I have a close friend who lives outside of Los Angeles, and try to visit often. We decided one summer to take a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH for the locals) and hit the hot spots down to San Diego.
Our first stop was Long Beach, California – home to aquariums, boardwalks, restaurants, and wide beaches. We managed to score an Audi convertible and set of like Thelma and Louise (not the same ending however). The first thing I noticed about Long Beach was how wide, beautiful, and dare I say it, uncrowded it was. It was one of those sunny days with a stiff ocean breeze that California is famous for, the kind that just begs you to get a cocktail and hang outside with your face to the sun.
We found parking (not easy) and headed out to try an outdoor lunch at The Attic. We ordered food and Bloody Mary’s (we’re on vacation after all) and settled down to enjoy the California weather. The food was forgettable, but the Bloody Mary’s were insane. Excellent drinks, but the garnishes were burger sliders instead of celery.
Walking along the beach, working off our buzz, I looked at the ocean. The Pacific has always seemed more wild and untamed than its far away cousins. It seems like it beckons and cautions with the tides. After a brisk 3 mile walk, we decided to head into the village for some shopping.
The Village was home to a bunch of really cute boutiques with a seaside flair. It was full of friendly faces and a laid back lifestyle. It’s hard to imagine that just outside its doors is one of the largest and busiest cities in the country.
Long Beach is home to a great aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific, and stunning Wyland (one of my favorite artists) mural. After an afternoon wandering through (take a behind the scenes tour and meet some of the friendly residents!) we were ready for cocktails at a beachfront restaurant. There are many to chose from and each one will make you stop and appreciate those gorgeous California days. Word to the wise- it does get a bit chilly at night so grab a wrap or sweater.
Don’t miss this friendly seaside town with chance to wander the beach and grab an epic Bloody Mary.