Best Things to Do on a Long Layover: Long Beach, California – Stories | Gmx Pharm

Things to do, attractions, food and drink, places to visit and interesting local tips to make your stay at Long Beach Airport more exciting

Here at we use lots of data to help you find the cheapest flights and the best connections. But sometimes there just isn’t a fast connection and you have to wait. In fact, the average layover time at Long Beach Airport is around 14 hours. So that’s how you can get off and see a little of the city. Let’s make your stopover part of your journey!

Go to the shore

As the name suggests, Long Beach is all about the sun, sand and sea every afternoon – Shutterstock

One of the great things about Long Beach Airport is that it’s small and centrally located, which means no expeditions to pick up your bags and no waiting for shuttle buses, monorails, and the like.

It’s also relatively close to the sea, so you can get to the beach in about 20 minutes by taxi or 45 minutes by local buses, depending on traffic. It could be that you just want to laze on the beach for a few hours, and who are we to stop you?

First of all, it’s a very, very long beach, so not just a name. Technically, it’s divided into a number of them: from the north-west corner, it’s Alamitos Beach (wide, flat sand, gentle waves); Junipero Beach (lined with palm trees, somewhat bordered by a parking lot, but close to Bixby Park with playgrounds and picnic areas); and City Beach (sort of a combination of both).

In the southeast corner, where East Ocean Boulevard meets 39th, there’s the triple threat of Mediterranean grill, Mexican food, and the Belmont Brewery, all pretty much right on the sand, and if that doesn’t make it a better option than airport dining , I don’t. I don’t know what is.

Speaking of…

Get something to eat

This part of the world is known for good food, so treat yourself. In a relatively small space, you’ll find Korean, Mexican, Filipino, Peruvian, Cambodian, and Mediterranean fare, as well as classic American fare like burgers and barbecue.

In the 4th Street Corridor alone, you’ll find places like VBurger (plant-based burgers, breakfast sandwiches, and quesadillas, with a vegan creperie next door); the bright, cheerful Social List tavern with its outdoor terrace; Gusto bread for early pastries, baguettes and cookies; and Scholb Premium Ales for craft beer and reasonably priced bar food. Stop at any of these, or quickly grab a taco, burrito, or a slice or two of pizza and continue your journey.

Car Rentals

Wayfarers Chapel — ShutterstockWayfarers Chapel — Shutterstock

If you want to explore a little further, Long Beach Airport offers car rental for shorter periods with the obvious option to return it at the airport when you’re done. This gives you much more freedom to see the surroundings.

About half an hour southwest of the airport is the Forrestal Nature Reserve, a pretty stretch of coast with gentle trails to viewpoints, while the even more scenic Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve is just about 15 minutes further around the headland. Between the two, you’ll pass the Wayfarers Chapel, a unique wood and glass church designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, in the late 1940s. It’s beautiful, and the church and its three and a half acres of landscaped grounds are worth your time.

Korean Friendship Bell under its pagoda - ShutterstockKorean Friendship Bell — Shutterstock

If you retrace your steps, San Pedro is home to a few more interesting curiosities: Fort Macarthur, a former military battery that guarded the Port of Los Angeles from 1914 to 1974, is now a museum dedicated to the history of the US Navy and US Air Force dedicated to the World Wars and Campaigns of the American Pacific Theater; and, in a beautiful juxtaposition, the Korean Friendship Bell, a historic bell housed under a beautifully ornate pagoda, was a gift from South Korea in 1976.

nature in the city

Do you think everything is city here? Well, you’re not quite right. If you know where to look, there are little nests of nature everywhere… sort of.

The Signal Hill area may be totally suburban, but downtown there’s… well, of course there’s a hill overlooking the harbor and out to sea, and even downtown LA on a clear day. Notably, it’s also just a local bus ride from the airport.

As is the El Dorado Nature Center just 20 minutes away on the number 104. This is a 105-acre haven of peace and tranquility for a variety of animal and plant species, with two and a half miles of hiking trails that wind around a few lakes, a creek and through wooded areas. You enter via a wooden bridge and you are immediately somewhere else, somewhere quiet, green and peaceful. The visitor center has exhibits about the history of the park and area, a small gift shop, and an art gallery.

You can also learn about marine life down at the waterfront at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Sharks, jellyfish, sea otters, turtles, all kinds of fish and other creatures native to this stretch of coast and the deeper waters of the ocean can be seen here. You can also take a tour to learn about the aquarium’s conservation programs or visit the special area where baby animals and rescued animals can play and recover. Awww!

Other attractions

Front of the Queen Mary ship — ShutterstockExplore the Giant Ship Queen Mary — Shutterstock

From the waterfront down to the Belmont Shore, the beach offers not only a long stretch of beach, but also some interesting tourist attractions – namely the three-story Long Beach Museum of Art with works by local Southern California artists and the Queen Maria. This massive liner was built in the 1930s and is now a hotel, but you can take one of the many tours through its sumptuous art deco interior, below decks to the engine rooms, learn about the history of the Cunard Line…or , by night, a ghost tour of places not normally open to the public.

Otherwise, the boardwalk east of Belmont Shore offers playgrounds, a roller rink, kayak rentals, and other sporting facilities, while heading northwest brings you to shops, more restaurants, and the long Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

Whatever you do, be mindful of the time as you will need to be back at the airport with plenty of wiggle room, especially if you need to re-check your bags. The above travel times can of course vary greatly depending on traffic conditions, so bear that in mind.

But by traveling with Self transfer from – meaning you can roam freely wherever you want during a stopover instead of being stuck in the airport – the city opens up and you can take advantage of what’s out there.

So make the most of your Long Beach layover – an extra vacation you never thought of!

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