Long Beach Travel Guides

Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Long Beach

Aerial view of Shoreline Aquatic Park and Downtown Long Beach
Downtown Long Beach skyline behind Shoreline Aquatic Park.

Why We Love Long Beach: One of California’s most populous cities, Long Beach is a diverse coastal city that strikes the perfect balance between urban epicenter and classic beach town. Long Beach is bursting with culture, attractions, and hidden gems. Thanks to its bustling downtown and miles of beach, Long Beach attracts more residents and visitors each year. In this unique beach city, you can touch the Pacific Ocean, experience art, food, and culture, visit tourist attractions, and enjoy that signature California sunshine. While Long Beach looks the part with its palm tree and skyscraper silhouette, it offers even more than meets the eye.

Best of Long Beach

Things to Do

Aerial view of Shoreline Village and Downtown Long Beach
Aerial view of Shoreline Village and Downtown Long Beach.

For adventure seekers, families, and those looking to relax, Long Beach has attractions and activities for everyone:

  • Shoreline Village – A colorful boardwalk full of shops and restaurants right on Long Beach’s waterfront.
  • El Dorado Park – Long Beach’s largest green space, where you can explore nature trails or try your hand at disc golf.
  • Whale Watching Tours – Take a boat ride into the Pacific Ocean to spot whales and dolphins.
  • Aquarium of the Pacific – World’s largest aquarium. Features a shark touch tank and offers nighttime events.
  • Retro Row – Vintage and eclectic shops and diverse restaurants line Fourth Street, home to Retro Row.

👉 Explore all things to do in Long Beach.

🗺️ Where to Stay

There are more than fifty neighborhoods in Long Beach. Here are some of the best places to stay when you visit:

  • Belmont Shore – A beach neighborhood filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. Hot spot for kitesurfing.
  • Downtown Long Beach – Waterfront neighborhood in the heart of Long Beach with vibrant nightlife.
  • East Village Arts District – Mural-lined neighborhood full of art galleries, vintage shops, and locat eats.

👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in Long Beach.

View of a ferris wheel at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach
The Pike, a shopping and dining attraction in Downtown Long Beach. (photo: Idealphotographer / Shutterstock)

🛎️ Best Hotels

View of the Hyatt Regency building in Long Beach
The Hyatt Regency Long Beach sits right on Rainbow Lagoon. (photo: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock)

There are tons of hotel options in Long Beach. Book ahead of time to score the best rates at hotels like these:

  • Hyatt Regency Long Beach – Downtown hotel central to many Long Beach attractions. Close to the beach and has a pool.
  • Hotel Maya – Stylish, clean hotel with a beach, pool, and restaurant on site. 
  • Beachrunners’ Inn – Charming B&B in a classic Craftsman. Walking distance to the beach and local restaurants.

🍽️ Restaurants

If you’re a foodie, Long Beach won’t disappoint! You’ll find diverse culinary options 25 word intro: 

  • Parker’s Lighthouse – Waterfront seafood restaurant with harbor views. Stellar seafood and extensive happy hour menu.
  • Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘N Waffles – Soul food restaurant offering savory favorites. Plays live jazz music on Fridays.
  • ReMix Kitchen Bar – Serving Filipino and French-influenced small bites at Long Beach Exchange.
  • Thai District – Northern Thai cuisine in the heart of the Arts District. Try the Thai churros!
  • Honduras Kitchen – Casual spot for traditional Honduran cuisine. Don’t miss the baleadas and platano maduro.

🍴 Read our full guide to the best restaurants in Long Beach.

View of the famous Parker's Lighthouse in Long Beach
Parker’s Lighthouse is known for its stellar seafood and waterfront location. (photo: Idealphotographer / Shutterstock)

🚗 Day Trips

View of the colorful sunset in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is about a two hour drive from Long Beach.
  • Catalina Island – Take a ferry over for drinks and dining, snorkeling, hiking, and bison spotting. See our full guide on what to do in Catalina Island.
  • Joshua Tree National Park – Famous desert landscape perfect for hiking, rock climbing, relaxing, and stargazing.
  • San Diego – Road trip down PCH to explore oceanfront neighborhoods, or visit Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter.
  • Malibu – Visit the famous Zuma Beach, or go on a wine tasting safari.
  • Angeles National Forest – Hiking trails and tall pines abound in this mountainous park.

