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17 Things to Know About Living in Long Beach

Thinking of moving to Long Beach? This Southern California city is a great place to live on the Pacific Coast and offers plenty of community events, convenient access to beaches, incredible entertainment with a local emphasis, and more. Check out these 17 things to know about living in Long Beach!

Affordable Living in the Los Angeles Area

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What makes Long Beach a good city to live in? As a suburb of Los Angeles, it’s a convenient and affordable place to live within the LA metro! In fact, Long Beach offers several affordable neighborhoods with home prices around the city’s median, $448,800—which is more reasonable than LA’s $496,300 median home price. Plus, it’s easy to find great neighborhoods to settle down in! Popular Belmont Shore sits right on the Pacific Ocean and is the perfect destination for beachside living and waterfront activities. Neighborhoods like Bixby Knolls—one of the best places in Long Beach for families—offer good schooling opportunities, low crime rates, and plenty of activities for the whole family! And East Village Arts District, part of the Downtown Long Beach area, attracts singles and young professionals because it’s full of great restaurants, trendy bars, and fun things to do.

A Hub for Job Opportunities

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Living in Long Beach means you have access to a variety of career opportunities in the education, aerospace, tech, healthcare, and business industries, thanks to Long Beach’s growing job market! Major employers include Boeing and Frontier Communications, in addition to California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach Transit, and Long Beach Medical Center. The Port of Long Beach is also a huge hub for jobs in public service, environmental protection, and homeland security. And if you’re interested in getting into tech, companies like Zwift and Laserfiche are headquartered in Long Beach.

Travel Around the City

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Long Beach has plenty of ways to get around town on land or water! Not only is it one of the most walkable cities in Southern California, but it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the entire country! Along with walkability, Long Beach has been recognized for its bike-friendly paths for cyclists, BikeShare Program, and still-thriving bike culture. Residents can also head out on water taxis like the AquaBus or AquaLink, which cover over 100 square miles and make stops at popular destinations like The Queen Mary, Shoreline Village, and Aquarium of the Pacific. Leave the car at home and hop on a Long Beach Transit bus to reach local destinations like California State University-Long Beach and Alamitos Bay. If you’re looking for a free shuttle service, you can take the Passport Bus that connects to Downtown Long Beach’s popular attractions, shops, and local restaurants.

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Attend a Top College in a Coastal City

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Looking to further your education? Long Beach is home to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)! This public university has a wide range of majors to choose from, including international business, criminology and criminal justice, and marketing. Outside of academics, CSULB offers a talented Division I athletics program with sports like basketball, golf, volleyball, soccer, and baseball. Plus, students can get involved in various student organizations like Associated Students, Inc., Sustain U, and the Center for International Student Education.

Retire in Paradise

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With gorgeous waterfront views, convenient access to beaches, and amazing year-round weather—Long Beach is one of the most affordable beach towns to spend your golden years of retirement! A significant population of residents aged 55-84 has given the city reason to provide many retirement communities and offer amazing healthcare at institutions like Long Beach Medical Center and St. Mary Medical Center. And if you’re seeking travel or outdoor recreation in retirement, this California city has you covered! Fly to a new adventure from Long Beach Airport. Join a monthly book club at one of the Long Beach Public Library branches. Lace up your sneakers and participate in the Long Beach Walking Group. Shoot below par at one of the five golf courses in Long Beach. Participate in activities sponsored by El Dorado Park West or the Long Beach Senior Center.

Check Out the Scenic Outdoors

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One of the best things about living in Long Beach is all of the awesome outdoor activities you can do, thanks to the city’s beautiful weather and local scenery. Head out to ShoreLine Aquatic Park to see the Lions Lighthouse or go for a bike ride on the trails. Let the kids play on the playground or practice your tennis game at Los Cerritos Park. Break in your new skateboard, grill out for an afternoon barbecue, or walk your furry pal at Bixby Park. Make your way to El Dorado East Regional Park to go fishing, visit the 105-acre nature center, or take a free archery lesson. Stroll through Bluff Park, a 13-acre park that offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Have a picnic by the water, go for a jog, or rent a swan boat at Rainbow Lagoon. Or take the whole family to Marina Vista Park to play sports like soccer or softball.

