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Visitors to Long Beach can actually "hail" taxis on the water. The Aquabus service operates daily between major attractions and is wheelchair accessible.
Reprinted from PN July 2001

Heading to the PVA Convention in August? Or just looking for a great vacation spot? In the center of everything, Long Beach, Calif., offers oceanside relaxation—and a whole lot more!

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Settled along five and a half miles of sandy coastline, Long Beach boasts the ambiance of a sophisticated urban center as well as the charm of a seaside community. Located just 20 miles south of Los Angeles, California's fifth-largest city offers a dynamic range of oceanfront hotels, attractions, shopping, recreational activities, art and culture, restaurants, and nightly entertainment that makes it an ideal destination.

Long Beach's best-known attractions range from a historic ocean liner (the Queen Mary), to a Soviet submarine (the Scorpion), to a state-of-the-art aquarium.

Are these attractions wheelchair accessible? The Scorpion is not; many parts of the Queen Mary are. The good news is, guests who use wheelchairs need not pay admission fees at these two locations.

Between the Queen Mary and the Aquarium is Shoreline Village, a charming seaside boardwalk of specialty and souvenir shops and restaurants. Rainbow Harbor surrounds Shoreline Village and is home to California's official tall ship, the Californian.

Outside downtown Long Beach, several attractions suit visitors of all ages: Alamitos Bay, a waterfront dining and entertainment area; Gondola Getaway along the canals of Naples Island; and Ranchos Los Alamitos and Rancho Los Cerritos, two historic parks featuring acres of beautiful gardens and authentic adobes.

Winding along the beach are smooth, wide paths. Day and night harbor cruises also are available, offering beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. For some Polynesian excitement, take a ride on the Na Hoku, a bright-yellow catamaran that pulls up directly on the beach. And don't forget shopping—Long Beach has an eclectic array of options, from antiques to retail centers.

Friendly guides patrol a 40-block area in Long Beach and help visitors find restaurants, shops, and attractions. In addition, Long Beach's central location is an easy drive to any Los Angeles attraction or the Anaheim theme parks.

When it's time to dine, Long Beach offers hundreds of options, from intimate cafes to spectacular oceanfront restaurants. Sample a world of cuisines right in this international city.

The Passport local shuttle service offers free wheelchair-accessible transportation to downtown Long Beach's most popular attractions, including the Aquarium, Queen Mary, Shoreline Village, and Pine Avenue. For an additional 90 cents, you can ride to Belmont Shores/Naples, a bustling seaside community featuring shops, restaurants, and the famous Gondola Getaways.

Water-taxi service via the wheelchair-accessible Aquabus transports guests across the water to Shoreline Village, the Aquarium, and the Queen Mary.

Long Beach Transit also offers a "DayTripper" pass that provides unlimited rides aboard all Passport shuttles, the new Village Tour D'Art shuttle (wheelchair accessible), and all 34 Long Beach Transit bus routes. It also offers two tickets for the Aquabus water taxi as well as a coupon booklet with discounts for participating attractions. Passes are available at selected Long Beach hotels and attractions and Long Beach Transit.

Catalina Express has launched a new jet catamaran designed to carry more passengers and make the crossing to Catalina Island in less time. Catalina Express has eight ships, all but one of which are accessible.

 

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