The Queen Mary
This superb Art Deco survivor of the days when ocean liners ruled the waves is simply colossal at over 310 metres long. Launched in 1934, the ship has a fascinating history both as a veteran of 1001 transatlantic crossings and as a troop ship during World War 2. Walk its long teak decks; see the view from the bridge; marvel at its vast engine rooms; even eat on board or enjoy a cocktail.
A trip on the ferry to Catalina Island is a must on Long Beach. This lovely unspoilt spot has canyons, coves and pristine beaches, as well as fantastic diving and snorkelling in its crystal waters. Its delightful main town, Avalon, is a feast for the eyes with painted bungalows and yachts moored in Crescent Bay.
Aquarium of the Pacific
With over 11,000 sea creatures, including sharks, octopuses, penguins and sea dragons, this vast aquarium is one of the USA's largest. It recreates three distinct Pacific habitats, from warm through
to cold, as well as tropical regions - even a barrier reef. Giant tanks let you see the animals up close and you can even touch some of the sharks at Shark Lagoon.
Rancho Los Alamitos
Step back in time at one of the oldest surviving dwellings in Southern California - an elegant 18-room ranch house built around 1800. It sits atop a hill surrounded by 7.5 acres of what was once a 28,500-acre cattle ranch. Learn about the history of the area and stroll in lush gardens studded with towering Moreton Bay fig trees.
For a different kind of shopping experience head to Retro Row along Fourth Street. It's famed for its boutiques selling second-hand and vintage clothing, as well as stores stacked with retro furniture and oddities from yesteryear.