Long Beach, California


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What's it like to live in Long Beach?

What is it like to live in Long Beach, CA?

I grew up in Long Beach, returned 8 years ago after 13 years abroad, and I love it. Long Beach is a large city that feels like a small town. It’s a patchwork quilt of very distinctive neighborhoods. I’ve been trying to capture the flavor of the neighborhoods with some videos on my YouTube channel. I’ve only done 4 so far as time and money have permitted. I plan to do Downtown next since it is having such a building boom!

The city is very unpretentious and the people are down to earth. There are a lot of great parks and green spaces, lots of neighborhood shopping areas from Second St. in Belmont Shore to Bixby Knolls to 4th Street Retro Row to Pine Ave downtown.

It is conveniently located to Orange County and the City of Los Angeles, so it is a favorite with commuters. It’s a California Beach town so home prices and rent prices are high compared with much of the country but it is a bargain compared to Los Angeles and much of Orange County.

There’s good food and nightlife, neighborhood farmer’s markets, a festival or event almost every weekend. There is always something to do.

The biggest problems currently seem to be Homelessness and Parking. There are too many homeless in the city and not enough parking. The answer to homelessness has been an increase in taxes and to the parking issues, the mandate seems to be “Ride your bike”. Both homelessness and bike lanes have their fans and foes. The debates on sites like Next Door go on and on… Not expressing any sides, but be aware that either of those topics are “hot button” issues here.

Long Beach has a tendency to be portrayed only as gangland in movies and tv shows which is a shame. It’s also a shame that Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH) which takes tourists through charming seaside villages cuts a swatch through some seedy areas. Our charming seaside lies on Ocean Blvd, not PCH.

As a city, Long Beach has a lot going for it. You can enjoy an active life near the water and a great climate and find a great community in one of the many unique neighborhoods.

What is it like to live in Long Beach, CA?

I've lived here for over 20 years and in the same house for 13.

The city is extremely diverse and tolerate. There are many things to do and places to eat, drink, and just chill. Our police department is great, for the most part, and I feel safe here. We are known as a big city with unique neighborhoods, which is accurate. A few years ago Long Beach was rated one of the top 100 cities to live, also rated great for families and great for youth. Our pearl and recreations department was rated number 1 in the country and our schools were rated number one urban school district in the nation.

People are usually friendly. We are a big walking and biking community. Also very pedestrian and a huge pet city with multiple dog parks. We have a major university, a great community college and a lot of entertainment options.

The temperature is generally moderate and pleasant. All in all, a great city to visit our live!

Is Long Beach a good neighborhood to live in?

Lots of DTLB hate on here. I love it downtown. Are there people that are homeless? Yes. Do I sometimes not know if sirens are on the TV or outside? Yes. Do I mostly smell urine when I’m out on walks? Yes.

But downtown is also rad. You can walk to everything. The food down here is awesome. Entertainment is great (especially when there’s not a pandemic).

If you have a car you need to make sure you have parking. I know you mentioned the larger luxury complexes where parking is included but be sure to ask if it is not abundantly clear. Speaking of luxury complexes - there was an amenities arms race and the pandemic shut a lot of that stuff down without an adjustment to rent. The complex I’m in has not reopened most amenities and has not communicated any plans to do so - ask about this!

There are a lot of great places here and where you want to do will come into play with where you want to live. If you want to be at the archery range or play frisbee golf every day live by El Dorado Park. If you want to take your dog to the beach on the daily live by Rosie’s. If you love boutique shops look at living near Retro Row or 2nd St. If food and drink is what lights your fire live downtown (and a lot of other great places. Food in LB is awesome.) Wander neighborhoods. When wandering ask people if they live nearby and what they like/don’t like about the area. Or don’t. There’s a lot of people here and if you’re not willing to put in the work to get to know the area then there are plenty that will.

Is Long Beach a good neighborhood to live in?

I live right near linden (but in a 1920s) duplex so I can speak to the east village/downtown neighborhood. It really depends on your lifestyle/interests. I would totally live in downtown/east village if you’re a foodie or like nightlife (when it’s back). The cool renovated buildings and the new builds are a bit overpriced in my honest opinion, and I think the cute triplexes/quadplexes are way cooler.

My favorite neighborhood is Belmont heights through Alamitos heights (including retro row). This is great if you’re middle young (not college, before kids). There’s a lot to do but it feels more quiet/lesser grimes than downtown.

I grew up in seal beach. It’s dope if you’re into a slow lifestyle or family vibes. Or if you’re in your 60s.

Other areas of note: traffic circle & signal hill, relatively safe and and 50% college students. More affordable and bigger complexes (usually equating to more amenities).

Los Altos/Los coyotes diagonal area: very family friendly, classic suburbs vibe and parks and big shopping centers nearby.

Belmont shore/second street: great if you like nightlife with 21-25 year olds

Rossmoor/Los Alamitos: best area of you lean conservative

Huntington Beach: if you’re Florida conservative

If there’s any areas i I didn’t mention that you’re curious about!

Living In Long Beach California Pros and Cons