So much to do, so little time. Such is the mantra that many of us live our lives by.

While it’s easy to associate Los Angeles with Things To Do in Southern California, there’s just as much to do in its surrounding neighborhoods. Long Beach – considered to be America’s largest suburb – is one such place.

Boasting nearly 500,000 residents, Long Beach is America’s largest city that’s not a county seat. Yet, while Long Beach lives in the shadow of Los Angeles, California’s fifth largest city has plenty to offer.

The historic Queen Mary – now retired – boasts unique shops, a fine dining restaurant, stunning views of downtown Long Beach and the coastline and an art deco, 365-room hotel. It’s also the home to Mega Bungee, North America’s highest freestanding bungee tower.

Home to more than 12,500 ocean animals belonging to approximately 1,000 species, Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific (100 Aquarium Way) offers three main galleries, representing the three major regions of the Pacific Ocean.

A waterfront plaza located in downtown Long Beach, Shoreline Village boasts 30 shops, restaurants and cafes and includes daily harbor cruises. Among the highlights are Yard House and Tequila Jack’s, which offer relaxing lunches and trendy nightlife locales.

If you like blues, then you must visit Blue Café (210 The Promenade North). The premiere spot for blues in Long Beach, Blue Café features plenty of new, up ’n’ coming artists from rock to hip-hop and ’80s cover bands.

Are you in the mood for romance? Then be sure to experience the romance of Italy, with a moonlit gondola ride through the canals of Naples Island provided by Gondola Getaway (5437 E. Ocean Blvd.).

Get a piece of American military history at S.S. Lane Victory Memorial Museum (Berth 94 of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor), a national historic landmark. The Lane Victory was an ammunition carrier during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Now a museum, the ship measures 455-feet long with a 70-foot beam.

Offering “little bites from Spain,” Alegria Cocina Latina (115 Pine Ave.) is an authentic tapas bar. The establishment features live Flamenco dancing Fridays through Sundays.

If you have even the slightest itch for tennis, then you must visit the Billie Jean King Tennis Center (1040 Park Ave.) named after the famed tennis star.

For a large dose of culture, visit the Long Beach Museum of Art on a bluff-top site overlooking the harbor and ocean. The museum includes oceanfront gardens and a pavilion with two floors of gallery space.

The geographic southwestern-most tip of North America is located just off the coast of Long Beach at Land’s End (Palos Verdes Drive South, near Portuguese Bend). Formerly the home of Marineland of the Pacific, this site is marked by a sky-tower at Long Point.

“Start your engines!” Such is the cry at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, held annually in the streets of Downtown.

From 1902 to 1979, The Pike was an oceanside amusement park with rides, races, and fun for all ages. Today, The Pike (located on the waterfront in Downtown, directly across from Shoreline Village, at Pine Ave. and Shoreline Village Drive) returns as a vibrant destination of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

Not to be left out of the Guinness Book of World Records, the Long Beach entry in the book is on Gladys Avenue – the nation’s skinniest house. On a lot measuring 10 feet by 50 feet, Nelson Rummond built a habitable residence on the lot (708 Gladys Ave.).

“Planet Ocean” is Long Beach’s second entry to make the Guinness Book. “Planet Ocean” is a mural that covers the entire 116,000 square foot surface of the Long Beach Arena (300 East Ocean Blvd.) and is the world’s largest mural.

More than an academic institution, California State University, Long Beach, offers a variety of sites for locals, including the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens; the University Art Museum; and The Pyramid sports complex.

Speaking of academia, if you love books, then rush over to Acres of Books, home of California’s largest used bookstore.