Junipero Beach#1 in Best Things To Do in Long Beach, CA
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While there are miles of shoreline in the Long Beach area, not all beaches are made equal. There's Alamitos, which is easily accessed from the downtown area and close to hotels. There's Rosie's Dog Beach, which is a great place to bring your furry friends. However, a crowd favorite is Junipero Beach – also called Cherry Beach – which stretches along the Bluff Park area.
This strip of coastline begins where Alamitos Beach ends. At Junipero, the high rises that back Alamitos are replaced with the more residential communities of Bluff Park. Here, the sand is soft and waves are calm, making it an ideal place for families. Because the sand area is wide, there's plenty of space for visitors to spread out and you're sure to get a solid spot. The beach has many convenient amenities, such as showers, lifeguards on duty during peak months and bike paths. This is also one of the only areas in Bluff Park with handicap accessible beach entrance. Many people enjoy participating in the free yoga classes that take place on Junipero as well.
No dogs are permitted on the sand, but the street behind the beach is a popular dog walking spot. Bixby Park is located near Junipero and provides great picnic areas, playgrounds and space for activity with views of the sea. Visitors say there are many places to relax on a blanket, and there are a variety of restaurants nearby to grab a bite.
Behind Junipero Beach there are many metered parking spots, street parking and parking lots. The beach is also easily accessible via public transportation. It's also close to attractions like the Long Beach Museum of Art, so it's a convenient place to stop on your tour of Long Beach.
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#2 The Queen Mary
One of the most popular attractions in Long Beach is the Queen Mary, a retired British cruise ship that operated numerous transatlantic voyages throughout the early 1900s. Once known for its classy atmosphere and high profile guests like Winston Churchill, the ship is now frequented by travelers looking to learn about its history and get a glimpse into the luxury of the past.
Aboard the ship, travelers can take guided tours and explore different themed exhibits. There are different tours to choose from, including a Steam and Steel tour that brings you deep into the bowels of the ship to the boiler rooms and generators. Exhibits include the Shipyard and the Ship Model Gallery, where you can admire replicas of the Queen Mary in its prime. For those exploring independently, there's a scavenger hunt to follow. There are also nighttime dining experiences, in addition to more unique activities, such as illusion performances and paranormal walks through the supposedly haunted parts of the ship. Previous travelers highly recommended the Haunted Encounters tour but warn it may run a bit longer than other tours.
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