A toast with mimosas is the ideal way to start your waterfront New Year's Day brunch. Photo courtesy of Fuego.

From practicing yoga outdoors to luxuriating with champagne at brunch, there are plenty of ways Long Beach residents can relish in the first day of 2023.

Typically, planning an itinerary for Jan. 1 has less to do with intentions for 2023 than it does with how heavily New Year’s Eve was celebrated. Some may be craving a fresh start to the year by hitting the dusty trail of a coastal hike. For others who may be suffering from a holiday hangover, a late night or both—something more relaxing may be in order.

Below are a handful of recommendations for New Year’s Day, but no one’s stopping you from hitting all five.

The Dominguez Gap Wetlands, hidden on the eastern edge of the LA River Bike Path, shoved between Wardlow on the south and Del Amo at the north. Photo by Brian Addison.
The Dominguez Gap Wetlands, hidden on the eastern edge of the LA River Bike Path, shoved between Wardlow on the south and Del Amo at the north. Photo by Brian Addison.
Take a hike 

Sometimes nature is the best way to reset, which is why New Year’s Day is a popular day for hiking. Luckily, there are several trails in or about 30 minutes of Long Beach. Just be sure to start the adventure early to beat the crowds.

If you’re looking for a scenic trek beside the ocean, the moderately challenging Rancho Palos Verdes Coastal Trail is a great place to work up a sweat while enjoying the view. Those looking for an easier stroll can check out the Dominguez Gap Wetlands, a 37-acre flood control basin that hosts a lush year-round habitat for plants and wildlife, thanks to millions in upgrades.

The El Dorado Nature Center is another sprawling nature hub in Long Beach, with 105 acres of forest, two lakes, a stream and wildlife sightings to explore.

Read about more hikes to try here. 

Fuego patio at Hotel Maya. Image courtesy Hotel Maya.
Bottoms up at brunch

Whether you’re looking to indulge in a greasy breakfast or a much needed hair of the dog, there won’t be a shortage of Long Beach brunch restaurants open for merrymaking on Sunday.

Downtown, you can check out Cafe Sevilla’s second annual New Year’s Day “I Woke Up Like This” brunch party. The Spanish tapas eatery will run brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a live DJ, bottomless mimosas and specials like lobster eggs Benedict and a smoked salmon platter. Pro tip: Arrive in pajamas to get a complimentary Signature Peach Bellini with an entree purchase. Reservations can be made here.

Nearby, brunch will also be served at Fuego, the water-front restaurant at Hotel Maya on New Year’s Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., where you can take in views of the city skyline and the Queen Mary. Reservations can be made here.

The Breakfast Bar, which has two locations in Long Beach, will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will offer a bottle of champagne with orange juice for $22. Open since 2013, the brunch institution is known for its Long Beach-themed bloody’s like The Queen Mary and creative dishes like the “Hung Over” plate — a pile of fries bathed in gravy with eggs, sausage, pico de gallo and sour cream. More information here.

If you want to host your own brunch, consider grabbing supplies at Portuguese Bend, Long Beach’s first distillery, where you can purchase The Shoreline Spritz, a cocktail kit that includes a bottle of Breakwater Vodka, a house-made cranberry spiced wine cocktail mix and a bottle of brut. Also, check out Olive’s Gourmet Grocer on Broadway for ingredients, and pre-made sides, platters, entrees and more.

Jasmine Hayden facilitates a meditation circle as part of a healing-centered sit-in protest at Bluff Park on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Photo by Crystal Niebla.
Yoga inside and out 

If you’ve ever driven by the bluffs in Long Beach and rubbernecked the spectacle of a large outdoor yoga class overlooking the ocean, New Year’s Day might mark the perfect time to join in. The class, hosted by Yogalution, is typically held each day and serves as a place for anyone and everyone to access the practice of yoga free of charge.

On Sunday, class begins at 11 a.m. on the corner of Ocean and Junipero on the grassy bluff overlooking the ocean. Just look for the large group of people setting up their mats on the grass. For those looking to lock in the practice as a New Year’s resolution, classes are hosted every day at 11 a.m. in the same spot.

Though they won’t be free, indoor classes can be booked for New Year’s Day at both Ra Yoga and West Coast Sweat.

Picnic table lined up at the Drake Chavez Greenbelt Park near the 710 freeway in Long Beach Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Photo by Crystal Niebla.
Picnic or stroll through the park 

If a jaunt through a historic area, a picnic in the grass or a bike ride by the beach sounds like a good way to observe New Year’s Day, there are more than a few options in town.

In North Long Beach, DeForest Park and Wetlands offers a 50-acre oasis with bridges over freshwater wetlands and educational signage to guide you along the route. Kids can also download the Agents of Discovery app to add some extra fun to the adventure.

Check out ornate architecture and old money in historic Drake Park, where you can get in an easy walk while taking in regal Victorian and Queen Anne style mansions. Along your walk, you’ll see the Bembridge House at 953 Park Circle Drive, an 18-room Queen Anne that has kept up its original high ceilings, hand-carved wooden details and stained glass windows.

You can also take a bike ride, a roller blade ride or walk through the 7.3 mile beach path, or have a picnic on the beach or grass by the Colorado Lagoon.

More parks to enjoy here.

Image courtesy Disney on Ice/Facebook.
Catch a show or a movie

While the bulk of New Year’s concerts and parties will be held on Saturday evening, there will be a few entertainment options available on Sunday.

Tickets are available to watch your favorite Disney characters carve it up on ice at the Long Beach Arena this week through Jan. 2. Disney On Ice: Road Trip Adventures will take viewers to sunny Motunui with Moana, through Aladdin’s welcoming parade and to Simba’s pridelands. Tickets can be purchased here.

Movie-buffs and cinephiles can book a matinee or evening show at AMC Marina Pacifica 12, or Cinemark at The Pike. Tickets are available for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Puss in Boots: The Lash Wish,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and more.

Kat Schuster is the editor at the Long Beach Post and the author of Off the Clock, a weekly newsletter. You can reach her at [email protected].