Long Beach Travel Guide
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When it comes to Los Angeles travel, all airports are not created equal.
Although most travelers know of LAX, the area actually boasts five major airports, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, WiFi policies, and paparazzi specialties. And you can bet frequent flyers to the left coast feel loyalty for the airports nearly as much as the airlines.
For example, our Editor Cynthia loves Long Beach for its slick looks and tech friendliness. On the flip side, HotelChatter Editor and LA resident Juliana pledges allegiance to the flexibility and fancy upgrades of LAX. Contributor Andy swears by SNA, and Jaunted friend The Sterling Traveler seconds the Long Beach fascination.
What? No love for Burbank or Ontario International? Having sampled all five airports in our travels, it's time to compare and contrast:
There’s plenty of airports from which to choose when you’re flying into Southern California, but there’s only one that recently took the bandages off as part of a comprehensive nip and tuck. Long Beach Airport opened back up last week, and we’ve got to say—at least from the pictures—that it looks better than ever.
The whole renovation was a good ten years in the making, and the new concourse cost around $45 million, so it’s not really surprising that they got it right with that much spending and that much time. The Los Angeles Times gets into some of the details that set the airport apart, and allow it to show off a little bit of California cool. For example, they’ve got a fire pit and lounge chairs within the new terminal, and there are plenty of local restaurants offering up more than just the regular airport cuisine. There’s even an iPad setup thing that gives flyers a little on-the-run access to email, news, and even some online ordering.
Gay Travel / Events / Jetblue / Airline News / Party Dispatch Report / Festival Travel / Pam Ann / LGB / → All Tags
Back in April, we gave you a preview of JetBlue’s planned JetPRIDE flight from San Francisco to Long Beach in honor of Long Beach Pride, and this last weekend, the big gay flight totally happened and we were absolutely onboard.
The special quickie flight, given the flight number 1969 in honor of the Stonewall Riots and the birth of the Pride movement, featured pink drinks and a hostess with the mostest: Australian comedienne Pam Ann.
After the jump, check out our play-by-play coverage—including videoof the goings on, complete with cocktails and cupcakes, gift bags, and a giveaway contest courtesy of JetBlue’s Pride partner, Joie De Vivre Hotels.
This weekend the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach takes over the streets of downtown Long Beach, CA. The three day event, which attracts world-class Indy 500 drivers, includes a Pro/Celeb race on Saturday, 4.17 where movie, TV and music stars battle it out on the race course.
Last year's winner, Keanu Reeves will back along with Adrien Brody, and newcomers, Christian Slater, Brian Austin Green, Anthony Anderson, Adam Carolla, Tony Hawk, Jesse McCartney, Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price, Tika Sumpter, and this year's Grand Marshal, Mark Wahlberg.
Here's a breezy summer getaway: The Washington State International Kite Festival may leave you with a crick in your neck from all that looking up, but these high flyers are worth it.
Held in the southwestern town of Long Beach, WA near the Oregon border, the festival transforms the skies in the third week in August every year. Different types of kites compete each day for ribbons and demonstrate techniques like kite fighting, but you don't just have to watch: August 17, opening day, also features a workshop on making your own kites, and Wednesday the 19th offers the same class especially for kids.
Airline Rumors / JetBlue / LGB / Airport Hell / → All Tags
With service at LAX supposedly starting on June 17, it comes as no surprise that JetBlue is exploring the possibility of leaving the Long Beach Airport. In many ways, this news both saddens and excites us. We're excited because we live closer to Long Beach and driving to LA from the LBC could be a horrendous drive if you hit traffic.
We're a little saddened because Long Beach is one of the coolest retro airports. Ironically, this is one of the reasons that JetBlue executive said they might be leaving town.
It takes a little chutzpah to open a spa in an economy like this. Naturally in any climate developers would look for the perfect place to develop that dream getaway, without anything that might make a potential customer blanch. But like a foaming hot tub pool, we're not quite ready to get into the Allegria Hotel and Spa just yet.
