Discover the Best Free Things to Do in Long Beach

Long Beach, California, is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors and locals alike. However, exploring the city can quickly become expensive, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Thankfully, Long Beach has plenty of free things to do that won’t break the bank.

Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply taking in the local sights, there’s something for everyone.

From strolling along Junipero Beach to admiring the murals in the city, Long Beach is a treasure trove of free activities. You can explore the city’s history by visiting landmarks like the Queen Mary or the Long Beach Museum of Art, or take a leisurely walk through the picturesque canals of Naples Island.

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, there are plenty of free parks and beaches to explore, such as Bixby Park and Alamitos Beach. And if you’re looking for something a little more unique, you can even attend a free yoga class or check out the vintage cars at the Belmont Shore Car Show.

Beaches and Waterfront

Long Beach is known for its miles of beautiful beaches and stunning waterfront. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand or enjoy some water activities, there’s something for everyone.

Beaches

There are several beaches in Long Beach, and the best part is that they’re all free! City Beach is a popular spot for families, with gentle waves and warm waters that are perfect for swimming. Alamitos Beach is another great option, with volleyball courts and a bike path nearby.

If you’re looking for something a little more secluded, head to Junipero Beach. This beach is located at the end of a long bike path and is perfect for a peaceful day by the water.

Waterfront

The Long Beach Waterfront is a must-see for any visitor. With over 11 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty to explore. Take a stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the views of the ocean.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, there are plenty of water activities to try. Paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing are all popular options. You might even spot some dolphins swimming in the water!

For a unique experience, head to the Aquarium of the Pacific. This aquarium is located right on the waterfront and is home to over 11,000 animals. It’s a great way to learn more about the marine life in the area.

Overall, Long Beach’s beaches and waterfront are a must-see for any visitor. With plenty of activities to enjoy, it’s the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway.

Parks and Gardens

Long Beach is home to a variety of parks and gardens that offer visitors a chance to enjoy fresh air, outdoor activities, and beautiful scenery. Whether you’re looking for a place to have a picnic, hike, or see farm animals, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the top parks and gardens to check out in Long Beach:

Parks

  • Rosie’s Dog Beach: This off-leash dog beach is a popular spot for dog owners to bring their furry friends for a day of fun in the sun. With lifeguards on duty during the summer months, it’s a safe place for dogs to swim and play.
  • Colorado Lagoon: This park offers visitors a chance to see a variety of wildlife, including birds and fish. There are also hiking trails and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy.
  • El Dorado East Regional Park: This park is the largest in Long Beach and offers visitors a chance to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking, and picnicking. There’s even a nature center with docents available to answer questions and provide information about the park.

Gardens

  • Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden: This 1.3-acre garden is designed in a Japanese motif and features a koi pond and tea house. It’s a popular venue for weddings and other special events.
  • Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens: This historic ranch features gardens that showcase the flora and fauna of Southern California. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the history of the ranch and the plants that grow there.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy nature or get some exercise, Long Beach has plenty of parks and gardens to choose from.

Art and Culture

Long Beach is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene that offers plenty of free activities for visitors to enjoy. From museums to art galleries, there’s something for everyone.

Museums

The Long Beach Museum of Art is a must-visit for art lovers. While the museum charges admission, visitors can take advantage of free admission on Fridays by booking tickets online in advance. The museum showcases local art and is a great place to relax and enjoy the artistic vibe.

Another museum worth visiting is the Museum of Latin American Art, which offers free admission on Sundays. This museum features a diverse collection of contemporary and modern Latin American art, as well as educational programs and events.

Art Galleries

The East Village Arts District is a great place to explore Long Beach’s art scene. The district is home to several art galleries, including the MADE by Millworks gallery, which showcases the work of local artists. Visitors can also take a self-guided art walk through the district to discover new artists and galleries.

For a unique art experience, check out the murals and street art throughout Long Beach. The city is home to several murals and installations, including the “Long Beach Mural Mile,” a collection of murals that stretch over 2 miles throughout the city.