Soak Up Sunshine at the Beaches

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With nearly 290 sunny days per year and annual temperatures averaging between 60 and 80 degrees, you can enjoy warm and sunny weather all year long in Long Beach! The perfect way to do that? At the beach! Named after its seven-mile stretch of long beaches, this coastal California city offers countless activities for beachgoers. Head over to Belmont Shore Beach to go swimming, play a game of sand volleyball, or sunbathe. Hang out as your kids splash around Mother’s Beach, which has a protected swim area, toys, green spaces, and concessions. Catch your breath at Junipero Beach during a jog. Or grab a few friends and watch the sunset after kitesurfing at Long Beach City Beach located along Ocean Boulevard.

Join the Marina Culture

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Marinas are a big draw for Long Beach residents and provide priceless views on the water! Stop by Long Beach Shoreline Marina to go sailing and fishing, or marvel at the beautiful sunset view along the shore. Head over to Alamitos Bay Marina to spend a day on the water or check out the local restaurants for dinner. Make your way to Cerritos Bahia Marina to cruise through the harbor or spend time shopping local and dining at eateries. Go whale watching off the harbor, try sports fishing, or hike to the lighthouse at Rainbow Marina. Or take a sailing class, cruise on a yacht, or compete in one of the races with the Shoreline Yacht Club at the Downtown Shoreline Marina.

Explore Downtown Long Beach

Downtown Long Beach is a hot spot for dining, shopping, and other local attractions. Take your furry friend for a walk at Rosie’s Dog Beach. Take a trip to The Queen Mary to see a World War II-era ship full of maritime history, amazing restaurants, and live entertainment. Get fresh fruit, vegetables, or beautiful flowers while strolling through Downtown Long Beach Farmers Market. Embark on a Long Beach Food Tour to experience Long Beach’s best restaurants and watering holes. Visit Pine Avenue, a trendy retail and restaurant district with fun shops, eateries, and nightlife spots. Shop at The Pike Outlets, which has a 90-foot Ferris wheel and a variety of popular retailers like H&M, Nike, and Forever 21. Or hit up Marine Park for a relaxing afternoon filled with waterfront activities like kayaking or swimming.

Marvel at the Local Murals

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When you live in Long Beach, you’ll find street art and public murals everywhere! Attend POW! WOW! Long Beach, an annual week-long event where local artists create building murals and street art in public spaces. Stop by the Long Beach East Village Arts District to find local art galleries, buildings designed with bright murals, and past POW! WOW! murals. Participate in the Long Beach Art Walk every second Saturday of the month, and enjoy galleries featuring gorgeous paintings, sculptures, and more from flourishing artists—with the beautiful sights and sounds of the ocean just minutes away. Head over to the Lindbergh neighborhood to see A Neighborhood Perspective, which celebrates the North Atlantic Long Beach corridor history. Or take a look at Coastal Passage that’s made to look like the viewer is about to walk through part of the California coastline.

Don’t Miss the Arts & Culture Scene

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Long Beach has a rich culture and incredible art scene showcased in the area’s museums and theaters. Visit Long Beach Museum of Art to see over 3,200 works of art made by modern artists. Explore everything from Latin American art collections and exhibitions to community events and summer art camps at Museum of Latin American Art. Stroll through Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum at CSULB to find Contemporary art and rotating exhibitions like Drag Show. Catch indie films at the top-voted independent theater in the LA metro, The Art Theatre. Head over to Long Beach Playhouse to see plays like William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Or spend an afternoon at Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, where you can attend events like Wonder Women Tech or Midsummer Scream.

Embrace Your Pride

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Long Beach has long been one of the top LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country, thanks to its history in the fight for LGBTQ rights and dedication to inclusion. Be sure to check out Long Beach Pride, which features over 200 marching groups and floats representing various social and government organizations. Attend a watercolor workshop or look through the art gallery at LGBTQ Center Long Beach. Go out for cocktails or play a game of pool at gay dive bar Sweetwater Saloon. Enjoy live entertainment while dancing the night away at Club Ripples, the hottest gay and lesbian nightclub in Long Beach. Shoot some darts while sipping on craft beers with friends at LGBTQ-friendly The Brit. Or visit the Broadway Corridor, which is full of LGBTQ-friendly bars, stores, and coffee shops.

Participate in Community Events

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When you live in Long Beach, you’ll find a variety of community events to check out! Make your way to Downtown Long Beach to watch the annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, the longest-running major street race in the country! Check out Long Beach Jazz Festival and catch live entertainment from prominent jazz artists like Randy Crawford, Nick Colionne, and Maysa. Storm Shoreline Park with over 1,000 costumed pirates and mermaids during Long Beach Pirate Invasion, where locals can enjoy good food, beloved pirate rum, and watch epic sword fights accompanied by dramatic music. Visit the Long Beach Sea Festival, where you can enroll the kids in a fishing competition or check out the Grand Sand sculpture. Go to the Long Beach Seafood Festival to find some of the region’s best seafood and unique recipes from local chefs in California. Or take part in the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival, a dragon boat racing competition originating from southern China over 2,000 years ago.

