Long Beach Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Long Beach

Long Beach is one of Southern California's most important cities, being the state's seventh most-populated city and home to one of the nation's busiest shipping ports. The town was incorporated in 1897, having initially been part of a ranching community.

What is now Long Beach was initially part of the Rancho Los Cerritos. In 1880, William E. Willmore bought 4,000 for a farming community that never came into being. The Long Beach Land and Water Company in Los Angels bought out Willmore, leading to the current name of Long Beach.

In its earliest years, the city served as a seaside resort, with an amusement park located in the area now known as The Pike. A Naval shipyard and the oil industry would gradually grow in importance in the area. In the early 20th century, migrants from the Midwest and immigrants from various nations, including Japan, settled in the city.

The city has several noteworthy landmarks, including the RMS Queen Mary, which was permanently docked starting in 1967. Visitors will also enjoy The Long Beach Greenbelt, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, Aquarium of the Pacific, and El Dorado Nature Center.

Take this self-guided walking tour to see and learn more about the sights in Long Beach.
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Long Beach Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Long Beach Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Long Beach (See other walking tours in Long Beach)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Pine Avenue
  • Dr. Rowan Building
  • Breakers Hotel
  • Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
  • The Pike at Rainbow Harbor
  • Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Shoreline Village
1
Pine Avenue

1) Pine Avenue (must see)

Going down Pine Avenue is an exciting way to experience both the old and new in Long Beach. If you're in search of excellent dining and entertainment options, this street is very much the place to be.

The historical buildings date back to the 1920s and 1930s, sharing space with modern office buildings. These buildings are so well-preserved that nothing will seem out of place.

One of the major highlights of this street has been its three-block-long New Year's Eve party over the past several years. Extended LA Metro light rail and Long Beach Transit bus hours provide safe transportation for everyone after a night of partying.

Special events that the city hosts throughout the year, including food festivals, provide the perfect enticement for visitors. Whenever you decide to visit, there are plenty of outdoor dining options that you can try.

Regardless of whether you're in search of the latest dining experiences or ready to check out the local nightclub scene, Pine Street will provide plenty of excitement for you to enjoy.
2
Dr. Rowan Building

2) Dr. Rowan Building

The Dr. Rowan Building takes its name from the first tenant, a dentist named Dr. Rowan, who practiced during the 1930s. This building's architect, Charles W. Pettifer, constructed the building for the Bank of Italy in 1930.

Today, this building stands out as one of the city's most-recognized landmarks. The Art Deco style that was popular at the time of the building's construction helps make the location stand out as an architectural marvel.

Geometric and naturalistic designs, true to the Art Deco style, blend together seamlessly. The ornamentation is multicolored, and the tiles are of the original terra cotta material, which are stunning examples of how distinct this building's style is.

This building is still in use today for commercial purposes. The ground floor is host to several office spaces, as well as retailers.
3
Breakers Hotel

3) Breakers Hotel

Breakers Hotel is one of Long Beach's most iconic hotels. This building dates back to 1926, when it opened as a resort spa. The 14-story building enjoys Long Beach Historic Landmark status.

In the years immediately following the hotel's opening, the Breakers featured many of the top vaudeville artists of the time as entertainers, as well as a dining room seating 500, a Turkish bath, a rooftop garden, and a barbershop and coffeeshop.

Between 1929 and 1961, the Breakers changed hands and underwent financial issues that led to closure in 1964. Between 1967 and 1982, the hotel served as a retirement community, reverting to hotel use from 1986 to 1987 and serving as retirement housing again from 1997 to 2015. In 1989, the hotel received its Historic Landmark status.

In 1997, the Sky Room, with its 360-degree view, was restored and reopened. The Sky Room Orchestra, a jazz and swing band, has performed at this location, and the Sky Room has had a restaurant.

The Breakers changed ownership in 2017. There are plans underway to restore the building to a 185-room boutique hotel. This building offers excellent photo opportunities.
4
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

4) Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is Long Beach's go-to location for conventions, tradeshows, and other special events. This convention center also includes the Long Beach Arena and the Long Beach Performing arts Center, with three theaters.

