The Cultured Staycation in Long Beach


Traveling can be hectic and exhausting, but here are some ideas to plan the perfect day off — a day of culture, sophistication, and rejuvenation — right in your own backyard.

To quote Jane Austen’s famous novel “Emma,” “Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” If you are in need of some “R&R,” there are plenty of ways to spend a staycation in Long Beach. Traveling can be hectic and exhausting, but here are some ideas to plan the perfect day off — a day of culture, sophistication, and rejuvenation — right in your own backyard. By the end of your staycation in Long Beach, you will feel like you’ve spent a day in a period novel.

Visit McKenna’s Tea Cottage for Afternoon Tea

Located on the cusp of Long Beach and Seal Beach on Main Street, McKenna’s Tea Cottage has rustic charm and will make you feel like you are sitting down to a traditional English tea — as if you were at the table with the Bennet sisters in “Pride and Prejudice.” Order the Queen Mum’s Tea, which comes with a traditional pot of tea, a homemade scone with clotted cream and jam, the soup of the day or garden salad, five assorted tea sandwiches, and three-piece petite dessert — indulgence even Marie Antoinette would be proud of! McKenna’s Tea Cottage is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Catch a Film at United Artists Movie Theatre

The UA Theatre in Long Beach, off of Pacific Coast Highway in the Market Place shopping center, is one of Long Beach’s best kept secrets in town. The UA shows independent films from all over the world. View their new and upcoming movie releases to get a global cinematic experience just right in your own backyard.

Visit Barnes & Noble Booksellers

You could spend an entire afternoon looking at books and combing down each book aisle at Barnes and Noble bookstore, which is across the street from the UA in the Marina Pacifica Mall. Try the “Classics” aisle and read about the way people used to spend their day. Spoiler alert: the world was a lot more slow-paced in Jane Austen’s day.

Stroll through the Long Beach Museum of Art

What better way to feel cultured then leisurely walking through a museum? This summer, Long Beach Museum of Art will feature a bevy of intricate drawings of Henri Matisse, a 19th Century, early 20th Century French artist, and works from Ellsworth Kelly, a contemporary of the Matisse drawing style.

See a Show

Finish your day of “staycating” with culture by seeing a live performance. See outstanding broadway shows at The Carpenter Center, from the resident theatre company Musical Theatre West. This summer’s show is “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” a biographical piece about George M. Cohan, known as the “the man who owned Broadway,” during the 20th century. There’s also the Long Beach Opera, Long Beach Ballet, Long Beach Symphony, and Long Beach Playhouse. Wear your best frock or put on a suit and tie and enjoy an evening out at the theatre!


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