Southern California Day Trips

3 Hour Jaunts: Long Beach and the Aquarium of the Pacific

President’s Day is a holiday for most people and I needed to entertain the family, but all before noon. So, I created another 3 Hour Jaunt. And what I concocted worked perfectly: a morning in Long Beach starting with breakfast at Jongewaard’s Bake N Broil in Bixby Knolls and then the Aquarium of the Pacific.

If you have not eaten at Jongewaard’s, or at least had its famous pies, then you don’t really know Long Beach. It’s a high end diner/coffee shop with a sit-around eating bar in the front and spacious and comfortable booths towards the back. Warning: It’s always packed. Always. And there are no reservations. So you have to get there and hope it’s not crazy busy. And if it is, practice patience. You will be pleased. I promise.

Jongewaard’s is known for many things, including various pies and lemon blueberry pancakes. Other dishes are tasty as well and the food is not greasy. Take a chicken pot pie home and save it the freezer. The best comfort food.

If you have twenty minutes to spare drive through the nearby historic California Heights neighborhood. The neighborhood was subdivided between 1920-1929, and most were built between 1920-1950 and are 1920s style Spanish Colonial Revival single family houses. Charming doesn’t come close to describing the neighborhood of almost 1500 homes. You have to see it yourself.

After breakfast, we headed south to the Aquarium of the Pacific at the south end of Downtown Long Beach. The Aquarium focuses on the various sea-life and seascapes of the Pacific Ocean. It can be completed in under two hours and is very kid-friendly, with exhibits where kids and adults can touch certain species of sharks, crabs, jelly fish, stingrays and other sea-life. It also has an outdoor ocean-centric play area and a movie theater, so you can stay for hours if you have the time.

The Aquarium is expanding, so there is construction. Don’t let that deter you because there is still plenty to see and do. Search online for coupons before you go.

Here are videos of jelly fish and sea dragons that will enthrall you:

If you want to turn this 3 Hour Jaunt into a full day Long Beach excursion, check out the Day Trip post on Downtown Long Beach. Also, you can take public transportation to the Aquarium: the Metro Blue Line ends in Downtown Long Beach.

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