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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, and more. Check out these 17 things to know about living in Long Beach!

Affordable Living in the Los Angeles Area

Bird's-eye view of Long Beach, CA from a helicopter. Photo by Instagram user @ eric_scire.

Photo via @eric_scire

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 a reasonable median home price of $448,800, which is more affordable 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. As one of the best places to raise a family in Long Beach, Park Estates provides an active, walkable community with a low crime rate, plenty of parks, and beautiful homes. And East Village, located on the east edge of Downtown Long Beach, attracts singles and young professionals because it’s full of restaurants, bars, and entertainment.

A Hub for Job Opportunities

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

Long Beach has plenty of ways to get around town on land or on 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

California State University Long Beach sign presented in the foreground, with palms in the middle, and the pyramid in the distance. Photo by Instagram user @csulb.24.

Photo via @csulb.24

Looking to further your education? Long Beach is home to California State University-Long Beach (CSULB)! This public university is ranked among the top ten best schools for undergraduate teaching in the U.S. in fields like legal studies, education, engineering, the arts, and health and human services. In addition, CSULB 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

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 health care 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 the El Dorado 50+ Book Club every first Tuesday of the month. Lace up your sneakers and participate in Long Beach Senior Center’s Walking Club. 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. With gorgeous waterfront views, convenient access to beaches, and amazing year-round weather, Long Beach offers retirees a perfect home.

Check Out the Scenic Outdoors

Golden hour photo of the boardwalk of Long Beach, CA, with skaters, bikers, riders, and pedestrians. Photo by Instagram user @bigdawg_manny.

Photo via @bigdawg_manny

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

Stretch of one of Long Beach's shorelines. Photo by Instagram user @derekrliang.

Photo via @derekrliang

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 California coastal 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

Blue skies, light clouds, mountains in the distance, and a whole lot of boats in one of Long Beach's marinas. Photo by Instagram user @ocyachts.

Photo via @ocyachts

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 in 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 Beach City 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

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 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 gorgeous 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

A collaborative project, Colossal Head features "collaging prints collected from the work of its members." Photo by Instagram user @molaa.art.

Photo via @molaa.art

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 contemporary 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 exhibitions like Uncertain Allies. 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

Sign of The Center featured amidst a mural that shows body positivity and gender inclusion, with a traditional rainbow Pride pattern, paired with Trans colors and black and brown stripes to "represent marginalised LGBT communities of colour." Photo by Instagram user @centerlb.

Photo via @centerlb

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 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

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach taking place throughout the city. Photo by Instagram user @gplongbeach.

Photo via @gplongbeach

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 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

Two young sisters walk through the tunnel of Aquarium of the PAcific in Long Beach, CA. Photo by Instagram user @beachseakers.

Photo via @beachseakers

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

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 at Big Catch Seafood House and try the Lobster Clams Pasta, Crawfish, or Salmon Sandwich. Feast on Rock Fish Ceviche, Clam Chowder, or Planchet Pacific Sea Bass at Roe Seafood. Fill up on Battered Fish Tacos, a Grilled Salmon Burger, or Catfish at Long Beach Fish Grill. Dine at King’s Fish House and get the Laguna Bay Oysters, Wild Mexican Jumbo Shrimp, or Swordfish. Enjoy an outdoor dining experience and chow down on Seafood Linguine, Manila Clams, or Crispy Calamari at Parkers’ Lighthouse. Take in the scenic water views while dining on Hawaiian Mahi Mahi, Shetland Salmon, or Surf & Turf at Gladstone’s Long Beach. Or try the Steamed King Crab Legs, Blackened Halibut Sandwich, or Pineapple Mustard Glazed Salmon at The Boathouse on the Bay.

Dine at Local Restaurants

Long Beach is home to some of the best restaurants in the LA area! Start your morning with a Maple Bacon Waffle or Classic Eggs Benedict and wash it down with a Saint Matcha Latte at Saint & Second. Sample Italian dishes like Rigatoni Alla Norma, Gnocchi Manzo, or Linguine Vongole at Michael’s on Naples Ristorante. Try the Stacked Enchiladas, Green Chile Panxa Burger, or Charred Queso Oaxaca at Panxa Cocina. Savor Oyster Tofu Soup or Chicken Katsu at Sura Korean BBQ & Tofu House. Experience waterfront dining at Tantalum, where you can get the best Ribeye Sandwich or Wasabi Crusted Filet. Chow down on a BBQ Burger, Kimchi Tacos, or Butternut Squash Enchiladas at Seabirds Kitchen. Or check out The Ordinarie for a tasty Patty Melt, Pastrami Spiced Salmon, or Bavette Steak.

Discover Long Beach’s Bustling Nightlife

There are tons of bars and nightclubs in Long Beach where you can have some drinks and a fun time! Grab a Pina Colada or Bloody Mary while dining on the patio at The Good Bar & Eatery. Kick back with cocktails like a Pepino Grande or Hippie Flip from Mezcalero while enjoying karaoke night. Stop in for Cadillac Margarita or Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey at The Stave Bar. Throw back a mojito while enjoying live music and dancing at Alegria Nightclub. Sip on a Cactus Cooler or Cazadores Reposado while playing pool at Shannon’s Bayshore. Visit Cowboy Country Saloon for country dancing and some of the best live music in town. Or get out with friends and order cocktails like the LB Daiquiri at Long Beach Beer Lab!

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