View of two bicycles parked in Long Beach

How to Get Around Long Beach (8 Best Ways, By a Local)

When it comes to getting around in Long Beach, there are eight main forms of transportation that people use: driving, rideshares, scooters, bicycles, on foot, buses, taxis, and water taxis. 

The best form of transportation for your needs depends on your budget, which Long Beach attractions you want to visit, and your comfort level with each method. This list of ways to get around Long Beach will serve as a guide to help you choose the ideal transportation method for your trip to Long Beach.

As a Long Beach local, I’ve gotten comfortable with multiple transportation options to help me get around the city. I’m here to let you know about the pros and cons of each transportation method and tell you what you need to know to arrange transportation for your trip.

At the end, I’ve listed some tips for getting around Long Beach. Check them out for some insider knowledge about navigating the city!

Let’s take a look:

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8 Ways to Get Around in Long Beach 

Rental Cars

🚍 Best for: Saving time, comfort, freedom to explore
💵 Cost: $$$
👉 Where to Book: Discover Cars

While Long Beach isn’t a huge city, it’s nice to have the freedom to hop in a car and drive to your destinations. And, you’ll be able to easily take trips to nearby places like Los Angeles or Huntington Beach.

There are several rental car companies at Long Beach Airport, as well as in downtown Long Beach. You’ll have plenty of options

To browse multiple companies’ inventories at once and compare quotes before your visit, use the Discover Cars search engine.

Pros of Rental Cars:

  • Travel on your own schedule
  • Save time
  • Trunk storage

Cons of Rental Cars:

  • Last minute booking can be expensive
  • Paying for parking
  • Limited parking

Rideshare Services

🚍 Best for: Saving money, comfort, simplicity
💵 Cost: $$

Using a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft to get around Long Beach gives you the comfort of traveling by car without having to rent one for your entire trip. Since Long Beach is a populous city, there are always drivers and rides available to take you where you need to go.

Depending on traffic, it only takes about 10 to 20 minutes to get from downtown Long Beach to Second Street at the other end of the city. So, your trips within the city will be quick and relatively inexpensive.

Pros of Rideshare Services

  • Saves money 
  • Travel comfortably
  • Don’t have to worry about parking

Cons of Rideshare Services 

  • Fluctuating fares
  • Need smartphone and cell service

Scooters

🚍 Best for: Saving money, sightseeing
💵 Cost: $

In Long Beach, you’ll see many different brands of scooters parked along the streets waiting to be used. Brands like Lime, Bird, VeoRide, and Razor have scooters, and even some seated versions, for the public to use.

Scooters might be the best way to get around Long Beach. There are plenty available in the city, and they allow you to zip from attraction to attraction at your own pace. You can stop wherever you want, and pick up again when you’re ready.

Pros of Scooters

  • Quick travel
  • Avoid traffic
  • Inexpensive

Cons of Scooters

  • Need to install apps
  • May not be comfortable for everyone

Bicycles

🚍 Best for: Saving money, freedom to explore, environmentally friendly
💵 Cost: $

View of two bicycles parked in Long Beach and the clear blue sky over it

Whether you bring your own bicycle, rent one, or make use of one of the 768 bicycles provided by the City of Long Beach, cycling is an effective method to get around. Long Beach is bike friendly, with a bike path on the beach as well as designated bike lanes throughout the city.

Pros of Bicycles

  • No carbon footprint
  • Avoid traffic
  • Get exercise

Cons of Bicycles

  • Possibility of bicycle theft

On Foot

🚍 Best for: Saving money, freedom to explore
💵 Cost: Free

People walking in Long Beach during a sunny morning

Exploring Long Beach on foot is a great way to get to know the city. The entire downtown area is walkable, as are most neighborhoods in the city. There are well maintained sidewalks throughout Long Beach, as well as a beach path with a designated lane just for pedestrians.

Pros of Walking:

  • Cost effective
  • Freedom to stop and explore

Cons of Walking: 

  • Can be slow
  • Physically demanding

📚 Related Reading: To help you figure out where to walk, check out our guide to the 23 Best Things To Do In Long Beach.

Bus

🚍 Best for: Saving money, comfort
💵 Cost: $

Long Beach Transit offers bus service that runs through the city’s extensive network of bus routes. Their red Passport Buses are free to ride, and have a route that runs through Long Beach’s most popular tourist areas and attractions, like downtown, Shoreline Village, and the aquarium.

