Today we’re landing at California’s Long Beach Airport. Founded in 1923 it is the oldest municipally owned airport in California.
Keep in mind that some amenities we list here may not currently be available due to health concerns. We are confident they’ll be back.
5 Thing We Love About Long Beach Airport
1. The outdoor atrium at LGB
The open-air atrium at Long Beach Airport has palm trees and a drought-tolerant garden. It is a rare treat to have an outdoor space an airport and this one even has a wine and beer bar (4th Street Vine) with a fire pit.
2. Outdoor boarding at LGB
LGB’s boarding experience harkens back to the golden age of flying; the outdoor boarding takes advantage of the year-round Southern California sunshine.
3. Art and History at Long Beach Airport
The LGB terminal was built in 1941 in the Streamline Moderne style, with smooth walls, flat roofs, railings and porthole windows that make it look more like a ship than an airport terminal.
The airport also boasts floor mosaics and wall murals designed as part of the Works Project Administration (WPA) in the 1940s
Newer pieces include the sculpture below, by Aaron De La Cruz. Before being purchased by LGB, the untitled work was a temporary installation at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. There it was displayed vertically.
To accommodate LGB’s layout and keep sight lights to the airfield open, the artist’s team reconfigured the piece so it would hang from the ceiling.
“The sculpture is now in the shape of an arc to represent the motion of flights taking off and landing,” says the airport.
4. Local dining options at LGB
All the dining venues at LGB are local, which is pretty unusual for an airport.
Options include Long Beach Burger Bar, Polly’s Coffee, Sweet Jill’s Bakery, George’s Greek Café, Boathouse on the Bay, and the 4th Street Vine Wine & Beer Bar mentioned above.
5. Shopping at LGB
Some airports sell snow globes in the gift shops. But at Long Beach Airport travelers can pick up sand globes.
Bonus: two cool videos from Long Beach Airport
Here are two fun videos from the Long Beach Airport website.
This first one features Earl S. Daugherty, who was a pioneer aviator, an advocate for the creation of the Long Beach Airport, and one of the earliest aviation photographers. He was known locally as the “King of Aviation” and is the person for whom the airfield is named for.
This video shows the barnstorming legend flying over Long Beach in the 1920s.
The expertly edited film below shows a day at Long Beach squeezed into two and a half minutes.
Did we miss your favorite feature of Long Beach Airport? Let us known in the comments section below.
On Wednesday, December 5th, California’s Long Beach Airport (LGB) will unveil an expanded and upgraded passenger concourse in its Art Deco style terminal building, complete with a garden court and new local retail outlets and eateries.
Of special interest are the Works Progress Administration (WPA) mosaics by Grace Clements that were (re)discovered when the maintenance team took up the carpet. Made in 1941, the mosaics pay tribute to Long Beach’s origins in aviation, oil and communications with images of a large map, birds, a ship, an oil well and a hand dialing a telephone.
Earth Hour, Earth Day and Earth Month may be over for this year, but the trend to go green is becoming a year-round thing at many airports. Rare is the terminals that doesn’t at least have recycling bins these days. And now many airports are embracing solar power and wind power.
My recent column in USAToday.com has a round-up of aiports generating some of their own juice. Included: Denver International Airport, Fresno Yosemite International Airport, Oakland International Airport, Austin-Bergstrom Interrnational Airport, Long Beach Airport, Boston Logan International Airport and several others.