One feature that stands out is the mural on the arena's exterior wall created by Wyland's Whaling Walls. Grey whales and other marine life types that live off Long Beach's coast are a part of this mural that spans 116,000 square feet along the arena's wall.

The area outside the arena offers green space with a pond, walking path, and benches. If you're looking for an excellent vantage point for taking pictures, this area is one of the best to consider using.

Regardless of whether you are attending an event here, you will be impressed by the size of the complex. The modern design and architecture highlight its importance as a venue.
5
The Pike at Rainbow Harbor

5) The Pike at Rainbow Harbor (must see)

The Pike at Rainbow Harbor boasts a convenient location near the Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. In this area, guests will find restaurants, shopping, and entertainment options. The Pike offers over 344,000 square feet of space.

Two of the most popular attractions in this area include a Ferris wheel and a carousel, dating back to when the area was part of an amusement park. A Cinemark movie theater lets you catch all the latest movies, with the type of modern sound and picture quality you've come to expect.

The selection of restaurants at The Pike includes a mixture of fast-casual and quick-serve foods. California Pizza Kitchen, Hooters, and P.F. Chang's are a few places where you can get quick bites to eat.

If you want a full-service option, options include Chili's Grill & Bar and Outback Steakhouse. The Pike has a Cold Stone Creamery location for ice cream and a Starbuck's for all your favorite coffee drinks.

The shopping options here include outlet locations perfect for discounts, like Express Factory Outlet, Levi's Outlet, and Restoration Hardware Outlet. Stores that offer the most popular name-brands include Columbia Sportswear, H & M, and Sunglass Hut.

When you're visiting The Pike, regardless of whether you choose to spend much time taking in the shopping and dining, you will be seeing a place that is great for people-watching.

Stopping by The Pike while walking through Long Beach is ideal for snacks and meals, as well as shopping for items you can't live without. Any time spent here is worth the effort.

Why You Should Visit:

To be able to eat your fill of whatever food you feel like trying during your visit.
Get designer clothes or accessories, including deeply-discounted items from outlet stores.

Tips:

Take advantage of gift card offers for select merchants that may provide bonus cards for buying multiple gift cards.
6
Aquarium of the Pacific

6) Aquarium of the Pacific (must see)

The Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the best places to encounter unique marine species. One of the things that this location is famous for is its array of animal encounters.

Animals on display in the outdoor area include lorikeets, penguins, sea lions and seals, and sharks. If you enjoy touching some of the animals, you can touch horseshoe crabs, moon jellies, and rays.

The Our Water Future exhibit provides helpful information on what we can do to help safeguard our water supply for future generations. Another excellent part of the aquarium is the Molina Animal Care Center, which allows the public to see how aquatic medicine keeps marine species healthy.

One of the most popular outdoor areas at the aquarium is Harbor Terrace. The moon jelly exhibit is in this area, as well as an amphibious mudskipper exhibit.

Time spent at the aquarium is always an excellent way to learn more about aquatic species.
7
Shoreline Village

7) Shoreline Village (must see)

Shoreline Village offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as activities. Some of the activities visitors can try include parasailing, sail and powerboat rentals, and going on cruises.

Another unique bit of fun that Shoreline Village offers is the Pelican Pier Pavilion. This area includes a unique carousel, as well as an arcade area with air hockey, skee ball, and video games. There are a lot of great prizes that you can win when playing these games.

Drop by Smile for the Birdie to have your picture taken with exotic birds. One of the best things about visiting with the birds is that you can hold and pat them.

There are ten unique shops that visitors can enjoy. The Beach House offers gift and souvenir items for people who love everything about the beach. Istanbul Home has handcrafted Turkish-style art and accessories, and Pirate's Cove has pirate-related gear and clothing for the whole family.

Restaurant options include a mixture of fine, casual, and snack options. Try steaks and a fine dining experience at Queensview Steakhouse, a relaxed atmosphere at Shenanigan's Irish Pub & Grill, or sweets at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Why You Should Visit

Shop at themed stores where you can find all kinds of exciting swag not available anywhere else.
Excellent experience to see and interact with exotic birds outside of a zoo setting.

Tips

Rent a bike from Wheel Fun Rentals, full of exciting options like tandems, quads, choppers, and surreys.

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