the young and curious visitors.

There are also family artmaking workshops, museum studies programs, community learning programs, art workshops for adults, artist in residence programs, and artist talks and chats. For more information on this wide variety of programs, please visit the museum’s calendar.

Additional Information:

Long Beach Museum of Art, 2300 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90803, Phone: 562-439-2119

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Attraction Spotlight: Aquarium of the Pacific

Located in Long Beach, California, the Aquarium of the Pacific aims to inspire a deep passion and respect for the Pacific Ocean and its inhabitants. The aquarium is dedicated to ocean conservation efforts through educational programs which build a connection between people and nature. Visitors can expect dozens of unique exhibitions, family-friendly events, and world-class educational programs to tantalize any ocean-lovers interest.


The Aquarium of the Pacific was founded in the summer of 1998 and is a non-profit organization. It is currently one of the most visited aquarium in the United States with approximately 1.7 million visitors each year. There are more than 11,000 animals on display in 50 diverse exhibitions which are representative of various ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean.

The aquarium offers a wide variety of educational programs, lectures, and interactive activities for visitors of all ages. Local community members gather to celebrate the environment and learn more about how to do their part when it comes to protecting the planet with sustainable solutions.

The aquarium is a leader in the field of conservation and environmentalism. It was one of the first aquariums to participate in green practices and was awarded the Super Nova Start Award for its energy-saving efforts. The aquarium is currently one of the most energy-efficient businesses which makes less than $50 million annually.


There are more than 50 unique exhibits on display at the aquarium featuring a wide variety of animals which are native to the Pacific. There are over 500 different species of animal residing at the aquarium, from frogs, jellyfish, otters, and sharks, every visitor is sure to find their favorite ocean creature. Some featured exhibits include the following:

Frogs: Dazzling and Disappearing: This exhibit features a wide diversity of frogs and other amphibians whose futures depend on the health of the Pacific Ocean.

Our Water Future: This exhibit aims to educated younger visitors about where water comes from, how it changes our planet, and how they can protect it for future generations.

Vanishing Animals: This exhibit aims to educate visitors on the species which are facing mass extinction and what they can do to help.

Jellies: This exhibit features hundreds of jellyfish from a wide variety of species swimming and floating feely in their gallery. Visitors should not miss witnessing this mysterious and fascinating animal in action.

Harbor Terrance: This area overlooks the Rainbow Harbor and provides a place for visitors to relax and unwind from a long day exploring the aquarium. There are also a few very popular interactive exhibits located here including the Moon Jelly Touch Lab.

June Keyes Penguin Habitat: This exhibit is one of visitor’s favorites! Guests can get up-close-and-personal with more than 20 Magellan Penguins playing and swimming in their habitat.

Ocean Science Center: This center is used to educate visitors via interactive technology called Science on a Sphere. Visitors can explore a wide range of topics about the planet and learn about the impact of ocean phenomena.

Shark Lagoon: This exhibit features the beautifully dangerous predator of the Pacific Ocean – the mighty shark. There are more than 200 stingrays and sharks swimming freely in this gigantic outdoor exhibit, visitors can even touch some of them in the interactive pool!

Molina Animal Care Center: This on-campus facility features 14,000-square-feet of world-class animal care and a behind-the-scenes look at veterinary medicine in action. Visitors can witness the rehabilitation and healing of sick animals year-round in the examination area.

Upcoming Events:

There are events at the aquarium almost every day! Everything from camps for future biologists to happy hour events with live music, there is something for everyone. Check out the website for more information and a full calendar.

Discounted Late Nights: On special nights throughout the summer months, visitors can enjoy the aquarium with special extended hours at a discounted price.

Summer Happy Hour on the Veranda: Adult visitors can enjoy the cool summer evenings on the harbor accompanied by live music and their favorite cocktail. This event will be held throughout the summer.

Saturday Family Fun: Shark Sleuths: This family event will focus on educating children ages 4-6 years old about why sharks are such amazing predators. This event will be held on July 22, 2017.

Educational Programs:

The aquarium prides itself on its wide variety of educational programs, lectures, interactive activities, and much more. Visitors of all ages can find something to spark their interest in the Pacific Ocean and ignite their passion for conserving the ecosystems within it.

Additional Information:

Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802, Phone: 562-590-3100