Today’s visitors frequently use Long Beach as a convenient travel hub, or frequent the city’s aquarium, museums and busy marina. Ocean ferries and charter boats frequently use the Long Beach Harbor as a launching point for traveling to Catalina Island, 22 miles off the coast, which offers fishing, sailing, camping and resort-style beach amenities. Long Beach has a vibrant local music scene, and while nearby beaches offer better-known surf breaks, the city's ties to surfing remain strong with Baja-themed taco stands, sleek surf shops and seasonal beach festivals. Staying at a hotel along the coast is a convenient way to explore Long Beach.
The Long Beach coastline acts as an important portal linking downtown Los Angeles and international airport, Catalina Island and Orange County’s commercial warehouses and upscale shopping districts to the south. Business travelers staying at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach access the venue’s wireless Internet access, on-site business center, currency exchange facility, and meetings roomed wired for microphones, special lighting effects and music. The Long Beach Convention Center lies adjacent to this coastal hotel, and nearby golf courses boost informal business networking.
Long Beach’s Avia Hotel pampers guests with little extras and tourism-friendly packages for a memorable coastal vacation. The AAA-rated Four Diamond hotel features a rooftop pool terrace with private cabanas and views of downtown Long Beach, 24-hour fitness center, waterfall showerheads, iPod docks and Italian bedding. Packages include champagne bottles, gondola rides, olive oil tastings and espresso shots. Kids get free milk and cookies, and members of the Armed Forces, police departments or fire departments enjoy free parking, discounted rates and complimentary breakfast.
Accommodation at the Long Beach Convention Center Travelodge won’t break the bank. Located near the coast, Long Beach’s cruise terminal, Queen Mary museum, and downtown district are close by. Free perks include hotel shuttles to nearby attractions, wireless Internet access, parking, and daily newspapers. The hotel offers parking deals for guests departing for cruises out of Long Beach. Ask for a balcony room for views of the city, harbor and beaches.
Long Beach’s marina makes a convenient launching spot for fishing charters and sailboats departing for Catalina Island. Since most vessels leave early in the morning to avoid the Long Beach channel’s busy shipping lanes, afternoon wind swells and occasional dense fogs, it’s a good idea to stay near the marina to avoid L.A.’s deadly freeway gridlock. The Best Western Golden Sails Hotel, located near the Long Beach marina, offers seven acres of beaches, golf courses, swimming pools and courtyards. Guests have free access to the hotel’s golf equipment, and it’s not necessary to make advance reservations before hitting the nine-hole course. Enjoy a free breakfast buffet before heading out to sea.
- catalina beach image by Christian Schoettler from Fotolia.com