Long Beach Convention Center – Things To Do With Your Team

From its humble beginnings as a solitary arena in 1962, the Long Beach Convention Center today is a modernized, expansive series of facilities totaling over 400,000 square feet. The pride of the center is its wide range of spaces including their Grand Ballroom, roomy exhibition halls, and arena, which are all designed to meet an array of needs. In addition to these large spaces are the Long Beach Convention Center’s “turnkey spaces.” These rooms are established with a mood in mind with special attention to detail and are ready for immediate use.

Long Beach isn’t just home to a big convention center; it’s a port city brimming with coastal Southern California culture. During your visit, you and your team will find no shortage of historic sights, diverse dining options, and activities that are fun for visitors of any age.


Things to Do

Aquarium of the Pacific

The largest aquarium in Southern California, the Aquarium of the Pacific houses over 500 species of marine life native to the world’s vastest ocean. With 19 distinct habitats to visit, you and your team will get to see a host of animals that span the Pacific’s farthest reaches, including sea otters, penguins, and coastal frogs. The Aquarium also offers youth tours and that can be arranged in advance, as well as educational exhibits and even a children’s puppet show that provides a wealth of information about how these species go about their lives in the wild.

Outside the Aquarium, your team will find exhibits where the animals can be interacted with directly. Touch tanks will let your team get up close and personal with small sharks and jellyfish. The Lorikeet Forest is a delight in its own right as the brilliantly colored birds will eagerly land on visitors to sip from the cups of nectar for sale. 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


Shoreline Aquatic Park

Just a minute outside the aquarium, the Shoreline Aquatic Park is a great place for your team to sit and unwind while enjoying the surrounding bay and greenery. A peninsula jutting from the shore, the park is spacious and has plenty of trees and umbrella-shaded tables for staying cool with the generous sea breeze.

Go for a relaxing walk alongside the water and take in the view you’ve got from the center of Queensway Bay, a prime spot for photo ops. For the most picturesque view of the retired ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary, this is where you’ll want to be.

Up a gentle hill is the unmissable Long Beach Lighthouse standing at 105 feet. Local food carts are set up by the lighthouse’s surrounding walkways so a quick bite isn’t far away. You’ll be able to find the park’s entrance by two tall figures: a giant, aged ship’s anchor and a hollow globe sculpture adorned with informational plaques about the Long Beach area. 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


Pike Outlets

Only a short jaunt from the Long Beach Convention Center, the Pike Outlets are bound to have something that appeals to everybody on your team. Catch a movie at the Cinemax Theater or relax with some outdoor shopping. The outlets are open-air, having been a beach boardwalk last century. This means that your team will have the opportunity to shop around the 334,000 square feet of retail space as they take in the sights.

When it’s time to regroup, the best place to meet would be the Pike Ferris Wheel, which is impossible to miss day or night. At 164 feet tall, the Ferris wheel offers a picturesque view of the neighboring ocean and sparkles with over 2,000 LED lights. The ride lasts four minutes, has no height restriction, and each cabin can hold between six and eight passengers. 60 Bay St, The Pike Outlets, Long Beach, CA 90802


Museum of Latin American Art

While you and your team are visiting the Long Beach Convention Center, consider soaking up some culture at the Museum of Latin American Art. Although the museum features modern and contemporary pieces, the themes they convey are universal and reflect on the rich and storied history of the artists’ backgrounds. Peruse the 15,000 square footage of the outdoor sculpture garden and see pieces shaped from materials as diverse as their sculptors in stark shades and vivid colors.

If you make arrangements in advance, taking a guided tour with an art workshop afterwards is a great way to deepen your team’s interest in the arts. Indoor exhibitions feature artists from every Latin American nation in collage, weavings, paintings and more. On your way out, stop by the gift shop to purchase memento that goes on to support the arts by funding new exhibits at the MOLAA. 628 Alamitos Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802


Catalina Express Ferry

Take the Catalina Express Ferry to Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, for an unforgettable day trip where there’s tons to do for a team that loves outdoorsy activities. Catalina is celebrated for its rugged geography that has been kept pristine by the island’s population. There’s an abundance of things to do including parasailing, zip-lining, and mountain bike rentals and tours. While you’re exploring, keep an eye out for the local bison herd that roams the island. After you’ve had fun on land, head out to sea in either a glass bottom boat or semi-submersible where you and your team can take a look at the native nautical fauna inches away.

