Yet another New Year’s Day will come to pass this Monday, which means you’ve got some decisions to make.

Whether you decide to douse yourself in champagne, spring out of bed bright and early for a hike on Monday morning, or both, there are so many ways to welcome the new and shiny 2024.

And I know you’ve carefully drafted a lovely list of ambitious, health-conscious New Year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow them to a T on Jan. 1. Personally, I’m starting Dry January on Tuesday — no judgment here.

Below, you’ll find five ways to kick off the new year in and around Long Beach. But no one ever said you couldn’t hit ’em all. Party on.

Boozy brunch

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

We begin with indulgence, because it is, after all, the last day of the holly days. Here are a few places to try for brunch:

  • The Breakfast Bar, which just celebrated a decade in Long Beach, has two locations in town and is always sure to attract a party. That’s likely because they have a full bar. On that note, they also have a special hangover antidote for those who are still hurting from the prior evening. The Hung Over Breakfast Poutine includes French fries topped with gravy, scrambled eggs with cheese, pork sausage, peppers, onions, all drizzled with spiced sour cream and served with a side of pico de gallo. 
  • Saint & Second is offering a special New Year’s Day menu, which includes yellowfin ceviche, bison short-ribs, pan-seared salmon, calamari, a special $120 raw bar and more. For drinks, they’ll be featuring the Savory Little Thing with Ghost tequila, Herradura silver tequila, passion fruit, tamarind, vanilla and fresh lime juice and the Coffee Break Old-Fashioned with Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond Whiskey, Koloa Kaua’i Coffee Rum, maple syrup, aromatic bitters and orange zest.
  • Schooner or later isn’t offering a specialized menu for New Year’s Day and that’s because they know they don’t need to. Since 1985, this staple waterfront brunch restaurant has offered a menu with unending variety. And there’s just something inherently new year’s-y about sipping a mimosa on the water.

Take a hike, a stroll or a bike ride

A man zooms past while riding the bike trail near the Belmont Pier in Long Beach, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors on New Year’s Day, it’ll be partly cloudy with a bit of sun. But it’ll be a little chilly, so be sure to pull on your wintery-warm active garb before you hit one of these dusty — or paved — trails.

  • The Los Angeles Bikeway is described as a “moderate” 13.5-mile point-to-point biking and hiking trail. Should you choose to traverse the entirety of it, you’ll begin at Shoreline Aquatic Park and follow this map all the way to near Downey along the LA River.
  • El Dorado Lake Loop is flat, quick and painless. It’s a pleasant 1.8-mile route around the lake at El Dorado Park. Enjoy the company of the resident ducks and fellow residents who, like you, chose to get out of bed on New Year’s Day. Plus there’s much more to explore — the city’s largest park will make you feel like you’ve gotten lost in the woods.
A family of geese swim along Main Lake at El Dorado Park in East Long Beach Thursday, April 27, 2023. Photo by Brandon Richardson.
  • The Dominguez Gap Trail is easy but it takes about 40 minutes to complete. This is an excellent place to bring the doggos, but make sure they’re leashed.
  • The Beach Pedestrian Path is an obvious one, but it seldom gets old (who gets tired of the ocean?). If you’re feeling ambitious, walk, jog or bike the full 7.5 waterside length of it. It’ll likely be a busy day for the city’s popular paved beach path, so if you’re looking for something a tad quieter, try one of the more nature-y options we’ve listed.
  • Alternate options: The Colorado Lagoon, Willmore/Drake Park and Rancho Palos Verdes Coastal Trail.

Aquarium of the Pacific

An Aquarium of the Pacific staff member stands in front of an aquarium with hundreds of baby fish. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Certain cities have zoos, and others have the Louvre. Long Beach has Aquarium of the Pacific and guess what? They’re open on New Year’s Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. What better way to ring in 2024 than to visit the shark lagoon, the colorful jellies, the lorikeet forest, the sea otter habitat or the Tropical Pacific Gallery? Sounds wholesome to me.

Plus, you can still grab that adult beverage we talked so much about above at Cafe Scuba. And for you veggie heads, the cafe is offering a new “wicked” vegan menu with Wicked Nachos, Crab Cake Po Boy Subs and more.