In conclusion, Long Beach offers a diverse range of free art and culture activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in museums or art galleries, there’s something for everyone.

Shopping and Dining

Long Beach is a great place to explore local shopping, dining, and entertainment. The city has a vibrant downtown area, which is packed with shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. Here are some of the best places to check out:

Shops

Long Beach has a variety of shops that cater to different tastes and interests. Even if you don’t have the money, window shopping is terrific! Some of the best places to shop include:

  • The Pike Outlets: This is a great place to find deals on name-brand clothing, shoes, and accessories. The outlets are located in a beautiful outdoor setting, which makes for a pleasant shopping experience.
  • Local Vendors: Long Beach has a thriving local vendor scene, with many artisans and craftspeople selling their wares. Check out the Thursday Night Market for a great selection of handmade goods.
  • Long Beach Antique Market: This market is held on the third Sunday of every month and is a great place to find vintage clothing, furniture, and other unique items.

Restaurants

Long Beach is known for its diverse culinary scene, with many great restaurants serving up delicious food from around the world. If you have a few bucks, the try some of the best places to eat include:

  • The Attic: This restaurant is known for its Southern-inspired comfort food, including chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, and fried chicken.
  • Nick’s on 2nd: This restaurant serves up classic American fare, including burgers, salads, and sandwiches. The restaurant also has a great selection of craft beers and cocktails.
  • Roe Seafood: This restaurant specializes in fresh seafood, including oysters, sushi, and ceviche. The restaurant also has a great selection of wines and cocktails.

Bars

Long Beach has a vibrant bar scene, with many great places to grab a drink and socialize with friends. Some of the best bars include:

  • The Blind Donkey: This bar has a great selection of whiskey and other spirits, as well as craft beers and cocktails. The bar also has a shuffleboard table and other games. You don’t have to drink to have fun here!
  • The Stache: This bar has a vintage speakeasy vibe, with classic cocktails and a cozy atmosphere. The bar also hosts live music and other events.
  • The Harbor: This bar is located on the waterfront and has a great selection of beers and cocktails. The bar also has a large outdoor seating area with views of the harbor.

Cafes

Long Beach has many great cafes where you can grab a coffee, tea, or snack. Some of the best cafes include:

  • Portfolio Coffeehouse: This cafe has a cozy atmosphere and serves up delicious coffee and pastries. The cafe also hosts art shows and other events.
  • Rose Park Roasters: This cafe specializes in small-batch coffee roasting and serves up delicious coffee and espresso drinks. The cafe also has a great selection of pastries and other baked goods.
  • Wide Eyes Open Palms: This cafe serves up delicious coffee and tea, as well as healthy and organic food options. The cafe also hosts yoga classes and other events.

Activities and Entertainment

Long Beach offers a variety of free activities and entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. From biking to kayaking, walking paths to amusement parks, there is something for everyone.

Biking

Long Beach is a bike-friendly city with many bike paths and trails. Visitors can rent a bike or bring their own to explore the city. Some popular biking options include the beach bike path, the Shoreline Bike Path, or the Belmont Shore Bike Path.

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

For those who enjoy being on the water, kayaking and paddle boarding are great options. Visitors can kayak or paddle board and explore the Naples Canals or Queensway Bay. It’s a fun and unique way to see the city from a different perspective.

Walking and Biking Paths

Long Beach has many walking and biking paths for visitors to enjoy. The Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path is a popular choice, offering beautiful views of the ocean and city. The East Village Arts District is another great option, with many art galleries and murals to see along the way.

Amusement Park

The Pike Outlets is a popular destination for families with children. It features an amusement park with rides and games, as well as many shops and restaurants to explore.

Laugh Factory

For those looking for some entertainment, the Laugh Factory in Long Beach offers free comedy shows on Wednesdays. It’s a great way to spend an evening and enjoy some laughs.

Overall, Long Beach offers a wide variety of free activities and entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to bike, kayak, or just explore the city on foot, there is something for everyone.