Well take a look at that! An Observation Wheel—which is another way of saying a really huge Ferris wheel with a great view—is setting up shop in Long Beach next to the Queen Mary, for one month only. No mere amusement park ride (though we like those very much!), the Observation Wheel offers birds-eye views of the picturesque Long Beach sky line, the majestic Queen Mary, and beyond. This thing is so tall you may be able to spot the buffalo grazing on Catalina Island.
Sounds windy? Fear not! The cabins are fully enclosed and climate-controlled. I'll drink to that, because yes, you can buy drinks, including alcoholic beverages to sip while you enjoy the spectacular view. And at nighttime things are gonna get LIT, as in illuminated by over half a million LED lights. Stunning!
The rides last about 3 and a half minutes. Each cabin accommodates 6 to 8 adults. Kids under 4 ride free (and there are no height restrictions).
This wheel has gotten around: its previous stop was Coachella Valley for the desert music festival. At 50m/164ft-tall, La Grande XL is believed to be the largest traveling observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere. Fun Fact: the wheel was built in the Netherlands, and it took 22 containers to ship it over here!
Hmm, ocean liner with a royal heritage, our own observation wheel to rival London's Eye, what's next? All we need is a royal wedding and we'll have accomplished an anglophile trifecta!
While you're taking in the view, you can get a look at some of Long Beach's other attractions. (Here are a few ideas to get you started.)
Big wheel keeps on turning, Queen Mary keeps on... floating in the harbor!
The Observation Wheel at the Queen Mary
Ticket prices: Adults (12- 59) $15; Seniors (60 and up), Military with ID, and Children (4 - 11) $10
The Observation Wheel is at the Queen Mary from Friday, May 18 through Sunday, June 17, 2018. Rides are available daily from 11am to 10pm.