All about this
Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city that has hosted the Olympic Games of 1932 and 1984, and will do so a third time in 2028. In addition to being the center of the nation’s film and television industry, Los Angeles offers world class museums (the Getty Center and Los Angeles County Museum of Art), the famous Los Angeles Zoo, one-of-a-kind sites like the Queen Mary, and iconic landscapes (Santa Monica and Venice beaches). Listed below are just a few possibilities!
Places to visit in the greater Los Angeles area
Since December 9, 1967, the Queen Mary has called Long Beach her home. Located just 2 miles from the Convention Center, the Queen Mary, an icon in Southern California, is now a floating hotel, a popular attraction, and an event & wedding venue, home to three world-class restaurants.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Just a 20-minute walk from the Olympic Fair, the Aquarium of the Pacific is the fourth most-attended aquarium in the nation displaying over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits that represent the diversity of the Pacific Ocean. General adult admission is $29.95, but check online for deals.
One of the world’s elite museums with an outstanding collection of European paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts. Perched on a bluff overlooking Los Angeles, the complex presents breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The museum is always free. Parking, however, is $15 for the day.
Los Angeles Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens is home to more than 1,100 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles representing more than 250 different species. You won’t want to miss Rainforest of the Americas, the newest state-of-the-art exhibit. Adult admission is $21.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States with a collection of over 135,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of art history from new and unexpected points of view. Adult tickets are $25. Don’t forget to visit the famous La Brea Tar Pits adjacent to the museum.
No visit to Los Angeles would be complete without a stop at Disneyland! Located in Anaheim (about 20 miles from Long Beach), plan on spending the whole day at the Magic Kingdom. Ticket prices vary greatly depending on date and time. Check for package deals.
Fun Day Tours
Catalina Adventure Tours
Explore beautiful Catalina Island boasting wild buffalo, the Channel Island Fox and bald eagles as well as crystal clear water. 877-510-2888. www.catalinaadenturetours.com
Whale Watching Cruise
Experience a whale watching cruise aboard Harbor Breeze Cruises. See Gray Whales, Blue Whales, dolphins and seals (type of whales varies by season). Full narrated excursions out of Long Beach. 562-432-4900. www.2seewhales.com
Hollywood/Los Angeles Sightseeing
All-day or half-day tours of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach aboard air-conditioned buses. 562-206-0720. www.sunseekertours.com
Long Beach Restaurants
Parkers' Lighthouse Restaurant
Features a compelling selection of fresh Pacific seafood inspired cuisine. Every table comes with a waterfront view. Reasonably priced, its food rates a 4.2 out of 5 from Zagat. Located at 435 Shoreline Village Drive. Telephone: 562-432-6500. www.parkerslighthouse.com $$
Barbeque and Cajun Cuisine. Come for their ribs, Cajun seafood boils, Po-Boy’s and gumbo. Waterfront dining at Shoreline Village. 429 Shoreline Drive. 562-432-6737. louisianacharlies.com $
George's Greek Cafe
George’s Greek Cafe is a favorite among locals serving fresh and delicious meals made from only the finest imported ingredients including hormone-free, grass-fed lamb from New Zealand. Relaxed family atmosphere with a hip twist. 135 Pine Ave. 562-437-1184. www.georgesgreekcafe.com $/$$
555 East Steakhouse
Traditional steakhouse serving prime steaks and seafood. Piano on weekends. Voted Best Steakhouse in California by The Beef Council. 555 East Ocean Blvd. 562-437-0626. 555east.com $$
Places to Shop & Relax
Located on the Long Beach Waterfront a few minutes walk from the Convention Center, Shoreline Village offers plenty of opportunities to shop, dine or simply relax. Shops open daily from 10AM to 9PM. shorelinevillage.com
Santa Monica’s Promenade, a glitzy shopping and restaurant row on 3rd Street, and the even more famous Pier, with its amusement park and Ferris wheel, will keep you busy all day and well into the night! www.downtownsm.com
Venice Beach is the epitome of Southern California life with wide sandy beaches, a boardwalk with buskers, body-builders lifting weights in the sun, and crazy souvenir shops. Spend an hour or a day! www.venicebeach.com
September remains extremely warm in Los Angeles. The average daily high temperature gets up to around 27°C (around 81°F) with low humidity. Nighttime temperatures may dip as low as 14°C (about 57°F). Coastal areas benefit from cool onshore breezes.
Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 Volts and 60 cycles. Standard electric plugs have two flat blades. Visitors from overseas should bring adaptor plugs with them.
Virtually every business, hotel, restaurant and tourist destination accepts all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, and to a lesser extent, American Express and Discover. ATM machines are everywhere!