Wanderlust: 48 Hours in Long Beach

Kelly Rathburn Conroy
Kelly Rathburn Conroy

By Kelly Conroy

Long Beach is often overlooked for a weekend destination in favor of one of its Southern California cousins. I mean, you’ve got your pick of beaches: Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, etc. So why choose the one “with so much drama in the LBC?”

Well, aside from the musical talent that Long Beach fostered (Sublime and Snoop Dogg among them), it’s a city full of options. You can party your face off with CSULB students or take in the culture of the beachfront town. You can shop and eat your way through the city or you can lie on the beach all day. You can make 48 hours in Long Beach into whatever kind of vacation you want.


So plan a weekend getaway, pack your swimsuit, and enjoy the 75 degree weather year round.


Long Beach Must See:

  • Queen Mary: From hosting the rich and famous to setting speed records to transporting thousands of troops during World War II, the Queen Mary is full of stories, history, and 1930’s glamour. It’s now permanently docked in Long Beach and is a great place for drinks, live music, and even an overnight stay.
  • The Long Beach Grand Prix happens every April. The streets of downtown Long Beach transform into a professional racetrack for Formula 1. If you can’t catch the race itself, watch for skid marks throughout downtown streets – a year round reminder of an auto-enthusiast’s dream.


Long Beach Must Do:

  • Walk, shop and eat along 2nd Street. Grab a drink from Coffee Bean, browse the boutiques, and eat some bomb ass Mediterranean food all within a leisurely stroll among the palm trees.
  • Go Whale Watching. There are a few companies to choose from, but check out the Boat Adventures that the Aquarium offers.


Long Beach Must Eat/Drink:

Sweet Jills_Long Beach

  • Sweet Jill’s Bakery: I dare you to walk past the window display and not impulse buy a dozen different treats. This place is famous for a reason and it ain’t the health food.
  • Beachwood BBQ. It’s like Tank House and Track 7 had a love child. Try the fried pickles and the blue cheese grits paired with all the local, craft beer you can handle.
  • Sushi Studio. Where the locals eat sushi. Check out their happy hour deals and feel less like a tourist in this semi-hard to find restaurant.
  • Make the drive next door to Seal Beach and grab a breakfast burrito from Nick’s Deli. The place doesn’t have a lot of sparkle, but it makes up for it with good ol’ fashioned, greasy burritos. Pro tip: walk your chorizo burrito down to the beach and cure your hangover with an ocean breeze.


With all the options for fun, food, and adventure, your 48-hour trip will feel like a full-blown vacation. Plus, with a more down to earth vibe than many of its neighboring towns, Long Beach will make a Northern California girl feel like less of a traitor for enjoying the Southern half of our state.

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