If you haven’t been to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix, you’re missing out on a roaring good time! Toyota teams with the City of Long Beach to present an event attended by millions annually over three consecutive days. Long Beach began hosting the event in 1975.
Celebrity races, classic Formula 1 races and drifting, leave little space for boredom, but who could be bored when the lot opens at 7:30 am for tickets and of course: Tailgating! There is no lack of entertainment, even between races as tents hold refreshments, light snacks, hefty meals and beer gardens distanced by competitions, live entertainers and sponsors vying for the attention and financial affection of visitors. Major sponsors and vendors include Toyota, Larry Flint’s Hustler Casino, TECATE, AAA Insurance, and Patrón, Phil’s Barbecue, King Taco and the City of Long Beach.
Depending on where you sit- if you purchase a high rise seat- you may have Long Beach’s legendary Pine Ave. Pier as a backdrop affording The Laugh Factory, Long Beach Convention Center, The Aquarium and a classic wooden roller coaster to complete the live gaming experience. Should you choose to stand and watch from the Convention Center, there is always the visually stimulating Long Beach Harbor with its yachts, most notable is The Queen Mary, The Grand Romance Riverboat. The latter is reminiscent of the Monacan experience, therefore, make it a point to see the venue from all angles.
Bring enough cash (or have enough credit) to stay hydrated and well-fed. The day is full of excitement and the weather is a dream but when the appetite sets in, it comes hard. There aren’t too many healthy options but the restaurants on the pier and along Downtown Long Beach on Pine Ave. may have better accommodations if you seek something more than carnival food. Hot dogs (in bulk!) barbecue and tacos (obv!; this IS L.A., afterall) are the norm, sided by popcorn, ice cream (shaved ice, too!) and beer. Indulge yourself, it’s all there. Note: Most foods begin between $6-8 USD.
The Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix is a family event; children are welcome. There are even tents in some beer gardens with complimentary sunblock (including baby block for infant skin). Hats, sun visors and sunnies are strongly encouraged. History of the event is strewn throughout the Long Beach Convention Center including former Formula 1 vehicles used by champions like the Andrettis, Unser, and Mike Power.
From Los Angeles, consider taking the Blue Line train into Downtown Long Beach to avoid traffic; it stops at the Long Beach Convention Center’s 1st Street Station. Just after entering the grounds from LBCC, there is a bridge with views of the vehicles racing by at speeds of up to 180 mph.
Tickets are available for the entire weekend, April 17th-19th.
For more information, visit: www.VisitLongBeach.com
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