The nightlife scene in Long Beach, CA, shifts in mid-April every year because a 200-mph beach party rolls into town.
It’s the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which in 2023 is celebrating its 48th annual event the weekend of April 14-16. And it all begins on Thursday, April 13 with a block party called “Thursday Thunder.” This, and the event itself, spills out onto the bars on Pine Ave., and also to the south in the young-and-fun Belmont Shore area.
Here’s a rundown of Grand Prix events and the nightlife scene in Long Beach during what is known as the “Grand Prix of Monaco in the U.S.”
Taking place from 6-10:30 at the Pike outlets, the lively pre-event block party features freestyle motocross demonstrations and an NTT INDYCAR SERIES pit stop competition on Shoreline Drive with two teams and four cars, along with a beer garden staffed by the Auld Dubliner, live music, race car displays, a classic car show and more. Sponsored by the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, this event is free to attend.
Pine Ave & Shoreline Village Bars
The Auld Dubliner, which is right across from the Convention Center and in the Pike shopping and restaurant area on lower Pine Ave., is one of the best places for nightlife during the Grand Prix. It is an Irish bar with live music and a fun and casual crowd.
Bubba Gump Shrimp and its upstairs cousin bar are also rocking places beginning in the daytime, as is Gladstone’s and especially the Yard House in Shoreline Village.
Further up on Pine, two hotspots are Shannon’s On Pine, another Irish bar; and The Harbor, a bar/restaurant/lounge.
Belmont Shore Bars
Always a hot party place for bars and nightlife, the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach – specifically on the bars/restaurants/shops-lined Second St., puts the pedal to the metal during Grand Prix week.
Nightlife is centered around Panama Joe’s, a Mexican theme party with great food, big drinks and a lively atmosphere. The legendary Legend’s Sports Bar has one of Long Beach’s most popular watering holes for decades. There is also Shannon’s Bayshore Saloon, a go-to dive bar that’s been around forever, and Murphy’s Pub at the Belmont.
The party is on, on and off the track during the annual party that known as the Grand Prix.
Acura Grand Prix Of Long Beach Tickets, Prices & Information
General Admission tickets are $38 for Friday, $77 Saturday, $82 on Sunday and $112 for all three days. Reserved grandstand seats are open Fridays, cost $84 on Saturday and $92 and $107 on Sunday with all three days selling for $124 and $175. Those who are truly into it can buy special tickets to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Turn One Club ($260), the C300 Club ($390 for three days) or various hospitality clubs that include food and drinks ($760-$1,125 for three days).
You can also add a paddock pass ($30 per day or $70 for three days) and even a Super Photo ticket with access to exclusive photo areas ($340).
Race information, along with on-and-off track activities and ticket purchases, can be found at Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (gplb.com).
For a history of the Grand Prix and it’s more memorable moments this sty has it all: Long Beach Grand Prix Complete Race History, Colorful Moments & Memories (pubclub.com)