Pros of Buses

  • Saves money
  • Comfortable seating
  • Passport buses (electric) are more environmentally friendly

Cons of Buses

  • Set routes and schedules
  • Can be crowded

Taxi

🚍 Best for: Saving time, comfort
💵 Cost: $$ – $$$
👉 Where to Book: Long Beach Yellow Cab

Though more and more people are using rideshare services, taxis are still a reliable way of getting around in Long Beach. Taxis charge a base fee plus a specific cost per mile. Some services even offer fixed rates for travel to and from the airport.

Pros of Taxis:

  • Flexible routes
  • Verified vehicles
  • Safe and reliable

Cons of Taxis:

  • Wait times
  • Traffic can trigger additional charge

📚 Related Reading: You’ve made it to Long Beach – but where will you stay? Read our guide on Where To Stay Around Long Beach to help you decide!

Water Taxi

🚍 Best for: (saving money, saving time, comfort, freedom to explore, etc)
💵 Cost: $

Long Beach Transit operates public transit water taxis that ferry people between Shoreline Village and Alamitos Bay, near Belmont Shore. 

This is a great way to get from one end of the city to the other while enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean from a boat! Passage in either direction on a Long Beach Transit water taxi costs $5 per person.

Pros of Water Taxis:

  • Avoid traffic
  • Ocean sightseeing
  • Cost effective

Cons of Water Taxis:

  • Extremely limited route
  • Infrequent departures

5 Tips For Getting Around Long Beach

View of building in Long Beach area

Rent A Small Vehicle

If you’re renting a car, consider a compact or small vehicle. Parking in Long Beach can be tough, and you might have to parallel park into a tiny spot to park along Ocean Boulevard or in residential areas. Save yourself the headache by renting a car that can slide into small spaces.

👉 Search Discover Cars now to find the cheapest rental car deals.

Download Transportation Apps Beforehand

If you plan on using app-based rideshare services or scooters while visiting, I’d recommend that you download the apps and set up your accounts and payments before you arrive in the city. This way, you’re not fiddling with your phone and credit card on a city street trying to get a scooter set up.

Use A Bike Lock

Long Beach is a wonderful city with lots to offer, but bike theft is one of the most common crimes here. If you bring your own bike or rent one, make sure you lock your bike up securely whenever you’re not using it to avoid theft.

📚 Related Reading: Check out our guide Is Long Beach Safe? for more tips on how to have an enjoyable and safe stay..

Book Rental Cars Ahead Of Time

You don’t want to get stuck with a higher rate or a gigantic vehicle during your stay. To avoid these issues, book your rental car before you arrive in Long Beach. 

A website like Discover Cars will help you compare options between agencies, so you can secure the best deal ahead of time. 

Watch Out for One Way Streets in Long Beach

If you plan on driving in Long Beach, be aware that one way streets are not uncommon in the downtown area and beyond. Keep your eye out for signage and lights indicating that a street is one way to avoid any mishaps!  

👉 Read Next: What to Do in Catalina Island, CA

Long Beach Transportation FAQ

Does Long Beach have public transportation?

Long Beach has public transportation in the form of buses with routes within Long Beach and routes to surrounding areas. Long Beach is also home to the Metro Blue Line train with service to downtown Los Angeles.

Do you need a car in Long Beach?

You do not need a car to get around in Long Beach, as there are alternate transportation options such as rideshares, bikes, and scooters. Long Beach is also a highly walkable city.

Is Long Beach good for tourists?

Long Beach makes a great destination for tourists who want to visit a beach city in Southern California. Tourists in Long Beach can enjoy restaurants, museums, art galleries, bars, the beach, and other attractions.

Is there an Uber in Long Beach?

Uber offers service in Long Beach, and since it is a densely populated area, rides are readily available. Lyft also operates in Long Beach.

Map of Long Beach

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At the end of the day, there are numerous ways for you to get around in Long Beach. You might use one method for the whole trip, or a combination of a few methods to make the most of your experience in the city. I hope this guide helps you plan your visit to Long Beach!

Before you go, be sure to bookmark all my free Long Beach travel guides – and especially my list of fun things to do in Long Beach!

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