Life in the city can disconnect us from nature, especially for those of us that have been working exclusively from home the last year. Spending at least 20 minutes a day outside not only gives us something fun to do, but research has shown that there are more benefits than just stretching your legs. Spend some time outside and benefit from an improved attention span, increased levels of the feel-good chemical, serotonin, and an overall better sense of happiness.
With almost half a million people, Long Beach is a jam-packed city that offers plenty of opportunity to connect with mother nature. Here are just a few locations and activities that we recommend.
Rosie’s Dog Beach
The first on our list is the city’s namesake: the beach! With twelve waterfront locations to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect beach. We highlighted Rosie’s Dog Beach because the city is notorious for being dog friendly, and it’s the only off-leash dog beach in Los Angeles county.
Spend some time with your toes in the water, take a deep breath, feel the benefits of being outside. If dogs aren’t your thing, try any other beach along Ocean Blvd. For calmer waters, one of our favorites is Colorado Lagoon. Don’t forget your floatie!
Website: LB Parks & Rec – Rosie’s Dog Beach
Address: Ocean Blvd., between Granada Ave. and Roycroft Ave
Hours: 6am-8pm daily
Fees: Metered parking available, or park for free in the neighborhood across the street
Other Info: The beach is not fenced and all dogs are encouraged to be off-leash.
Yoga on the Bluff
If you prefer to stay out of the sand but love a beautiful view, make your way to a free yoga class at Bluff Park. Admire the beauty of mother nature while you practice your sun salutations. Classes are held every day at 11:00am. During the spring and summer seasons, a second class is held at 6:00pm. Although classes are free, donations are always appreciated.
Address: Bluff Park, on the corner of Junipero Ave and E. Ocean Blvd
Hours: 11am and 6pm daily
Fees: Classes are free, but donations are accepted.
Other Info: No sign-ups necessary. Visit the website for a list of yoga teachers.
Dominguez Gap Wetlands
The Dominguez Gap Wetlands offer a hiking trail that is just over two miles long along the Los Angeles River. The basin was originally created to protect Long Beach from flooding, but it has also created a scenic trail that connects you to the wetlands. Despite some gentle reminders that city-life is close by, it is easy to connect with Mother Nature when you see some of the wildlife that have made the wetlands their home.
You can enter the hiking trail from Molina Park off Del Amo Blvd, or through the south entrance on Del Mar Ave. in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood. Watch The Grunion’s video for more details.
Website: LA County Public Works – Dominguez Gap Wetlands
Address: 286 W. Del Amo Blvd, Long Beach, CA
Hours: open 24 hours
Other Info: Finding the entrance can be tricky. Watch this video for more information.
Rancho Los Cerritos
If you’re by the Dominguez Gap Wetlands, drive a few blocks over and take a step into Long Beach history. Rancho Los Cerritos is a 4.7 acre site that has trails, gardens, and one of the oldest adobe buildings in the state.
As you walk through the grounds, you’ll come across a garden, an orchard, and an herb garden, and various native trees like sycamores and a Coast Live Oak. To connect with your senses, pay attention to the scents of the gardens. You might catch a whiff of rosemary, fennel, or lavender. You can roam the site yourself, or you can sign up for a free tour of the gardens where you’ll learn about the wildlife in the area.
Address: 4600 Virginia Rd, Long Beach CA 90807
Hours: 1pm-5pm Wednesday through Sunday. 10am-5pm on Saturdays
Fees: Parking and admission are free
Other Info: RSVP ahead of time is encouraged, but not required. Contact information is collected via RSVP or upon arrival only for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes.
El Dorado Nature Center
Located inside the El Dorado East Regional Park, the nature center consists of 105 acres that are the home to plenty of wildlife. Explore the two lakes and the stream by hiking the two-mile trail that leads to the Visitor Center.
If you prefer a more active way to connect with nature, explore some of the amenities that El Dorado East Regional Park has to offer, including the 4-mile bike trails, an archery range, or some fishing in one of the two stocked fishing lakes. Whatever activity you choose, the park and nature center will surely provide you with the benefits of spending time in nature.
Website: LB Parks & Rec. – El Dorado Nature Center
Address: 7550 E. Spring St, Long Beach CA 90815
Hours: 8am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday
Fees: Access to the park and nature center are free for pedestrians and bicyclists. Vehicle entrance fees vary by day of the week, between $6-$9.
Other Info: El Dorado East Regional Park website and amenities