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Where to Stay in Long Beach (Top Places & Areas, By a Local)

Located between the city of Los Angeles and Orange County, Long Beach is a lively coastal city full of palm trees, unique restaurants, and ocean views. With over 50 neighborhoods, it can understandably be hard to figure out where to stay in Long Beach!

I am a Long Beach local. And I’m here to guide you through your stay in Long Beach, and make sure you don’t miss out on the highlights.

For the most part the best places to stay in Long Beach are downtown, within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean and many of the best things to do in Long Beach. Depending on your plans you might want to stay further inland, but Long Beach is relatively small so you’ll never be far from your destination.

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Best Places to Stay in Long Beach

Aerial view of Long Beach, California

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Long Beach? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Long Beach: 

3 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Long Beach

Long Beach contains more than 50 different neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods have an urban feel, while others give off laid back beach town vibes. If you’re considering staying outside of Long Beach, you can also check out Jericha’s guide to the top Los Angeles neighborhoods.

Ok, let’s take a look at some of the best areas to stay in Long Beach, moving from west to east!

Downtown Long Beach

View of the Long Beach skyline at night
View of Shoreline Village and Downtown Long Beach from the water

👉 Best Area For Overall Location | Best Downtown Long Beach Hotels: Hyatt Regency Long BeachRenaissance Long Beach HotelHyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach

Downtown Long Beach is a walkable waterfront neighborhood located right on the Pacific Ocean in the westernmost part of the city. This neighborhood offers family-friendly attractions like the Aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Village. Pine Avenue, the main street in downtown Long Beach, sports a vibrant nightlife and diverse restaurant scene.

Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, you will find something for everyone in downtown Long Beach. You can rent paddle boats at Rainbow Lagoon, dine right on the water in Shoreline Village, shop at The Pike, or dance the night away on Pine Avenue. This neighborhood also makes a convenient home base for your stay in the area, with easy access to other neighborhoods.

Pros of Staying in Downtown Long Beach:

  • Close to attractions like the aquarium and the Queen Mary
  • Many shopping and dining options
  • Quick walk to the beach

Cons of Staying in Downtown Long Beach:

  • More touristy feel than other neighborhoods
  • Gets crowded during summer

📚 Downtown Long Beach Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Overall Location
Google Map

Belmont Shore

Aerial view of Belmont Shore Beach in California
Belmont Shore with its beaches and bays is a popular Long Beach destination

👉 Best Area For Relaxing Beach Vacations | Best Belmont Shore Hotels: The Belmont Shore InnHotel CurrentGolden Sails Hotel

Belmont Shore is a classic Southern California beach destination known for its sandy beaches and bays and relaxed atmosphere. It offers a multitude of outdoor activities like kiteboarding and kitesurfing, Duffy boat rentals, and biking along the beach path. You can even go kayaking and paddleboarding through the canals of Long Beach’s very own Naples!

Belmont Shore offers more than fun in the sun – Second Street is full of restaurants, bars, local shops, and coffee shops. It’s also a quick drive or scooter ride away from downtown Long Beach and the fun things to do in Orange County

Belmont Shore is a great place to stay if you want to explore Long Beach as a whole, as you’ll have easy access to nearby neighborhoods and towns. If you’re looking for a low-key beach town where you and your family can enjoy the California sunshine, Belmont Shore awaits.

Pros of Staying in Belmont Shore:

  • Walking distance to the beach
  • Large selection of bars and restaurants on Second Street
  • Family-friendly activities available

Cons of Staying in Belmont Shore:

  • Parking can be tough on weekends
  • Few hotel options

📚 Belmont Shore Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Relaxing Beach Vacations
Google Map

East Village Arts District

View of a record store in Long Beach, California
Browse Bagatelle Records’ selection of vintage albums in the East Village Arts District.

👉 Best Area For Art & Culture | Best East Village Arts District Hotels: Hotel RoyalInn at 50Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown

The East Village Arts District neighborhood offers visitors much more than sunny skies and palm trees. Located just east of downtown, the mural-lined East Village is home to eclectic boutique shops, diverse Long Beach restaurants, and of course, galleries featuring local artists. The East Village is perfect for travelers who want to experience the Long Beach art scene like locals.

While you’re here, check out the 21 street murals painted throughout the neighborhood and check out the Long Beach Museum of Latin American Art. If music is more your jam, I especially recommend swinging by Bagatelle Records and Fingerprints Music to browse their impressive selection of records.

