Locals Love: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens

Our culture typically values hustle and bustle, while relaxation is regarded as a special treat that we indulge in every now and then due to necessity. The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden located on the CSU Long Beach (CSULB) campus, is one of those places where you can breathe deep, relax and decompress. It is a wonderful place for learning, cultural exchange and contemplation. The 1.3-acre garden was built through the generosity of Mrs. Loraine Miller Collins and dedicated to the memory of her late husband, Earl Burns Miller. Surrounded by tall trees, the elegant 1.3-acre garden features a lush green landscape, fabulous koi pond, giant timber bamboo and glimmering waterfalls beneath a walking bridge.

“There is an old proverb that says, ‘Bamboo bends but never breaks.’ It is my hope that as you leave your tour of the garden, you will find in your heart that proverb, and the day will be filled with joy.” – Loraine Miller Collins

CSULB believes in international education, and the university gladly welcomes visitors to the Japanese Garden. There are a many public education events offered and each year more than 5,000 school children enjoy a field trip to the Garden. Visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden web page to see regular public hours: http://web.csulb.edu/~jgarden/

Looking for an opportunity to get more involved with one of the special attractions Locals Love? The Garden has a Volunteer Docent Program on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8 am – noon. Work with CSULB students to lead tours through the Garden and educate visitors on the Japanese culture. You may call 562.985.8420 to learn more about becoming a volunteer docent.

Have a special event that requires a location just as special? The Japanese Garden is available to rent for weddings and other special occasions. Imagine hosting a party or meeting at this inspired location. And yes, they have an on-site event coordinator.
CSULB is one of the premier universities in California. Other compelling attractions on the campus include the Pyramid and Karen & Richard Carpenter Performing Arts Center for concerts, plays and various other events.

The Beach Team and Locals Love the beauty and serenity of Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens. Visit the picturesque Garden today and bring a camera so you can share some of your favorite sights with us.

Article prepared by John Rudy, Realtor®, Coldwell Banker Beach Team: 562-940-5440 – john@mybeachteam.com


Locals Love: Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island, most often referred to as ‘Catalina Island’ or just ‘Catalina’, is a rocky island off the coast of Long Beach. The islandAvalon is 22 miles long and 8 miles across at its greatest width. Fun facts: the Chicago Cubs trained on Catalina Island from 1921 to 1951 and Avalon’s golf course was first built in 1892, making it the oldest course in Southern California. If you are wondering where to stay and what to do while you are there, we can help with some ideas.

Popular activities: Enjoy the beach and numerous water activities, zip line eco tour, Cape Cod Canyon expedition, helicopter tour, undersea expedition, Airport in the Sky, miniature golf (hardest course you will ever play), Avalon scenic tour and the Avalon Theater. The list goes on to include the Casino which is a 12-story high architectural wonder that epitomizes everything glamorous about Catalina Harry, Lilly and JC on the Trans-Catalina TrailIsland. And the grand-daddy of all activities is the Trans-Catalina Trail; 37.8 miles that features huge ascents and descents while taking you from the beautiful shores of Avalon on the east end of the island to rugged Starlight Beach on the west end. You need a permit from the Catalina Island Conservancy to hike the trail; the permit is free and the wildlife and views from the trail are truly amazing.

Where to stay:  Catalina Island has more than 80 beach house rentals from California Island Vacation Rentals (CIVR), Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) and other companies. They also have fabulous resort-style hotels like Hotel Mac Rae, Snug Harbor Inn, Hotel Metropole, Pavilion Hotel, Portofino Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island and Hotel Vista Del Mar.John with American Bison about 20 feet away

American Bison, also called Buffalo, roam Catalina and were first imported in 1924 for Zane Grey‘s western film, The Vanishing American. We mention this because the island has its own specialty drink called ‘Buffalo Milk’. Locals liken it to “a white Russian gone island crazy.” Here’s one Lilly and JC drinking Buffalo Milk cocktailversion of the recipe served in a hurricane glass: half shot creme de cocoa (dark or light), half shot kalua, half shot creme de banana, one shot vodka. Fill rest with half and half, ice and blend. Top with whip cream, sprinkle with nutmeg and a couple slices of banana. To make it a ‘Buffalo Bowl’, add a floater (half shot) of patron cafe.

The Beach Team and Locals Love many things about Catalina Island. Tell us about your experiences on Catalina and what you like best about the island.

Article prepared by John Rudy, Realtor®, Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance: 562-940-5440 – john@mybeachteam.com

Locals Love: Catalina Express

Did you know Catalina Island is only about an hour away by boat? Why spend a lot of money and all day traveling to an island for vacation when we have a great island just a short distance away. The Catalina Express provides year-round boat service to Catalina Island. We take it from downtown Long Beach, but you can also take it from San Pedro to the cities of Avalon and Two Harbors. Cost is reasonable at less than $75 for a standard round trip. You can upgrade your ticket to the Commodore’s Lounge or Captain’s Lounge for an additional fee.

More than one million passengers set sail annually on board the Catalina Express fleet of eight boats. Since the Catalina Express first set sail in 1981 with one 60-passenger boat, 30 million passengers have used this service.

Catalina Express operates the fastest, most comfortable vessels to Catalina Island, featuring sleek fiberglass hulls, state-of-the-art stabilizers that smooth out 90 percent of the roll, and high-tech navigational equipment and radio communications systems for safe channel crossing. For these reasons, Catalina Express is one of the world’s most respected ferry fleets.

