Long Beach (Los Angeles)
Fittingly for the fantasy capital, Los Angeles and its environs encompass countless different versions of your California dreams. There’s yoga-chic Santa Monica, glitzy Rodeo Drive, Hollywood with its million gorgeous wannabes, and the sun-drenched enclave of South Bay. From the Port of Long Beach, you’re at a comfortable distance from all of these options — figure out which one is for you in advance.
What We Love
Queen Mary: Offering a combination of history, opulence, and spookiness, the allegedly haunted ship is Long Beach’s most famous attraction. Take a tour, dine, or have a drink onboard.
The Beaches: For sand and surf, go north to Redondo, Hermosa, or Manhattan beach or slightly south to Seal and Huntington beaches. All of these communities have a similar laid-back surfer vibe and a postcard-perfect beach town aesthetic.
Best Known For
Hollywood: Turn any corner to discover countless trendy indie shops, see-and-be-seen restaurants, and celeb-frequented bars. Head to the tourist-magnet Boulevard for the Walk of Fame and Madame Tussauds wax museum.
Santa Monica Pier: With a dozen rides plus an old-fashioned midway, this iconic tourist attraction on the Pacific is so hokey you have to love it. The outdoor concerts are a local staple.
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Who It's Best For
Pop Culture Junkies: Those who can spot a CW star at 100 paces or pick out an up-and-coming pop star will love LA. On a great day, you might even catch the pedestrian traffic jam caused by a Kardashian bodyguard brigade.
Trendy Greens: Do you thrive on organic produce from the farmers market? Do you love yoga and fear gluten? If so, you’ll be at home in LaLa.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Don’t Wing It: In this sprawled-out metropolis, traffic is notorious and residents are moving as fast as possible. Do your research and know exactly where you’re going — or stick with guided tours. If you do choose to drive, add ample time for traffic jams, especially if you’re on your way to the ship.
Lena Katz is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides.