The state of California is dear to my heart. The I took my first steps, said my first words and even wrote my first story in the Golden state. I am a Californian and therefore I have to disapprove the notion that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hollywood and Wine country is all that California has to offer. California became a state on September 9, 1850. The state borders the Pacific ocean with a 900-mile stretch. One of the hidden places I love to escape to is Long Beach, California.
Willmore City was renamed to Long Beach in 1888 by its residents to honor its long and wide beaches. Growing up, I was confused because there was a sign saying welcome to Willmore City (Are we still in Southern California?). It is now considered the 1st Designated Historic District of Long Beach.
What is so cool about Long Beach is the fact that you have the busy city life and beautiful beaches, marinas and harbors all within one city. It truly is the Queen of Beaches. Therefore, you have so many options on things to do and places to visit. If you are pressed for time, I highly recommend visiting Rainbow Harbor and Marina. Located in the downtown area, the marina was originally developed in 1983 but the harbor and current marina wasn’t opened until 1995. The marina features 87 slips and 2 public docks. You can take riverboats, charter boats, cruises or even water taxis.
Rainbow Harbor is also known as The Fishbowl because it is surrounded by the Shoreline Village, a shopping village on the boardwalk of Rainbow harbor where you can find many shops and restaurants. You can find everything from seafood to high-end fashion designer stores.
A minimum of one day will allow you to explore all that the Rainbow Harbor and Marina has to offer. One of the main tourist attractions is the Rainbow Harbor lighthouse. It is located on the West edge of the marina and is not an actual lighthouse. It serves an an aesthetic pleasure for visitors to view. I was very mesmerized by it as it is an excellent place to snap a photo.
The harbor has something for everyone. I highly recommend taking your family to the Aquarium of the Pacific. This 5-acre non-profit public aquarium sees 1.5 million visitors each year. The exhibit features 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species. The main outdoor area called The Explorer’s Cove houses the Shark Lagoon. The Shark Lagoon is an exhibit of over 150 sharks and rays. The exhibit had so many sharks that I got nervous and left the exhibit early (I can’t take any chances!).
Right next door to the Aquarium of the Pacific is the Shoreline Aquatic Park. This Aquatic park is the park area between Long Beach Arena and Downtown Shoreline Marina. It is an amazing spot to hang out and enjoy that perfect California weather. I had a deep conversation with my little brother about life here. The atmosphere here is very tranquil and I also found myself meditating here and at the Boardwalk.
Oftentimes, when you think of California, the first places that come to mind are Los Angeles, Hollywood, and San Francisco. However, the sunshine state has so much more to offer. Explore Long Beach and other parts of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area today.
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