The recently solved crystallographic structures for the A2A adenosine receptor and the β1 and β2 adrenergic receptors have shown important differences between members of the class-A G-protein-coupled receptors and their archetypal model, rhodopsin, such as the apparent breaking of the ionic lock that stabilizes the inactive structure. Here, we characterize a 1.02 μs all-atom simulation of an apo-β2 adrenergic receptor that is missing the third intracellular loop to better understand the inactive structure. Although we find that the structure is remarkably rigid, there is a rapid influx of water into the core of the protein, as well as a slight expansion of the molecule relative to the crystal structure. In contrast to the x-ray crystal structures, the ionic lock rapidly reforms, although we see an activation-precursor-like event wherein the ionic lock opens for ∼200 ns, accompanied by movements in the transmembrane helices associated with activation. When the lock reforms, we see the structure return to its inactive conformation. We also find that the ionic lock exists in three states: closed (or locked), semi-open with a bridging water molecule, and open. The interconversion of these states involves the concerted motion of the entire protein. We characterize these states and the concerted motion underlying their interconversion. These findings may help elucidate the connection between key local events and the associated global structural changes during activation. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.