Why Long Beach? Why not Los Angeles or San Diego?
Speed baby!! Long Beach is the home of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Once a year Ocean Drive transforms and the City embraces all that Indy Car racing has to offer.
If you have never been, you must go! Even if you have been to races at other venues, you haven’t seen anything until you have seen it done at Long Beach!
GPLB offers an action packed week long event, with various events happening all over town during the week building up to the race.
Go to GPLB.com for full race details.
Be sure to shop around early for the best deals on hotels – they sell out pretty fast.
Flight: The best way to fly in is to fly directly to the Long Beach Airport – it is my favorite US airport! You pick your bags up outside, and there is almost always a food truck there that serves some fantastic chow!
You can also fly in to LAX and shuttle to Long Beach…but LAX is definitely missing all of the charm and personality that Long Beach offers.
Hotel: I have stayed at the Vagabond Inn (150 Alamitos Ave) on two of the times I went. Average price during race weekend is $152 US per night.
Hotel Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars. I’ll be honest with you, this place is a dive. It hasn’t been updated in at least ten years. The rooms smell musty. There are no extras – it is a bed and a tv. There is a pool. Both times I have stayed there the pool has been freezing cold. Now all that said, it is super handy as it is located two blocks from the race. Easy peasy.
The first year I went, I stayed at the Extended Stay (4105 E. Willow St). Average price during the race is $80 per night.
Hotel Rating: 4 our of 5 Stars. The hotel is great. Clean. Complete with fridge, stove etc. No pool. The only downside to staying here is that you are stuck taking a taxi to the race and back. Fortunately, it is super easy to catch a taxi leaving the race as there are loads of them waiting outside the main entrance. Unfortunately though it becomes a royal pain in the butt when you want to attend the race events like Thunder on Pine and others.
All said and done, if you are going to go to the race, search early – and find a hotel as close to Ocean Drive as you can get within your budget.