Historic Ocean Liner with Seafood Restaurants and Art-Deco Fixtures
The Queen Mary, which sailed its maiden voyage in 1936, is one of the most luxurious vessels to ever cruise the Atlantic. During its heyday, celebrities such as Bob Hope, Audrey Hepburn, and Fred Astaire boarded the grand ocean liner and, after it was transformed into a troopship during World War II, it became Winston Churchill’s choice carrier. The Queen Mary has since retired to the docks of Long Beach, California, and is now a premier floating hotel. The ship’s original features, such as mahogany paneling and nickel-plated doors, still evoke a glamorous art-deco vibe, and an assortment of onboard tours and exhibits chronicles her impressive maritime history.
Dining was a elegant affair when the Queen Mary ruled the seas, and this is still the case today. Hearty seafood cioppino and jambalayas coat spoons at Chelsea Chowder House & Bar, and chateaubriand steak dinners pair with panoramic ocean views at Sir Winston’s, a fine-dining restaurant. Housed in the boat’s former first-class lounge, the Observation Bar is the go-to spot for happy hour, with its ginger-pear martinis and mango margaritas. The bar retains its 1930s vibe with torchiere lamps, original artwork, and live jazz music. During the day, unwind on the sun-soaked promenade or at the Queen Mary Spa.
This Getaway includes two tickets to the ship’s current exhibit, Diana: Legacy of a Princess. Assembled over the course of 30 years, this extraordinary collection showcases some of Princess Diana’s most treasured belongings, including handwritten letters, custom-made evening gowns, and the hard-carved wooden bench that Prince Charles gave her on their wedding day. The exhibition also profiles other members of the Windsor family through personal documents and royal memorabilia.
Long Beach, California: Outdoors, Arts, and Architectural Oddities
Less than an hour from tourist-clogged Hollywood and Disneyland, Long Beach offers a quieter experience, one 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. During an art walk held one Saturday a month, galleries, boutiques, and cafés stay open late and local artists display original works.
Long Beach's architecture has a unique 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.