With more people looking for safe domestic travel destinations these days, you might be wondering: is Long Beach safe to visit right now?
And, while you may have seen headlines about earthquakes in Southern California and increasing crime rates in cities, don’t write Long Beach off just yet. As a Long Beach local, I can tell you that it’s absolutely possible to plan a safe trip to Long Beach.
Like any other major city, Long Beach does have safety concerns like theft and violent crime. However, if you keep your wits about you and stay in safer areas of the city, you can have a safe and enjoyable time exploring all the top things to do in Long Beach.
I’ve lived in several Long Beach neighborhoods, from Downtown to Bluff Heights, and have spent the last seven years getting to know this city. Here are some tips I would have wanted to know when I first moved to Long Beach, California that you can use when you visit. I hope this guide helps you feel comfortable in your plans to explore our eclectic port city.
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Is Long Beach Safe?
In general, Long Beach is a reasonably safe destination to visit or live, though travelers should be aware of elevated crime rates in the area. Those who want to visit Long Beach should consider precautions to avoid theft and violent crime.
Visitors to Long Beach are relatively safe when they stay in certain areas and keep their wits about them. The crime rate might look high, but it takes into account areas that tourists likely would not be visiting. Generally, the most popular places to stay in Long Beach for tourists have relatively better crime statistics.
Some of the most common property crimes in Long Beach are petty theft and grand theft auto. Visitors can reduce their risk of experiencing these crimes by staying alert, sightseeing during the day, locking away valuables, and locking their vehicles.
The most common violent crimes committed in Long Beach are assault and robbery. That said, Long Beach is not ranked as one of the most dangerous areas in California. A significant portion of violent crime is related to gang activity, which normally is not an issue for travelers.
Things to Know About Safety in Long Beach
Safe Neighborhoods and Areas in Long Beach
For the most part, Belmont Shore, Naples, Alamitos Beach, and Bluff Park are among the safest neighborhoods in Long Beach for visitors.
Downtown Long Beach is the most heavily touristed area in the city, but precautions should still be taken when visiting, as crime rates are higher here than in other neighborhoods.
In general, visiting attractions downtown during the day is safest. If you go out downtown at night, try not to go alone – there’s safety in numbers. When it comes to where to stay in Long Beach, there are many reputable hotels downtown where you can safely stay.
Neighborhoods like Poly High, North Long Beach, and areas near the Long Beach Airport on the Signal Hill border are higher in crime according to this heat map. Tourists should generally avoid these areas to stay safe, particularly at night.
However, when looking at the data, it’s important to note that areas with fewer residents but many visitors may appear to have a higher crime rate despite being relatively safe.
Crime in Long Beach
Some Long Beach neighborhoods have more criminal activity than others, but tourist-friendly areas are generally safe to visit during the day. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious just like you would while visiting any new place, and you will likely be quite alright.
Even though Downtown Long Beach has a higher crime rate than other neighborhoods in the city, it is still the most frequently visited area in the city by tourists.
Bike and auto theft, petty theft, and car break-ins are common, and violent crimes also occur. Stay alert and don’t leave your belongings out in plain sight to reduce your risk.
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Common Scams in Long Beach
Scams are pretty uncommon in Long Beach. If you do encounter one, it would likely be one of the following:
☎️ Phone call scams – you may receive phone calls from a Long Beach area code from scammers trying to get your personal information. Recently, some scammers have posed as the Long Beach Department of Health to ask for your insurance information. Always decline these calls, or hang up immediately if you pick up.
💰 Pickpockets – you’ll find pickpockets in practically any city. Pickpockets will choose a distracted person in a crowd and steal their wallet or purse without being noticed. Keep a watchful eye on your surroundings, and make sure you’ve got a secure hold of your belongings to avoid a pickpocket encounter.
Hazardous Weather and Natural Disasters
Though it’s uncommon to experience an earthquake in Long Beach, in Southern California it’s not unheard of. For most earthquakes in Long Beach, you won’t even know they happened.
