How to Spend a Week in Long Beach

A weekend in Long Beach, California, is never enough, so you have to make the most of your time. Stick to activities that highlight what Long Beach is all about to enjoy an authentic experience.

Catch a Flick at the Graveyard

What’s better than spending a warm weekend evening watching a movie? Picture watching it in Sunnyside Cemetery, where the Long Beach Cinematheque shows a variety of films. There’s almost always something morbid about the screening, although it’s sometimes subtle. For instance, past movies include both “Harold and Maude” and “Donnie Darko.”

Imagine enjoying a dark flick as you lounge atop the final resting places of the founding fathers of Long Beach. Ghastly, gruesome, and a little glamorous, isn’t it? Book accommodations near Long Beach Municipal Airport for convenient proximity to Sunnyside and other popular points downtown. The walk back to your hotel after the movie is sure to give you a spooky thrill.

Get Around on the Water

To snag an ocean view, zero in on hotels close to the World Cruise Center. Watching the cruise ships leave the harbor is sure to tickle your wanderlust. Long Beach is just the place to indulge your love of the sea, too. Even the public transportation gets around on a boat.

The AquaLink is a one-of-a-kind aspect of the city’s public transport system. After climbing aboard the cutest boat you’ve ever seen, you can hop from Belmont Shore to downtown to the Queen Mary. The best part is that every boat has refreshments — and full bars. You can enjoy a cocktail and a snack as you ride the waves.

Pick a Direction From Terminal Island

Although most of the activity on Terminal Island involves the port, it’s a central point. Four bridges lead off the island. It connects to San Pedro in the west via the Vincent Thomas Bridge, known for its green hue. The Gerald Desmond Bridge links the east side of the island to Long Beach. The Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge connects the island to Wilmington, a northern LA neighborhood. The fourth is a rail bridge known as the Badger Avenue Bridge or Henry Ford Bridge.

It’s possible to head in every direction, which is why travelers who want to take a day trip or two during their Long Beach vacation should consider hotels near Terminal Island. Rent a car, take a boat, climb aboard a ship, or buy a train ticket and explore what lies beyond the city. You don’t have to go farther than across a bridge, but the California coast is awfully tempting.

Sample Everything at Shoreline Village

As soon as you know the date of your trip, try to find hotels in Long Beach near the shore — and near Shoreline Village, where it’s easy to spend an entire day. Boutique shops offer handmade art, clothing, and jewelry. Cafes and restaurants serve full meals of burgers or seafood and sweet treats. The bars provide the perfect spot to sit, sip, and talk with a breathtaking view of the coast. The Village boasts a carousel, skating, basketball hoops, and skeeball.

How will you spend your weekend in Long Beach?