Once the most elegant ocean-going vessel in the Cunard Line, this Art Deco-era cruise ship was designed to travel back and forth between England; however, it briefly served as a World War II troopship in the early 1940s, resuming its leisure passenger service from 1947-1965. Docked ever since in Long Beach Harbor, the Queen Mary now serves as a floating hotel, special event venue, and tourist attraction.
The ship’s 346 suites and staterooms start at around $130 for the night (AAA discounts are available), but even if you’re not an overnight guest, you can have a romantic dinner, cocktails, afternoon tea and weekend brunch in the ship’s restaurants and bars.
One-hour ghost-themed tours of the ship are the Queen Mary’s most popular draw; held daily at 12, 2, 4 and 6 p.m., they’re $29.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids. The biggest crowd pleaser on this tour is a tie between the haunted swimming pool and an inexplicably cold spot in the floor of a room where a woman was said to have died.
Docked near downtown Long Beach, it’s easy to combine a visit to the Queen Mary with the Aquarium of the Pacific, The Pike at Long Beach entertainment complex, or the funky, independent and Art Deco-style East Village Arts District.