Bordering the Pacific Ocean on Southern California's coastline, Long Beach welcomes meetings and conventions with open arms. With over 5,000 hotel rooms and the versatile Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center that is one of the few true waterfront meeting facilities in the nation, Long Beach ups the ante by having a world-class special event venue, a shopping and entertainment complex and 100 restaurants all within walking distance of the meetings center.
With more than 400,000 square feet, two theaters, a grand ballroom, 34 meeting rooms and a 13,500-seat arena, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center has plenty of space for trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, receptions and more. The center also has Wi-Fi, catering, an on-site audio-visual provider and a full-service concierge desk.
But the convention center is just the first option among many Long Beach venues to consider. Next door, The Aquarium of the Pacific, the fifth-largest in the nation has event packages for as many as 3,000 guests. Several Long Beach hotels, attractions and restaurants double as some of the city's most unique event venues.
Hotel venues in Long Beach range from large luxury properties, like the waterfront Hyatt Regency Long Beach (adjacent to the convention Center) and Renaissance Long Beach (across the street) to chic boutiques like the recently opened Hotel Maya - A DoubleTree by Hilton. Farther inland, the Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center is an IACC-certified conference center. Across the breakwater, what was once considered the grandest ship ever built, The Queen Mary, is now docked in Long Beach's harbor. A stunning Art Deco ocean liner, the Queen Mary is a one-stop venue for events, offering accommodations, restaurants and 80,000 square feet of function space. Restored and open to the public, its 12 decks are brimming with shops, exhibits and more. Groups can take a ghost tour, enjoy a dinner theater show or even sleep aboard (the ship has 314 guest rooms).
As the sun sets over the harbor, Long Beach restaurants, bars and performance venues keep the fun going. The city has more than 100 restaurants in the downtown area alone, ranging from boisterous sports bars to romantic hideaways, from international to classic American fare. Thanks to their coastal location, many Long Beach restaurants specialize in fresh fish and seafood, including The Crab Pot Restaurant, Gladstone's and The Reef Restaurant. After dinner, guests can enjoy Broadway shows, live entertainment, musicals and more at venues such as the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts and International City Theatre.
Browse all Los Angeles event venues
Located on the Pacific Coast about 20 miles south of Los Angeles, Long Beach is the sixth largest city in California. Known for its mild climate, sunny skies and laid-back attitude, Long Beach is easily recognized even by those who have not visited the city itself. The city has been a set for scenes in movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Gone in 60 Seconds and American Pie and TV shows such as Glee. CSI: Miami has frequently used the city as a substitute for Miami, as its Art Deco architecture and port status give it a passing resemblance.
Long Beach is just as appealing in real life as it appears on the big screen. In fact, an impressive five million visitors travel to Long Beach each year looking to take advantage of its world-class museums and galleries, waterfront attractions and, of course, beautiful scenery. To soak up the setting, guests can enjoy a harbor or whale-watching cruise or hop aboard the Catalina Express to nearby Catalina Island, popular for its quaint shops and restaurants and dramatic views. For a something a little more out of the ordinary, visitors can take an authentic Venetian gondola ride through the waterways of Naples Island.
Back on land, Long Beach offers a number of museums, art galleries and performance venues that delight guests young and old. The Aquarium of the Pacific, the fifth-largest in the nation, is home to over 11,000 animals spread across 19 habitats and 32 exhibits. Visit the Museum of Latin American Art, the only facility of its kind in the Western United States, or the Long Beach Museum of Art, whose historic location atop the bluffs overlooking Long Beach Harbor could inspire art of its own.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Long Beach has a Mediterranean climate with relatively mild temperatures throughout the year thanks to its Pacific Ocean-side locale. Its average annual temperature is 65°F, with average highs of 75°F and lows of 55°F. It sees an about 13 inches of rain per year and 36 rainy days, most of which occur during the winter months of December through March.
Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center offers more than 400,000 square feet of event space, two theaters, an arena and 34 meeting rooms, not to mention an ideal location right on the waterfront. It's also conveniently situated within walking distance to hotels, restaurants and attractions via a pedestrian promenade.
