It’s almost Vroom-Vroom time in Downtown Long Beach! The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the longest-running major street race event in North America, will be happening Friday, April 14 through Sunday, April 16. We would like to invite all race fans, visitors and locals to make the most of the experience by discovering the full spectrum of fun and flavor in Downtown.
One can find fantastic entertainment, recreation, self-care, food, drink, and shopping offerings throughout our neighborhoods. We’ve picked a small handful to pique your interest, but just know there are many more options to explore through our Experience DTLB page here.
So, explore Downtown and make your race weekend complete!
From the moment you enter this apocalyptic Downtown pizza joint at 121 West 4th St., you’ll know you’re in for a one-of-a-kind experience. “We serve the best pizza in the city with an atmosphere that can’t be beat,” boasted co-owner Jeremy Cross. “We’re punk rock, we’re metal, we’re pizza, we’re beer — it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Bring a group of hungry and thirsty race fans with you to feast on appropriately-named pizzas such as the Black Horse or the Rosemary’s Baby. Vegan options are available. A comprehensive assortment of craft beers and fine wines will enhance your delightfully jarring 4th Horseman hang.
After your meal, venture (if you dare) into the DARK ART EMPORIUM, which adjoins the restaurant. Be dazzled and spooked by the artworks and artifacts in this world-renowned museum of the macabre.
The 4th Horseman is a Downtown fixture and a place you’ll never forget. “Long Beach is a town that prides itself in its individualism and I feel like we represent that well,” said Cross.
A day at the races may have you feeling sporty — and thirsty. You can deal with both issues at Birdies n Brews (90 E 4th St), which features a truly amazing golf simulator. Hit balls on a virtual driving range or play a round on one of 50 golf courses, including Augusta, Pebble Beach, and St. Andrews.
“It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Grand Prix to visit this place, along with many other Downtown spots that are off the beaten path,” said owner Andrew Esparza.
As you play, the simulator will provide you with all kinds of real-time data, including length of shot, trajectory, ball speed, club speed, sidespin, launch angle, and more. “That’s why serious golfers like it — but anyone can have fun with it,” said Esparza. “Bring your own clubs, or use a set provided by us. Left-handed clubs are available for southpaws.”
A round of drinks goes perfectly with a round of golf: Birdies n Brews has a terrific selection of beers, ciders, seltzers, and hard kombuchas to keep your thirst in check.
When you’re seated outdoors at this fine French creperie (400 E First St), just a short walk up the street from the Grand Prix course, sipping some French wine and savoring some French Onion Soup, you’ll hear the roars of racing cars in the distance and think you’re somewhere on the European Grand Prix circuit — with a Pacific Ocean breeze, of course!
Creme de la Crepe’s menu features French delicacies such as Escargot, Filet Mignon Tartare, Beef Bourguignon, and an assortment of crepes that is truly magnifique.
Sandwiches, burgers, and pasta dishes are also featured on the menu, along with a fabulous selection of beer and wine. Toast the Grand Prix winner — and yourselves — by raising a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.
Creme de la Crepe is located on a corner that is a sort-of gateway to Downtown’s East Village. After your meal, become a boulevardier and stroll the streets of one of Long Beach’s most eclectic neighborhoods. C’est Bon!
One of the requirements when attending a spectacular event like the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is to acquire a souvenir or three. There will be all kinds of swag available at the race site — but if you want to take home a memento that truly speaks of the creativity and originality in Downtown Long Beach, take a trip to MADE by Millworks at 50 E 4th St. It’s a gift shop filled with arts and crafts created by a diverse assortment of local makers.
Perfect examples are the race posters and Long Beach building portraits created by award-winning international artist Marz, Jr. His artwork adds a graceful, painterly feel to the race course and surrounding Downtown landmarks.
MADE by Millworks will be open Friday and Saturday from 9 AM to 9 PM during race weekend. Stop in, shop for some goodies and bask in the shop’s arty, distinctly Long Beach vibe.
Downtown Long Beach has many locations to enjoy stunning views — and some of the best can be enjoyed when you’re on the water. Long Beach Watersports, located at 700 Queensway Drive right next to Hotel Maya, will provide you with the vessel that will help you push the boundaries of your Grand Prix weekend experience and gain access to some gorgeous and memorable panoramas.
You can rent a two-person jet ski, equipped with speakers so you can rock your playlist while zipping around a six-mile ocean radius. During your voyage, you may be accompanied by dolphins and sea lions! The jet skis are very stable when piloted appropriately. Riders are advised to wear clothing they don’t mind getting wet, just in case.
“We have eight-passenger pontoon boats for rent as well,” Manager Marcus Provenzano informed us. “Take your friends out with some food and bevvies, ‘park’ behind the oil islands, and watch the sunset.”
For details about parking, reservations, and other nautical offerings such as Catalina trips, please click here.
We’re always on the lookout for Downtown businesses, events, community members and more to highlight in our Downtown Scene newsletter, on our website, and social media channels! If you have an event coming up or know of any Downtown-based amazingness going on that people need to know about, give us a shout by emailing our Communications & Marketing Manager, Asia Morris, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also submit an upcoming Downtown event to our events calendar at downtownlongbeach.org/events.