Long Beach, California, United States of America
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Long Beach Hotels

Its name says it all. Long Beach is a place of seaside distractions and maritime atmosphere, a haven to soak up the sun while the ships and boats come and go. And apart from its enviable position on the cusp of the Pacific Ocean, this city in Los Angeles County has attractions aplenty. Many can be found at the Pike at Rainbow Harbor, a self-enclosed entertainment quarter brimming with bars and restaurants, as well as a good old-fashioned Ferris wheel. Look beyond and there's plenty more to see on this West Coast hotspot.

Things to see

Stroking sharks isn't generally advisable, but you can reach out and do just that at the Aquarium of the Pacific. One of the most popular family attractions in Long Beach, it features its very own "Shark Lagoon" where more than 150 sharks glide through turquoise waters. As well as getting close enough to look right in the eyes of these ominous predators, you'll also be beguiled by a host of other awesome animals – there's even a special crawl-in space so visitors can get right up next to the penguins. More passive pleasures await at the Long Beach Museum of Art, which exhibits paintings from across the epochs, while the most iconic exhibition space in the whole city is the Queen Mary. Once the most lavish ocean liner on the high seas, it's now permanently docked here. You can tour the decks, find out about the ghosts that apparently haunt its corridors, and take high tea in the traditional British manner. Another must-visit is the district known as Naples, which consists of islands run through by rippling canals. You can even go on gondola rides along these waterways – there's no more idyllic way to enjoy the Californian sun.

Hotels in Long Beach

This being Los Angeles, there are certainly no shortage of hotels in Long Beach. And they tick every conceivable box. If you're here with work on your mind, you can use free WiFi in guestrooms and public spaces to your heart's content, or make use of the convenient business and meeting facilities that many hotels have. Meanwhile, couples and families on vacation can enjoy swimming pools, spa facilities, and on-site bars and restaurants. With every whim catered for, you'll want to stay in Long Beach as long as possible.

Where to stay

It's the waterfront that makes this part of Los Angeles County such a popular vacation destination. So it's no surprise to find that many hotels in Long Beach are right there, arrayed and gleaming over the lapping waves of the wide blue Pacific. That's not to say you're limited to that neck of the woods, though. If you'd prefer to make a base away from the thronging crowds of the beach areas, you can head inland and find plenty of hotels there, including a cluster right by Long Beach Airport that are ideally placed if you're just making a flying visit.

How to get to Long Beach

The most conveniently placed arrival point if you're jetting into the area is Long Beach Airport, which is just minutes from the downtown area by car or bus. It caters to flights to and from cities such as Las Vegas and New York. A bigger range of destinations is available via Los Angeles International Airport, although that is further away. You can get from central LA to Long Beach on the Metro Blue Line rail service, although the done thing here is really to drive your own vehicle, so hiring one is the best possible option.

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