Just in case, here’s a helpful guide by the City of Long Beach about how to handle an earthquake.
If you visit during summer and want to take a dip in the Pacific Ocean, do a quick search online to make sure the water quality is good. Sometimes algae blooms will trigger a red tide, which isn’t safe to swim in. Once in a while there will be an oil spill, in which case you should avoid the ocean.
Solo Female Safety
Long Beach can be safe for females traveling alone, as long as they take the same precautions they would when traveling to any new city. I’ve lived in Long Beach solo for years, and with appropriate caution have been able to do everything in Long Beach I want to.
As with any other solo trip, I’d advise not meeting up alone with strangers at night, keeping an eye on your drinks, walking in well-lit areas at night or using rideshare services, and planning out your walking routes in advance.
Drinking Water Safety
The tap water in Long Beach is safe to drink right from the tap. However, many residents prefer to use a water filter, as the water in Long Beach is considered “hard.”
5 Safety Tips for Long Beach
Tip #1 – Be Aware
As with any big city, stay aware of your surroundings and look like you know where you’re going when visiting Long Beach. You will be less likely to be targeted for a crime if you appear alert and confident.
It can help to plan your day and walking routes ahead of time, so that while you’re visiting attractions you have a decent idea of where you’re going.
Tip #2 – Secure Your Belongings
To help prevent your rental vehicle from being targeted in a break-in, avoid keeping valuables in your car. If you have to leave a backpack, laptop, purse, or similar item in your car, tuck it under the seat or out of view. Don’t forget to lock your car before heading out to prevent auto theft.
Tip #3 – Use Rideshare Services
When in doubt, don’t walk! Call an Uber or a Lyft to get where you’re going if you don’t know the area, especially at night. The neighborhoods in Long Beach can change quickly from block to block. If you’re not familiar with areas you’d have to walk through, stay on the safe side and order a ride.
Tip #4 – Use the Buddy System at Night
If you head out at night in Long Beach, especially on Pine Avenue, it can be helpful to go with a friend or in a group. This way, you can watch each other’s backs and are less likely to be a victim of crime. The nightlife on Pine Avenue is lively, and you can experience it most safely with people you know and trust.
Tip #5 – Research Neighborhoods Beforehand
If you’re thinking of staying in a particular neighborhood during your trip to Long Beach, research common crimes and rates in the area first. You might find that a different neighborhood is safer. Maps like this one from the City of Long Beach can help you identify an area you’re comfortable staying in.
FAQs About Safety in Long Beach
Is Long Beach good for families?
Long Beach is a good travel destination for families, offering family-friendly attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific, whale-watching tours, and the colorful Shoreline Village. Families can spend time at the beach, ride the Ferris wheel downtown, or rent bikes to cruise the coast.
Is Long Beach expensive?
Compared with other cities in California, Long Beach is expensive. On a cost of living scale where 100 is the national average, Long Beach scored 160.4. Some Long Beach neighborhoods are more affordable than others, and areas along the water tend to be more expensive.
What’s it like to live in Long Beach?
Living in Long Beach offers residents benefits such as walkable neighborhoods, mild weather, and an array of dining and entertainment options. Long Beach is one of the most demographically diverse cities in Southern California, and residents can experience many different cultures within the city.
What is there to do in Long Beach alone?
If you visit Long Beach alone, attractions like the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the city’s various art museums are worth visiting. Solo travelers can also enjoy nature trails and disc golf at El Dorado Park.
Where should you avoid in Long Beach?
Areas in Long Beach that tourists should avoid include areas close to the Long Beach Airport, northwest Long Beach, and Poly High. These areas tend to have higher crime rates than other neighborhoods in Long Beach.
That’s the scoop Long Beach safety! Hopefully this article has answered your question of “is Long Beach California safe?” I hope you’re excited to visit and that you feel prepared to explore Long Beach. For more insight on where to stay, check out my article about the best places to stay in Long Beach!
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