Long Beach’s Walkable Convention Center and Downtown

If you’re coming to Long Beach for a convention you’ll soon discover that not only does the city offer a lot to do, but a lot to do near the Convention Center. Like steps away. We know because we counted. Here’s how few steps it will take you to get to some of the city’s hottest spots. (Be advised: these numbers are based on the gait of a 5-foot-8 individual, your mileage may vary.) OK, let’s get to steppin’!


On and around Pine Avenue Pier you’ll find some of the city’s most popular restaurants and attractions, from seafood landmark Gladstone’s to Harbor Breeze Cruises to the Aquarium of the Pacific. This short trek couldn’t be any simpler. From the Convention Center’s main entrance head down the stairs and then left on Pine Avenue. You’ll soon cross Shoreline Drive and continue straight until you’re at the pier, which is bordered by Gladstone’s. If you turn right and walk about a minute–maybe less–you’ll come upon Harbor Breeze, with its twice daily whale watching tours, and the Aquarium.


When you get to this hub of Long Beach nightlife you’ll find all manner of great things to do within a block or two; great food and great fun, from underground tiki bars to heart pumping flamenco shows. And getting there is easy. Head out the Convention Center side entrance and walk straight until Ocean Boulevard, turn left and you’ll be at Pine almost immediately. Cross Ocean and you’ll soon be at the Broadway-Pine nexus, with all manner of restaurants, clubs, bars and retail shops nearby.


This is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, offering great dining, shopping and family options like an arcade and bike rentals. Head out the center’s main entrance, down the stairs and turn left on Pine Avenue. You’ll soon cross Shoreline Drive and then turn left and walk for a minute to arrive at the Shoreline Village entrance. Stroll by such popular restaurants as Parkers' Lighthouse and Tequila Jack’s, as well as great shopping for everything from souvenirs to pet gifts. Rent a bike at Wheel Fun Rentals and you can be cruising along the beach in no time.


Located just off the main downtown drag is the city’s arts district featuring a broad swath of cool wine bars, hip boutiques and shops as well as restaurants and an underground hotspot you may recognize from the movies. Head out of the center’s side entrance, then right through the flower- and fauna-laden Rainbow Bridge. At the Long Beach Terrace Theater, turn left, head to Ocean Boulevard then head right. Make a left at Linden and just like that you’re getting arty! Check out murals and galleries along with such popular hangouts as District Wine, Thai District and Blind Donkey, a subterranean whiskey bar that got its close up in the movie “La La Land.”


If you have a hankering to feel the sand beneath your feet, Alamitos Beach is the nearest to the Convention Center. There on a lovely beach you’ll find the amazing Gaucho Beach restaurant. To get there, head from the side entrance, turn right at Rainbow Bridge and then turn left when you reach the Long Beach Terrace Theater. Turn right at Ocean Boulevard and walk a few blocks until crossing over Alamitos Boulevard. When you reach the other side, immediately turn right and descend the stairs to the Alamitos Beach parking lot. You’ll see the beach to your left and Gaucho Beach straight ahead, serving its great mix of Argentine and California cuisine–not to mention a bunch of terrific cocktails.

About the Author
Steve Lowery
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