On paper, the Allegria looks like a perfect plan: A luxury hotel in a mostly condos-only strip, with big plans for LEED certification. But we can't get over that the hotel used to be a nursing home -- as in two years ago. (Then it had 170 rooms; now it only has 143.) Gut reno or no, paying $199/night or more for Grandma's old place, with the added bonus of being nowhere in particular, gives us the shakes. At least at the Spa Castle the old people get to play along.
· November 2007: Long Beach's New Welcome Mat [NY Times]
· Allegria Hotel and Spa: LEED on the Ocean in Long Beach [Green Buildings NYC]
· Los Angeles Spas Celebrate Detoxification, Ogling [Jaunted]
[Photo: Small Luxury Hotels of the World]
So we've had a little time to catch up on this season's "Amazing Race" contestants, and... well, we're still super-excited about Mike White bobbling his way through Asia. But for him to clear the cool mil he'll need for his next movie, he and his dad have 10 other teams to cut through. Check out our teams, and post your predictions in the comments for First, First Philiminated and Biggest Meltdown, as well as any other categories that strike your fancy. The race kicks off Feb. 15... go!
"Prison Break" continues filming even though it's officially been canceled. The show will be near the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California today. The convention center is your typical exhibit space and small arena, but on the upside, the arena is close to the beach so you can catch some rays while your children sing along with skating dogs.
On the East Coast, the cast of "30 Rock," still basking in the glow of their Golden Globe win, will be filming around West 87th Street near Riverside Park in Manhattan. Riverside Park stretches over four miles from 72nd to 158th Street along the Hudson River. The park was landscaped by Fredrick Law Olmstead (who also designed Central Park) and has remained Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park since its creation in 1875. Like all of NYC’s parks, Riverside is free and makes a great refuge from the city.
If you have any tips about where movies or TV shows are filming, send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last we heard, naked vacations were the newest hotness. Now The New York Times says at least one beach town isn't getting in on the latest vacation "trend." So if the idea of cavorting nekkid with other tourists isn't your idea of fun, perhaps you'll be more comfortable in Long Beach, New Jersey.
The beach town has just passed an ordinance outlawing:
The change of clothes in any public area or public street unless within a permanent enclosed structure.
Doesn't sound too draconian, really, until you realize that just about everyone in town--locals and visitors alike--hit the beach as often as possible. And since wet suits and swim trunks don't mix, that means, yep, some people change on the beach.
Locals are split on the new rule, as it satisfies some tourists (the prudes) while causing headaches for others (the surfers). But while other people have mixed feelings on the ordinance, Surfrider Foundation manager John Weber has his mind made up on how important it is:
I'd like to fight the polluters and doers of evil, but we've got to fight about people changing their wet suits.
· A Beach Where Discretion Is More Than Just Advised [NYT]
· No Shoes, No Shirt, No Worries [NYT]
· Beaches coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: john w]
Long Beach Airport How Do We Love Thee? Let Us Count the Ways:
· We love your one terminal.
· We love that you only cater to four airlines--US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue and Delta Connection.
· We love how you let us climb up stairs to board the airplanes. It's so retro!
·We love how you only have two baggage claims for us to retrieve our bags from.
·We love how Parking Lot A always has open spaces available. We also love our Parking Lot C is still close by and only costs $9 a day.
· We love the Prop Room restaurant & bar. It makes us feel like we're in the movie "Pearl Harbor" starring Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett.
· We love your free WiFi that is available in the terminal and boarding lounges.
·Lastly, we love that you aren't LAX and you're still only about 45 minutes away from all the LA sites.
[Photo: Danny McL]
Food / Travel News / Celebs / → All Tags
Tatted up West Coast Choppers owner and Sandra Bullock boy-toy Jesse James is rumored to be planning to open his own burger bar in Long Beach, not far from his house.
It's going to be called Cisco Burgers and will feature "burgers in the shape of crosses" just like the WC Choppers logo. Mmmm....what?
James is also going to be hiring tattoed waitresses that he's going to put in leather boots and biker gear. We think we know what the next stop on the Harley tour will be this winter...
· Bullock's Husband Plans Burger Bar [SF Gate]