Find Kid-Friendly Activities

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Looking to keep the little ones entertained? Long Beach has a ton of fun things to do with kids! Spot nearly 12,000 animals ranging from sharks to seals as you explore the Aquarium of the Pacific. Marvel at the beautiful birds and scenic nature oasis at El Dorado Nature Center. Rent a kayak or go paddle surfing with the whole family throughout Naples Canals. Introduce the kids to waterfront activities like boating at Long Beach Waterfront. Sign your kids up for seasonal events or complete the hands-on learning activities in the Launch Zone at Agape Children’s Museum. Feed the koi fish, visit the Tea House, or make your way through intriguing exhibits at Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. See a variety of farm animals or check out the historic Adobe ranch house at Rancho Los Alamitos. Explore exhibitions like Literary Lives of the Bixbys, or send the kids to summer camp at Rancho Los Cerritos. Or stroll along the harbor while the kids ride on the carousel at Shoreline Village.

Get the Best Seafood

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As a seafood hot spot, Long Beach offers some of the best lobster, crab, and oysters you can find on the Pacific Coast! Order a fantastic seafood dinner like the Crabby Platter, Lobster Clam Pasta, or Salmon Sandwich, at Big Catch Seafood House. Feast on King Crab Legs, Fish & Chips, or Pan Seared Scallops at Roe Seafood. Fill up on a Grilled Mahi Mahi Taco, Grilled Salmon Salad, or Catfish Plate at Long Beach Fish Grill. Check out the daily menu and get the Trout Amandine, Panko Fried Shrimp, or Wild Mexican Swordfish at King’s Fish House. Enjoy an outdoor dining experience and chow down on Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna, a Seafood Cobb Salad, or Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops at Parkers’ Lighthouse. Take in the scenic water views while dining on Baked Lobster Tail, Jamaican Jerk Salmon, or Parmesan Crusted Halibut at Gladstone’s Long Beach. Or try the Baja Taco Trio, Blackened Shrimp & Angel Hair Pasta, or Lemon Buerre Blanc Salmon at The Boathouse on the Bay.

Dine at Local Restaurants

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Long Beach is home to some of the best restaurants in the LA area! Start your weekend morning with Old-Fashioned Pancakes or Smoked Tri-Tip Hash and wash it down with a Cafe Au Lait at Saint & Second. Sample Italian dishes like Spaghetti Aragosta, Petto D’Anatra, or Mezzaluna at Michael’s on Naples. Try the Green Chile Panxa Burger, Seafood Enchiladas, and Chimayo Posole at Panxa Cocina. Savor Korean Fried Chicken Wings, Bulgogi Bibimbap, or Pork Belly Kimchi Jjigae at Sura Korean BBQ & Tofu House. Experience waterfront dining and order dishes like the Tantalum “Kobe Beef” Burger, Spicy Crab Crusted New York Strip, or Scottish Salmon at Tantalum. Chow down on a Beer Battered Avo Taco, Jackfruit Nachos, or Beets Me Burger at Seabirds Kitchen. Or check out the delicious White Cheddar & Scallion Popovers, Bluegrass Sandwich, or Grilled Ribeye at The Ordinarie.

Discover Long Beach’s Bustling Nightlife

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There are tons of bars and nightclubs in Long Beach where you can have some drinks and a fun time! Grab an ice-cold beer, cocktail, and more while munching on Zucchini Sticks, Nachos, or an Al Pastor Taco on the patio at The Good Bar and Eatery. Kick back with cocktails like Ay Papi Paloma, Peonies In Jade, or Hasta Siempre while enjoying weekly DJs at Mezcalero. Stop in for a Moscow Mule, Kentucky Fizz, or Long Beach Cooler at The Stave. Throw back a Pina Colada, Alegria Paradise, or Sangria while enjoying live music and dancing at Alegria Nightclub. Sip on a House Margarita, Mexican Lollipop, or Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Stout while playing pool at Shannon’s Bayshore. Prepare to enjoy some of the best live music in town and bring your best dancing shoes for free dance lessons at the Cowboy Country Saloon. Or get out with friends and order delicious cold brews like the LB Blonde, Orc Juice, or Second Breakfast at Long Beach Beer Lab!


Moving to Long Beach? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout Long Beach and the Los Angeles metro, so we can help with your transition. Find a storage unit near you!

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.