If you’ve got a thirst for motor action that can’t be quenched through local racing attractions, then it might be time to pencil the Grand Prix of Long Beach onto your calendar. Grab your family and friends, prepare your RV, and hit the road for what is undoubtedly going to be an adventure you won’t forget.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach is like no other. Instead of taking place at an established race track, it’s on a street circuit. The route begins along East Shoreline Drive, runs down to Aquarium Way and South Chestnut Place, then onto West Shoreline Drive and East Seaside Way. The event also has also seen many track changes over the years and incorporates much of West Ocean Boulevard and surrounding streets in Long Beach, California.
The Long Beach Grand Prix is the most significant event in the city and plays host to over 200,000 people yearly. Given that it has been a staple on the calendar since 1975, it’s also one that has garnered a reputation as a must-attend event for the whole family. There’s plenty of entertainment, vendors, and exciting things to see, do, and experience.
What’s more, once you’ve had your fill of automotive action over the three-day event, you can check out what Long Beach has to offer. Pay a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Knott’s Berry Farm, or dine on the RMS Queen Mary retired ocean liner. Once you wave goodbye to California, you’ll have a photo album full of pictures of your time spent in Long Beach.
There are a whole host of ticket options available for avid racing fans who are making their way to the Grand Prix of Long Beach. From general admission and weekend reserved seating, through to day passes and paddock access; there are options galore. You are likely to find the best package to suit your needs on the organizer’s website. Remember, this is a popular event, so you’ll need to purchase your tickets well in advance to avoid missing out.
Long Beach is on the edges of Los Angeles with glorious views to the North Pacific Ocean. It’s a pleasant drive from whichever direction you come and has well-labeled and maintained roads that your RV should not have trouble traversing.
As you edge closer to Long Beach, however, you may like to familiarize yourself with the roads. The nearer to The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center you get, the more road closures you’re likely to find. Receive live updates from apps such as California Traffic, so that you know what to expect. In most years, all side streets along Shoreline Drive and Seaside Way are closed for the event. Organizers suggest taking public transportation to the events if possible.
Parking for RVs and buses traveling to Grand Prix of Long Beach has traditionally been problematic. There is circuit parking available for general vehicles, but not sizeable ones. You can purchase parking for your pilot vehicle, but you will need to store your RV off-site at your accommodation and make your way to the race with alternate transportation.
Long Beach is known as a walk-around city, with everything nearby and easy to access. If you’re fortunate enough, your accommodation won’t be all too far from the racing, and you can make your way there on foot. Otherwise, both buses and trains run in the direction of the Grand Prix circuit for your convenience.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach is a street circuit that doesn’t take place at a dedicated venue. Instead, it’s put together for three days of racing action, then returned to an active business zone once it’s over. With this in mind, you won’t be able to camp onsite. However, there are a whole host of nearby RV accommodation providers that are ready and waiting for your booking.
Because Long Beach is a hot spot for tourists, there is no shortage of accommodation options. Even within a one-mile distance of the race track, there is an RV park in a prime position. There are also more under 25 miles of East Ocean Boulevard. Remember to book months in advance so that you can get your first pick near this popular event in Southern California.
The walk-around city has you covered over Grand Prix weekend. You not only get to walk around the beautiful streets of Long Beach, but with significant attractions, entertainment, and vendors everywhere you look as well. There won’t be any shuttles, golf carts, or bikes, but you won’t mind wandering around on foot in the sunshine one bit. There are also plenty of vantage points around the circuit so that you don’t miss any of the racing.
April is a time of year with pleasant weather in Long Beach, but it’s also known to be overcast and cloudy. You can optimistically pack your sundress, but be prepared to put on an outer layer once that chill in the air rears its head. Pair your attire with comfortable footwear that’s ideal for pounding the pavement. You may also like to pack a few warmer layers once night falls.
When you’re preparing for a trip to the Grand Prix of Long Beach, you won’t want to forget anything and have to navigate traffic to find an alternative. Pack all your camping and cooking equipment, and don’t skimp on supporter race gear as well. It’s also a good idea to bring a small backpack that can house sunscreen, your wallet with cash, and plenty of fresh drinking water.
While temperatures don’t tend to skyrocket during April in Long Beach, you’ll be outside in the elements and on your feet a lot of the time. Pack smart with items such as a first aid kit, sunscreen, a sunhat and sunglasses, and even bug spray. If you require any medical supplies during your stay, it won't hurt to bring extras for your visit to Southern California.
There will be plenty of opportunities for cooking at your chosen RV accommodation site with your onboard kitchen appliances. Some campsites also offer shared facilities, while others may even allow a barbeque or two. Check with your host before you get started, and note any burn bans in the area. Forgot the burger buns? Never fear! There are markets and convenience stores within short walking distances of the race track.
The beauty of Long Beach is that it’s a tourist mecca. With hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, there are eateries everywhere you look to appeal to the masses. From quaint coffee houses with delicious baked goods, through to seafood restaurant and ethnic cuisine, what more could you ask for? Start saving your pennies to be able to try something new and fresh every day.
If it wasn’t enough that there are restaurants everywhere you look in Long Beach, then you’ll be over the moon to know there are vendors at the race track to satisfy your hunger, too. From hot dogs and hamburgers through to French fries and cotton candy, you’re spoiled for choice. Remember to bring both cash and a credit card to ensure you have the correct payment type for your snack preference. Put money aside for merchandise purchases along the way.
Uniformed and plain-clothed police, as well as security officials, will be on-site over the three-day Grand Prix to make sure it goes off without a hitch. Give them a friendly smile as you pass, and allow a search of your bag if asked by an official. If you require assistance at any time, feel free to approach a Grand Prix rep. The nearest police station is also only a 20-minute walk from the racing action as well.
Cloudy, overcast days are likely over the Grand Prix weekend, but that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t trying to burn through those clouds. Temperatures often average around 71 degrees during April, which is the perfect temperature for those who don’t like to bake in the sun. Pay attention to your weather app before you leave home so you can prepare yourself and your RV for all weather conditions.
There are two first aid sites around the track if you require assistance at any time. These are at the Marina ticket entry point and in the family fun zone in the center of the track. If you have a medical event or life-threatening condition, dial 9-11. The nearest medical center is a mile and a half away in North Pine, with pharmacy options in the same area.