Greetings ESA attendees,

Here is to a wonderful and productive meeting.   Long Beach, situated in the heart of Southern California,

Is a wonderful place to explore both urban delights as well as the diversity of habitats from the ocean to the mountains. There are a large number of outdoor possibilities for those of you arriving early or staying a few days after the meeting.

In addition to a variety of restaurants and bars, Long Beach is also host to the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and is a gateway to explore Santa Catalina Island, one of the southernmost of the Channel Islands,

A general website to get oriented with Long Beach:

Official logo of the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Photo courtesy Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Getting Around

The single most important key to enjoying Long Beach and So. California is to stay off the freeways if possible, and if used to avoid peak traffic times (7-10am, 4-7pm). Below are distances and travel times to places around southern California. For those involving freeways (attractions outside Long Beach and away from the coast), these do not take into account traffic jams due to accidents or road work. Given the high volume of traffic and freeways, these are frequent. There are a lot of fun activities within walking or biking distance of the convention center.  Heading down the Pacific Coast Highway is also a safe bet to explore without dealing with traffic headaches. Times and distances below are assuming you have a car (except Santa Catalina)

For longer forays beyond Long Beach without a car:

LA metro-line.  For those who want to avoid driving but want to try explore LA, there is a metro line in downtown Long Beach. If you decide for this option, you may want to bring a book. 

Outdoor Recreation (Within 30 min)

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (26min, 11 mi)

Highlights: Great birding for wetland and shorebirds, adjacent to Bolsa Chica State Beach, protected nesting grounds for Least Terns (probably gone by august though).

Bolsa Chica State Beach (25 min, 9.5mi)

Highlights: Kid friendly beach, great place to rent a surfboard and learn how to surf. Be careful to shuffle your feet in the water, there are stingrays. There are also firepits which are great for having a post talk get together or for bonding with your lab group/informal networking.
Bolsa Chica State Beach

El Dorado Park and Nature Center (20min,18 mi)

Highlights: Forested walks in the middle of the city. Free archery classes for kids 8 years and older on Saturday.