Local Tours—pre-registration required!
Thursday, March 29
12:00-2:00 pm Toxic Tour of Long Beach, led by Taylor Thomas, Research and Policy Analyst for East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice Please join us for an exploration of polluting facilities cited in environmental justice communities through a ‘Toxic Tour’. We will discuss environmental racism, issues of land use and zoning, and community-generated solutions, among other things. Tour will be by bus. Maximum 50 participants. Suggested donation $10 regular/$5 students. Meet in the main lobby of the hotel, by the front door. (And don’t miss the information session 10:15-11:45 am, to learn about Health Equity and Environmental Justice work in Long Beach by Building Healthy Communities and East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice)
6:00-7:30 pm Harbor Tour of Long Beach, led by Mario Gonzalez of the Port of Long Beach See Long Beach from the sea at sunset time! Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages provided. Bring light jacket, arrive at least 10 minutes prior to sailing at Dock 2, Rainbow Harbor, next to the Aquarium of the Pacific (8-10 minute, .5 mile walk from the conference hotel). Free—but you must pre-register! Maximum 70 participants.
The Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau offers lots of information about things to do in Long Beach. PSA attendees can use their “Show Your Badge” program to get good discounts at many local attractions, including the Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific. You can pick up information pamphlets, etc., from the PSA registration area.
Long Beach offers a free downtown shuttle bus, the Passport. Public transportation is also available from LAX and Long Beach Airport to very near the conference hotel. The conference hotel is located right on the waterfront, downtown Long Beach–with lots of restaurants, shops, and more within close walking distance.
Here is more information from the CVB:
Welcome to Today’s Long Beach
Settled along five-and-a-half miles of sandy coastline, Long Beach is the quintessential vacation getaway, boasting both the ambience of a sophisticated urban center and the charm of a seaside community. Located 20 miles south of Los Angeles, California’s seventh largest city offers visitors a dynamic range of oceanfront hotels, attractions, shopping, recreational activities, art and culture, restaurants and nightly entertainment that make it an ideal destination for any time of the year.
Long Beach has emerged as a community full of matchless neighborhoods and cultural diversity. Located just a mile down Ocean Boulevard is the seaside community of Belmont Shore, which features Second Street, a shopper’s mecca and premier location for outdoor dining and people watching. Tucked behind Belmont Shore is one of the city’s most romantic destinations, Naples Island, where Italian-style gondoliers cruise along the canals lined with picturesque, million-dollar homes. Alamitos Bay is just past Belmont Shore offering waterfront dining and views of rows and rows of sailboats. Downtown Long Beach is a perfect blend of sophisticated urban center and charming seaside community, and is filled with a myriad of entertainment choices. For more international flavors, visitors can discover the city’s historic Spanish roots in Bixby Knolls or experience Cambodia Town, the prevalent community along Anaheim Street that has been recognized as one of the largest Cambodian communities in the world.
Discover the city’s best known attractions, which range from a historic ocean liner to a sustainable aquarium. One of the most recognized attraction in Long Beach, The Queen Mary, is one of the world’s most luxurious ships to sail the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean liner also features a 314-stateroom hotel and several fine restaurants. Visitors can explore this majestic ship from the wheelhouse to the engine room before braving the Queen’s current attraction, Ghosts and Legends. During this haunted tour, a guide leads brave guests through parts of the Queen Mary that were previously off-limits while the attraction produces floods, flashing lights, and ghostly experiences. Visitors can also explore the mystique of the Soviet submarine Scorpion, which is moored adjacent to the Queen Mary.
For a face-to-fish encounter visit the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, a world-class facility that is home to more than 11,000 inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean representing some 500 different species. It also has numerous areas where visitors can touch the animals of the ocean like sting rays, sea cucumbers, starfish and more. Explorer’s Cove features Lorikeet Forest where these colorful and friendly miniature parrots can be hand-fed by visitors. Also in Explorer’s Cove is Shark Lagoon, where nine species of shark can be viewed from both above and below water. Visitors can actually touch several of the shark species in special touch lagoons. The new Molina Animal Care Center offers enhanced healthcare to animals as well as opportunities for guests to view veterinary medicine in action.
A short walk from the Aquarium along picturesque Rainbow Harbor, you’ll find two exciting entertainment/dining/shopping complexes—Shoreline Village and The Pike at Rainbow Harbor. Shoreline Village has the look and feel of a charming seaside fishing village, with a boardwalk of specialty and souvenir shops and restaurants. The Pike at Rainbow Harbor is Long Beach’s newest attraction, a 300,000+ square foot entertainment center with shops, restaurants and a multi-plex movie theater. Rainbow Harbor itself is home to boats of all types, including fishing boats, tall ships, luxury charter yachts, harbor tour boats, pleasure craft and even a replica Mississippi stern wheeler.
