long beach

Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 06:56 AM
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megsterl
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long beach

going to long beach in february to go on a cruise, but ia m going to be there for two days prior to the cruise, any suggestions about what i should do??? dinner events ect.. thinking about disney land, or claifornia adventure whats better???
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 08:03 AM
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Disneyland is much better than California Adventure. There is the Aquarium in Long Beach and some great restaurants.

Will you be alone or with family. WHat kinds of things do you like to do?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 08:05 AM
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Will you be staying in Long Beach? That's my hometown, and I love it, but you may want to spend those two days in a place with prettier ocean views like Huntington Beach or Newport Beach or Laguna Beach. These towns are all less than one hour from the Carnival cruiseship terminal, next to the Queen Mary in the old Sprucedome.

If you want to stay in LB itself, there are some good hotels in the downtown area, the Hyatt being probably the best bet (and a very nice Renaissance your second choice). The nicer neighborhoods in LB are not set up with great hotels, however.

Disneyland and CA Adventure are both within 30 minutes of LB in Anaheim. If you've been to Disneyworld, you probably don't need to see Disneyland other than for the sense of nostalgia (it WAS the original, after all). CA Adventure is fine for a visit, actually, although there are more rides in the other park.

Dinner events? For being as gritty and middle-class as it is, Long Beach has some good dining options. Sir Winston, on the Queen Mary, is a fine formal restaurant with good food and all that history surrounding you. For a classy dinner-and-dancing experience, the Sky Room, on top of the historic Breakers Hotel (now a retirement home-- that's why we all say "the historic...") is a top choice (and the grub's good too). If you like a dramatic room along with your chow, the Madison is great. Across the street, L'Opera offers lovely northern Italian specialties, a mind-blowing wine list (54 pages-- one item is a $1,950 1996 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon) and the occasional opera singer serenading you. Alegría is a tapas restaurant (little plates, Spanish-style) which frequently turns itself into a little tablao de flamenco. King's Pine Avenue Fish House is probably the best seafood place in the South Bay, and the same owners' 555 East serves up the best steaks in the area (the same people own the Water Grill in downtown LA and Ocean Ave Seafood in Santa Monica).

Head east to Belmont Heights and you'll find Lasher's (American food, served in a renovated Craftsman bungalow) and Christy's (superb Italian food, better than L'Opera, in a place run by Sonny Bono's oldest daughter). Frenchy's Bistro is an oddity: The highest-rated bistro-style French restaurant in southern California (Zagat), in a storefront on an industrial stretch of Anaheim Ave. Despite the sketchy surroundings, it gets a loyal area clientèle for good reason: Awesome food. In Belmont Shore, Shenandoah Café serves Southern and Southwestern comfort food in shabby-chic dining rooms.

However, if you don't spend your two days in LB, don't worry, I understand. If you'd like recos farther down the coast in Orange County, please let me know.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 08:11 AM
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rjw gives such excellent advise... I just want to add as a tourist who is a big history buff, the Queen Mary was just wonderful. I wandered around the old ship for a long time. It was basically empty when I stayed there (Tues-Thurs) and I tell ya, it just took me away from 2004.
I stayed in a big room which was NOT comparable to the Westin across the way but I stayed there for the experience and I was happy with the experience.
If it's you thing, spend time there... if it's not, that's ok too!
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Tx, you're very kind...! Staying on the Queen Mary is a fun option, true. If you accept that you're on an old oceanliner, and you won't get the amenities of today's luxury hotels with all their Mod-Cons and marble-lined 600-square-foot bathrooms and plasma TVs and bla bla bla. There is another fairly nice hotel heading toward the QM, but its name escapes me. I picked up a friend once who was staying there (in town from Dallas!), and it looked quite bearable.

Oh yeah-- if you do stay in downtown LB, the Pike entertainment complex is now pretty much in full swing. A GameWorks, a Laugh Factory (may not be open yet) and every mid-level chain restaurant you could want (including a PF Chang, which is actually quite good). The Aquarium of the Pacific is a short walk away. And Shoreline Village is a set of little shops and eateries designed to look like an ersatz New England fishing village or something. Whatever, but it's fun, and you can always walk by the Marina (pretty little park) after getting a yard of beer (250 on tap!) at the Yardhouse.
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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TTT
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Old Dec 4th, 2004, 10:19 AM
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megsterl
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thanks everyone!! iam staying at the westin and would love to visit the queen mary, how do i get there do i need to walk or taxi??? is it worth going on a night tour of la??? or should i stay right were i am and be in peace. Im so excited for your responses. thanks
 
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