If you are one to get nauseous from riding in a boat, take an OTC drug like Dramamine 30 minutes before the trip or use a skin patch that is often applied behind the ear. Check with a doctor if you have concerns about the safety of the drugs. Other tips: face the direction you are traveling, keep your eyes on the horizon, snack on crackers or purchase acupressure bands to go on your wrists. The good news is that most people won’t need any of this because the boat rides are relatively smooth.

26 miles across the sea

Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me

Santa Catalina, the island of romance.”

-Lyrics from hit song 26 Miles by the Four Preps. It reached #2 on Billboard charts in 1958.-


We encourage you to go for a day, a weekend or longer and enjoy the magic of Catalina Island. Discover why the Beach Team and Locals Love to get there via Catalina Express.




Article prepared by John Rudy, Realtor®, Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance: 562-940-5440 – john@mybeachteam.com

Locals Love: Aquarium of the Pacific

Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the largest and most exciting aquariums in the U.S.; and the best part is that it is right here in downtown Long Beach. The 5-acre aquarium displays over 11,000 animals in more than 50 exhibits about the Pacific Ocean. And the exhibits keep getting better!

A skilled predator, that is both agile and flexible is on the loose . . . and it feeds mostly on fish. We are talking about the new scalloped hammerhead shark that made its official debut on August 29th. The shark is currently 3 feet in length and can grow to 14 feet long by the time it is fully mature.

Are they wearing tuxedos? Three Magellanic penguin chicks that hatched in May, and look like they are wearing tuxedos, made their public debut and joined their parents in the June Keyes Penguin Habitat on September 13th.

National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry will have his photography exhibit Aquaculture on display at the aquarium from October 8 – December 8, 2018. According to Skerry, “by targeting the best species to raise and using eco-friendly methods, aquaculture can improve the health of the ocean.”

Each year more than 1.5 million people visit the Aquarium in Long Beach to learn about conservation and building responsible interactions between people and nature. The Beach Team invites you to visit Aquarium of the Pacific and join their 20th anniversary celebration!

Aquarium of the Pacific: arts, education, conservation . . . and yoga? One more reason the Beach Team loves Long Beach!

Article prepared by John Rudy, Realtor®, Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance: 562-940-5440 – john@mybeachteam.com

Locals Love: Long Beach Airport

Locals Love: Long Beach Airport

Imagine putting on your sunscreen and adjusting your beach chair so the sun catches you just right. You hear a plane engine and rapidly pick up your belongings to get out of the way. That may have been a realistic scenario from 1910-1919 when the city’s seven miles of beaches served as Long Beach’s “airport.” That is no longer the case as we now have a world-class airport.

Did you know that more than 250,000 people per month fly out of Long Beach Airport (LGB) to destinations all over the U.S.? LGB makes airline travel convenient and so much easier than battling the crowds and parking challenges at LAX. It is home to five commercial airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Jet Blue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The airport features Streamline Moderne architecture and the terminal is a Cultural Heritage Landmark. Leisure and business travelers enjoy LGB’s fee wi-fi. The main terminal offers curbside check-in, two boarding lounges, and three baggage claim areas.

Parking is one of the biggest benefits of flying out of Long Beach. All the parking lots at LGB offer affordable daily rates and the hourly rate is only $2 per hour. Parking is free for one hour in the Cell Phone Waiting Lot on the northwest corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Donald Douglas Drive. Other options include valet parking, rental car services, taxi and shuttle services and a free cell phone waiting lot for those who are simply waiting to pick someone up.

Food  is another big draw as restaurant options include local favorites like Taco Beach Cantina, Polly’s Coffee, Sweet Jill’s Bakery, George’s Greek Café, 4th Street Vine Wine & Beer Bar and Boathouse on the Bay. Relax and enjoy your preflight time in the spacious indoor and outdoor eating locations.

Phase II Construction – Renovate, Rehabilitate and Revitalize is set to begin at the airport. This work will continue to enhance the travel experience for leisure and business travelers that go through LGB.

Noise restrictions limit the commercial flights in and out of LGB, however it is still one of the busiest general aviation airports in the U.S. General aviation flights include flight schools, charter flights, helicopters, search and rescue flights, cargo flights, and even donor organ delivery flights.

Next time you need to fly, discover why locals love Long Beach Airport!

Join the Beach Team and explore things, like the Long Beach Airport, that are important to the Long Beach community.

Article prepared by John Rudy, Realtor®, Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance: 562-940-5440 – john@mybeachteam.com

Locals Love: El Dorado Regional Park

El Dorado Regional Park  is so big, we are only going to explore El Dorado Park West (Area I) in this article. It is located at 2800 Studebaker Road and features 272.5 acres of space for exercise, family fun and picnics. You will also discover this is the home of the Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department administration offices.

During the 100 days of Summer, there are high energy concerts, movies and summer day camps for kids at the park. But the fun doesn’t stop at the end of summer. There is so much more to experience and enjoy. Consider the 18-hole golf course, skate park, tennis center, lighted basketball and volleyball courts, soccer and softball fields, playground equipment, duck pond, picnic sites and fabulous community center (can be reserved by calling 562-570-3111) and a disc golf course.


What is disc golf? You may have heard it referenced as “Frisbee® golf” in the past.  Disc golf is conceptually like regular golf. The player winds up and throws a flying disc. The player’s objective is to make the minimum number of throws to ultimately toss (putt) the disc into the target – a chain basket surrounding a metal pole. This game is for all ages and there is no cost to play. The only requirement is that you have a flying disc, which can be purchased online or at local sporting goods stores. Photo: Disc golfers David and Ethan.

Join the Beach Team and explore new things at El Dorado Park West. Get connected to nature and enjoy this beautiful oasis in Long Beach!

Article prepared by John Rudy, Realtor®, Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance: 562-940-5440 – john@mybeachteam.com