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Long Beach

Sandy beaches, floating museums, and world-class kitesurfing are just a few of this city’s waterfront delights

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Just half an hour from Los Angeles, Long Beach is an oceanfront gem you’ll want to add to your California itinerary. The city offers beautiful beaches and marinas along with a busy dining and shopping scene that perfectly blends urban 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 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 colorful fish, coral, sea turtles, and sharks. If you’re in the mood for retail therapy, find designer favorites at The Pike Outlets or search for the perfect retro find at the vintage boutiques along Long Beach’s Fourth Street.

With 11 miles of sandy shoreline, waterfront adventure is central to the city’s charm. Visitors can enjoy the waves from dry land at one of the family-friendly beaches like Alamitos Beach and Marine Park, or rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, Duffy electric boats, and other watercraft in Rainbow Marina. Try your hand at kitesurfing on Long Beach’s Belmont Shore, one of the best places in the state for beginners to learn the sport. Hop aboard a vessel and venture out to sea on a whale-watching tour from Harbor Breeze Cruises, a sailboat through Sunglow Charters, a point-to-point ride on the high-speed water taxis, or a romantic excursion on a Venetian gondola.

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