Thanks to a billion-dollar clean-up, downtown Long Beach is not the seedy stomping grounds of off-duty sailors that it was twenty-odd years ago. Pine Avenue is an enjoyable stretch of restored architecture and bargain antique stores, but the only reason most tourists cross to the far side of LA’s massive harbor is to see the Queen Mary (daily 10am-6pm; $19 guided tours, kids $15). The Cunard flagship from the 1930s until the 1960s, the Queen Mary is now a luxury hotel, and guided tours present a sentimentalized version of its days of elegance and refinement. The huge geodesic dome nearby housed Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose airplane until it was sold and moved to Oregon in 1992, but this tourist loss has been more than remedied by the opening of the Aquarium of the Pacific (daily 10am-6pm; $17; ), along shoreline Drive, a terrific exploration of aquatic flora and fauna in three distinct geographic and climatic zones from around the world. As you drive along the coast of Long Beach, don’t be fooled by the sight of the bright pastel islands just off shore; far from natural, they’re actually oil-drilling platforms in disguise.