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Five must-see places in Long Beach

When moving to a new city, finding places that will become a go-to is essential. Finding the perfect coffee shop, restaurant, or park can make or break the experience in an unfamiliar area.

With Long Beach’s array of downtown breweries, pubs, and parks sprawling through the city, it’s nearly impossible to try everything. Below are the Daily Forty-Niner’s top five must-see sites in Long Beach.

1. 2nd & PCH

2nd & PCH is closed to cars to allow pedestrians to walk freely.
2nd & PCH is closed to cars to allow pedestrians to walk freely. Photo credit: Jonathan Bigall

Aptly named for its location on 2nd & PCH, this shopping center is a one-stop shop for food and fun. Located across from the Alamitos Bay and Marina, 2nd & PCH hosts 23 shops, including Sephora, Urban Outfitters and Athleta. The center has multiple restaurants, such as Hungry Angelina, a plant-based restaurant and Otosan Sushi. Palm trees and tables sprawl through the center, giving plenty of shade while you sit and eat or take a break from shopping while quiet jazz music plays throughout the complex. 2nd & PCH provides free Wi-Fi and clean bathrooms for all guests, making it an affordable study and hangout spot for college students.

2. Ground Hideout Coffee

Ground Hideout Coffee, owned by the Bonilla family, who grew up on a coffee plantation, serves artisan drinks and pastries in downtown Long Beach. They offer new twists on classic drinks with specialty drinks like their orange cardamom latte, turmeric ginger chai latte and kombuchaon tap. Grab one of their breakfast burritos or a fresh-baked pastry for an on-the-go breakfast. Studying, getting work done, or catching up with friends is easy in this bright and modern cafe. Seasonal decorations and hand-drawn signs bring a sense of the Bonilla family to Ground Hideout Coffee customers.

3. The 4th Horseman

Restaurant goers eating their "apocalyptic pizzas."
Restaurant goers eating their “apocalyptic pizzas.” Photo credit: Jonathan Bigall

Serving “Apocalyptic Pizza,” The 4th Horseman is a distinctive restaurant experience. Adults over 21 can dine inside this joint pizzeria and bar, which serves craft beer and wines in an apocalyptic setting. Those under 21 are welcome to order a pizza and eat at one of their outside tables. Playing on their name, The 4th Horseman is decorated with all kinds of end-times horror art to complement its edgy atmosphere. Pick up some of their specialty pizzas like the Angel of Death or The Black Horse to go for a non-traditional pizza night. Hailed as one of the best new restaurants in Long Beach by the Long Beach Post, The 4th Horseman provides an entirely new dining experience.

4. The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

A young Grand Prix goer taking a photo opportunity.
A young Grand Prix goer taking a photo opportunity. Photo credit: Leila Nunez

An experience unique to the city of Long Beach, the Acura Grand Prix is a weekend of fun for car and motorsport fans alike. Fans come out from all over Southern California to see cars race through the streets of downtown Long Beach one weekend a year. The NTT IndyCar Series, Porsche Carrera Cup and Super Drift Challenge are just a few different race series on display over the weekend. Grand Prix goers also have a chance to attend the Lifestyle Expo held at the Long Beach Convention Center, where companies like Toyota feature their new cars and hand out free merch. Fans who attend get the chance to see some of the world’s fastest race cars drive through their own city.

5. Japanese Garden

The koi pond is thecenterpiece of the Japanese Garden.
The koi pond is the centerpiece of the Japanese Garden. Photo credit: Kristina Agresta

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a work of natural art on the Long Beach State campus. Since 1981, this garden has brought in visitors and students alike to witness its peaceful atmosphere. The garden features a large koi pond with opportunities to feed the fish, bonsai trees and stunning Japanese architecture. The garden hosts many different events like yoga and tai chi classes, lectures, tea ceremonies and more. It is a quiet place to get some studying done, meditate, or simply sit and enjoy the beauty.

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