Six must-see hidden gems of Long Beach
BY: LIA GIORADNO
Long Beach is known for its densely populated area and for being one of the largest cities in California, as well as the nation. We all know about the main attractions this big city has to offer, like the beautiful Aquarium of the Pacific and the ultimate nightlife experience at the Pike, but there are also many small, hidden gems that no one knows exist in this city. These six hidden gems of Long Beach are all must-see, so take the time to explore the city’s underrated scenery. EL DORADO NATURE CENTER TRAIL There is nature right in the middle of the city. This nature trail is exquisite and you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city life to enjoy this urban environment without having to leave town. The trail is two miles long with two lakes, forested areas and a stream inhabited by animal and plant life. Located by the 605 freeway and the San Gabriel River, this nature trail is an oasis. People can take hikes, get their workout done, sit down to read a book, and enjoy this center of nature.
NAPLES ISLAND Naples Island is a small, beautiful neighborhood hidden by Belmont Shore along Alamitos Bay that truly defines a calm and serene lifestyle for those who live in the area. All of the streets have Italian names, and the canals serve as transportation for the famous Gondola Rides, making you feel like you are in Italy. Not only does Naples Island have stunning homes, it is open to the public to rent beautiful gondolas and boat rides. You can also paddleboard or hydrobike through the whole island and enjoy the peaceful environment full of beautiful boats and houses. You don’t have to live in Naples to enjoy what this place has to offer because there are plenty of attractions you can enjoy year round.
QUEENSWAY BRIDGE As seen in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” “CSI Miami,” “Dexter,” and “NCIS,” this bridge is not only used for transportation, but is popular among the entertainment industry. The bridge is located by the Queen Mary, and is connected to Downtown Long Beach by The Pike. While it’s not the Brooklyn Bridge, it is pretty cool to see knowing that it has been used for many movies and TV shows.
RANCHO LOS ALAMITOS Rancho Los Alamitos is a 7.5-acre historical landmark full of significant, ancestral landscapes. It is the birthplace of the native people. You can take a tour of the village, ranch-styled houses and beautiful gardens that make up Rancho Los Alamitos and learn about the era of the Spanish and Mexican people during the farming and ranching time. There’s no reservation needed and it’s completely free. Just stop by for a 30-minute tour and explore what this site has to offer.
RETRO ROW Located on 4th Street between Cherry and Junipero, “Retro Row” is known for its creative and retro vibe. It has many vintage shops and a 1920’s-esque movie theater that is sure to make you feel like you are living in The Great Gatsby era. This street is very entertaining, boasting live entertainment, antique shops, bars, coffee shops, and salons. The district also has many art exhibition events and other fun activities. You can spend a whole day just exploring the street and its bright atmosphere and feel as though you are living in another time.
SCORPION SUBMARINE The Scorpion Submarine was once used during the Cold War. You can take an exclusive tour of the historic features of the crew’s quarters, pipes and everything else that made up this submarine during its historic voyage. For less than $12, you can explore the Scorpion by the Queen Mary. After you tour this iconic exhibit, you can stop by Hotel Maya for drinks or go down the street to take a walk on The Pike.