Hidden Gems of Long Beach State

Story and photos by Jacob Ybarra

At over 300 acres, Long Beach State’s campus is massive, especially when you consider its urban setting. With most students being honed in on a direct and efficient path towards their classes and with such a large area of land to cover, it is expected that a large portion of campus would see little to no foot traffic.  

This is unfortunate, as I believe that some of our campus' most beautiful locations are tucked away, off the beaten path from the rest of the campus.

For that reason, let us take the road less traveled and admire the beauty and serenity that our campus offers.

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

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I’m always surprised at how many students I run into who have yet to visit the Japanese garden, or have even heard of it for that matter. The funny thing is that it is one of the most peaceful places on the entire campus. Dedicated in 1981 and located across from Lot G4 in lower campus, the Japanese garden offers visitors a true escape from the remainder of campus. The towering trees and gentle waterfall provide the perfect setting, whether you wish to gather your thoughts, sketch out some doodles or simply relax. There’s an added bonus, you can even feed the koi fish.  

Bob Cole Conservatory of Music

Located on the north end of campus, between the Walter Pyramid and parking lot G12, is the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. Unless you’re a music major, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever taken the time to walk through it. Whether you enter from the rolling green hills from the west or the serpentine pathways from the east, once you enter the central pavilion, you are greeted with the charming sound of a musical symphony as music majors use the outdoor area to practice their skills. Some other highlights of the area include the 61 soundproof practice rooms available to students as well as the Dance Center located just behind the music conservatory.  

The Arts

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Finally at the southern end of campus lies the Fine Arts along with the Theater Arts buildings. I have always felt that for being so close to the mainstream parts of campus, these locations still seem so secluded. Ironically, one could easily avoid most of the congestion moving from the library to the student union building, by taking a detour through the art departments. From the interwoven trees that surround the Theater Arts Buildings, creating a grotto like shaded area, to the pathway following Fine Arts 1 to 4, where a number of enclosed student art displays can be found. For anyone traveling through this side of campus, it offers both a peaceful escape and an efficient way to travel around campus.  

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