Wanna Get Away? Go No Farther Than Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Have you flown out of Long Beach (CA) Airport (LGB) lately? If not, then buckle your seat-belts, RMT’ers, because you are in for a ride of epic yet hyper-local proportions.

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Welcome to the new and fantastically improved Long Beach (CA) Airport (LGB)!

It’d been years since we’d been to LGB ourselves (2008 to be exact), and WOW how things have changed. I was hoping to see major improvements given that it’d been under construction for the last several years. The terminal’s renovations are absolutely impressive. The inconvenience of all that noise and dust definitely has paid off. No wonder how LGB landed on Fodor’s 2014 top 10 list of best airports in the world. In the WORLD, RMT’ers!

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LGB already was a small, municipal-sized airport, which already made for a wonderful, low-key, and less hustle-and-bustle way to kick off a relaxing vacation, which was why C booked our departure from there despite it adding a third leg to an already long flight itinerary for our 10-year anniversary trip (more on that trip to come soon, I promise!). Now, LGB also is an open outdoor oasis. Gorgeous architecture showcases and sets off Southern California in all its natural light. And when you tire of marveling at the gables and greenery, and when hunger or thirst calls, lucky you because LGB also is a local shrine to all things food and drink deeply rooted in Long Beach.

McKenna's Burger Bar at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

McKenna’s Burger Bar at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

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Close-up of 4th Street Vine at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

Close-up of 4th Street Vine at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

Polly's Gourmet Coffee is part of the hyper-local food and drink offerings now available at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

Polly’s Gourmet Coffee is just one of many of the new and improved – and hyper-local – food and drink offerings now available at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

To kick off the pub crawl, on one end you have McKenna’s Burger Bar (a miniaturized version of the former restaurant at Alamitos Bay Landing), and at the other there’s 4th Street Vine, a local wine bar. In between, travelers can get their caffeine pick-me-up at Polly’s Gourmet Coffee, taste treats at Sweet Jill’s, do Taco Tuesday at Taco Beach, and get their Greek on at George’s Greek Cafe. There’s also a lovely little bar in one terminal pouring local pints to patrons as well. Cheers!

My dinner from George's Greek Cafe air-side of Long Beach Airport (LGB).

My dinner from George’s Greek Cafe air-side of Long Beach Airport (LGB).

For dinner this outing, I went with George’s. It was delectable. The salad was chopped, tossed, and dressed to order. My gyro was sliced and assembled right in front of me. Hot, fresh, and delicious. If this is airport food, then why eat anywhere else?

Giving back is also part of Long Beach Airport's mission. Thanks for treating our troops, LGB.

Giving back is also part of Long Beach Airport’s mission. Thanks for treating our troops, LGB.

Speaking of anywhere else, I’m surprised people aren’t going to LGB just to grab a drink or a bite. Then again, most of the good eats and drink are behind security air-side, which means you need to have a boarding pass to enjoy and imbibe. Not impossible, of course, but it definitely adds to the exclusivity of the experience: Travelers Only. But if buying a plane ticket isn’t in the budget or on your agenda in your near future, you can still enjoy a drink with a view from LGB’s Legends of Aviation, a mini-Legends Sports Bar on the second floor of the main terminal land-side.

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Gorgeous, intimate, modern, local, tasty, and chic. That’s LGB. Enjoy, cheers, and bon voyage!

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