Affectionally dubbed the City by the Sea, Long Beach is nestled off the southern coast of New York’s Long Island. The city offers beautiful waters, miles of inviting sands, and an iconic boardwalk that’s surprisingly built with the help of elephants.
Long Beach continues to attract visitors not only for the sun, sea, and sights but also for the warm community that tirelessly makes this city a safe space for people to enjoy life. In this article, we’ll talk about the amazing history of Long Beach and some of the things you can do when you visit.
Long Beach: A Brief History
The City of Long Beach can be traced back to 1880 when a Brooklyn-based builder named Austin Corbin and the Long Island Railroad decided to develop the island into a resort town. The Long Beach Hotel was built that same year and initiated the city’s growth in popularity.
New York State Senator and real estate developer William Reynolds then set his sights on Long Beach. His first initiative was to build the Long Beach boardwalk. Reynolds had a herd of elephants from Coney Island’s Dreamland march to Long Beach to aid in the construction and act as a publicity stunt.
Over the years, Long Beach became one of the hottest summer destinations in the State, especially for the rich and famous of New York City. Unfortunately, the city experienced a period of darkness in the 60s, 70s, and 80s due to local economic decline.
The community continued to rebuild slowly, but another challenge came to Long Beach in the form of superstorm Sandy in 2012. Sandy devastated the city with destructive waves and strong winds. The storm destroyed the old boardwalk and left the city with over $250 million in damages.
However, the people of Long Beach continued to press on despite the hardships and worked full time to rebuild the city in the wake of Sandy. Now, the new and improved boardwalk is thriving like never before. Businesses, restaurants, and other seaside establishments continue to cater to the growing number of tourists that visit the city.
There are many things to enjoy at the City by the Sea. Try the following on your next visit.
- Take A Stroll Through The Long Beach Boardwalk
Completely rebuilt after the destruction brought by Hurricane Sandy, the Long Beach Boardwalk remains the city’s most iconic destination. The new boardwalk stretches for 2.2 miles of the beach’s over 3-mile length.
It’s the perfect place for people who wants to take long walks by the beach. It’s also a popular destination for running and biking while enjoying a scenic view of the sea.
- Play Around At The Magnolia Playground
The Magnolia Playground is another destination restored following Sandy’s devastation. It’s a fantastic place filled with pirate-themed playing equipment like slides, climbing bars, see-saws, and swings. The area is also teeming with unique sea-inspired artwork.
The playground is close to the boardwalk, making it a great place to visit for families walking or biking along the beach.
- Enjoy The Sun At Ocean Beach Park
The Ocean Beach Park is the perfect place to be when visiting during the warm summer months. Indulge yourself in some much-needed relaxation by enjoying a little sunbathing on the beach. The area is a safe, family-friendly, and smoke-free zone with lifeguards ready to assist.
- Go Surfing At The Coast
Long Beach is also a popular destination for those who want to hit the coast and surf the waves. You can surf the waters of Long Beach all year round but surfing in the summer is perfect for beginners because of the gentler waves.
If you haven’t tried surfing before, consider taking surfing lessons. Popular local surfing school Skudin Surf offers one-to-one, semi-private, and public surfing lessons. These classes are open to both children and adults who want to learn how to ride the waves.
- Experience The City’s History At Long Beach Historical Museum
The Long Beach Historical Museum is managed by the Long Beach Historical & Preservation Society and houses many of the city’s historical objects dating back from the early 20th century.
The museum also has massive glass windows and period artifacts such as original benches and plaques from the old boardwalk. The museum also has a small gift shop that sells beautiful souvenirs.
- Grab A Bite At Shoregasboard Food Truck Market
The Shoregasboard Food Truck Market is another popular destination worth visiting in Long Beach. Located in Riverside Boulevard, this food truck market offers a wide array of delicious tacos, hotdogs, pastrami sandwiches, smoothies, and more.
You can expect plenty of seats whenever you visit. Parking is usually open until 9 PM, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy all the fantastic treats the food trucks have on sale.
Enjoy Long Beach On Your Next Trip
Long Beach remains a beautiful place to escape the hustle and bustle of work and daily living. Whether that’s grabbing some tacos from the local food trucks, riding the waves, or just having a carefree stroll on the boardwalk, there are many ways to have a good time at Long Beach.