Just minutes from downtown Long Beach rest several other interesting attractions that will suit visitors of all ages. These “must-sees” include Alamitos Bay, a waterfront dining and entertainment area; Gondola Getaway along the canals of Naples Island; and Ranchos Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos, two historic parks featuring acres of beautiful gardens and authentic adobes.
Long Beach’s five-and-a-half miles of sandy beaches and pleasant climate make it the ultimate year-round playground. Winding along the beach are smooth, wide paths perfect for biking, rollerblading, running or romantic strolls. Visitors can dive right into a variety of watersports such as kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, sportfishing, scuba diving and jetskiing. Everything from rollerblades to wetsuits, jetskis to windsurfing equipment, can be rented at various places along the beach. Day and night harbor cruises are also available, offering beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.
Each year, from late December to mid-April, visitors can witness the awe-inspiring migration of more than 15,000 Pacific grey whales passing through Long Beach on their way to their breeding and berthing grounds in Mexico. Whale watching excursions are available through several companies.
Long Beach offers an eclectic array of shopping options, from antiques to retail centers. On Broadway in the East Village, visitors will discover antique shops, art galleries and rare books. Mid-town’s “Funky” Fourth Street, between Cherry and Junipero, has been dubbed as the Retro Wear Capital of Southern California—a vintage clothing hound’s dream. Shoppers will also be delighted to find several art stores featuring original works. For the mainstream shopper, Long Beach has several retail centers including Los Altos Market Center, Marina Pacifica, Long Beach Marketplace and the Long Beach Towne Center. Downtown’s CityPlace and Belmont Shore’s Second Street are also great shopping venues filled with blocks of specialty and retail shops.
Art and Culture
From award-winning drama and cutting-edge opera to historic museums, visitors will enjoy an exciting range of artistic expressions that comprise the city’s rich heritage. Long Beach is home to a number of impressive museums, including the Museum of Latin American Art (MoLAA), the only museum in the country to focus exclusively on the contemporary art of Mexico, Central and South America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. In addition, the Long Beach Museum of Art includes the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson house and carriage house (built in 1912), oceanfront gardens and a pavilion with two floors of expansive gallery space for changing exhibitions. Visitors can also explore the city’s unique galleries in the thriving East Village arts community, listen to a renowned symphony orchestra or watch a play from a variety of first-class performing arts companies.
Dining and Nightly Entertainment
When it’s time to dine, Long Beach offers visitors hundreds of options from intimate cafes to spectacular oceanfront restaurants. Visitors can nosh on fried green tomatoes in a restored 1920s California Bungalow, dive into a table full of seafood along Alamitos Bay or feast in a historic bank building complete with teller cages. Sample a world of cuisines right in this International City from Italian to Cambodian.
No other community in Southern California is as visitor friendly as Long Beach–and getting here is easy. Fly directly into the Long Beach Airport (LGB) on Alaska Air, Delta, JetBlue Airways and US Airways. Direct flights are available to many major cities, including New York, Washington DC, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago and more. If you prefer to fly into Los Angeles (LAX) or Orange County (SNA), Long Beach is just a short 25-minute drive from either airport. While in town, the Passport local shuttle service offers complimentary transportation to all of downtown Long Beach’s most popular attractions including the Aquarium, Queen Mary, Shoreline Village and Pine Avenue. For just $1.25, the Passport can transport visitors down to Belmont Shores/Naples and Cal State Long Beach.
In addition, water taxi service is offered by the Aquabus, and can transport guests across the water to Shoreline Village, the Aquarium, or the Queen Mary. The Aqualink is a high-speed catamaran water taxi from downtown to Alamitos Bay. For your convenience, friendly downtown guides dressed in blue “Long Beach” shirts, blue caps and khaki pants are stationed in a 40-block area and help visitors find restaurants, shops and attractions.
The Long Beach area boasts more than 5,000 rooms citywide from a variety of properties including luxury hotels, intimate bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels. Many hotels offer panoramic ocean and city views at affordable prices while others feature notable characteristics from international treasures to world class restaurants. If you’re looking for an easy and affordable getaway, you can book a Long Beach getaway that includes accommodations and tickets to area attractions and nearby Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. To plan your Long Beach experience, log onto www.visitlongbeach.com.
About Long Beach, Calif.
Long Beach is a refreshing mix of urban sophistication with the atmosphere of a beach resort. Offering affordable, big city amenities alongside the visitor friendly charm of a small town, visitors will find first-class accommodations, shopping, dining, notable attractions: The Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, seaside sightseeing along picturesque bays and 5 ½ miles of sandy beachfront. Day or night, convention or vacation, it’s the best of all worlds—right in the center of everything Southern California has to offer. To plan your visit to Long Beach, log onto www.visitlongbeach.com or call (800) 452-7829.