thisiswesthollywood.com

As much as we love West Hollywood, we have to admit that sometimes, you just gotta get away. SoCal StayGation profiles other LGBT destinations for a quick escape from America's Funnest City.

A little while back, we had to be down in Orange County for the evening and without a car, chose to stay over in Long Beach rather than take an Uber for two hours late at night.

GETTING THERE

Getting to Long Beach from West Hollywood without a car is easier–and quicker–than you think!

From Center City, take the 780 bus on weekdays or 217 bus North/East on Fairfax to Hollywood and Highland, or take the 4/704 from other points in West Hollywood to Santa Monica and Vermont. Then take the Red Line to 7th St/Metro Center where you will transfer to the Blue Line on Platform One to Long Beach. With a pre-loaded TAP Card, the whole 30-mile trip costs just $1.75 and took less than two hours.

The Blue Line terminates at Pine and First Street in Long Beach. Head towards Pine, turn right (towards the Ocean) and walk down the hill to Bay Street. Walk through the Pike Outlet Mall and you've arrived at the Hyatt Centric Long Beach!

BOOKING THE HYATT CENTRIC LONG BEACH

Because of the many special events in Long Beach and its proximity to the Convention Center, rates at the Hyatt Centric can vary widely, from the low $100's to the high $200's. If you plan ahead and are a World of Hyatt member, hopefully you can snag a Cash and Points option for 6000 points and $75 if the hotel rate is over $175.

THE ROOM

We were assigned Room 424, an Executive King room on the corner of the fourth floor.

Immediately to the left upon entering was a work space an mini bar, as well as a seating area.

To the right was the bedroom area, with convenient electric outlets on each nightstand–which should be standard in most hotels in this day and age.

The bedroom and living room were separated by a 3-foot divider with a television built in which could be swiveled 180-degrees for viewing either in the seating area or from the bed. On the backside of the TV was a California-themed quote for those with the ability to read backwards.

By far the highlight of the room was the marble bathroom with a rainforest shower.

HOTEL FACILITIES

On the eighth floor of the hotel is a rooftop pool with views out to the Queen Mary and beyond.

Although the hotel advertises a rooftop bar, it was not open when we visited, even at the height of the summer season.

There is a bar downstairs in the lobby, but you would rather go out and explore LGBT Long Beach!

LGBT LONG BEACH

One of the best assets of the Hyatt Centric Long Beach for the gay traveler is its location!

Just up the street on Pine, between Third and Fourth is the new Hamburger Mary's Long Beach, less than a ten minute walk away.

The hotel is attached to The Pike, an entertainment district and outlet mall with a massive H&M store, Nike Outlet, movie theater and several restaurants.

Just a block from Shoreline Drive, the Hyatt Centric is a perfect location to stay during Long Beach Pride as well, as you will be just steps away from the Western entrance to the Festival–do take note that unlike LA PRIDE! in West Hollywood, Long Beach Pride does not allow ins-and-outs to if you do meet someone and take them back to the hotel, you won't be going back into the Festival without buying a ticket.

BOTTOM LINE

If the price is right, Long Beach is an easier getaway from West Hollywood than you may think, and you don't even have to get in your car. The Hyatt Centric is a more stylish option than the Westin or Hyatt Regency nearby, and it's relatively convenient to LGBT venues, shopping and public transit.