When it comes to the summer, nothing sums up the problem every teenager has better than the “Phineas and Ferb” theme song: “the annual problem of our generation is finding a good way to spend it.” This problem is even more prominent once you’ve graduated high school and are scrambling to figure out how to make the most of your time.
Well, I started thinking about this a few months ago when I realized I was moving away from all of my friends. Meaning, I did some of the thinking for you! You and your friends can use this list to give yourselves the best Long Beach send off!
I’ll begin by saying that these activities are not ranked or absolutely necessary. Many of these may not even apply to everyone. But for recent high school graduates who are leaving the states, the great Los Angeles County, or the even better Long Beach, this is the unofficial bucket list of things to do before college.
Hollywood Sign Hike
We have all seen the Hollywood sign panned over in any LA-based movie, but have you ever made your way up there? Throughout the hike, you get some of the best views of Los Angeles and the valley. Grab your friends, a camera, a speaker, and lots of water as you embark on an adventure with trails of all levels.
I highly, highly recommend this hike for anyone leaving Los Angeles County or the state.
You will have a great story for your new classmates or anyone not from Southern California.
Movie on the Beach
It doesn’t matter if your new school is right next to the beach or completely landlocked, Movies on the Beach are simply a great time.
Some of the best things about Movies on the Beach are that you choose your own seats, bring your own snacks, and pick which movie you want to see. You can go watch a throwback and relive your childhood right before starting your next adventure, or you can discover a new favorite film.Whether you are taking a date or going with a group of friends, there really is no better time than the middle of a Long Beach summer to re-fall in love with movies.
Many non-California natives do not believe that the infamous Highway 1 can be scenic. But whether you are sticking around for college or moving across the country, a PCH adventure with friends is a summer must. Go north, south or as far as you want, but make sure to grab your best friends, some snacks, and just drive PCH.
This one goes without saying. If you leave California without a final meal at In-N-Out, why are you punishing yourself? Go pig out. Get that Animal Style Double-Double and brag about it everywhere.
Disclaimer: I know that In-N-Out is in a few select places outside of California, but it’s just not the same.
There is nothing quite like a Friday or Saturday night on Second Street with friends. Eating (probably) too much, always seeing at least one person you know, and having memories you just can’t make anywhere else. With so many Long Beach hubs being on Second Street, it is truly the iconic pre-college stop.
Even if you are staying here and going to CSULB, head down to Second Street for one last night with your friends and make sure stock up on college gear while you’re there!
Long Beach Towne Center
This one is purely nostalgic. Remember those nights with your friends in middle school when you’d pile in your mom’s van and get a few sweet hours of freedom? Relive those nights before you leave!
Grab your best friends, pick a movie, make a day of it or just a night! Nostalgia never gets old (see what I did there) and there’s no better time than your last summer before adulthood to relive some great nights.
Sports, Sports, and More Sports
You might be going to college with an amazing sports team, or maybe you’re going to be playing sports for your college. But growing up in Long Beach means knowing that nothing beats seeing the “Big A” light up or eating a Dodger dog (or five) in the summer heat.
For baseball lovers, go to an Angels or Dodgers game, whichever is your vice. Go see a beautiful, iconic, sunset at Dodgers Stadium or head to Anaheim for the sight of the halo. Whatever you do, grab your friends and go make some memories, you don’t know the next time you’ll all be together.
Now this one is a bit sappy and overplayed, but it is overplayed for a reason. Even if you are staying in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, or California, you probably have friends leaving. So before everyone is a phone call, but not a drive, away, go make some memories.
Shifting from having your best friend two miles or even two doors down to being in a different time zone will never be easy. But the best thing you can do is celebrate and make their last few, bittersweet weeks here unforgettable.