🏘️ Neighborhoods

View of the clear Canals through Long Beach
Canals wind through the Long Beach neighborhood of Naples.
  • Downtown Long Beach – The waterfront heart of Long Beach where you’ll find most popular attractions and hotels.
  • Bluff Park – Home to the Long Beach Museum of Art and free outdoor yoga classes. Quick access to the beach.
  • Belmont Heights – Trendy neighborhood for brunch spots and coffee shops. Nexxt to Colorado Lagoon wetlands.
  • Belmont Shore – Filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. Highly walkable and right on the ocean.
  • Naples – Canal-lined beachfront neighborhood navigable by boat and walkable by foot.

🍸 Bars

View of the Shannon’s on Pine in Long Beach
Shannon’s on Pine is a local watering hole in Downtown Long Beach. (photo: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock)
  • Shannon’s – A local hangout with locations on Pine Avenue and Second Street. Try a shoot-the-root shot!
  • Mezcalero – Cocktail bar and lounge focused on tequila and mezcal-based drinks.
  • Sweetwater Saloon – Casual LGBTQ bar with strong drinks, a pool table, and a jukebox.
  • The Stave – Vintage style bar offering more than 100 types of whiskey, rye, bourbon, and scotch.
  • The Auld Dubliner – Irish pub near The Pike with a full bar, hearty food menu, trivia, and live music.

🍺 Breweries

View of different kind beers on a glass
Try Ballast Point’s locally brewed beers. (photo: EWY Media / Shutterstock)
  • Congregation Ale House – Gastropub featuring craft and local beers and a savory food menu.
  • Ficklewood Ciderworks – Two Long Beach locals operate this cidery, where you can taste test a variety of dry, crisp ciders.
  • Ballast Point – Waterfront brewery featuring patio seating, fire pits, and of course, more than 60 beers on tap.
  • Belmont Brewing Company – Low key brewpub right on the beach serving local beer and delicious burgers.
  • Trademark Brewing – Brewery and taproom serving up more than 30 local beers. Hosts beer yoga and cornhole tournaments!

🏖️ Nearby Beaches

View of the The Huntington Beach Pier and the clear blue sky
The Huntington Beach pier is a popular surf spot.
  • Huntington Beach – Ocean town known as “Surf City.” Hit the beach, then shop and dine on Main Street.
  • Bolsa Chica State Beach – Low key ocean beach perfect for surf fishing, surfing, and RV camping.
  • Seal Beach – Quiet oceanside town with a gently sloping beach, and plenty of restaurants and shops.

⛰️ Nearby Hiking

The author on her hike in El Moro Canyon Loop Trail
Me hiking El Moro Canyon Loop Trail at Crystal Cove State Park
  • Crystal Cove State Park – Challenging trails through hills and easier trails along the coast. Also offers campsites.
  • Palos Verdes – Several winding trails along the rugged California coastline. Sweeping ocean views.
  • Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve – Explore the wetlands along sea-level trails. Prime location for birdwatching.

Long Beach Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

Long Beach consistently offers nice weather most months of the year. Summers are hot and winters are mild, making Long Beach a year-round destination.

  • 🍂 Fall – Sunny and warm, with higher ocean temperatures perfect for beach days.
  • 🌞 Summer – High temperatures and full sun define Long Beach summers. Hit the beach or hotel pool to cool off.
  • ❄️ Winter – Cool, mild weather in the 50s and 60s means you can still enjoy everything Long Beach has to offer.
  • 🌼 Spring – Expect mild weather with misty mornings and occasional rain.

👉 Read the full guide to when to visit Long Beach.

🚌 Getting Around

Though much of downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are highly walkable, other modes of transportation will make traveling through Long Beach much easier.