Perfect for large conventions and conferences, the center's exhibition space is divisible into three areas, while the grand ballroom offers nearly 20,500 square feet of space, or room for up to 2,000 guests, making it perfect for dinners and receptions. In addition, the center's arena seats 13,500 guests and offers 46,000 square feet of exhibit space. In keeping with the city's seaside location, this eye-catching venue is also covered in an enormous mural titled "Planet Ocean," representing various marine life.
The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center offers catering by SAVOR…Long Beach, which can provide custom menus for up to 13,500 guests. The center's rooms are also well-equipped with audio-visual technology.
John Wayne Airport (SNA)
Approximate taxi fare: $60 USD
Located just over 20 miles from Long Beach, the John Wayne Airport is known as the gateway to Orange County, serving roughly nine million passengers per year. The airport offers non-stop service to over 15 destinations in the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Houston and Minneapolis.
John Wayne Airport is currently undergoing several improvement projects to meet growing demand. Projects included the construction of a new multi-level, 282,000-square-foot Terminal C, six new bridged aircraft gates and a new parking structure that, upon completion, will have room for over 3,000 vehicles.
The airport has several fast food and full-service eateries as well as a number of gift shops and newsstands. Parking is available in a valet lot, terminal lots and a temporary Parking Lot C, which offers shuttle service to the terminal. Parking is set at $2 per hour. Terminal parking is a maximum $20 per day and Parking Lot C charges up to $17 per day. The John Wayne Airport can also be reached via the Orange County Transportation Authority's 472 and 473 bus routes.
Airline carriers serving John Wayne Airport
In operation since 1963, Long Beach Transit offers reliable, air-conditioned transportation through the city with connections to Los Angeles, Norwalk, Carson and other neighboring cities. LB Transit has 38 routes, many of which run seven days a week. In addition, it offers four Passport buses (A, B, C and D) throughout downtown to sites such 4th Street's Retro Row, The Queen Mary and Shoreline Drive. Many Passport routes are free. Regular bus fare is $1.25. A regular day pass is $4, and a regular five-day pass is $18.
Also available are the LB Transit's AquaLink and AquaBus, which ferry passengers to popular attractions around the Long Beach waterfront. Fare is $5 for AquaLink, a catamaran for up to 75 passengers, and $1 for AquaBus, a boat for up to 49 passengers.
Operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Metro Rail system's blue line runs north-south from Long Beach City Hall to downtown Los Angeles. Regular base fare is $1.25. Day passes, good for local travel all day, are $5. Tickets for the Metro rail system are purchased prior to boarding from self-service ticket vending machines.
Long Beach area airports have several on-site and off-site rental car companies. Popular on-site companies include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National serve Long Beach Airport's Rental Car Center, which is accessible by shuttle. At Los Angeles International, travelers can use courtesy shuttles offered by 10 of the airport's 40 rental car agencies for direct access to agency pick up. Rental counters can be found at the arrivals level between Terminals A and B at John Wayne Airport.
Travelers can use taxi service from each of the Long Beach area airports to downtown. Fares are about $10-15 from Long Beach Airport; around $75 from Los Angeles International Airport; and about $60 from John Wayne Airport.
Photo Credits : Destinations Magazine Pine Avenue Lasers
Long Beach, California: The Urban Waterfront Playground
Long Beach combines “big-city vogue” with the laid-back friendly attitude of a small beach town. The compact downtown waterfront sets a new target for “walkability.” Within eight square blocks, visitors will find quality accommodations, shopping, world-class attractions, entertainment and over 100 restaurants serving cuisines from around the world.
Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, Pike at Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Village, plus four distinctive museums and two historic ranchos. The city also lives up to its name and is a water sport paradise with over eleven miles of sandy beachfront, inland waterways and bays.
Getting to Long Beach has never been easier with service from three major airports. LAX and Orange County Airports are less than 30 minutes away and Long Beach Airport is just seven minutes from downtown. Recently completed, Long Beach Airport underwent a $140 million modernization project to include an upgraded concourse, concessions and passenger lounges, complete with a wine bar and fire pits.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.