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Queen Mary vc_spotlightlongbeach_module3_queenmary_st_ed_171674939_1280x640_0

Queen Mary

Queen Mary vca_maps_losangeles_9
Queen Mary
What to do and see on Long Beach’s famous ship

No visit to Long Beach is complete without a stop at the Queen Mary, a retired ocean liner that offers visitors historical intrigue, award-winning restaurants, stunning views of the Long Beach skyline and even on-board accommodation. The Queen Mary celebrated her 50th anniversary in 2017—she first arrived in Long Beach on 9 December 1967.

Take a tour

While you can explore parts of the Queen Mary on your own, your visit will be enhanced by taking advantage of one of the ship’s many guided tours which provide the historical background and expert insights to make your visit more interesting. Choose from a range of guided tours, including The Glory Days Historical Tour or Haunted Encounters, which reveals why the Queen Mary was listed by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America. The Queen Mary also offers combination tour tickets with another historic ship, the USS Iowa, as well as with other local attractions, including the Aquarium of the Pacific and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Have a bite

Whether you are just visiting the Queen Mary for the day or staying overnight in one of the ship's staterooms, a meal aboard this Long Beach landmark is a must. Grab a classic cocktail (and an amazing view) at the Observation Bar or enjoy a bowl of chowder and a brew at the Chelsea Chowder House & Bar, a contemporary take on a traditional fish restaurant. End your weekend the right way by joining Long Beach locals for the Sunday Champagne Brunch with dozens of breakfast favourites and unique dishes from around the globe—including made-to-order omelettes and pancakes, Albondigas soup and carne asada tacos, and Asian-style ribs—or visit the carving station, which slices up perfectly prepared steaks and legs of lamb. (It’s no wonder Condé Nast Traveler named the Queen Mary one of the best brunches in the world!.) Want the full Queen Mary experience? Enjoy five-star fine dining at Sir Winston’s Restaurant & Lounge for a gourmet menu, extensive wine list, and unmatched ambience and service.

See a show

Throughout the year, the Queen Mary hosts performances and events to complete your visit. From monthly events like Ships & Giggles Comedy Night held every second Monday and Local Band Hangout every third Thursday to the Barrel Series Tasting Dinners or the spooky Dark Harbor Halloween special, every month offers new opportunities to enjoy evening events aboard the ship.

Stay the night

For a truly unique experience, visitors can stay aboard the Queen Mary in one of the ship’s 346 original staterooms and suites. Choose a state room on one of the three decks (all above sea level) that may feature warm wood panelling, built-in Art Deco furniture or original artwork found on the ship—in fact, no two rooms are alike. Those looking for more space can opt for a suite with separate sleeping and living quarters, or a Family Stateroom, with two bedroom areas for added privacy, designed with families in mind.

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Ron Thomas/Getty Images

Spotlight: Long Beach

Just half an hour from Los Angeles, Long Beach is a beachfront gem you’ll want to add to your California itinerary. It offers beautiful beaches and marinas along with a busy dining and shopping scene that perfectly blends big city sophistication with beach town fun.

Tour the Queen Mary, the legendary, permanently docked ocean liner or relax with a drink in the ship’s Observation Bar—for truly unique accommodations, you can even stay overnight in one of the ship’s staterooms or suites. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific, Southern California’s largest aquarium and home to playful sea otters, Magellanic penguins, and a 350,000-gallon Tropical Reef Habitat, which holds thousands of colourful fish, coral, sea turtles, and sharks.

Looking for some retail therapy instead? Shop designer favorites at Pike Outlets or search for the perfect retro finds at the vintage boutiques along Long Beach’s Fourth Street. Or try your hand at kitesurfing on Long Beach’s Belmont Shores, one of the best places in the state for beginners to learn the sport thanks to the protective breakwater that blocks major waves.

Above all, enjoy eating your way through the city’s culinary delights from the classic waterfront Parkers’ Lighthouse in Shoreline Village to the modern SteelCraft, an urban eatery in Bixby Knolls, to the rooftop Sky Room, an Art Deco bar and dining room, 14 stories atop the Breakers Hotel in downtown Long Beach. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend, a family reunion destination, or just a getaway with the kids, Long Beach has the food, fun, and sun for your perfect next Southern California trip. 

–Kate Bayless