  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – With a walk score of 68, areas like Downtown, Belmont Shore, East Village, and Naples are most walkable.
  • 🚗 Driving – To visit other beach towns or take day trips, a car is necessary.
  • 🚇 Public Transit – Long Beach’s bus system and water taxis can take you to most popular areas in the city.
  • 📲 Ride Share – Uber and Lyft are both readily available in Long Beach.
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – Long Beach offers rental bikes at stations throughout the city, as well as plenty of bike lanes.
  • 🛴 Scooters – Scooters are available throughout the city via Bird, Lime, and Uber.

👉 Read the full guide to how to get around Long Beach.

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • ☀️ – Sunny skies – Long Beach can get hot. Avoid heat illness by drinking water and seeking shade.
  • 🏙️ – Easy streets – To navigate the city, remember that numbered streets run west to east, and streets with tree and plant names run north to south.
  • 🦺 – Health & safety – Look up covid guidelines specific to Long Beach before you go, so you can come prepared.
  • ☁️ – June Gloom – During May and June, the weather can get misty and cloudy. Avoid these months for a sunnier trip.
  • ]🏖️ – Beach path – If you’re exploring the city on foot or by bike, head down to the beach path for a traffic-free route.

🧳 What to Pack

  • 🌤️ – Sun Protection – The sunshine in Long Beach is strong and bright, so don’t forget sunscreen and a hat when you visit!
  • 🥤 – Reusable Water Bottle – To stay hydrated, bring a reusable water bottle and fill up at fountains in parks and at the beach.
  • 👓 – Sunglasses – Did we mention the sun? Protect your eyes and bring a pair of sunglasses with you.
  • 👞 – Walking Shoes – If you’re exploring Long Beach on foot, a pair of walking shoes with support will keep your feet blister-free and comfortable.
  • 👙 – Swim Suit – A swim suit will come in handy at the beach and hotel pool, and for water sports like parasailing.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Census Population (2021) – 467,769 (city), 13.4 million (Los Angeles metro area)
  • Time Zone – PST Time (UTC -8 / UTC -7 during daylight savings)
  • Area Codes – 562, 310, 424
  • Airports – Long Beach Airport (LGB)
  • Nickname – LBC
  • Demonynm – Long Beacher
  • StateCalifornia
  • CountryUnited States of America

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • 3 Star Hotel Room – $75-215/night
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $70-150/night
  • Rental Car – $40+/day
  • Public Transit Ticket – $1.25 single ride, $4 day pass
  • Ride Share from Downtown to Airport – $20-50
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $30-50
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $60-150
  • Draft Beer – $6-12

FAQs About Visiting Long Beach

Is Long Beach safe for tourists?

Long Beach is generally a safe destination for tourists. As with visiting any major city, visitors should take reasonable precautions to avoid crime in the area, like petty theft and vehicle break-ins. For more about safety in Long Beach, check out our guide here.

Is Long Beach worth visiting?

Long Beach is worth visiting, especially for those interested in cultural events, festivals, nightlife, art galleries, the beach, and sunny weather. No matter the time of year, Long Beach has attractions and events ready for visitors to enjoy.

Does Long Beach have a boardwalk?

Shoreline Village is Long Beach’s boardwalk, featuring colorful buildings that are home to shops and restaurants. Long Beach also offers a man made path along the beach for pedestrians and cyclists.

What is Long Beach known for?

Long Beach is best known for attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Village, as well as events like the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach and Long Beach Pride Festival. Long Beach is also frequently used as a filming location for television and movies.

📰 California Travel Guides

Long Beach is just one of California’s many vacation-worthy destinations. Browse through our other guides to Long Beach, or check out guides to other California destinations like San Diego here:

Meet Our Long Beach Travel Expert

Victoria Folz

Victoria Folz is a freelance writer and travel enthusiast based in Southern California. She enjoys red eye flights, hiking, road trips, running, and solo adventures. Her favorite destination abroad is a tie between the island of Roatan and Porto Xeli, Greece. Visit her website here.

👉 Read Victoria‘s Articles

🗺️ Long Beach Map