LA Bike Tours – LLC offers guided tours for groups and individuals to the Hollywood Studios, Beverly Hills, Getty Center, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Drinking water, lunch, bike and helmet rental are included in the price. The bike or inline skating tours organized by Perry’s Beach Cafe and Rentals , 2400 Oceanfront Walk, Santa Monica lead along the beach in Santa Monica, past Venice Beach and its canals to the beaches further south.
Phone: (323) 466 58 90, (888) 775 24 53 (LA Bike Tours – LLC); (310) 372 31 38 (Perry’s Beach Cafe and Rentals)
LA City Tours organizes tours of Los Angeles, movie star homes and beaches, as well as trips to San Diego, Mexico and Las Vegas. Starline Tours offers various tours through Los Angeles, from the one-hour ‘Hollywood Trolley Tour’ to the seven-and-a-half hour combined ‘Grand Tour of Los Angeles’ and’ Movie Stars’ Homes’ trip.
Phone: (310) 581 07 18, (888) 800 78 78 (LA City Tours); (323) 402 10 74 (Starline Tours)
Excellent tours of Downtown Los Angeles are hosted by Los Angeles Conservancy Tours , including landmarks and historic areas such as Pershing Square, Broadway Theater District and Little Tokyo. Redline Tours offers historic tours of downtown and Hollywood. On these tours you have the opportunity to visit the interiors of several historical buildings. Walk on the Wild Side offers a diverse selection of two or three hour walks through nature and more remote areas of LA, where you can familiarize yourself with the fauna and flora, geographic fault lines and Indian legends. Architours’ tours specialize in art and architecture.
Phone: (213) 623 24 89 (Los Angeles Conservancy Tours); (323) 402 10 74 (Redline Tours); (310) 829 24 86 (Walk on the Wild Side); (323) 294 58 21, (888) 627 24 48 (Architours)
Santa Catalina Island
Only 35 km off the coast of Long Beach is the idyllic island of Santa Catalina, a popular day trip destination for the stressed Angelenos, but also worth a longer stay. The Catalina Express (Tel: (800) 481 34 70. Internet: www.catalinaexpress.com) offers ferry connections from Long Beach or San Pedro Port. The drive to this peaceful island, where cars are not allowed, is one to two hours from Long Beach, depending on the boat.
Avalon is the island’s capital and is nestled in the hills above the crescent-shaped harbor. The beach at the harbor invites you to relax and is ideal for water sports. At the end of the beach is the casino, whose large dance hall attracted people to dance with orchestral accompaniment, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. Guided tours of the casino, which has never been a game of chance (it was always just a social meeting point), can be booked at the visitor information center on the pier, which also offers trips with a glass-bottom boat or trips to the wild interior of the island, where else Live herds of buffalo. The Catalina Island Museum (Tel: (310) 510 24 14. Internet: www.catalinamuseum.org) occupies the entire ground floor of the casino, and you can combine a guided tour of the building with entry to the museum or take free tours of Avalon.
Further information is available from the Catalina Island Visitors Bureau & Chamber of Commerce.
Phone: (310) 510 15 20
Long Beach is the second largest city in Los Angeles and is located just south of Downtown LA. The easiest way to get there is via the Long Beach Freeway (I-710) southwards or with the blue metro line from downtown to the Transit Mall in Long Beach. From there you can take the convenient, free Passport shuttle bus that goes to the main attractions in Long Beach.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Long Beach was little more than a popular seaside resort, but in 1921 the discovery of oil in the area led to intensive industrialization and promotion of trade and commerce in Long Beach, including building the city’s port. In the 1990s, however, tourism turned more to the fore, restored historic districts and a series of new attractions were created on the nine-kilometer-long beach. In Long Beach Harbor, visitors can view the luxurious Queen Mary passenger liner, which was once used by celebrities and crowned heads to cross the Atlantic (tel: (562) 435 35 11. Internet: www.queenmary.com).
Nearby is the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific (Tel: (562) 590 31 00, Internet:www.aquariumofpacific.org), in which more than 550 different species of marine animals can be admired in their respective, artificially modeled habitats. A little further along the coast are the Long Beach Museum of Art (Tel: (562) 439 21 19), the Shoreline Village shopping center around the small marina, which also offers sailing activities (Internet: www.shorelinevillage.com) and Gondola Getaway (Tel: (562) 433 95 95; Internet www.gondolagetawayinc.com), which offers gondola rides through the Naples Island canals. The promenade leads from the marina to the business and banking district and is lined with good restaurants, bars and night clubs. There are also circular routes to the historic landmarks and some of the city’s 50 murals.
Further information is available from the Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Suite 300, One World Trade Center).
Phone: (562) 436 36 45