Long Beach is a favorite with weekenders in Southern California, and for good reason. The views are stunning, the weather is marvelous, and the attractions are plentiful. There’s something for everyone in the area, with historic sites, museums, gardens, restaurants, markets, and more. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on your trip to Long Beach, here are some ways to arrange a visit that won’t break the bank.
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Long Beach is accessible from three different airports, which makes it easier to find bargain fares. Long Beach Airport (LGB) is in the city, but you could also fly into Santa Ana (SNA) or Los Angeles International (LAX), both of which are less than 25 miles outside Long Beach. It’s easy to drive into the region by car, or you can arrive by public transit from Orange County via the Route 50 bus.
Long Beach has hotel options to fit any budget. Your best bet for an affordable trip is to watch for special rates on chain hotels like Best Western, Courtyard, Holiday Inn, or Hilton. Start your lodging search by thinking about how you want to spend your time in Long Beach. You can save money if you’re willing to stay outside the city center and drive in to visit museums, gardens, or the aquarium. Seaside resorts with views and beach access cost more, but they also offer a lot of value for the extra dollar if you intend to spend most of your time on the sand or in the water.
There are some spectacular high-end restaurants in Long Beach that appeal to foodies, but you’ll find plenty of casual dining experiences that cost less as well. Ask to see a menu before you’re seated, if there isn’t one displayed, so you can check pricing. You’ll also save money on food if you choose a hotel that includes a hearty breakfast. If you’re traveling with a group or family, bring a cooler with sandwiches and other simple and filling options so the entire group doesn’t have to buy a meal every time one person is hungry.
The top attractions in Long Beach are the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queen Mary Ocean Liner. Both are worth the price of admission, but there are plenty of free and cheap activities to pursue in Long Beach, too. Shoreline Village is one of the most photographed spots in the region, and it offers a beautiful place to stroll and window shop.
The Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path offers a smooth asphalt path with two bike lanes and another just for foot traffic. The trail is the perfect spot to enjoy the Southern California weather and gorgeous Pacific views. City Beach is a great place for people-watching and a perfect family beach, with gentle waves and frequent dolphin sightings.
Long Beach offers enough affordable recreation to keep visitors busy for a week or a weekend without spending a lot of cash. If you choose your lodging with your recreation in mind and try not to overspend on food, you can enjoy a Southern California vacation without busting your budget.