Eat: The Queen Mary
126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802
A luxury liner launched at the precipice of WWII, the Queen Mary carries you back a half century to an elegant era. Moored in Long Beach, the Queen Mary is now a full service hotel with three restaurants and plenty of entertainment options. But best is the atmosphere. The halls ooze history and the ship is home to galleries celebrating her famous guests and those not so famous, but nonetheless important. Exhibits currently feature a collection of Princess Diana’s evening wear alongside the story of how the Queen Mary sailed refugees to safety during WWII. If you happen to visit on a Sunday, partake in the fabulous and extravagant Sunday Brunch (its pricey). The Chelsea Chowderhouse and Bar is the ship’s family friendly option and it works. Again, its about the experience and atmosphere.
Play: Shoreline Village
401 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802
Our dining recommendation is the Queen Mary, but in addition to a great activity center, quirky shopping choices and carousel at Shoreline Village there are multiple restaurants that appeal to families, including quick bites at Café Dia Bakery and Tugboat Pete’s. Bikes are available for rent at Wheel Fun Rentals on site (strollers are available as well). Shoreline Villages offers free concerts and themed activities, when we were there a Pirate festival (Sept. 19 and 20th) was advertised. Check out the website before you go to see what’s planned for your day.
Learn: Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Over the past year, we’ve traveled to numerous aquariums as we accumulate data for this blog and our soon to be launched app, UpDown Maps. What makes the Aquarium of the Pacific stand out is how its incredible animals are presented. The habitats and “galleries” (their term not ours) offer an unbelievable view into the animal’s world. Seals, Otters and penguins play among over 400 other species. Plus you won’t find the seal show or the watch the dolphins dance tour, this is all animals all exhibits no traditional shows. Instead, you’ll find more hands-on type engagement with the animals- like putting your hand in the shark tank. Don’t worry its not called the Mick Fanning exhibit. For an additional fee, you can register for experiences- like a morning with penguins. Open 9-6 daily.