The final thing to check off before departing is the Catalino Casino. In Italian, the word “casino” means “gathering place,” so there’s no actual gambling going on there. The Casino was constructed during the 1930s and features a remarkable mix of classic art deco and Mediterranean Revival architecture. 320 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802


The Queen Mary

Long Beach Convention CenterA relic of British naval history, the RMS Queen Mary has called Long Beach home since her permanent mooring in 1967. The vessel is jam-packed with history and offers a collection of tours for those interested in the ship’s rich past. If you’re after chills, The Queen Mary is the world’s most haunted ship, offering a two hour tour of paranormal hot spots. The extra brave can opt for custom tours with equipped investigators to explore the ship’s bowels and record supernatural phenomena.

If your team is on the younger side, be sure to check out the 4D Theater which features added motion, smells, and effects for an enveloping film experience. Most of what’s offered aboard the Queen Mary can be arranged in the moment, but certain attractions, like the “Illusions of the Past” interactive show, require tickets purchased in advance. 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802


Places to Eat

Louisiana Charlie’s

Long Beach Convention CenterCraving Cajun food in California? Look no further than Louisiana Charlie’s where you and your team will get a slice of that signature Southern hospitality and spice. Familiar barbecue favorites like chicken and ribs are slathered and seasoned with southern flavors but the bulk of the menu has its roots in Louisiana custom. You and your team can taste an assortment of traditional Cajun specialties like catfish, alligator, and frogs legs, either blackened or fried. A dip into Cajun cuisine is only half-finished until you try their bayou bowls, jambalaya, and gumbo, with green onions and corn muffins for company.

To help cool your tongue between bites, Charlie’s offers homemade banana pudding, flavored sweet-tea, and lemonade, all served in mason jars you can take home as a souvenir. As they say in New Orleans, “laissez les bons temps rouler!” 429 Shoreline Village Dr, Long Beach, CA


The Breakfast Bar

If you and your team have an eclectic bunch of taste buds, The Breakfast Bar is the perfect place to fuel up for the day before heading over to the Long Beach Convention Center. Specializing in breakfast and brunch, they offer standard breakfast fare such as pancakes, eggs, and wraps. What helps them stand out from the competition are their signature dishes. Their Hung Over appetizer is a southwestern take on the Canadian classic, poutine, and the Eggs Noni combines spiced hollandaise with sautéed spinach atop grilled rosemary bread baked fresh daily. Never fear, vegan and gluten free diners! They’ve got breakfast and lunch options for you too.

Whether you’d like to sit at the bar itself, the tables, or outside to enjoy some sunshine, it may be best to arrive sooner rather than later as crowds are known to gather early. And who could blame them? The Bar is family-owned and makes a point to provide service with a smile. 70 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802


Michael’s Downtown Italian Kitchen

Authentic Italian food can be difficult to find but your search ends near the Long Beach Convention Center at Micahel’s Downtown Italian Kitchen. While the West Coast isn’t exactly renowned for its pizza, at Michael’s fresh ingredients and the quality of their dishes are paramount. Prepared by a pizzaiolo trained in Italy, Michael’s bakes their pizza with devotion to Neapolitan tradition, as a single, unsliced, flat pie. While traditional style is at the forefront, your pizza can be made to meet gluten-free needs or garnished with unconventional toppings like organic egg and cured meats. If your team has younger members then you’ll be happy to know Michael’s offers kid-sized dough that they can watch get rolled, topped, and baked.

An extensive house-made pasta menu exists in the rare case one of your team members isn’t too keen on pizza. For something more out of the ordinary, try the red wine braised short ribs or Chef Truffle Burger made with elusive truffles. 210 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802


Parker’s Lighthouse

To spend time in a coastal town and not sample the seafood is a flagrant misstep, so while your team is visiting the Long Beach Convention Center be sure to stop by Parker’s Lighthouse for fresh-caught fare. Parker’s menu boasts a huge seafood selection from colorful sushi to lobster tail that’s delivered daily from local sources. The food is kept simple, not heavily seasoned or spiced so that the inherent flavor of their high-quality ingredients is given room to shine.

While their mesquite grilled fish is their recognized specialty, your team can order plenty of turf to go with their surf with lemon rosemary grilled chicken, filet mignon, and even their distinctive “Garlic Cheese Bread” Burger with Béarnaise sauce. Entirely separate menus can be requested for gluten-free diners and kids’ menus are an option for twelve-and-unders who may want to choose from a more familiar selection. 435 Shoreline Village Dr, Long Beach, CA 90802


Long Beach is the second largest city in Los Angeles metropolitan area after Los Angeles itself, so you definitely won’t run out of things to do and see with your team while you’re visiting the Long Beach Convention Center. Take full advantage of the city and experience all that it has to offer during your team’s stay.