Long Beach has plenty of fun to offer by day, but that's just the beginning. When the sun goes down, the bar scene revs up. Or try something a little different: Join the lively crowd at a duelling piano show or experience some Spanish culture, then cap off your evening with a moonlit stroll by the waterfront.

    Long Beach is a city with an exciting and eclectic variety of nightly entertainment spots. Don't be fooled by the laid-back beach feeling – whether you’re looking for fine waterfront dining in Belmont Shore, live music or dancing downtown, or a wine tasting in the East Village, it’s all within easy access via rental car, taxi, or Metro Blue Line train.


    Long Beach Waterfront

    Watch the sunset from Long Beach Ferris wheel

    • Nightlife
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Long Beach Waterfront is a major draw for visitors with its promenade, entertainment, trendy shops, and tempting restaurants. Free transport is available around downtown on the Long Beach Transit Passport Bus until 9 pm. You'll enjoy easy access to top attractions like the Queen Mary, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, and the Aquarium of the Pacific.

    Grab an ice cream and watch the sunset across the bay or even take a ride on the Ferris wheel to get a bird’s-eye view on the beach. You’ll also find one of the city’s best cinemas here.

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    photo by Wing1990hk (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Observation Bar at the Queen Mary

    For some cocktail chic in Long Beach

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • History
    • Luxury

    Observation Bar is a 1930s-style Art Deco lounge that was once the first-class lounge on the Queen Mary. Today, you'll find the original artwork, along with a menu of signature cocktails and a calendar of live entertainment featuring everything from jazz to Latin music. It’s perfect for an after-dinner nightcap with your special someone.

    You can grab a beer and watch the game or enjoy live music in a 1930s-inspired bar on the Queen Mary. There are also 3 restaurants and a hotel aboard this famous ocean liner, so you can make a whole night of it.

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    Location: 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA

    Open: Daily from midday to midnight

    Phone: +1 562-435-3511


    4th Street nightlife

    A bar-hopping hot spot

    • Nightlife
    • Budget

    Nicknamed "Retro Row," 4th Street in Long Beach is a vibrant hipster community with a laid-back, non-touristy vibe. Browse shops selling antiques and collectables, try on some cool 1980s vintage fashions and take an espresso break at one of the independent coffee shops. After sunset, how about a show at the 1920s Art Theatre? Top bars here include Art du Vin, 4th Street Vine and The Stache.

    With its thrift shops, quirky gift shops, and unpretentious nightspots, the 4th Street neighbourhood draws budget-minded travellers. And wallet-friendly motels are within a 5- to 10-minute drive. You can stay in the northern part of the area, near the Pacific Coast Highway, or opt for something a little closer to downtown and the waterfront.


    The Stache Bar

    A trendy bar along Retro Row

    • Nightlife

    The Stache Bar on Long Beach's Retro Row stocks high-end bottles, and prices are affordable enough to enjoy more than 1 drink. The menu offers a variety of traditional and organic cocktails, including Moscow mules blended with house-made ginger beer.

    The Stache Bar is surrounded by a scattering of other bars and nightlife spots walking distance away. Head to 4th Street's Retro Row if you’re looking to go bar-hopping while in Long Beach.

    Location: 941 East 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA

    Open: Daily from 2 pm to 2 am

    Phone: +1 562-606-2529


    The Wine Bar

    Chilled vibes in Downtown Long Beach

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    The Wine Bar in Downtown Long Beach’s Camden Building serves 24 wines by the glass, as well as microbrews and craft beers. Tastings and daily specials are available, and the vibe is low-key and unpretentious. Located in California Suites on Ocean Drive, you will find The Wine Bar close to the waterfront promenade.

    If beer and cocktails aren't your thing, The Wine Bar is one of the best spots in the city. Uncork your favourite varietal and enjoy small plates at these local spots where the pace is a little bit slower and the atmosphere is slightly more refined.

    Location: 250 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA

    Phone: +1 562-590-5300


    Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

    Enjoy a classic musical

    • Nightlife

    The Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of California State University features cabaret, comedy, dance, and Broadway hits. It's where Long Beach sets the stage for big-name shows when the sun goes down. You can expect to see enduring classic productions like West Side Story and Ragtime here, with evening and matinee performances held regularly. 

    For other award-winning performances, check out International City Theatre, and both classic and cutting-edge works at the historic Long Beach Playhouse.

    Location: 6200 E Atherton St, Long Beach, CA 90815, USA

    Phone: +1 562-985-7000


    photo by Carpenter Center (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Long Beach harbour cruise

    Enjoy the evening breeze from the water

    • Nightlife
    • Couples

    A sunset cruise around the harbour of Long Beach is one of the most romantic ways to spend your evening. Departing from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, there are several evening cruises to choose from starting from 5.30 pm with a final departing time of 8.30 pm most evenings. You can even make a full day of it and cruise out to Catalina Island around an hour’s boat ride away.

    Around the holiday period, look out for the Cruise of Lights – a festive evening cruise that takes in the Christmas decorations and bold lights that decorate boats and buildings lining the water’s edge.


    Long Beach Symphony Orchestra

    Enjoy live classical music concerts

    • Nightlife
    • Couples

    The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra presents 6 classical concerts throughout the year, as well as the immensely popular “POPS!” series. The series includes indoor picnics and themes such as Bond & Beyond and Symphonic Surfin’ Safari. The spotlight here is on modern and unconventional works, as well as new interpretations of the classics.

    Snoop Dogg is from Long Beach, which makes this area more famous for hip hop than classical music. But if classical is more your style, check out the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra.

    Location: 555 East Ocean Blvd #106, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA

    Phone: +1 562-436-3203

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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