DATE IDEAS AT THE PIKE IN LONG BEACH



A great chill date place in the LA area whether it be your first date or your 30th date is The Pike in Long Beach. It's a nice place to go if you're looking for a place that's not so crowded and not so hectic, but still has all the date finishings such as restaurants, a movie theater, and beautiful views across the street at Rainbow Harbor.

The Pike was not lively and packed with people like other outdoor malls/plazas the last two times I went. If you are looking for place with an energetic vibe, skip this place for now. However, if you are if you are looking for a place with smaller crowds, and are looking to spend some calm leisurely time with your date, check this place out.


Getting here

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The Pike!

the pike long beach parking rates
The parking rate for the parking structure at The Pike in Long Beach.


Parking
Parking at The Pike's parking structure is pretty straight forward. You receive a ticket when you enter, get it validated, pay at one of the machines on the first floor and out you go~ Certain machines take card only and some take cash so double check which machine you use when paying for your ticket.

There is additional parking on the intersection of Shoreline Drive + Pine Ave and metered parking along the streets.

A quick note: I did not have any problems with parking at The Pike, but according to the parking structure's yelp page (yes, apparently there's a yelp page for a parking structure) there are several people that had problems with validations that did not work and long lines. You can read more about it here for reference.

After parking
There are 2 sides to explore once you are at The Pike: The Pike which consists of a movie theater, retail stores, and restaurants & Rainbow Harbor across the Street! Decide what you would like to explore first. If you plan on visiting Rainbow Harbor first, go to the first floor of the parking structure and cross the street or you can go to the third floor and walk across the bridge!


The Pike

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Movie time~

The view of the movie screen. We sat in the second to last row, but you can't see any of the people sitting in the rows in front of us!

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The cookie minster from Cold Stone after the movies.

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Rows of restaurants to choose from across the street.


Retail
Many of the stores at The Pike are factory/outlet stores (Nike Factory, Gap Factory, F21 Red, and Columbia Sportswear Outlet) if you would like to do some shopping. They do have some non outlet stores like H&M and cotton on, but probably not as many as your local mall.

Movie Theater
They have a Cinemark movie theater, and I have to say, I really like this movie theater. All the screening rooms have large comfy recliner seats and each row is divided by a wall so you don't see any of the people that are sitting in front of you. It makes the movie watching experience a little more intimate and gives off a sense of exclusivity. Check out their website for movie times and prices accordingly.

Food
There are many restaurants to choose from within several price points. I would say they are mostly chain restaurants like CPK and Chili's. Here is a map of all the places to eat. You may have to scroll down a little to see the map/list of all the restaurants.


Rainbow Harbor

The view across The Pike towards Rainbow Harbor!

The view walking to Rainbow Harbor from The Pike.

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Getting closer to Lighthouse Point!

Pine Ave Pier & Lighthouse Point
Rainbow Harbor is located within walking distance from The Pike across Shoreline Avenue. It's a nice quaint place to walk with rows of palm trees and picturesque views. You can walk on Pine Ave Pier to see Lighthouse Point and Queen Mary or walk towards Shoreline Park and walk up to Lighthouse Point and see it up close! It is a little bit of a walk up on a hill, but not strenuous at all. Once you get to the top of the hill, you and your date can find a nice place to sit and enjoy the view.

Sealife cruises
Rainbow Harbor is home to many boats and businesses. One of the popular attractions here is the Harbor Beach Cruises on dock 2. I was pleasantly surprised that there was a long line of people waiting to get on the boat for the 45 minute harbor tour when I was there. They have a 2 - 2 1/2 hour sealife cruise as well.

Aquarium of the Pacific
If you or your date love animals, visit Aquarium of the Pacific located right on Rainbow Harbor! It is one of the larger aquariums in LA x OC with more than 11,000 ocean animals to see and learn about. Also, parking is $8 at the The Pike's parking structure for 24 hours with a validation from the aquarium which is nice :)

Water Taxis
If you have some extra time on your hands and are feeling a little adventurous, take the Aqua Link or Aqua Bus and venture out even further. They are water taxis with stops by dock 4 by the Aquarium. According to their website, the Aqua Link is $5 one way and the Aqua Bus is $1 each way. Both have different routes and stops so check their route here before going.

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