Incorporated in 1897, Long Beach is a city located in the southeast corner of Los Angeles County, along the Pacific Coast. Home to more than 467,000 residents, the city is the second largest city in the Los Angeles metro area, and the third largest in Southern California, right behind Los Angeles and San Diego.
Long Beach is known for its array of terrific waterfront attractions, which include world-class destinations such as the Aquarium of the Pacific and the RMS Queen Mary. The city also boasts a vibrant downtown district, where you’ll find a dazzling assortment of shopping centers, top-rated restaurants, art galleries, exciting entertainment venues, and many more.
In this page, we’ll take a closer look at what makes this beachfront gem such a great place to live and help you discover some of the best attractions, destinations, and things to do in Long Beach, CA along the way.
The incredible weather
Love outdoor activities and trips to the beach? Then Long Beach is perfect for you, as the city enjoys pleasant year-round weather. Winter temperatures in the city rarely drop below 50 degrees, and the summer season is simply a dream for beach bums, with perfect sunny days complemented by the cool westerly coastal breeze.
Expect lots of sunshine when you’re living in Long Beach, as the city boasts an average of 21 days of rainfall each year.
Convenient transportation options
Long Beach is a very bike-friendly city, which is why most locals enjoy pedaling to get from place to place – you can reach most parts of the city on two wheels.
Spending an evening out in downtown Los Angeles? You can avoid the traffic and the parking fees by taking a ride on the blue line in downtown Long Beach for an hour-long commute to LA.
Long Beach is home to several great neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character. Some of the most popular neighborhoods you’ll find in the city are:
- East Village – Also known as the East Village Arts District, East Village is one of the most beloved neighborhoods in Long Beach. Residents of the neighborhood get easy access to some of the city’s top shopping destinations, craft breweries, nightlife venues, and brunch spots.
- Eastside – Eastside is a collection of neighborhoods that occupy almost half of Long Beach. The area is mostly residential, but you can find plenty of shops, restaurants, and grocery stores along East 4th Street and East Anaheim.
- Belmont Shore – Belmont Shore features the best of both worlds – you’ll find a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, bars, and other commercial establishments along E 2nd Street, while a quick trip to its southern border takes you to the beach. This is the perfect neighborhood if you want to live close to the beach and enjoy spending evenings checking out great restaurants and bars.
- Naples – Naples is a popular neighborhood for both tourists and locals. Nestled on an island within Alamitos Bay, the neighborhood is known for its scenic canals and marinas, which you can enjoy on a relaxing stroll along the banks. You can find a nice selection of shops and restaurants along E 2nd Street, while recreational activities like volleyball and picnics can be enjoyed in Mothers Beach.
Fun family-friendly attractions
You’ll have no shortage of fun places to visit with your kids when you’re living in Long Beach. The city is home to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which attracts more than 1.5 million visitors every year. Some of the many attractions you can enjoy here include the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, the Shark Lagoon, and the Lorikeet Aviary.
Another incredible attraction is The Queen Mary, a historic ship that’s permanently docked in the Long Beach Harbor and is now a hotel and tourist attraction. Visitors can find out more about the ship’s history by joining a tour and seeing the exhibits. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can check out the nighttime attractions, which explore the ship’s haunted past.
Easy access to Catalina Island
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from the daily grind, the picturesque Catalina Island is a short ferry ride away from Long Beach!
Simply take the Catalina Express via the Catalina Landing in downtown Long Beach, right beside the Aquarium of the Pacific. The Catalina Express also offers free trips for birthday celebrants. Simply travel to Catalina Island on your birthday with a second person (they’ll need to purchase a full-fare adult ticket) to enjoy a free trip.