LAX to Long Beach via public transit - Fun stops along the way?
November 24, 2019 4:56 PM   Subscribe

My spouse and I are flying to LAX on Wednesday morning. We'll meet up with family that evening in Long Beach, and are free the whole day. It looks like the trip from LAX->Long Beach will take 90 minutes via public transit. While we're making our way south, are there neighborhoods or spots we could visit that are close to public transit (or a quick rideshare from LAX/Long Beach)?

We'll be packing light(ish), without heavy suitcases.

It looks like we can take the Metro Green Line from LAX, to the Metro Blue Line, to the Long Beach station, which is a quick rideshare ride from our destination.

We're interested in restaurants, museums, theaters, libraries, or other cultural spots of interest that we could stop into. It looks like it may rain, so beaches may not be as fun that day.

I don't know anything about the neighborhoods around LAX, or Long Beach, but would love to explore!
posted by rogerroger to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (11 answers total)
I would check out the Watts Towers. It's pretty cool.
posted by SLC Mom at 5:23 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Long Beach has a pretty good aquarium
posted by itesser at 5:33 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Pardon me for questioning the premises of your question, but just in case, do you know about the Flyaway bus? Your proposed public transit route actually involves 3 vehicles -- a (free) shuttle bus from the airport to Aviation/LAX station (despite the name, the station is not actually in the airport), then the Green Line and then the Blue Line as mentioned.

If you instead take the Flyaway's Long Beach route, it is a 1-seat ride from the airport to E 1st St and Long Beach Blvd, which is literally just two blocks away from the Downtown Long Beach Blue Line station, so you will get to the same place but with two fewer transfers. There are two downsides: the bus runs once an hour (though the estimated travel time is about 50 min) and it is more expensive than the LA Metro, at $9 per person.

(You might have totally valid reasons for taking the train -- want to sample LA rail, want to take the more economical option, want to swing by downtown -- but I just wanted to make sure you were aware!)
posted by andrewesque at 6:25 PM on November 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: andrewesque, no I was not aware of this - I'd only done a Google maps search to look at transit. Thanks so much for the tip! Fewer transfers is great, and the price seems reasonable!
posted by rogerroger at 6:36 PM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Would also skip the Watts Towers for now — they're being refurbished and aren't much to look at currently.
posted by rosary at 7:46 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The FlyAway is truly great - the buses are very nice, charter coach-type seating, frequent, express.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:19 PM on November 24, 2019

Best answer: Well there’s quite a bit in Downtown Long Beach and nearby, in addition to the Aquarium. You can stroll around Pine St and along First street (bars dining shopping) and a bit further east is the Museum of Latin American Art (not really walkable from where you’ll be dropped off, however). The city hall complex features a public library housed in an interesting concrete bunker that looks to me like an exemplar of that weird 1970s civic architecture all planter boxes and textured cement.

Across the Marina from the aquarium is the Queen Mary. Next door is a hotel with a great restaurant/bar (Fuego) with a good view of the water.

Long Beach buses are pretty good: clean, reliable. If you wanted to see more of the city, especially along the shoreline, hop a bus to Belmont Shore, which is another shopping, dining district on the east side. The bus ride will carry you right along the water and through several different neighborhoods and past some interesting buildings.
posted by notyou at 8:21 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Close to Long Beach is the USS Iowa, one of the last battleships built for the US Navy. It has a fascinating history if you are into that sort of thing. FDR once used it as his flagship for a Big Important Trip.

Right next door is the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, which I have not had a chance to visit but may be fun.

For what it's worth, the seafood restaurants down the street from these locations are very touristy so you may want to find or plan different lunch options if you opt for the Navy Dork tour.
posted by jjray at 9:27 PM on November 24, 2019

The city hall complex features a public library housed in an interesting concrete bunker that looks to me like an exemplar of that weird 1970s civic architecture all planter boxes and textured cement.

I truly loved this building but regrettably it is now closed as of this year. Not demolished yet but you can't go in. There's a new library building right next door, IMO it's nothing special.

Agree with the recommendations for the aquarium, Queen Mary, Museum of Latin American Art.

Food-wise, George's Greek Cafe on Pine Ave. is a bit of a local landmark.
posted by equalpants at 10:09 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

The problem with FlyAway is no reservations are possible. You get in line. If the bus fills up before you get on, you wait an hour - or more, depending on traffic.
posted by Homer42 at 7:47 AM on November 25, 2019

So what you have there is the South Bay. Starting with Downtown El Segundo, you can hit multiple beach cities on your way down to Long Beach: Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and San Pedro. If you Google you will see they all have main shopping districts / walking streets if you like window shopping and people watching in addition to restaurants. At the south end of Redondo Beach is an area called the Riviera District. Past there is Palos Verdes, which has interesting houses and ocean views (from the top on a clear day you can get a great view of the Santa Monica Bay coast). As for transportation, I don't know what your budget is, but you could potentially Uber from one location to the next without each segment costing an arm and a leg. The total would add up of course, but it's hard to visit a big city like LA without spending some money.
posted by Dansaman at 12:00 AM on November 26, 2019

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