Photo by Serena Au.
Since recreational marijuana use was legalized in California in November, and Long Beach residents followed by approving the return of dispensaries to the city, we thought it appropriate to commemorate April 20 along with the local 4/20-friendly population.
We’re going to assume any marijuana-induced meandering should rightfully end (or begin) with a meal, so we’ve paired each top-10 selection with a nearby eatery for your convenience.
Bixby and Bluff Park + Tuesday Night Farmers Market
Open every Tuesday between 3:00PM and 8:00PM, the farmers market at Bixby Park, located in front of the Band Shell on Junipero between 1st and 2nd streets, offers everything from fresh produce to lunch and dinner options (such as pizza, gyros, pupusas and tacos) and of course dessert. Walk off the food with a stroll to the bluff for a view of the ocean, the people and the port.
Sometimes the best way to experience an altered state is to wander aimlessly, so set yourself among the wonders of the sea at the Aquarium of the Pacific where sea otters, penguins, seals, the touch tank and more are yours to experience.
While it might be a little difficult to wrap your head around eating seafood at an institute known for marine life conservation, the Clam Chowder bread bowl, and other offerings at Cafe Scuba, are satisfying, in addition to being sustainably sourced.
Hilltop Park + In-N-Out
While Hilltop Park is not technically in Long Beach, the Signal Hill lookout offers an absolutely gorgeous and almost-360-degree view of the city you simply can’t find anywhere else. The views are spectacular day and night, but we recommend choosing a spot on the grassy hill either just before sunset, or at night once the Long Beach skyline is lit and sparkling.
The closest In-N-Out Burger is a mere 2.5 miles away from the park, located at 799 East Spring Street. Like most In-N-Outs, it’s open late until 1:00AM, but the park closes at 10:00PM anyway, giving you ample time to satisfy your craving for animal-style fries and a neapolitan milkshake.
This casual, Latin-inspired, rooftop bar, situated atop the historic Breakers building, offers breathtaking views of the city and Pacific Ocean—and fun artwork inside! You can check it out starting at 5:00PM, Thursday through Sunday, and enjoy craft cocktails and handmade corn tortilla tacos, guacamole and salsa as well as fresh ceviche among other amazing items on their menu.
Make your night a dinner and movie combo in the city’s popular Retro Row district with some delicious dining at Lola’s, located at 2030 East 4th Street, followed by a film across the street at the city’s only independent movie house, showing both first run and small independent films in a beautiful historic setting.
Bike Ride Down the Beach Path + Lunch Buffet at Natraj Cuisine of India
Take a cruise down the beach path, let that wispy ocean breeze blow the hair out of your face, enjoy the presence of the hundreds of others that use the path every day and take a break to people watch and soak up some sun. Coming from the downtown area, take the path to its end in Belmont Shore and enjoy a meal on 2nd Street.
Located at 5262 East 2nd Street, the lunch buffet is all you can eat for $9.95 plus tax during the week from 11:00AM to 2:30PM and during the weekend until 3:30PM. Grub on delicious vegetable korma and chicken makhani, paired with a mango lassi (mango is supposed to boost THC absorption). Not to mention, Natraj offers a generous amount of garlic naan and delicious desserts like the custard or rice pudding.
You never know what you’ll find at 320 Elm Avenue at Southern California’s first Creative Reuse Shop, where people are encouraged to donate their items that would normally end up in a landfill. Every nook and cranny of the quaint nonprofit is filled with old photographs, scraps, tools, misprints, overruns, buttons and knick knacks galore aimed to inspire any patron to create something cool.
If you walk down Elm Avenue toward 4th Street and turn the corner, you can step into Fingerprints, throw on a pair of headphones and check out the latest the record store has to offer. Right next door is Berlin Bistro, where you can grab a full-blown meal, a Caffeinated Kitchen vegan donut for the road, and of course, an on-Nitro cold brew for a pick-me-up.
El Dorado Nature Center + Picnic
The 105-acre park offers a rich opportunity to commune with nature. Located at 7550 East Spring Street and smack dab between the San Gabriel River and the 605 Freeway, the center is a refreshing oasis away from the typical noise pollution of Long Beach’s urban environment. Two miles of dirt trails give the sanctuary a high wanderability rating, plus two lakes, a stream and plenty of shady, forested area. You might forget you’re in Long Beach for a moment. Don’t forget your picnic basket filled with all your favorite foods!
First Fridays in Bixby Knolls + Too Many Options to Count
This popular North Long Beach monthly event labels itself as an art walk with food and music at almost every corner. Grab a slice of Porky’s pizza and drink for $3 and meander through the crowd along Atlantic Avenue, stopping by the Allery and Expo Arts Center to peruse the artwork or pausing to take in the different sounds from a variety of musicians at each block.
Other dining options include the new Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, Georgie’s Place, EJ Malloy’s, Weiland Brewery and any other pop-up food spots. For those up for a little walk, make sure to stop by the recently opened and very popular SteelCraft food court, located just a few blocks away at 3768 Long Beach Boulevard, made entirely out of shipping containers.
The event takes place the first Friday of each month from 6:30PM to 9:30PM along Atlantic Avenue, from Bixby Road to San Antonio Drive.
Don’t Leave Your House + Dean’s Thai Curry Pizza
Sometimes it’s best, for you and others, to stay inside your humble abode. Fear not, Dean’s Thai Curry Pizza delivers, but make sure to order before your stomach starts rumbling, as it’s often a 45-minute wait for this locally-loved mashup food item to show up at your door.
Please celebrate responsibly; don’t drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence.
Where are you favorite spots to celebrate 4/20 in Long Beach? Tell us in the comments!