Pros of Staying in East Village Arts District:

  • Diverse dining and shopping options
  • Walking distance to downtown
  • Lively nightlife

Cons of Staying in East Village Arts District:

  • Not on the beach
  • Some shops have limited hours

📚 East Village Arts District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Arts & Culture
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Long Beach

Eat and shop local

Long Beach is home to so many unique restaurants and stores. Don’t miss out on some of the best Thai, Cambodian, and Mexican food in Southern California while you’re in town. Some of my favorites are Naree Thai, Thai Silk, Phnom Penh, and Taqueria la Mexicana. There are local boutique and vintage shops scattered throughout the city, particularly in the East Village and along Retro Row.

📽️ Read Next: Best Places to Stay in Los Angeles

Take advantage of free transportation

Save some money and hop aboard one of Long Beach’s Passport Buses! These emission-free buses offer transportation between downtown Long Beach and many local attractions, even the Queen Mary, all at no cost to you. Keep an eye out for a big red bus and hop aboard.

Check out my full guide to how to get around Long Beach for more practical transportation tips!

Sightsee by scooter or bike

Explore Long Beach areas like The Pike and Shoreline Aquatic Park on rental bikes provided by the city, or on scooters offered by Lime and Bird. There are almost 700 blue bikes in the city’s bike share program spread between 95 stations, so they’re easy to find. This is a great way to sightsee at your own pace without having to rent a car.

Need ideas on what to do in Long Beach? Check out my local’s list of the 23 best things to do!

Fly into Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Skip the heavy traffic at LAX and hefty cab or rideshare fare by flying into Long Beach’s very own airport. Long Beach Airport is small, with only one terminal, offering travelers a less crowded, more pleasant airport experience. The airport is a convenient 15 minute drive from downtown Long Beach.

👉 Read Next: Best Beaches in Los Angeles, CA

Make the most of hotel amenities

If you’re going to be spending some time at the hotel you choose, book one that offers amenities you and your family can take advantage of. Many hotels in Long Beach, like Hotel Maya, offer an outdoor pool and an exceptional on site restaurant. Some hotels, like the Hampton Inn Long Beach Airport, offer complimentary shuttle service to and from Long Beach Airport as well as complimentary breakfast.

👉 Read Next: Where to Stay in San Diego, California

Take a day trip to Catalina Island

If you have time during your stay, take a ferry from downtown Long Beach to Catalina Island. The harbor town of Avalon awaits, full of coastal restaurants, bars, and shops. 

Before you head back to Long Beach, try the island’s signature drink – Buffalo Milk, a chocolatey, boozy shake (don’t worry: there’s no actual buffalo milk in the drink! It’s named after the island’s resident buffalo herd). The island also offers hiking trails, beachfront campgrounds if you’re feeling outdoorsy.

For more ideas, check out Victoria’s epic guide to the best things to do and see in Catalina Island.

Long Beach Weather is Always Pleasant

Long Beach sports consistently great weather, even during its relatively mild winters. That means it’s possible to have a great time visiting Long Beach during any month of the year. With that said, if you had to choose, June to October are generally the best months to visit Long Beach as the weather and water are warmest then.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Long Beach

What is the best area to stay in Long Beach?

The best areas to stay in Long Beach are generally close to the water, near Ocean Boulevard. Of course, it depends upon what you intend to see and do, but in this area of Long Beach you will find more attractions and expansive views of the Pacific Ocean.

Is it expensive to stay in Long Beach?

Long Beach offers a wide range of hotel options, from expensive high end stays to inexpensive budget hotels. There are plenty of affordable hotels in Long Beach, and trips to the city are even more affordable in the “off-season.” Consider visiting in the fall or winter to score a lower average nightly price at a hotel in Long Beach.

What are the best hotels on the beach in Long Beach?

One of the best hotels on the waterfront in Long Beach is The Hyatt Regency Long Beach is located on Rainbow Lagoon, and there is a walking path along the marina that takes you right to the beach. The Westin Long Beach and multiple other downtown hotels are also within walking distance of the beach. The beachfront area of Long Beach is mostly lined with residential buildings, but you can still stay on the water when you visit.

What areas of Long Beach should be avoided?

As is the case with most cities, there are some areas are Long Beach where crime rates are higher. Generally, Long Beach is safe. When you’re deciding where to stay in Long Beach, remember that the closer you stay to the ocean, the safer the area tends to be. Try to stay south of 7th Street when you choose a hotel in Long Beach (unless you’re staying in Bixby Knolls, which is considered a safe neighborhood).

👉 Read More of Our Local Guides:

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From waterfront restaurants and sandy beaches to funky galleries and record shops, Long Beach is home to neighborhoods that everyone can enjoy. 

Hopefully, this guide has given you some inspiration and ideas about where to stay in Long Beach!

Check out my guide to what to do in Long Beach plus all our California travel guides to keep planning your trip!

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2 Comments

  1. The family and myself have visited Longbeach from the UK many times and this travel/stay advice is spot on, go to Longbeach CA, you won’t be disappointed!

    The Lewis Family, southeast UK

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