Fun, Free Things to Do in Long Beach: Dates, Places
Located on the Pacific Coast, LB is the 7th largest city in California some 30 minutes south of Los Angeles. Priceonomics named it the 4th most diverse city in the United States for their 2014 report. With waterfront attractions, there’s a number of things to do in Long Beach, CA that’s free, fun, for the weekend, day or night.
Culturally, it has just about everything.
With many places to see, activities are limited only by time. In a word, eclectic is a fitting description.
For bicyclists, it was rated the 3rd most bike friendly city in the USA. The Shoreline Path, shown above, is a 3.1 mile scenic bike path. Bicycling is the best way to experience LB unencumbered at your pace. For getting around town at no cost, take The Passport, a bus to connect to downtown hotels and events.
Before you get started, let’s cover parking. Get 2 hours free in downtown. The following garages require no validation:
- Lot A: 50 E. 6th St,
- Lot B: 50 E. 5th St.
- Lot C: 50 E 3rd St.
Meters run $1.00 to $2.00 an hour. Just running in quick? Press the green button for 5 minutes at no cost. Use your smart phone and set a timer! Enforcement are like hawks.
Here’s our list for what to do in Long Beach.
1. Take the Water Taxi to Explore. Cost is $5 each way. The AquaLink connects you to most of the waterfront destinations. There is a bar with snacks.
Service runs from summer into fall.
Kids aged 2 and under ride at no cost. Best of all, racks to fasten your bike. Runs on the hour 11 am-6 pm. The Aquabus is $1. For a relaxing ride, start from Alamitos Landing which park at no cost. Tel: (562) 591-2301.
2. The Pike at Rainbow Harbor. Plenty of entertainment. Enjoy Bowling, movie theaters, retail outlets, and a ferris wheel. The ferris wheel is $3.00 per person.
They validate for parking.
Best time to go is in the evening to see the harbor lights and the Queen Mary.
3. Rent a Hydrobike. Cost: Daytime Rentals $20.00/hour or sunset $30/hour. Cruise through the Naples Canals.
LB Hydrobikes at 110 North Marina Drive. Reservations, call or text: 562.546.2493. Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
4. Kayak Rental. Cost: Singles $15 / 2 hours, Doubles $25 / 2 hours. Relax just outside the city or kayak thru the Naples canals. This is a great upper body workout!
Near Spinnaker Bay you can observe moon jellyfish. They also rent foot pedal kayaks. OEX at 6910 Pacific Coast Highway. Phone: 562-592-0800. Rentals: 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM.
5. Rent Bicycles to Explore.
Take in the city at your own pace. A great alternative to a car. Cost: Hourly: $12 Half Day: $25, Full Day: $32. Hours: 9 am to Sunset. Wheel Fun Rentals, 429 Shoreline Village Dr. Tel: (562) 951-3857.
6. Learn How to Sail! Cost: $100 for SYC members and $175 for non-members. The Shoreline Yacht Club offers sailing lessons Monday evenings and Saturday afternoons May until August. Instructors are SYCSF Certified. Boats are Cal 20. 386 Shoreline Drive South. Tel: 714-293-8165.
7. Watch Movies at the Art Theatre.
The Art Theatre is the oldest running single screen theatre in Southern California. In 2008, they completely revamped the sound and vision.
Built in 1924, it’s an independent movie theatre restored to art deco glory. Watch independent, classics, and animation movies.
2025 East 4th Street. Movie Times: (562) 438-5435. Tickets: $11.00, senior child is $8.
8. Visit Catalina Island. Located 22 miles off the coast, it offers a casino, golf, shopping, camping, hiking, zip line for propelling from 6,000 feet. Great place for weddings and anniversaries. the Catalina Express provides marine transportation in about an hour. They offer a free pass on your birthday. Tickets: round trip is $74.50.
Register online. 400 Oceangate, Ste 300. Reservations: (800) 481-3470 5:45 am – 7:00 pm daily.
9. Santa Catalina Island Company offers an undersea expedition. Take a daytime trip in their semi-submersible vessel. 11AM, 12PM, 1PM, 2PM, 3PM daily. 800-626-7489. Once your on the island, there a range of activities. Propel down 5 separate zip lines from 600 feet above sea level!
10. Play Billiards in Nearby Lakewood.
Cost: $7 an hour. 29 billiard tables. This about as inexpensive as it gets. Lakewood Family Billiards 4125 Paramount Blvd. Hours: Sun – Thurs Noon to 12:30 am, Fri and Sat Noon to 1:30 am.
11. Swim at the Belmont Pool. Cost: Adult $4, Senior $3, Youth $1. The swimming pool is home to the U.S. Olympic Swim trials! Let’s do this. For relaxing things to do, this is as good as it gets price wise. Belmont Pool, 4320 Olympic Plaza. Tel: (562) 570-1806.
12. Take a Harbor Tour. Cost: $12.00 adult, under 12 years old is $6.00. Explore the coastline. Learn the history of the harbor. See cargo ships from all over the world, sea lions, and the Queen Mary. Harbor Breeze Cruises Dock #2 at 100 Aquarium Way. Tel: (562) 983-6880.
13. Rent a motorcycle at MOTOQUEST. Rates start at $100 a day and go down after the 4th day. According to their website you must be 21 years or older and have 3 years of riding experience. 2115 E. Spring St. Ring their rental phone: (562)-997-RENT (7368). Mon – Fri 9 – 6 and Sat 9 – 5. Closed on Sundays.
14. Charter a Gondola. Cost: 1-4 passengers: $125.00, plus $20 for each additional person up to six. What better way to take in the city and the ocean at the same time? A great Long Beach date idea! The closest thing to being in Venice, Italy. Gondola Getaway, 5437 E Ocean Blvd. Telephone: (562) 433-9595. It’s one of the best things to do at night or prior to sunset.
15. Wakeboarding Lessons. Cost: $95. Take lessons from Pro Wakeboarder Nick Heaney, a former top 10 in the world. Wake Experience. 5255 East Paoli Way. Tel: 310 251 7227
16. Whale Watching on The Open Sea. Tickets: From $30.00 to $45.00 depending on the time of year. Harbor Breeze Cruises offers watching of the gray whale (winter) and blue whale (summer). 100 Aquarium Way, Dock #2. Parking is $8 with validation. Hours: weekdays at 12:30 and weekends from 11:30 am. Tel: (562) 432-4900.
17. Visit Made in LB Market. Features local artists offer unique souvenirs, baked goods, bags, jewelry, furniture. 236 Pine Ave. (877) 752-1550.
18. Brush Strokes and Beverages. Cost: $35-$45 depends on the night, location and painting. Take a step by step on how to paint from artists over wine. An artist will guide you on how to replicate a painting. A mobile event that takes place at local restaurants and wine bars. One of the best things to do with friends. Hours: 2:00 pm on Saturdays, 3:00 pm on Sundays and 7:00 pm on weekdays. Tel: (310) 961-8082 • firstname.lastname@example.org
19. Cruise around the canals of Naples in a rented boat. Cost: It’s about as chill as it gets. Starts at $75 although they have an early bird special. LB Boat Rentals. 401 Shoreline Village Dr. Tel: (562) 491-7400
20. Walking Tour. LB Heritage takes you on an exploration of Downtown. This event happens on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 9:30 am. Grab your walking shoes as it runs 2 to 2.5 hours. $10 per adult, tix payed thru PayPal. For reservations: 562-493-7019. Parking: $0 at 3rd & Promenade. Meets at 205 East 3rd Street.