Plenty of people from around the country and world come to Lakewood and Long Beach for their summer vacations. So why would you need to leave for yours?
One of the hottest trends in travel are “staycations,” or vacations during which you stay in your hometown. This lets you explore your home turf in a way that’s always appreciated by visitors but often overlooked by residents.
Luckily, if you want to plan the ultimate staycation in Lakewood and Long Beach, the 100 Days of Summer website (www.LongBeach100Days.SquareSpace.com) will guide you through the best activities the season has to offer. And to make your choice a little easier, here are some of our favorites in the area.
One way to liven up your summer is by heading to the Homeland Cultural Dance Fest on July 22, 4-6 p.m. This edition of the festival will have some great acts, including talented dancers trained in Cambodian, West African, Aztec and Micronesian dance styles. The event will be held at the Scottish Rite Center (855 Elm Avenue in Long Beach), and admission is free.
If you’re interested in soaking up more culture, check out the Sea Festival’s Dragon Boat Races at Marine Stadium (5255 E Paoli Way in Long Beach) on Saturday, July 28 (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Sunday, July 29 (9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) The Chinese cultural event includes not only one of our state’s largest dragon boat races but also performances by acrobats, martial artists and music acts.
On Saturday, August 11, check out the Art Walk for the best of local art, music and late-night shopping. The Art Walk will go from 4-10 p.m., down Ocean Boulevard, Linden Avenue, 1st Street, Broadway and Elm Avenue in Long Beach. These roads will be closed to traffic and taken over by street performances and live music. Additionally, local artists will be selling wares like sculpture, photography and artisanal creations. The area’s shops will also stay open later than usual.
In Lakewood lies the perfect opportunity to cool off in the summer heat. Go for a dip at Mayfair Pool (5720 Clark Avenue) and McCormick Pool (3300 Del Amo Boulevard), with the pools open to recreational swimming July 2-13 and July 16-27 (1-2:30 p.m. and 2:45-4:15 p.m. daily). Non-resident fees are $2 for children and $3 for adults. Every Friday through August 24, there’s also Family Swim Nights ($3 per child) for Lakewood residents. Some of the themes this season include “Itty Bitty Beach Party” for families with children under 6 years, and “Dip ‘N’ Dance” for swimming along to pop hits.
Beloved by tourists but often taken for granted by locals, why not learn more about our waters with a 45-minute Harbor Breeze Cruise in Long Beach? The guided tour, which sets sail daily at 12:30 p.m. and runs through August 31, recounts the history of the waterway, including tales of the Queen Mary, cargo ships and the Long Beach skyline. Tickets are $15 for adults, free for children under 5, $6 for children under 12, and $10 for seniors.