Signal Hill: Hilltop Park
Signal Hill could be considered a hidden gem on its own – a city completely surrounded by another city. Incorporated in 1924, Tongva Indians used the hill to send signal fires, hence the name. Signal Hill was once occupied with over 100 oil derricks and was nicknamed ‘Porcupine Hill’. But the real beauty is the Hilltop Park where you can see as far as the Santa Mountains, Downtown Los Angeles, Newport Beach, and Catalina Island. Hilltop Park has become a popular site with geocaching and has many telescopes and public artwork. The official address is 2351 Dawson Avenue.
The Bembridge House is not only owned and operated by Long Beach Heritage but listed on the California Register of National Resources and the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 953 Park Circle Drive in Long Beach, the Bembridge House was built in 1906 in a true Queen Anne style mansion. Music teacher Dorothy Bembridge lived in the house from 1918 until her murder at her home in 1998. Currently, Bembridge house is open for tours.
More info at https://www.lbheritage.org/bembridge-house/visit/
The Jergins Tunnel, originally known as the Jergens Pedestrian Subway was built in 1927 and opened in 1928. The generous A.T. Jergins Trust built the tunnel to help people reach the beach safely because at that time, there were no stop signs or traffic signals at Ocean Blvd and Pike St. Jergins went above and beyond while creating the subway, adding intricate tile that remains to this day and a skylight. Vendors were allowed to set up shop during the Great Depression While now sealed up, there are always talks about reopening the Jergins Tunnel.
Long Beach is home to literally the thinnest house in America. The Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not have deemed 708 Gladys Avenue as the nation’s skinniest house. Built-in 1932, it is a registered city landmark. The house was built after Newton P. Richards bet a friend he could build a habitable building on such a small land. The Skinny House is only 820 square feet.
Rancho Los Alamitos
Rancho Los Alamitos may be the most well-known spot on this list but it is on here because it is literally hidden. To get to the rancho, you must go through a residential security gate. It is 7.5-acres and on the land is a ranch house built in the 1800s and nine gorgeous gardens. Rancho offers tours, a beautiful location for weddings and an area to go geocaching.
Learn more about the Rancho here: https://www.rancholosalamitos.com
You wouldn’t expect a Japanese oasis on the bustling campus of a college but the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a quiet haven at California University State Long Beach. There is a tea house and zen gardens with blossoms that change with the seasons. Don’t forget to feed the koi fish for only fifty cents per handful of food. For more information visit:
Rosie the Riveter Park
In 1941, millions of men were sent overseas to fight in the war and women were encouraged to take on jobs that specifically helped the war effort. Long Beach was home to the navy and the Douglas Aircraft Plane, which used to be one of the biggest employers in the city. The Rosie the Riveter was used as a recruiter ad with the now famous ‘You Can Do It!’ slogan. Thousands of women worked for the aircraft plant. The park was originally named Douglas Park but was renamed ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Park in 2007 to honor the women who worked tirelessly during World War II. Rosie the Riveter Park is located on the corner of Clark and Conant street.