Luxurious Hilton near Downtown Long Beach
Just five minutes from the posh Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, you’ll find the enormous Aquarium of the Pacific, where more than 10,000 exotic and endangered animals live in a facility that’s one of the largest of its kind in the United States. There are habitats mimicking the Pacific Northwest, the sultry Baja peninsula, and a lorikeet forest. Situated in downtown Long Beach, the aquarium stands near several other entertainment options, including art galleries and a World War II ocean liner that offers haunted tours⎯not to mention that Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Los Angeles are all less than an hour away.
Back in the Hilton's guest rooms, the tone is one of understated sophistication. Beds feature plush, button-back headboards and signature Serta Sweet Dreams mattresses. Each room is outfitted with a flat-screen TV and MP3 docking station to keep you entertained. The hotel’s elegant Ascari Ristorante welcomes diners with soft lighting and warm tones. The restaurant serves both buffet and à la carte items. Quick appetizers include flatbread and hummus ($10), fried calamari ($10), and pan-seared crab cakes ($14).
If you're looking to unwind, there's a heated outdoor pool at the hotel, and the beach is just half a mile away. For all its luxurious amenities, the hotel is also ideal for business travelers. It's located near Long Beach's World Trade Center and offers fax and photocopy services as well as audio-visual equipment rentals onsite.
Long Beach, California: Outdoors, Arts, and Architectural Oddities
Less than an hour from tourist-clogged Hollywood and Disneyland, Long Beach offers a quieter experience distinguished by family-friendly attractions, art museums, and eclectic architecture. In the East Village Arts District downtown, independent playhouses and art galleries line the streets. This is the setting of an art walk held one Saturday a month, when galleries, boutiques, and cafés stay open late and local artists display original works.
Long Beach's architecture has its own distinctive appeal. Geometry buffs may marvel at the distinctive Walter Pyramid sports arena, as well as the aptly named Skinny House at 708 Gladys Avenue, an extremely narrow structure—only 10 feet wide—reportedly built on a bet.